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. In Canada at least, your No Frills / bargain type of grocery stores sell generic white rice crackers; and Indian food grocery stores sell white rice cakes. Also try

  2. Are Buffalo wings a possible alternative (in a nutritional sense) to bone broths, so long as the skin and cartilage pieces are eaten off the bone?

    • Unfortunately, it’s not the same. What you’re getting from bone broth is the marrow, gelatin, and the minerals which are pulled from the bones–which only happens if you make a long-simmered broth from the bones. The skin and cartilage will offer you some fat, but that’s about it.

  3. Paul, I’m following Dr. Michael Greger’s emails. He is presenting endless data (not all correlational by any means) of health benefits of vegan diets. e.g. today’s email on Multiple Sclerosis and diet – a prospective study – following MS patients who adhere to low SAFA / animal fat diets for many years – a remarkable reduction or lack of symptoms!! Do you look at his emails and still feel completely convinced of your data on SAFAs, dietary cholesterol, eggs, animal products, etc?

    • Great question. I have MS and following a high carb, low fat diet has helped me tremendously.

      • Hi Paul; I can only guess how busy you are; but I would so appreciate it if you could address my previous question regarding the quite compelling, extensive, high quality data presented by of the health benefits of avoiding animal products and saturated fat. Completely at odds with the data you present in your book. How would one reconcile these differences?

        • Look at history. The diet presented here is what brought man to the apex predator with the powers of reason, art, & self-awareness that he has today.

          The problem with modern health is not the meat. It’s the processing of all our foods.

          A vegan diet may be good for some people at some times, but to imagine it is a requirement for human health is to be completely ignorant of history, biology, & anthropology. It does not pass the common sense test.

          • I agree, Leigh. Another point to consider is that people on PHD or vegan diets do have at least one thing in common – they are all eating very carefully. Not only are they avoiding processed foods but probably avoiding added sugars as well.

            For many people today, regardless of which type of diet they adopt, just making the jump from a diet of mostly processed foods (and in many cases, ‘fake foods’ as well) to real foods is beneficial in of itself and may account for at least part of the improvement in health for many groups.

          • I couldn’t agree more that a major flaw in much of the diet research is what you say – changing from a poor diet to any type of good or better diet. However, take a look at the research on, e.g. eggs, on (just look at the archives under eggs) and spend 20 minutes reviewing some of the research that Dr. Greger presents. It is in direct opposition to the research in PHD. Such contradictory evidence is begging for some reconciliation, no?? That’s how science advances.

          • I agree also. I have noticed some common features of nutrition books I’ve read and most have a lot of (unheralded) science to back it up. Stay off processed/refined foods and sugars. Eat fermented foods frequently and regularly. Cook yourself from fresh ingredients. Combine meat and vegetables. Eat organ meats. Also avoiding chemical preparations as much as possible seems sensible.

            But the minutiae of different recommendations do conflict sometimes. I tend to go for those that reference a lot of science. Appealing to common sense alone doesn’t cut it for me. I’m now much healthier than I’ve been in a long time.

          • I agree Leigh

        • You need to set aside an hour here or there to find his comments to various others’ questions. He does answer this these kinds of questions very much.

          • Thanks, st. I’m trying to do that but haven’t found anything related to properly prepared grains yet. If you have any pointers, I’d be grateful.

          • The comments are so unsearchable on this website that I’m sorry I can’t go and find the places where he has treated the subject of soaked/sprouted grain; but I can remember him at least occasionally murmuring something like, Well they’re probably okay.

            It has come up repeatedly, as things do.

            I’ve seen him say that ONE reason the PHD eschews grains and legumes, even if soaking and sprouting and fermenting makes them “probably okay”, is the assumption that most people are not going to do it that way. Most people are not that involved in the kitchen.

          • I found this comment:

            I think the point is that all grains contain toxins. And while sprouting, soaking, and fermenting reduces the toxins, you still end up with more than you would with rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc. Bread is also dry, and I find it better to eat carbs that have been boiled. There are so many options besides grains, and a pound a day isn’t really that much, even in an 8-hour window, so personally I don’t miss them and their extra toxins. I used to soak grains in acid solution (whey mostly), but really don’t miss them and am glad not to have to bother. I don’t soak white rice, either. I do still soak tapioca balls overnight. But that’s mostly because they cook faster that way.

