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 ?

3,929 Comments.

  1. Hi, I noticed that Mark Sisson has changed his stance on peanuts and now believes they can be eaten as apart of a healthy paleo diet. I realize that paleo and PHD are not exactly the same, but Mark did write the Forward for the Perfect Health Diet book.

    I guess my question is this: if I adhere to all of the principles of the PHD, would having some natural peanut butter here and there be all that detrimental?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Jamie…
      Not answering your query,
      But there are high oleic peanuts. I know Australia grows a lot of this type/variety of peanut. I think it may even been the predominant variety there.
      So you should be able to find high monounsaturated peanut butter. Compare labels.

    • One of my ideas is to use peanut flour, which has 83% of the fat removed and to mix that with the oil of your choice such as MCT oil from coconuts. But, of course, aflatoxins are another problem. I only do this to satisfy a craving for peanut, rather than a daily staple.

  2. Are there any fruits that are off limits? And what are your current thought on corn and oats?

    Thank you!

  3. Hi Paul- This was recently published by Geert Vanden Bossche and was hoping you might have time to review and comment.

    Thanks….

    Key message-

    “I SERIOUSLY expect that a series of new highly virulent and highly infectious SARS-CoV-2 (SC-2) variants will now rapidly and independently emerge in highly vaccinated countries all over the world and that they will soon spread at high pace. I expect the current pattern of repetitive infections and relatively mild disease in vaccinees to soon aggravate and be replaced by severe disease and death. Unfortunately, there is no way vaccinees can rely on assistance from their innate immune system to protect against coronaviruses1 as their relevant2 innate IgM antibodies are increasingly being outcompeted by infection-enhancing vaccinal Abs, which are continuously recalled due to the circulation of highly infectious Omicron variants. In contrast, Omicron’s high infectiousness would enable the non- vaccinated to train their innate immune defense against SC-2 while the infectious and pathogenic capacity of the new SC-2 variants would be debilitated in the non-vaccinated for lack of infection- enhancing Abs in their blood. Unless we immediately implement large scale antiviral prophylaxis campaigns in highly vaccinated countries, there shall be no doubt that the pandemic will end by taking a huge toll on human lives.”

    Full article….

    https://www.voiceforscienceandsolidarity.org/scientific-blog/predictions-gvb-on-evolution-c-19-pandemic

    • Hi TR,

      That’s the nightmare scenario for vaccines and it can’t be excluded in principle. I hope it doesn’t happen.

      I do agree in regard to the unvaccinated that Omicron has provided a helpful inoculation with a mild natural virus that should offer good protection, and at this point the unvaccinated would be wise to stay that way. I guess we’ll just have to watch and see if the vaccines have undermined innate immunity as van den Bosche fears.

      Best, Paul

      PS – This tweet is relevant: https://twitter.com/akheriaty/status/1510655607950430221

  4. Once again….Thank You. Much appreciated.

  5. HI Paul, would you mind updating the amazon links as well as any new updates to the diet you may have. Many of us love you and miss you and want to follow your diet still! I have allowed all unsecure images and pop ups in my browser but I still cannot see the supplement links anymore.

    • Hi Amy,

      I know I need to do a lot of updating … it is my intention to get to it later this year, and to resume at least a minimal schedule of blogging, if only with updates about Angiex. Our cancer drug is heading into the clinic and there will be much going on this year.

      Best, Paul

  6. Hey Paul,
    I was curious about your thoughts on intermittent fasting. I have been finding it very comfortable to push off my first meal (except for coffee!) until lunch time. And then eat dinner within an 8 hour window. Are there any clear advantage to when your 8 hour window is?? Would I be better off skipping dinner and eating breakfast and Lunch?

    Thanks!
    Bob

    • Hi Bob,

      Earlier in the day is better, e.g. for an eight hour window 9 am – 5 pm would be better than noon – 8 pm. But the pressure to work a 9-5 workday plus a social evening meal are high, so I think the optimal earlier window may not be feasible for most people until retirement.

      A good compromise is to concentrate calories earlier, make the noon meal as large as possible and have only a light meal after 5 pm. The large mid-day meal is a healthful European tradition.

      Best, Paul

      • Thank you Paul!

