Welcome Jimmy Moore listeners!

My interview with Jimmy Moore is up: Paul Jaminet Offers ‘Perfect Health’ (Episode 453).

For new visitors, we are a low-to-moderate-carb Paleo diet that resembles traditional Pacific Islander and East Asian diets. But our focus is on optimizing health and healing and preventing disease through diet and nutrition.

Our book offers a four-step program for perfect health. Steps One and Two implement a low-carb Paleo diet. Step Three optimizes nutrition, and explains why everyone needs to supplement a little. Step Four discusses how to optimize immunity to heal and prevent disease.

Some posts you might find interesting:

Thanks Jimmy! I had a lot of fun talking to you, and I hope your listeners enjoy the interview and our site!

Leave a comment ?


  1. Good stuff, but it sounds like you’re in some sort of metallic tube!

  2. Hi Bob,

    We did it over Skype, and my home office may have an echo.

    You’ll hear a sound issue at one point in the interview, and that actually happened earlier as well but that segment was deleted. Too bad – it was the best part of the interview in my opinion, when Jimmy got excited talking about his impressions of our book!

    Best, Paul

  3. Great interview, Paul. I’ve read your book and blog religiously, and you still managed to expand my understanding by explaining things in a podcast format and responding to Q&A.

  4. Hi Lacie,

    In listening to it, I was maybe trying too hard to be technically accurate and should have been more conversational. Quicker, simpler answers would have worked better a few times.

    Still, it was fun for me, and I think it gives a good overview of our book. Jimmy did a great job.

    Best, Paul

  5. I’m listening now- with interest. I’ve been reading the blog for a while now, but it’s making me think I should check out the book.

  6. Nice interview Paul:
    Book and blog excellent. Question: For those of over 55 who have cardiovascular disease(artery plaque) how would you recommend tailoring the Perfect Health Diet? Also, what does your review fo the literature say about statins? My understanding is that if you have CAD they may be of benefit with trade-offs if there are side effects?

  7. Hi Steve,

    I don’t think it needs much tailoring — it’s pretty well optimized as is. Toxin avoidance (esp wheat), nutrition (esp D, K2, C, magnesium), and immune enhancement (e.g. intermittent fasting) are some keys for CVD.

    Statins – I would refuse them. They do have some benefits but there are other, better ways to achieve those (e.g. vitamin D optimization). They probably only have benefits for people on bad diets. If they ever do trials of statins on low-carb Paleo dieters with optimized vitamin D, I bet the drugs prove consistently negative.

    Best, Paul

  8. Hi Paul,

    Don’t worry for a moment about concentrating on being technically accurate and less “conversational”–I think this attitude is exactly what your audience expects from you. (+Be yourself etc…) –you did a great job.

  9. Yes, you did do a great job! And, yes, I’ll bet you will be more ‘conversational’ next time. For a ‘first time out guy’ that’s just a small tweak. You still earned an A.

    And all the usual thanks for your almost daily voice here on the blog. How you juggle the time to comment so patiently and insightfully is a mystery. But hugely appreciated!

  10. Ditto what Peter said. I would have liked hearing excitement about PHD book from Jimmy also. The inclusion of more carbs than he usually allows himself must be a hard pill for him to swallow ;). I left a comment for him noting that including more ‘safe starches’ and supplementing some inulin and glucomannan has brought my bowel health back to normal after having been constipated while a very-low-carber.

    Hopefully you will soon be interviewed by others that we can listen to.

    Robb Wolf has posted a great 45min presentation he made for the CSU Anthropology department at http://rce.csuchico.edu/Mediasite/Viewer/?peid=b25c9f0075fc4320898afc0b1bc9f644

  11. Nice interview, Paul – well done! And it’s good to have a face to connect with your name.

    I think you struck a fine tone; no need to be more “conversational.”

