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 ?

3,864 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.

  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

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