      • Hello Paul . Thanks for this point . Could you give some
        Example of what you call « light meal » after 5.pm ?
        Thanks a lot .
        Miguel

        • Hi Miguel,

          The more calories you eat early in the day, the better; the fewer you eat in the evening, the better.

          We have an evening family dinner because that is the only team everyone can be together, but I eat lightly, just sampling the various foods, and save most of my portion to eat for breakfast or lunch the next day.

          Best, Paul

          • Thanks a lot Paul.
            The same for our family . The late evening supper is the only moment when family is a team .
            Would you mind explaining a bit : « Sample food » means you eat how many of your calories for This last meal ? Does your feeding window include this last snack meal ? Or is your intermittent fasting has yet begun when you snack with them all ? do you favor or avoid a particular type of food to eat lighter ? Carbs , fats or protein Or fruits ?
            I wonder also how many meals is to be eaten during the feeding window to get enough and sufficient calories and being well nourished . An 8 hours feeding window is a short one In fact when man works a lot . Time goes faster than we expect . Thanks for your reply . Miguel

  7. 😳 Hi Paul I have been following your P.H.D. for seven years and have some questions.Are you fimliar with Myxofibrosarcoma and what diet changes can I make to help recover.Also have seen any of Dr. Eric Bergs videos on internet and if so what do think of them

  8. What is the recommendation on pumpkin seeds?

    • We don’t have a specific recommendation, but in general commonly eaten seeds are OK to eat in small quantities, and are better cooked than raw. Gentle cooking like boiling or steaming can be better than roasting.

  9. Paul,

    I am 65 years old. I’m wondering if your recommendations for amount of protein, carbs, and fat are the same for someone my age as they are for those who are young. Or do you recommend higher protein for people my age?
    Thank you.
    Mary

    • Hi Mary, generally speaking, the appropriate amount of protein will remain the same as we age and the amount of fat and carbs will tend to decline as our appetite lessens. So protein will rise as a fraction of calories. You can let appetite be your guide. Best, Paul

  10. Hi Paul what’s your recommendations on the keto diet? ❗

  11. Hi Paul,
    What can I do with the fats if my gallbladder was removed. Also there are confusing inconsistencies in the Hungarian translation of the book. The beginning says don’t drink milk, the breakfast at the end says rice with milk…?

  12. Maybe it’s odd to ask this question in the comments here, but I’m at my wits end with my health and I’m hoping to get some input. I’ve been diagnosed with:

    Celiac disease
    Ulcerative colitis / diverticulitis / gastritis / ulcers
    Meniere’s disease
    Chronic migraines
    Hight blood pressure (it’s the only medicine I take)
    I have severe pain in my joints / numbness in extremities / blurred vision
    I now also suffer from extreme burnout / brain fog

    Everything I eat hurt my stomach and make my symptoms worse, I’ve tried every diet out there and I’m just sensitive to everything it seems (I can no longer eat even the smallest amount of dairy; then I get very congested and my face swells up). I can’t take any supplements; all I’ve tried creates extreme pain in my stomach; enzymes, vitamins etc.

    Since I’m only getting more and more sick, I’m bedridden most of the day now… I would be so grateful to know where to start – what I can do to turn this around…

    Hoping for some help. God bless.

    • Hi Ruth,

      Try following our dietary food plate (https://perfecthealthdiet.com/the-diet/) as much as possible. Simple meals are equal parts (1) meat/fish/eggs, (2) rice or potatoes, (3) fruit/berries/beets/carrots (cook to improve digestibility), (4) vegetable of your choice. Try to get 3 egg yolks per day and seafood e.g. salmon or shellfish once per week. Make your own soup/stew stock using joint/tendon/foot/tail material from animals, e.g. chicken feet or ox tail — if vegetables are hard for you to tolerate then try putting them in this stock to make a well-cooked vegetable soup. Try to get ruminant liver (vitamin A and copper), oysters (zinc), and cheese (vitamin K2) in your diet. Small amounts of acids like apple cider vinegar, vinegar, or lemon juice can be helpful.

      That with circadian rhythm entrainment should enable some progress. Then you may need a good health advisor to help you from there.

