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 ?


  1. Two weeks in…added rice and potatoes back into my diet…I feel no different other than constipation + weight gain. Chronic fatigue has not changed.

    • I guess nobody has any suggestions or is willing to troubleshoot. ❓

    • Hi Rick

      I’m someone who’s suffered with many of the symptoms of chronic fatigue for years. I’m not a scientist, not even an expert, but I am a PHDer 🙂 Here’s a few points to consider:

      This diet isn’t necessarily going to cure all diseases. Some people have reported major improvements or cures on the diet alone, as you might see in the testimonials, but in many cases it’s just a very valuable first step.

      If you haven’t already, give the diet a good few months. I’d imagine the likelihood of noticeable improvements increases the more your current diet differs from the PHD.

      Paul has posts on constipation and has recommended antioxidants for this. I assume his advice hasn’t changed so optimising zinc, selenium and vitamin C may help. Are you also eating liver, fermented foods and bone broth? Bone broth’s the best thing about PHD! So tasty – and I find it has helped gut symptoms, often immediately!

      Also optimise the other supplements as per advice on supplements page – vitamin D, vitamin K, iodine and magnesium.

      Hypothyroidism can constipation as well as fatigue.

      Finally, chronic fatigue has been linked to chronic infections. Once you’ve optimised diet and (as far as possible) gut function, you might want to pursue that as a possibility. There are posts here about chronic bacterial infections.

      Have you also read the Jaminet’s advice on circadian rhythms?

      • That should be “Jaminets’ advice” 😊

        In addition, if you’ve been on a very low carb diet, you might want to go slowly with adding in starch to your diet as your body (and possibly gut bacteria) adjust.

    • What was your diet before? What is it now? Also, 2 weeks is not a very long time.

  2. Hi Paul- Do you believe the COVID vaccines are safe to receive? Thanks.

    • Hi TR,

      If by safe you mean without their own direct negative effects and without a risk of enhancing the severity of COVID, no, I don’t believe the Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccines are safe. There is an immediate risk (peaking about 2 weeks after each injection) of an immune attack on the vasculature or hematopoietic cells of the bone marrow, and a delayed risk of antibody-dependent enhancement of the inflammatory response to later COVID infection which could exacerbate the disease.

      Whether getting vaccinated is better than not being vaccinated is an open question for which we need more data, but the vaccines are certainly not without risk, and the risk from the vaccines could outweigh a risk reduction from the disease.

      The traditional inactivated virus vaccines that China is using on its population are much less risky in my view, though also not completely without risk.

      Best, Paul

      • THANK YOU PAUL!!!! A recent post on the vaccines by Anthony Colpo gave me pause and I was very interested on your take. THANK YOU.

      • Hi Paul
        If these vaccines carried a risk of illness as high as, or higher than, that caused by the virus itself, wouldn’t the statistics be showing noticeable levels of hospitalisations of vaccinated people by now, especially in countries such as Israel which have vaccinated a significant proportion of their population? Or might this take longer to show up in the stats?

        • Hi Harry,

          I think we should have an idea within the next few months of how dangerous the vaccine-specific post-injection effects are.

          Then, it will take some time to compare death rates from COVID among vaccinated vs unvaccinated.

          I think by the end of the winter we should know or have a good idea.

          Best, Paul

          • Hi Paul

            It’s early days still but this article on UK vaccination data suggests the vaccines might indeed be safer than taking your chances with the virus:

            The researchers have come up with a figure of 75% reduction in risk of hospitalisation and death. (We’re currently using the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines here in the UK and more than 25% of the population has had the first dose of a vaccine).

            I really don’t know how to square this with Anthony Colpo’s enlightening articles about the poor testing of these vaccines (and of the US CDC’s and Public Health England’s conflicts of interest…)

  3. Hi! I am going to start this diet soon. I want to know how my current morning juice may fit in. Each morning I juice 1 brocolli stalk and florets, 1 zuchinni, 1 golden beet, 4 sheets of kale, a knob of ginger and turmeric, 4 carrots, and 1 cucumber. Each day it comes out to more or less 24oz. What requirements does this fulfill for the daily diet you recommend?

    Also, are chia seeds ok?