          • For thorough information on preparing grains (soaking, sprouting, fermenting visit and yes their search function.

          • Thanks, st. Yes, it’s difficult to search, especially with the terms what and grains being in the right hand menu on most pages, so hits on fermentation (or sprouting, or soaking) along with wheat or grains brings up too many hits to be useful. Like Joseph Downey, I also found that link but it was a weak comment. I follow Weston A Price guidelines in general and did see a review of Paul Jaminet’s book by Chris Masterjohn on that group’s site. Paul actually commented on that but didn’t say anything about preparing grains properly, which was mentioned in the review as being missed by Paul. The review was favourable overall, though.

            I found another comment on that web site from someone who’d read the book and who felt Paul was throwing the baby out with the bathwater, by rejecting grains apparently because most people wouldn’t prepare grains properly but that could have been easily dealt with by making clear that proper preparation is essential.

            Having gone so far through the month without grains, I’ll finish the month trial but, so far, I don’t see any effect (actually, there might even be a detrimental effect but I probably won’t put that down to the lack of grains).

          • Joseph,

            Tapioca is not a grain so, as far as I know, doesn’t need soaking to reduce toxins but if it cooks better that way, that’s a good reason to do it. But if you don’t miss grains, that’s fine. In that case, it’s not a problem for you. I actually do miss grains (though I’m trying to keep off all seeds as they all contain toxins, to some degree) so it’s a big deal for me. However, if there was good evidence (including my own person experience) that there was a problem with them no matter how they were prepared, I’d give them up forever. I’m more interested in health than having everything I used to like to eat (and I’ve given up a lot).

          • Well, I completed the month without grains. In fact, without seeds of almost any kind (still had peas, beans, and sweetcorn). I noticed maybe one small positive effect but a few possible negative effects also. All in all, I don’t think there was any noticeable overall improvement in my health as a result of not eating grains and seeds. Consequently, I’m going back to properly prepared grains and seeds. I just had my first slice of homemade sourdough bread, with raw butter. Delicious.

            But it was worth a try. If you don’t try, you don’t know.

    • Donna, here is an interesting video on the ancestral diet. The speaker is saying that we all originated from Africa 100,000 years ago and our diet consisted of 30% fish, 30% plant food, and 30% meat. He is giving special importance to fish and omega-3’s (DHA) and Sunshine (Vitamin-D) for good health. Please watch the video and let me know what you think. Dr. Greger says fish is bad because in this day and age we have polluted our environment. But as we were evolving in Africa we ate fish. No one was strictly vegetarian.

      • Thanks, Joy. I didn’t see any link to the video?? But I agree – Dr. Mercola agrees also. If you can get wild, uncontaminated fish, it is good – just very hard to find! In general, I find ancestral/evolution type info extremely interesting and useful for generating hypotheses about what is a healthy diet and why; however, I am finding quite a bit of Dr. Greger’s data as compelling as Paul’s – which is the reason I would like to see how each would deal with each other’s data.

        • Look up Remko Kuipers, PharmD, MD, PhD — Paleolithic Nutrition — Facts From the Floor on YouTube for the lecture. Unable to post link here. The ancestral diet is rich in nutritional density. That’s the key to good health. Dr. Greger’s view is kind of extreme.. eat no saturated fat, no meat, and no fish or eggs. I have seen a lot of vegetarians who look old before their age and get joint problems and even depression. Every person is different. Be wise and eat nutrient dense foods

          • Thanks, Joy. I agree completely that it is critical to have a nutrient dense diet (which I do). And the paleo/ancestral info may be a good indicator of what could constitute a health diet – certainly it provides much information for useful hypothesis generation. I always feel compelled to consider data from high quality research though; which is what lead me to read and appreciate the PHD book. It is also compelling me to consider the extensive high quality research that Dr. Greger is providing; even though my ‘gut’ finds his approach extremely restrictive. I am hoping that Paul will have time to weigh in on his thoughts as to Dr. Greger’s quite impressive data. Unfortunately, Dr. Greger does not seem to have any blog or contact info and I would love to hear him weigh in on Dr. Jaminet’s impressive data. I also feel compelled to consider my own data which includes very much increased cholesterol levels, including VLDL (very low density) particles and oxidized LDL levels since doing the PHD diet (in spite of a modest weight loss on it.) I was gluten free before (due to blood test) so the main change for me going on the PHD was to add back in a little (not much due to weight issues) saturated fat and cholesterol; as well as adding back in some safe starches on a daily basis. I have continued my slow steady recovery from CFS before and after PHD; so it does not seem to have been a significant factor in that. I was on a very healthy, nutrient dense diet before the PHD though.