    (Umm, doubt you’re going to be on Art DeVany’s Christmas card list…)

    Be well,

  12. i enjoyed the podcast as well – very well done, except for the fact that jimmy has sound problems on his side pretty much in EVERY podcast he does. quite annoying at times indeed. btw, there was one point about the accelerated aging with high 25-OH-D levels – do you have any references for this, and/or is there a known level that hast to be exceeded to get into this realm? or is it all just speculation this point? thanks!

  13. Hi KKC,

    Well, I’ll still like Art and be grateful to him even if I’m off his Christmas card list. He was a pioneer, helped a lot of people and helped get Paleo off the ground.

    To see one’s work refined is a tribute, not a refutation. Lousy work never gets refined because it’s a bad starting point.

    Hi qualia,

    Try http://pmid.us/19444937 as a starting point. I cited that paper in this post: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=448.

    Levels are not known but 100 ng/ml 25OHD strongly turns on degrading enzymes so we can be sure that’s not a healthy level.

  14. Hi Paul,

    I do so agree with you about Prof. DeVany and his work. His “Evolutionary Fitness” was my second exposure to the Paleo diet approach (the first being Eaton some years earlier which I didn’t pursue). He (DeVany), Cordain and Matesz were contributors to the PaleoFood and PaleoDiet mailing lists. (The archives might still exist.)

    I didn’t mean to suggest that you were refuting or repudiating his work. Rather it occurred to me that a casual listener might infer from your words that DeVany’s-diet-causes-scurvy-period. That’s all. Glad you found the refinements that restored your health, and that good work continues!


  15. Hi Paul,

    Very nice job with the interview. I love your blog and your book. One question: Have I been pronouncing glycogen wrong all these years?

  16. Hi Thomas,

    No, I’m the one who pronounces it wrong. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/glycogen.

  17. That’s funny-although I don’t pronounce it like you (glicogin), according to the dictionary link you posted, I do pronounce it wrong. Have a great day.

  18. Hi Paul,

    Would you please provide a phonetic for the pronunciation of Shou-Ching? i think I don’t have it quite right from the podcast. Thanks!

  19. Hi KKC,

    “Show Ching” with show as in “Broadway show” would be identical to American ears. Chinese has very subtle intonations that are hard for me to distinguish, but that’s how I say it.

  20. Hey Paul,

    I’ve had someone recently ask my advice on nutrition. She’s been recently diagnosed as prediabetic. She doesn’t eat red meat, but she eats fish and probably wouldn’t be opposed to eggs and butter. I’d have no problem advising her to do something similar to the PHD, but she’s also hypoglycemic and I don’t know how a low-carb diet would affect that. I don’t want her to end up going into a hypoglycemic seizure or something. She’s not taking insulin so that’s not causing the hypoglycemia. Do you know anything about these two conditions combined?


  21. Nice talk, Paul. When will you lecture locally for us in Cambridge?

  22. Hi Damian,

    Hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia go together, when you’re prediabetic or diabetic you don’t control blood glucose well and it has wild swings, both up and down.

    The first solution is to eat a low-carb, high-fat diet. By reducing the upward swings (hyperglycemia) it will also reduce the downward swings (hypoglycemia).

    Make sure she avoids vegetable oils / PUFA. Carbs should come from “safe starches” (rice, potato, sweet potato) and she should eliminate grains and sugars. She should eat adequate protein, but no need to eat a lot as long as she eats some starch. Half pound of meat or eggs a day is enough if she gets adequate starch.

    So, basically the PHD is the solution.

    Best, Paul

  23. Paul, just listened to the podcast.

    A few feedbacks:

    1. I thought the presentation was good. You could have bit a bit stronger at parts, but certainly you got on a roll on certain parts.