      Best, Paul

      • Thank you so much for your reply Paul. It means the world to me. I looked at the food plate, and it’s clear and easy to follow – right now I can’t take in a whole book, so it’s good to have guidelines like that.

        I’ve been recommened a vegan “anti-inflammatory” diet, with raw vegetables/fruit, brown rice, buchwheat, legumes, corn, tofu etc – I tried it and it ironically made me feel like my body was in flames so I had to stop.

        May I ask why soy and peanuts are to be avoided? These things were also included in the diet – I’ve eaten quite a lot of peanutbutter. :-/

        I forgot to mention that tests came back for Candida and Sibo, does that change anything? I took a round of antibiotics a year ago – since then my problems got even worse.

        Is there somewhere to learn about circadian rhythm entrainment? Does it mean to eat at certain times for example?

        Again. Thank you, thank you! I will follow your plan… I’m feeling hopeful for the first time, in a long time. I’m happy I found this site.

        Kind regards

        • Hi Ruth,

          That vegan diet is very hard to digest. Vegetables in general are tough on your digestive tract, and raw is tougher than cooked. Meanwhile animal foods have a lot of nutrients you need.

          Soy and peanuts are relatively rich in toxins compared to other plants.

          Candida and SIBO are common. They don’t change the proper diet, but they do make certain things more important, including vitamin A/D/K2, copper and zinc and vitamin C, iodine, extracellular matrix and phospholipids from food.

          Circadian rhythm entrainment means (1) establish a 12-hour personal day and 12-hour personal night year round, (2) get bright white (5000 K) light in the day and red-orange light (no white/blue/green light) at night, (3) eat only in the daytime and with the bulk of calories in the early to middle part of daytime, as little as possible late and nothing in the 12 hour night, (4) exercise daily and preferably before eating, (5) minimize stress in the night time, focus stressful activities in the day.

          Best, Paul

  13. Hi again Paul and thank you again!
    Now I have even more information to go by. The circadian rhythm entrainment seems like an important thing to add to my routines. I’m making a plan with the food and my routines; what needs to change, be avoided and added. This is very exciting for me, it really feels like a blessing. 🙂

  14. it is a blessing:)

  15. Hello Paul,
    What do you think of
    Sprouted breads made from rye or einkorn ?
    Is it acceptable to eat from time to time ?
    It seems gluten is transformed through the sprouting process and made no more an harmful molecule .
    Sometimes it’s good to trigger habits , and make no evil of some
    Foods
    What would you recommend or what is your view or experience ?

    Thanks ! Best

    Eve

  16. Hello,
    1pound save starch. Cooked or dry?
    Best regards
    Manuela

  17. When you list percentages of the macros, how many total calories are you basing that on?

    • Hi Rachel,

      Percentages are generally pretty accurate on any total calorie intake. When we quote numbers of calories, it is usually for a 2000-calorie reference diet.

      Best, Paul

  18. Hi, Paul.

    I was wondering if you have a particular protocol or recommendations for someone who is wanting to transition from a keto/carnivore diet to the PHD? Thank you.

    Mary

  19. Hey Paul,

    Do you still think that a slight protein restriction may promote longevity? 😯 Would higher protein possibly prevent sarcopenia and the risk of falls in old age? Thank you for the great book.

    Mike

    • Hi Mike,

      I haven’t kept up with the literature but my impression is that the case hasn’t strengthened, and it was doubtful before. There is more evidence for methionine restriction than for overall protein restriction.

      Best, Paul

      • Hi Paul,

        Would you make any PHD changes based on the growing methionine evidence?

        1. Shift more toward 10% calories from protein or even less?

        2. Incorporate some “safer” plant proteins like hulled lentils, hulled split peas or hulled chickpeas?

        Others?

        Thanks!

        Dan

  20. Thank you for replying! Have a great day and keep up the good research.

    Mike

  21. Hi Paul, I have been following PHD since 2012 now, and I still love it. I have a question for you: Lately a lot of interesting new data has come up for me regarding the health-benefits of hormesis, in the form of: Cold-exposure, heat-exposure, physical exercise, breathing exercises, fasting, oxygen deprivation, etc. It has given me lots of health-benefits, and it seems to help a lot of other people as well. Have you ever thought of incorporating this into the PHD diet/lifestyle?

