The Diet

The Perfect Health Diet

Here’s our Perfect Health Diet food plate:

PHD_Apple_plate cropped

NOTE: This is our new food plate, updated 2015. Foreign translations of the original food plate may be found here.

We recommend:

  • About 3 pounds [1.4 kg] of plant foods per day, including:
    • About 1 pound [0.45 kg] of safe starches, such as white rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and taro;
    • About 1 pound [0.45 kg] of sugary in-ground vegetables (such as beets or carrots), fruits, and berries;
    • Low-calorie vegetables to taste, including fermented vegetables and green leafy vegetables.
  • One-half to one pound [0.25 to 0.5 kg] per day of meat or fish, which should include organ meats, and should be drawn primarily from:
    • ruminants (beef, lamb, goat);
    • birds (especially duck and wild or naturally raised birds);
    • Shellfish and freshwater and marine fish.
  • Low omega-6 fats and oils from animal or tropical plant sources, to taste. Good sources include:
    • butter, sour cream, beef tallow, duck fat;
    • coconut milk or oil
    • palm oil, palm kernel oil, olive oil, avocado oil, macadamia nut butter, almond butter, cashew butter
  • Acids to taste, especially citric acid (lemon juice, lime juice, orange juice, grapefruit juice), lactic acid from fermented or pickled vegetables, vinegars, tannic acids from wine, and tomatoes.
  • Broths or stocks made from animal bones and joints.
  • Snacks or desserts from our pleasure foods: fruits and berries, nuts, alcohol, chocolate, cream, and fructose-free sweeteners like dextrose or rice syrup.

By weight, the diet works out to about 3/4 plant foods, 1/4 animal foods. By calories, it works out to about 600 carb calories, primarily from starches; around 300 protein calories; and fats supply a majority (50-60%) of daily calories.

In the shadow of the apple are foods forbidden because of their high toxin content. Notably:

  • Do not eat cereal grains — wheat, barley, oats, corn — or foods made from them — bread, pasta, breakfast cereals, oatmeal. The exception is white rice, which we count among our “safe starches.” Rice noodles, rice crackers, and the like are fine, as are gluten-free foods made from a mix of rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca starch.
  • Do not eat calorie-rich legumes. Peas and green beans are fine. Soy and peanuts should be absolutely excluded. Beans might be acceptable with suitable preparation, but we recommend avoiding them.
  • Do not eat foods with added sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. Do not drink anything that contains sugar: healthy drinks are water, tea, and coffee.
  • Polyunsaturated fats should be a small fraction of the diet (~4% of total calories). To achieve this, do not eat seed oils such as soybean oil, corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, or the like.

We highly recommend certain foods for their micronutrients. These include liver, kidney, egg yolks, seaweeds, shellfish, fermented vegetables, and bone broths.

We also recommend augmenting the diet with certain supplements. See our Supplement Recommendations page. These nutrients are deficient in modern diets due to removal of minerals from drinking water by treatment, depletion of minerals from soil by agriculture, or modern lifestyles that deprive us of vitamin D by indoor living.

We recommend tweaking the diet for certain diseases. Neurological disorders often benefit from a diet that is ketogenic; other conditions may benefit from lower carb diets. These variations are discussed in the book:


See the “Buy the Book” page for other purchase options.

Leave a comment ?

3,957 Comments.

  1. Hello Paul,

    I’m convinced that your PHD is the best diet out there. However, I choose to be vegetarian for moral and religious/spiritual reasons. What would a vegetarian version of PHD look like? And would such a diet mean a large sacrifice in terms of health, compared to the normal diet?

    Thanks in advance,
    Eric

  2. I can only give you my personal experience as I follow the PHD for a year now as a vegetarian (also ethical – I’m buddhist).
    I eat more cheese – focus on raw milk, grass-feeded.
    Include eggs since half a year – as an ethical decision – today there dies no male chicken for it anymore.

    My health tremendously improved.
    I take all of the recommended supps, too.

    Last issue which is recovering at the moment is pain in the aches which is getting very better right now.

    Other changes I made:
    – take algae omega 3 oil (look for good quality, means low totox-values)
    – add glycin regulary

    Best,

    Johannes

    • Victor Tashkov

      Buddha EXPLICITLY forbade his followers to be vegetarians.

      • Johannes Baur

        No, as far as I know it‘s the other way round. I think he said eating flesh would be similar to eating your brother. As we all are sentient beings.
        But I think its a personal/intimate decision which shouldn‘t be discussed. I will not engage in any religious argument.

        Best,

        Johannes

  3. I completely agree that PHD is the best eating plan. (for Perfect Health!) As a 68 yr old woman, I have a few extra pounds that I struggle to lose. I would love to see an Apple graphic that shows recommendations for weight loss. Almost every day I find myself staring at the graphic to determine where & how much I should decrease to reduce intake and still maintain the correct nutrient panel. Paul, can you help? Or anyone who has suggestions with actual food items & amounts for weight loss? Thanks so much.