    2. Didn’t know about your economics background. There is a lot of room to explore that on your blog — I am assuming it is not in your book — and I think you might find some of the economics blogs as potentials linkers. Paul Kedersosky and Tyler Cowen both have some items on nutrition. I’d love to series of “Economic Paleo”. Clearly Taleb also is into it. Perhaps there is a natural attraction for people with an economics bent with the concept of paleo.
    3. Your theories on chronic disease, which I thought were eccentric on your blog, make more sense now. Explore that more. I don’t agree with you on all that, but clearly there is something there.
    4. Hmm, why doesn’t the J curve work with wheat?
    5.”asian paleo” is also an interesting branding concept.

  24. Hi stoic,

    “Lecture” sounds like work. If a group of Cambridge/Boston area readers would like to meet for dinner sometime, that would be more fun.

    Best, Paul

  25. Hi Robert,

    Thanks for the feedback.

    I’m planning to do a separate economics blog and am writing an economics book, so look for that later this year. I do think there are some synergies, so it’ll be interesting to see if there’s a shared audience.

    I expect probably half or more of my blog posts to be about chronic disease and dietary therapies for it. I do think dietary/nutritional therapies are the future and those will be the “research/novelty” parts of the blog. There are lots of other great bloggers doing news and basic Paleo dieting, so this is a sort of niche where I think we can make a real contribution.

    Why doesn’t the J curve work with wheat – you have to compare it with the alternative. Benefits from wheat come only from glucose. If you compare it to the alternative of rice, rice has all the same benefits with less toxicity. So there is no J, only a /.

    Yes, “Asian Paleo” has crossed our mind. Could be big in China!

  26. I think there are a lot of shared commonalities between paleo and economics, and it would be interesting to build that audience. Also brings new people into the conversation.

    Re: chronic disease, I do think your hypothesis is wrong, but there is a lot to explore there. The point you’ve made about berries is excellent. Autophagy as a bacteria eating solution is also interesting.

    I love rice, so asian paleo is a very interesting concept! Big problem with rice is portion control.

    Re wheat, perhaps I used the wrong term. If the poison is the dose, I really can’t understand how wheat is that dangerous in low doses. Higher doses I’ll give you, and I do think it will make you fat (19th century southern italians and pasta, for instance).

    great quote you might enjoy: every man over 40 is his own physician,,,,


  27. Hi Robert – That is a great quote! Thanks.

    Wheat toxicity at low doses is a bit controversial. You’re right that occasional low-dose consumption won’t do more than minor transient harm to most people. But in coeliacs and perhaps others, even tiny doses of wheat can have big effects. I just think there’s no reason to eat it, since rice is always preferable.

    Re chronic disease, we shall see! I don’t mind being wrong because I know I’m at least half-right. Medicine is severely underestimating chronic pathogens and their effects. How severely, research and time will show.

    Best, Paul

  28. There is a great reason to eat it — it taste good!

    And moreover, it is ever present. Freaking out over Thanksgiving because of some wheat in the stuffing isn’t polite. Don’t make it (in the forms of cakes, cupcakes, etc) the primary caloric intake you have (which it is in the SAD). Mental stability is also sometime underrated!

    The linkage between chronic diseases and DIET is even more interesting. Even H. Pylori, which is the gold standard of pathogens and disease, is brought out by diet. Look forward to more on this.

    Thank you for your hard work on putting this all together!

  29. Hi Robert,

    Yes, H pylori is a good example of the thesis of this blog. Disease is caused by pathogens, but diet modulates immunity and pathogenicity, so diet is the best preventative and the best therapy.

    Thank you!

    Best, Paul

  30. Hi Paul,

    Great news to hear you’ll be bootstrapping another blog with tie-in to this one. You are an incredibly insightful person with a unique ability to communicate that insight so looking forward to that.

    I trade futures, the stress can be brutal on ones health though…( and have watched in shock as the Fed has abused its charter in an attempt to prop up the economy by printing trillions in ponzi credits).

    Goodluck with the new endeavor!

    One other thing if I may. I wanted to ask you about the discrepancy in size between mostly northern Chinese (wheat eating and taller) and their smaller rice eating counter parts in the south. Shouldn’t the anti-nutrients in wheat dictate the opposite? I’m referencing the China study data here.