    On that note, I was reading a health/diet book in which the author argued for a diet without animal foods based on the same logic of hormesis, since the body has to work harder in order to turn plant foods into the right nutrients. This was an interesting argument that I hadn’t heard before. What do you think of this?

    • Hi Erik,

      Hormesis is tricky, you have to get the dose right in order to experience benefits and if you choose the wrong dose you will do harm. We don’t generally know the optimal dose. In most cases, small doses are hard to see effects, so experiments generally only produce trustworthy results at very high doses, and in cases of hormesis you can’t extrapolate back from high doses to low doses. So there is a paucity of scientific data. Anecdotal data is also tricky. I would not say that the claims for cold exposure or heat exposure are wrong, but I don’t have confidence in my ability to sift through the evidence and reach conviction. Similarly with oxygen deprivation, fasting as other than a time-restriction of feeding for circadian rhythm purposes.

      For physical exercise and time-restricted feeding there is good evidence.

      I would be interested in hearing your experiences, and the health benefits you’ve gotten from these practices. You are a careful experimenter so I would consider this valuable information.

      I don’t agree on the diet without animal foods. This is a similar argument to one low-carb advocates have made, just eat more protein and make the body work harder to convert protein to carbs. Just to give a simple example to illustrate a principle, glycine is a well attested supplement which taken in the evening supports sleep, yet supplementation also commonly leads to a keratosis, excessive production of keratin which is a glycine-rich protein, leading for example to formation of keratin nodules on the face. This indicates to me that the body has a hard time converting excess glycine to other amino acids or to glucose, despite the ability of the TCA cycle to do this. In the same way, asking the body to turn the wrong nutrients into the right ones doesn’t guarantee that it’s going to happen. I still think it’s safest to give your body the right nutrients.

      Best, Paul

      • Thank you, Paul, for writing such a thorough response. Interesting and valuable as always.

        I have since two months been experimenting with the “Wim Hof Method”, which is about cold-exposure and breathing exercises, and I am noticing improved energy levels, sleep and mood, and I seem to be less susceptible to colds, but obviously this kind of data is very susceptible to all sorts of biases and holds little scientific value.

        Since, as you say, it is hard to obtain solid scientific evidence on the topic of hormesis, it would perhaps makes most sense to rely on other data-points, such as general evolutionary/biological principles, or extrapolating from effects and processes that we observe elsewhere in nature. That, combined with anecdotal evidence from the people who apply these methods, might get us somewhere significant.

        Your reasoning regarding the animal foods and the glycine example makes sense to me. Though one might argue that it’s a matter of finding the right dose, and gradually increasing/decreasing it as the body trains/modifies itself. You seem to be arguing that it’s safest to challenge the body as little as possible, since it’s tricky/risky to find that optimal hormetic dose, which also makes sense. Though one might argue that that is comparable to arguing that it’s better play it safe and not do physical exercise at all, since one might overdo it.

  22. Hi Paul,

    I listened your book couple of times. I’m really amazed from the science based information about diet and supplements. I really wanna try transitioning from aip diet to PHD. The reason we are in AIP diet because of my son condition Alopecia Universalis. We know it deals with a lot of contributing factors like stress, molds, sleep, and diet or malnutrition . We tried a lot of diet and protocol for him but its hard to maintain for long time. We don’t want him to be malnourish because of restricted diet. He’s only four years old very active, might have autism waiting for diagnosis. Doctor said all his Labs are okay, and only one is elevated his THYROID PEROXIDASE (TPO) slightly elevated and TSH is normal. The doctor said it was okay, but I think this might be a contributing factor to his condition ALOPECIA UNIVERSALIS. We like to try your diet and recommendation, since all the Healthy paleo diet excludes rice and potatoes and we don’t want to deprive ourselves eating the foods that our ancestors eat. Do you have any recommendation to us follow? It will be a big help for us to follow. Thank you so much Paul.

    • Hi Randy,

      Autoimmune conditions are somewhat mysterious and there is not good evidence for how to deal with them, in most cases. Personally I would favor PHD over AIP as a diet which is optimal for protecting normal tissue from immune activity. I think he, and you, should eat rice and potatoes. I would recommend just following the standard PHD as defined on our Diet page, https://perfecthealthdiet.com/the-diet/. Note that this is somewhat updated from the book.