  4. Hey Paul,

    I have a question about which vegetables to eat every day and the variety of plant-based foods you mentioned.
    My primary vegetable sources are cauliflower, broccoli, cucumbers, carrots, kale, peppers, onions and mushrooms.
    Do you think that because of the toxicity and toxins it contains, it is better to consume 450g of a single vegetable (e.g. only 450g of broccoli and the following day only 450g of cucumbers) per day (so that there are more days in between until I eat a certain vegetable again) or of each vegetable daily to consume only a small amount (e.g. 100g carrots and 100g broccoli and 100g cucumbers…) but to eat the same vegetables in small quantities every day. So my question is whether by variety of vegetables you mean that you should eat a different type of vegetable every day or many different types of vegetables in small quantities every day. And is it harmful if I simmer the vegetables in a little butter and cream, since cream should actually be consumed as a luxury food?
    And if I alternate between white rice and white potatoes every day, is that enough variety for my safe starches or should I introduce sweet potatoes and other safe starches?
    And is it harmful if I eat 500ml of bone broth every day and add tomatoes and spinach to it? So could the toxins found in tomatoes and spinach cause problems if I consumed small amounts of them every day?

    Thanks in advance.

    Best regards

    Marvin

    • Hi Marvin,

      I guess I would prioritize:
      – Mushrooms
      – Onions and garlic
      – Tomatoes
      – Carrots
      – Green leafy vegetables
      – Cruciferous vegetables
      – Sweet peppers, small amounts of spicy peppers

      As far as how vegetables are distributed, I don’t think it matters. Some should be raw (eg sweet peppers) and some are better cooked. It is good to make stews and soups and put plenty of vegetables in there.

      Yes, I think it’s fine to alternate between rice and what potatoes and let those be staple starches.

      No, there’s no problem to eating tomatoes and spinach daily in modest quantities.

      Best, Paul

      • Hello Paul,

        many thanks for your response. I really appreciate your answers, your book and your blog posts and I am spreading your book to everyone I know. I can’t thank you enough for everything. I wish you and your family continued God’s blessings and good luck in your cancer research. I follow the posts on your website Angiex with great pleasure and hope that this can help many people in the future. I hope people recognize the service you have provided and will continue to provide for them through your work.

        Best Regards

        Marvin

        • Dear Paul,

          does it make a difference whether you buy frozen vegetables or fresh vegetables?
          Can nutrients be lost through freezing?
          I find frozen vegetables very practical.

          Best Regards

          Marvin

  5. In the book you recommend strength training once a week. Do you belive it is possible to gain strength and or also build muscle training once a weekol or really it’s about maintenance. Thanks in advanced

  6. Hi Paul,

    You replied in a one-off comment somewhere years ago (I can’t find it now): “Bad to worse: Oats<beans<corn<sugar<wheat<vegetable oil." Does this still hold true today? . . . Maybe beans would be least bad with suitable preparation? Oats (which I do like from time-to-time) you gave a grade of "D" in the book. Sugar is interesting as you still recommend we eat a bit for blood sugar control (at most 25g fructose/day). And you recommend eggs (which have tons of nutrition) despite having a fairly high PUFA content.

    Thank you,
    Pat

    • Hi Pat,

      Great question. Yes, I think beans are fine with good preparation (soups/stews, hours at simmer). Oats are fine as an occasional food, I would not have them as a daily staple. Sugar is OK in moderation, eg a teaspoon of honey or added sugar per day on top of 3 servings of fruits and berries. Wheat I think most people can treat similar to oats but there are more questions about it and more potential for food sensitivity/allergy or autoimmunity, so everyone should try removing it periodically and see if they feel better. I eat wheat when traveling but generally confine myself to rice and potatoes at home, plus occasionally well cooked beans. Vegetable oil, I think this is best avoided. Yes, eggs are a nutritional powerhouse and should definitely be eaten. They do have significant PUFA, and 3-4 eggs per day will meet all your needs for omega-6, so you should generally avoid any omega-6 containing oil. Even olive oil I would consider inferior in this regard, I try to eat olives for their beneficial polyphenols and use butter/sour cream for fats.

      Best, Paul

  7. Hi Paul,

    I wasn’t expecting your somewhat leniency towards wheat. Just trying to drill down what will dramatically hasten an early demise as I realize no diet will make me live forever. Avoiding seed oils, peanuts, and soy completely along with your subtle nuances concerning the foods above should be preventative. Any other foods you consider verboten? I appreciate your work because I always learn something new reading this blog.

    Pat

    • Hi Pat,

      It’s hard to have a firm scientific basis for absolutely excluding commonly eaten foods. If they were obviously or acutely toxic, they wouldn’t have become common foods in traditional diets. I think we can reasonably forbid anything that wasn’t available as a food 200 years ago, eg processed foods (this is the Paleo concept). Then we can be aware of the toxins in traditional foods, but then “the dose makes the poison” and the question becomes what level of intake is safe vs harmful. The exception to “the dose makes the poison” is allergy or autoimmunity, in which case even small doses can be quite harmful. But not everyone will react the same way. Wheat I would put in the class of, avoid entirely if you have reason to believe it excites immune activity, or keep the dose low if you don’t.

      I strongly recommend circadian rhythm entrainment, which has a huge impact on longevity and is especially important to tend to as we age. Also some close attention to commonly deficient nutrients like magnesium, iodine, zinc, copper, calcium. But even something commonly abundant like salt can become deficient on individual diets, so it is good to have an awareness of nutritional needs and compare your intake to optimal intake.

      I think the field of anti-aging nutrients and practices is a fertile opportunity for health improvement, but the research basis for many interventions is still young.

      Thanks for the compliments. I hope to begin blogging again soon, mostly about our cancer company which is now in the clinic with our lead drug, but there should be opportunity to blog on natural health topics too.

      Best, Paul

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