    Also, I lived and worked in Asia for 2 years and can tell you that the young Burger King eating Japanese were big kids and young adults, much bigger than the generation born after the war late 60’s ish were.

    Actually, anywhere I went where rice was the main carb in a traditional whole foods diet, the people were small.


  31. Hi Paul,

    So I started cut out wheat and started eating meat a few months ago after being convinced by your blog and a few others. And honestly, I’ve not only not noticed any benefits, but have noticed that I’m still constantly tired and my hair has really started to fall – was always thin, but now is getting noticeable. It occured to me yesterday that this could be because I’ve been eating every meal in a restaurant – as a lifelong vegetarian, I’m admittedly a bit squeamish about preparing meat so have just been eating it at restaurants. Do you think I might have inadvertantly been pumping tons of Omega 6 PUFA into my system? Prior to making the diet switch, I used to eat mostly simple meals at home and ate out rarely.

    I’ve been really baffled, so appreciate your perspective! Thanks again for all the great info on the website and for being so responsive to comments. Excited to listen to the podcast.


  32. Hi Perry,

    Ha, I’m chuckling in sympathy about the Fed comments, they are the sorcerer’s apprentices and don’t have a clue what harm they are doing. Amazing that investors have followed them so short-sightedly.

    Re rice and height, this is a case where correlation is not causality. Northern Chinese are tall and southern Chinese short, but this is not because of wheat vs rice but meat vs plant foods. Northern China has difficult winters and meat is available but not plant foods (Korean kimchi was invented to store vegetables through the hard winters), so northern Chinese traditionally eat a lot of meat. Southern Chinese have traditionally been poor and with plant foods the cheapest calories, have eaten very high-carb low-protein diets.

    Keep in mind also that Japan, Korea, China were very poor in the decades after World War II and that drove people to eat cheap calories – very high rice, low-protein low-nutrient diets.

    Now that Asians can afford meat, I think we’ll see the rice eaters become tall.

    Best, Paul

  33. Hi bappanchick,

    Hair falling out is a sure sign of hypothyroidism. And yes, omega-6 can cause hypothyroidism and restaurants use a lot of it.

    Unfortunately, healthy eating does require cooking at home. It’s sad but the food culture is too debased to rely on commercial foods.

    I would immediately go to the doctor and get a thyroid panel, so you have a baseline to evaluate where you’re at. Check for antibodies as well as TSH and thyroid hormones.

    Meanwhile, start key supplements for thyroid function — copper, magnesium, selenium, iodine. But very low with the iodine!

    Also, stay away from soy and soy products, and any omega-6 containing oils. If you don’t want to prepare meat at home, make eggs a lot. Nothing wrong with eating 6 eggs a day or more.

    There are many reasons why a diet switch might worsen hypothyroidism. Nutrient deficiencies are a key one. As we’ve recounted in various posts, a lot of people get most of their copper from grains, seeds, and nuts and if they don’t eat liver upon adopting Paleo, can easily become copper deficient. This can cause hypothyroidism as I pointed out in one post. (Click the hypothyroidism category and look for micronutrients and hypothyroidism.)

    By the way, you can still eat a lot of plant foods. Nothing wrong with rice, potatoes, etc supplying a large share of calories. Most people here are low-carb, but the high end of our plateau ranges works out to about a 30% carb 30% protein 40% fat diet and that is fine too, if the carbs are from safe starches. Throw a little butter/cream fat on your carbs and you should be good. But fix the micronutrient issues right away!

    Best, Paul

  34. BC,

    Same thing happened to me with the hair loss and greying. I now know that I kicked my thyroid off line in a big way with the extremely low carb and nutrient defiencies. I followed all of PHD and it has reversed fully – actually better than I can ever remember it.

    I was doing most of what Paul recommended except for selenium and Iodine supplementation, and was way to low carb), before I adopted fully the PHD, so it is important to do everything when one goes hypo on the thyroid. Go slow with the iodine though.