      Best, Paul

  23. I‘d like to know if I can get the necessary proteins from milk products as only animal-source – without falling in a deficiency etc. I also eat more cocoa, pure.
    I focus on butter and cheese products especially old, raw milk cheese by gras-feeded cows or goats, sheeps. Are there any potential dangers?
    You mentioned it would be possible to follow the PHD in a vegetarian way and some supplements, linked to a chapter in your book. I didn‘t find it in the book, so I ask it here.

    Thank you.

    • Are casein protein sources a risk for cancer?
      Or might it rely on the conditions – most cows get problematic food like soy nowadays which like bisons they wouldn‘t eat – and this makes most milk products unhealthy. And cheese is a combination of proteins not only casein – which seems again have
      different versions – alpha1 casein, etc. so it might be the problem casein isolated is dangerous? or even only a special type? also, old cheese is predigested – better for you?
      like in sardinia as a blue region?

  24. Hi, Paul.
    What is your current recommendation regarding fatty fish for omega 3s? Is it still a pound a week?
    Thank you.
    Mary

  25. To put my upper questions in a nutshell, how can I eat PHD without eating animals? I rely on a comment, that this would be possible with some supplements. I bought your book in German, but didn’t find a chapter where it is mentioned.

    Thanks,

    Johannes

    P,S. My current supplements are Vit D, K2, C, Magnesium, Cholin, Omega 3 from algae, NAC, thinking to add selenium yeast and astaxanthin

    I follow you diet except flesh and eggs.

  26. Paul,

    I was wondering what your opinion may be (if any) on food dyes, specifically tartrazine (yellow no. 5).

    Thanks and take care,
    Shawn

    • Hi Shawn,

      I haven’t researched the safety of food dyes. In general, natural whole foods, which have no chemically produced compounds introduced, are best. Processed foods with unnatural compounds are hit-or-miss.

      Best, Paul

  27. Hi Paul i just wanted to say we are very much missing your expertise in the nutrition and health-world. i follow your work enthusiastically but i have wondered if you could write blog post(s) updating any of it, maybe saying what you still agree with or anything you have changed your mind on. or anything new of particular note that you’ve learned. a lot of people would appreciate it. thanks!

    • Thank you John. I would like to get back to blogging, most likely I will return with posts about our cancer therapeutics company, Angiex (www.angiex.com). Updating past information is another good thing to do.

      Best, Paul

  28. Thanks, Paul. It’s hard to beat whole foods. Have a great day. Shawn

  29. Hi Paul and everyone ,
    Does anyone know whether puffed rice cakes are PHD friendly ? Thanks for
    Your comments ! Best , Maya

  30. HI Paul

    do you give any importance to the omega 3 to omega 6 ratio in redblood cell?

    following your diet and eating mostly grass-fed meats, eggs, butter, fruit, salmon twice per week and starches, my Omega 3 index is at 6%. 6 months supplementation with fish oil brought my Omega 3 index to 8%.

    According to the experts in the field of this subject, a desirable Omega 3 index is 8 to 12 %

    • Hi Gianluca,

      I haven’t kept up with the literature on this topic and so I’m undoubtedly out of date. But my last view on this was, that it’s easier to judge the optimal diet than the optimal omega-3 index. I would stick with the PHD food and stop the fish oil. Salmon twice per week is enough. I eat salmon once per week.

      I think the key is to keep omega-6 low and to get adequate nutrition to support immunity and to optimize oxidative stress. If you are sick or allergic or have a gut microbial overgrowth or are otherwise inflamed, there will be additional oxidative stress which will delete omega-3 from membranes and lower the omega-3 index. The fix for that is to improve nutrition and health, not to eat more omega-3. Zinc, copper, selenium, vitamin C are key nutrients.