    • Hi Eric,

      Juicing is fine, though eating the vegetables would be even better. Eating that many vegetables is certainly not a requirement — you don’t need that much — but I doubt there is harm in it.

      Best, Paul

  4. Hi! Are all the brands of vitamins you recommend equal quality? I see there are some differences in price and want to make sure I’m not putting toxic manufactured vitamins in me.

  5. Hi Paul,

    I was more asking, can those ingredients in my juice count towards my daily vegetable requirements, even though I’m fore-going the fiber?

    Eric Blitzer

  6. Hi Paul,

    For the oil consumption, if I cook the oil, does that count? Does some of it evaporate/get left on the pain?


    • I believe Paul recommends using saturated or monounsaturated oils for cooking (coconut fat, duck fat, olive oil, palm oil…) and using the leftover oil left in the pan, where some fat-soluble vitamins may have remained, to make sauces to accompany the food. In any case, oil should not be abused as a source of calories, because the PHD recommends whole foods, not refined sources.

      Oil does not evaporate, it is burned. If you see smoke, it is a bad sign that the oil is being damaged. Although damage can also appear in the oil even if you do not see smoke, as it happens in sunflower oil (which apparently has a high smoke point, but at low temperature cooking it already creates harmful cancerous substances). That is why using saturated or monounsaturated oil helps, since polyunsaturated fats, besides being harmful per se when too much is taken, are very prone to go rancid and get damaged by heat and oxygen.

      Another thing that I think Paul recommends is that, if you cook for example a chicken or industrial pork, do not eat the fat that it releases, because it is polyunsaturated and when it is directly exposed to heat it is more easily damaged than if it remained in the matrix of the food. But fat released from other meat such as duck, or ruminant meat, is fine because it is low in polyunsaturated fat.

      Finally, if you cook something for many hours, such as a bone broth (which some people cook for a whole day), the fat that remains on top is best removed when the pot cools down. This is because when exposed to heat and in contact with oxygen, they will most likely be damaged.

      Hope that helps. The book is a terrific source of good information, I recommend you get it!

  7. Hi Paul! Thank you for everything you do. Do you have any insight into Erythromelalgia? It’s a neurovascular disorder that I have, after living in toxic mold. Fermented foods (even quercetin) elicit flares, while probiotics and yogurt do not. I’d love to heal with Perfect Diet foods like Bone Broth one day! Thank you so much.

  8. Hi Paul! Do you have any recommendations for Becherev’s disease? I have a friend in the early 30s who suffers from this, with great pain in the knees and back, and it is getting worse. People are saying that starches should be avoided for this diagnose – do you believe that also includes “safe starches”?


  9. Hi Paul, thanks for everything – your work is helping me manage my girlfriends CFS/ME!

    Do you have any thoughts on

    It’s a Nicotinamide Riboside supplement that claims to increase NAD+ levels, thus improving energy creation and fighting aging – strong claims!

    I know that you’re against Niacin, but they claim that this doesn’t have the negative affects that Niacin can.

    Would love to hear your thoughts on this?

    Thanks so much!

    PS If you have any other guidance on CFS/ME, I’d love to hear it too!!

  10. I read that storing potatoes in the fridge allows enzymes to convert the starches to sugars. If one prepared potatoes this way, would it affect PHD’s starch recommendation?

    • If you store potatoes in the fridge before cooking them, yes, it does affect PHD’s recommendations on proportions of nutrients, since now the potatoes have some sugar, and less starch. But I don’t know how much starch will be transformed, and at what rate it will happen.

      Anyway, even if not a lot of starch is converted, it can be a problem, because sugar can react during cooking to create nocive substances. If you cook potatoes that have been stored in the fridge, you will see they turn black.

      So, if you want to store the potatoes in the fridge for some reason, it’s better if cut them into pieces and blanch them. This way the enzyme will be deactivated. This is what is done in the industry with potatoes sold frozen, and with other vegetables as well.

      Now, the other situation is: you store the potatoes correctly, then cook them, and then you store them in the fridge, it’s perfectly OK and healthy. The enzymes will be destroyed, so the starch won’t become sugar now. Instead, a part of the starch will change its structure in the cold, to become resistant starch, which is a kind of fiber very encouraged by PHD’s recommendations.

      You won’t have to eat the potatoes cold, since you can reheat them gently and the resistant starch will stay there.

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