    Incidentally , at my worst point, a check of my thyroid status, t4 and tsh were not bad or out of range according to my family doctor. So get a full panel as you can have a t4 to t3 conversion problem.

  35. @Perry, be careful about those reference ranges for T4 and T3. They’re a reference of our ill population – treading near the edge of the range may still be reason for further investigation.


  36. Yes Matt I agree. The doctor would not hear of any further thyroid testing beyond my TSH of 1.88(.45 – 4.5) and T4 of 7.1( 4.5 – 12) even though I had obvious hypo symptoms.

    It wasn’t until I read Chris Kessler’s series on Thyroid that I realized other things can be wrong even though the numbers fall in conventional ranges which are themselves suspect.

    Thanks for the link, will check it out.

  37. It might be worthwhile for bappanchick to also consider supplementing with HCl for meals that include protein, since prior to this she was a vegetarian for many years and her stomach acid production may be less than optimal. Stomach acid is key to her getting the nutrients out of the meat she eats and bringing the food to the proper pH to trigger enzyme release for further digestion.

  38. Thanks, Serena, good point.

    BC, salt consumption is important for production of stomach acid, and you excrete more of it on a low-carb diet, so make sure you are getting sufficient salt. If salt alone isn’t enough, Betaine HCl supplements taken with protein-containing meals can help.

  39. Wow, thanks so much Paul and other commenters. I actually know from a test a year ago that I had a TSH level of 3.5 at that time – will definitely go in and get tested again. Thanks for the other suggestions as well. Have some food planning and grocery shoping to do this weekend…

  40. Hi bappanchick,

    3.5 is way, way too high. See here: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=290.

    Here’s the micronutrient deficiencies and hypothyroidism post: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=1272

    Best, Paul

  41. Paul, I loved your interview on Jimmy Moore, and I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of your book here, tomorrow!

    Quick question about grains: are gluten grains still toxic, in your opinion, if they are sprouted before they are consumed, ground into flour, etc.? And if so, are gluten grains problematic for everyone? (One son and I are off gluten, the other son and my husband are on sprouted grains. I’m just trying to decide if I need to get religion on gluten-free for the whole family…)

  42. Hi Paul,

    Really appreciate your thinking and your website, and I love your book. I’m concerned about the risk of gastro-intestinal cancers in VLC eaters that you describe in the book and mentioned on Jimmy’s podcast. I’ve benefited greatly from going VLC – down 80 pounds, A1C improvements, etc, all without meds. No doctor would diagnose me as diabetic now, but I know I am/would be classified as such if I ate the SAD – my blood sugar just responds very badly to sugar/carbs. I do, however, wake up virtually every morning with a very dry mouth, as you note is often described in VLC eaters. Is there is an alternate way to produce mucus – and thereby guard against the risks of g-i cancers – without consuming starches (however safe)? Thanks so much.

  43. Hi Mary,

    Sprouting reduces toxicity but it doesn’t eliminate it. Your husband and son have to decide how dangerously they want to live. 🙂 Personally, I would recommend going off; once you get used to rice-based foods, you may not miss the gluten grains at all. We don’t.

    You might want to browse our “Food” category for some ideas of rice-noodle spaghetti and other rice dishes. Stores have rice cereals (e.g. puffed rice), rice crackers, rice noodles, and even rice bread these days.

    Hi Bill,


    You should read our “zero-carb dangers” series, especially the posts on mucus deficiency (http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=1077) and scurvy (http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=1139). Either vitamin C deficiency or glucose deficiency can cause the dry mouth. So supplement C at 2 g/day to begin with.

    I’ll leave it to you to judge your optimal starch intake, but be sure to eat enough protein to get above 600 calories/day protein+carbs. You need to provide enough protein to meet the body’s glucose needs, if you are not going to eat carbs directly.