      This is a complex area and the last time I looked into it, the research was not conclusive about what any given omega-3 index means. Typical omega-3 index values in the West are 3% to 5%, so your 6% is quite good. The negative health effects from a low index, such as heightened risk of dementia, are obtained by comparing the 3% group to the 5% group. Health effects are usually U-shaped and knowing that 5% is better than 3% doesn’t tell you that 8% is better than 6%. Also, it doesn’t tell you if the reason 3% is worse is lower fish intake, or higher oxidative stress from inflammation that depletes omega-3 after consumption. It’s probably more the latter.

      Best, Paul

  31. I read in the book that we should consume 12 tablespoons of mct oil is this accurate or a misteak?it seems to be a tremendous amount?
    I aldo doubs that our ancestror could get so much if this fat without mct oil?

    • Hi Thomas,

      I don’t know where you got that. In the book on page 143 it is noted that 2 tablespoons of coconut oil per day would replicate the short and medium chain fatty acid contents of breast milk, and an adult probably needs less than a baby.

      I think you must be considering what would be necessary to make the diet ketogenic, which is not something we recommend as a rule, though it can be therapeutic or diagnostic in some cases.

      Best, Paul

  32. Hi Paul,

    In the book, you mention 80 cals./lb. as a dividing line between non-starchy vegetables and sugary plants. Anything over 80 cals./lb. counts as contributing to total carbs, or you could subtract 40 cals. from every lb. of plant material you eat. But I’ve seen more recent comments on whether to count a plant as carbs based on whether it is closer to a veggie (80 cals./lb.) or a sugary plant (200 cal./lb.). And the most recent comment I’ve seen says to count anything over 180 cals./lb. as a sugary plant. What is the current rule? (I realize this is getting into the weeds, and doesn’t probably matter much for most people.)

    Have a sunny day,
    Tom

    • Hi Tom,

      It’s more an observation that plant foods tend to cluster in how many calories per pound they have. Most of the things we call “vegetables” are in the 40-80 calorie per pound range; these don’t have large amounts of either sugar or starch. Most of the plants that have significant amounts of sugar, like carrots, fruit, berries, and beets, are in the vicinity of 200 calories per pound. And most of the plant foods that bear starches, like potatoes or taro, are higher still.

      As you mention, you spend about 40 calories per pound digesting food, so vegetables don’t provide many calories.

      As far as action items, I think the main thing is to try to get approximately equal amounts of each type of plant food (starchy, sweet, vegetable) into your daily food intake. And you can use your sense of taste to judge whether something is starchy, sweet, or neither.

      Best, Paul

  33. To my question, we’d also have know if we’re talking about total or net carbs. Thanks again, Tom

  34. Hi Paul,

    Thank you for the reply. From an evolutionary perspective, it makes sense to let a little intuition guide us when eating whole foods.

    And thanks for the book and blog posts. This site is a gold mine and continual inspiration to old and newcomers.

    Tom

  35. I have a question – just read a few pages of „Eat to Beat“ from William Lee.
    My first impression of his diet is on the one hand quite
    serious and intelligent.
    There are common things with the PHD – eg Kimchi, fermented food – he goes in detail with
    cheese and
    its
    health benefits.
    In two points it is very
    different:

    1. He points out why soy
    products are
    good for your health – fermented as well as raw.
    2. He claims satured
    fats
    are
    unhealthy – like butter.

    If you are
    in this: What are your thoughts
    about this?

    I‘d like to know your opinion about it.

    Best,

    Johannes

    • Hi Johannes,

      I disagree with him about soy products and butter/saturated fats. The case for my view is in our book and on this blog. I haven’t read his book, thanks for the recommendation.

      Best, Paul

  36. Johannes Baur

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5614456/

    This study goes into the direction of my upper argumentation.

    Satured fats seem to damage stem cells.

    Also, despite of some benefits of ketogenic diets – there might as well be adverse effects regarding stem cell function.

    I am not sure
    if there is evidence in
    humans, but it is an idea.

    Best,

    Johannes

    • Hi Johannes,

      The paper you cite says nothing about saturated fats. Rather it speaks of a “chronic high fat diet” damaging stem cells. These diets are high in omega-6 fats and it is the omega-6 fats that cause the problems. They are also generally purified nutrient diets of starch-sugar-oil that are akin to a diet of doughnuts. Natural whole foods diets are healthier.

      Best, Paul

  37. Hello,what is your actual position toward seed oils ?
    If we look the studies, they not seem to be harmful as though,check this extensive analysis:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xTaAHSFHUU&t=11s

  38. Hello Paul
    I need about 3000 calories per day. How can i get save calories from the Phd? Is it save to eat 1000 calories from butter and coconut oil?

  39. Hello, Paul. I know you only reply to new commenters on this site these days due to your cancer endeavors, but this is a new topic I couldn’t find mentioned on this site. Have you heard of allulose and do you have any thoughts on it? Thanks.

  40. I want to thank you for writing this excellent book and replying to my questions concerning nutrition.

    I am a 37 years old vegetarian (you recommanded including eggs which I do now- even egg shells – and glycine, taurine, NAC for the matrix stuff)

    I had mainly gut issues a few
    months ago and I am happy I feel better as ever
    before in my life.

    All issues are away, constant drive
    at day and calm at night, good mood etc.

    What I want to optimize are more or less small things:
    I have smaller issues in the scin – could be
    brome acne as well, so I will continue (started the diet in january and scin gets
    better)and some pain issues mainly in my left leg – probably because of overtraining – running too long distances caused some chronic achilles pain.

    Perhaps you have an idea what could help recovering: I already take some MSM and bromelaine for that, thinking to add matrix stuff (you can buy it vegetarian these days, yes it is expensive but
    maybe
    worth due to possibility and ethical reasons).

    I am looking forward to eating my first fermented carrots in a few weeks.

    I am really thankful. I am a physics teacher and would be glad having you as
    a pupil as
    you would be a
    rare
    pupil surpassing me to the ground.

    Best, Johannes

    • Dear Johannes,

      Thank you for coming back and letting us know how you did. It’s great to hear that you’ve fixed many of your issues.

      It is difficult for me to diagnose the remaining issues. My top recommendation would be to eat animal foods – it is easy for things to be lacking on a vegetarian diet, though eggs help immensely. Seafoods like shellfish would be a good next step forward.

      For skin health, extracellular matrix (critical for wound healing / sports recovery, and likely deficient on a vegetarian diet), vitamins A and D, iodine (I recommend 150-225 mcg/day plus seaweed/seafood, but supplements up to 1 mg can be considered), phospholipids (egg yolks as best source) are most likely to help. 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar per day would not be amiss, a B-50 complex once per week. Circadian rhythm entrainment. If I were your doctor or health coach I would look at medical labs as possible clues to other deficiencies/issues. Fermented foods/nucleotides might help. You can try supplementing collagen as an alternative source of ECM, if you can find a source you consider ethical.

      Just some ideas, but I really don’t know what is likely to help.

      Best, Paul

  41. You mentioned it could be possible to life healthy as a vegetarian?
    Do you still agree with that?

    I don’t want to convert anyone but as a buddhist I try to avoid eating animal as it is like eating my brother. But I am a being as well, so I have to nourish myself good so failing would also be an ethical problem for me.

    So why not get these deficient nutrients from an ethical source, these are my thoughts, but only if possible.

    Omega 3 I get from algae oil in my refrigerator, 3 or 4 egg yolks, lots of goat, sheep, raw and old cow cheese and grass feed butter for good proteins, fats should make the deal? I found organic copper and zinc as well.

    Exceptionally meat I really follow your diet / lifestyle very closely including iodine and your other recommendations. No B 50 but B5 daily. I sometimes drink fresh sour whey for the other B s. I also eat algae, supp D and C and K2, Bor, 1 – 2 times a week 100mg selenocysteine.

    I don’t think I lack omega 3, copper zinc, A and D, iodine, selenium.

    For the matrix I will try to add to the glycine and taurine some of the following:
    1 glucosamine and chondritin
    2 hyaluron
    3 collagen

    What are your thoughts?

    Would you say one is more important? Is it better to combine all 3? Or is it not possible to optimize with my approach?

    I will give it some time anyway as I learned every improvement takes its own time.

    I like you

  42. By the way – I supplement grinded eggshells as a substitute to bone broth.

    As far as I know there are matrix materials in it and calcium.
    And it is ethical ok for me, too.

    I think chicken eat their eggs, too when they are deficient in vit D.

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