    You can also reduce your glucose needs by eating ketogenic short-chain fats from coconut oil and supplementing ketogenic amino acids like leucine and lysine.

    I can’t promise that a zero-carb diet is safe even with these tricks. But at least it is safer than it would be without them.

    Best, Paul

  44. I just heard you on Jimmy Moore and I thought it was a fascinating interview. I ate a pretty low carb paleo diet for a while and had negative health effects, so for the last few months I’ve been adding rice, potatoes and sweet potatoes. Seems to be right in line with everything you were talking about. I look forward to reading your book.

    I admit to getting a bit bored with the same old starches and I began looking into chestnut flour. It’s a very traditional Italian food and I was wandering if you had an opinion about it. It is very starchy (too starchy?)-full of carbs. I’d appreciate any thoughts about it before I go make an order.


  45. Hi Hannah,

    Yes, chestnut is an excellent idea. We have roasted chestnuts in the fall, they’re an Asian tradition, but I hadn’t thought of chestnut flour.

    European chestnuts are about 20% sugar / 80% starch, so probably 90% glucose which is good enough for government work!

    Best, Paul

  46. Paul- Thanks for the response. I did some digging and found this from ScienceDirect:

    “The major components in chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill) are carbohydrates, mainly starch, followed by sucrose.
    We obtained values of sucrose ranging between 6.5% and 19.5%, whilst glucose and fructose contents were very low, and ranged between 0.00 and 0.27 for glucose and 0.04 and 0.31 for fructose.”

    Sucrose=bad, right?? I know glucose is preferable, but what do you think?

    Thanks a lot.

  47. Hi Hannah,

    Sucrose is half glucose, half fructose; it’s the fructose that’s bad.

    So if sucrose is 15%, then fructose is 7.5% from the sucrose plus 0.2% free fructose or 7.7% total. That’s pretty good. Better than fruit!

  48. Paul, thank you for your reply! Your book arrived yesterday, and I’m nearly through, and have just ordered two more for two siblings. Thank you, and thanks to your wife, also.

    If you get a chance, quick question, regarding fish oil. We’ve been taking supplements (capsules for my husband and me, Carlson’s fish oil in a bottle for my sons.) I’ve read that you do not recommend them because they go rancid. Would you say this is also true for the kids’ fish oil in a bottle, that we store in the fridge? Or kids’ cod liver oil, similarly bottled and stored? (But it was bottled and stored initially at room temperature, of course.)

    I am not going to get everyone here to eat oily fish. (Particularly my husband.) Dr. Mercola claims that his krill oil ‘capliques’ do not go rancid…do you have any opinion on this?

    Thank you, no worries if you have no answer/no time right now.

    PS When you release an update of your book, it would be great if you could include an index!

  49. Hi Mary,

    If you can’t have the fish I think the refrigerated liquid oils are best. At least you can see and smell the oil.

    But remember not to overdo it. A teaspoon a day is enough.

    About the Index – I’m planning to put one up on the site, the Errata page will become the Errata and Index. Then of course it will go in a second edition.

    Best, Paul

    PS – Like your blog. Good luck with the makeover!

  50. Thanks Paul! Yes it was reading your book that tipped me off to checking what my levels had been last year. (Love the book btw.) I’ve been meaning to address the issue – the hair falling out is a good motivation to start cooking again…

    Perry, when you said you saw a reversal, did you mean of the hair loss as well? Curious beacuse my boyfriend has genetic male pattern baldness that’s starting to kick in pretty seriously and I know he’s very self-conscious about it. We think he might have low hypothyroid and possibly low testosterone as well – hope to correct those with PHD. However, I never thought balding was reversible, esp. if genetic.

    Paul, on that note, do you think hair thickness can be helped through diet? I come from an immigrant community and one huge difference I notice between the women back in the “old country” and the generation in America is the thickness of hair. Wondering now if this is diet related (previously had always assumed it was because those in America wash/blowdry/use chemicals in their hair.)

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