        • You can give up meat if you want to Donna. To reduce cholesterol cut back on saturated fat. Olive oil is a good choice. You don’t have to follow PHD for better health. Different diets affect people differently. The veg vs non- veg debate will go on. No end in sight.

  4. Hi Paul I’m so glad I found your book and am eager to try it. I have multiple sclerosis and have found that just eating gluten free only partially manages my symptoms, and I’m hungry. SO excited to introduce more fat back into my diet, as well as potatoes and rice!

    My question is about purple/black rice. I know white is preferred over brown, how do you feel about purple rice? Thanks again!

  5. Dear Dr. Jaminet:

    This question of July 21, may have got lost in the shuffle–I just cannot find your reply. I thank you so much in advance.

    “Thank you for all your’s and your wife’s work–amazing.
    I am conflicted between the info. on pg. 349, of needing to avoid (both?) “glucose deficiency and ketosis … in many infections, especially fungal”, as opposed to the recommendations for fasting on pg. 359, and the autophagy-promoting ketosis as a reducer or killer of infections.
    My daughter (nearing 13) still has antibiotic-resistant strep. infection after much, much improvement. Would like to finally, after years, get rid of it for good. For her, the autophagy (via intermittent fasting with fasting acceptable “snacks”) would be indicated for a period of time, right, if we deemed it acceptable and safe at her age? If so, then would I need to make sure that she was getting 400ish calories of safe starch, for glucose during the 8 eating hours?

    For myself, I am pretty sure of a fungal infection (very sore heels, some knee and leg pain and a little joint pain, did have a very itchy head, a little tremor and tingling, fatigue, possible thyroid issues, so am now unsure of whether or not I should intermittent fast, although I would like to and find it very tolerable. But avoidance of ketosis (back to pg. 349) is impossible while IFing, isn’t it? Avoidance of deficiency of glucose is do-able during the 8-hour feeding time, but then you wouldn’t be getting it during the other 16.

    I thank you very kindly in advance.


    • It sounds like a possible mite problem. Joint pain and bacteria spreading mites might be dealt with tea tree oil. You could try neem tea internally or Flagyl three times a day for two weeks. Tea tree oil I’m sure of, I don’t know if the others work personally, but there’s research that it helps.
      I really hope she’ll be better soon!

    • I had problems with fungal infections and thyroid when I started PHD. The fungal problems are gone, but thyroid is taking longer. My fungal problems (seborrheic dermatitis, ringworm, and other mysterious rashes) went away. The ringworm went away in the first month and the dermatitis about six months later. I noticed that circadian rhythms have a big impact on the fungal and thyroid problems. Also, I avoided the intermittent fasting for a time, but quit losing weight, so I returned to it, but I noticed that taking coconut oil during fasting wasn’t good for the dandruff—possibly because of the ketogenic effect? Anyway, now I do 16/8 fasting daily, still no oils, and no fungal problems anymore. But it’s critical to get the full pound of safe starches in that daily 8-hour window. If I skimp on those for too many days, my skin starts to get itchy and I get pretty tired—probably because I think I may have originally damaged my thyroid by going very low carb for too long, so I’m still recovering from that. I’ve been PHD for 14 months. Stick with it, it’s worth it! 🙂

  6. Hello Paul,
    I am male 31 years old. I suffer from memory problems. I do have low level chronic depression. I had bad acid reflux and took Mylanta heavily from 2000 to 2006. It contains Aluminium. Any chance it damaged the brain? Any research?

  7. What about quinoa? Do you consider that good to eat regularly? And, why do you prefer white rice to brown rice? Everywhere you look, most health gurus are saying brown rice is far superior to white rice?

    • According to the book, the bran on brown rice contains phytin, which has been found to provoke an immune response, cannot be removed via cooking like all the other toxins in the rice. White rice doesn’t contain the bran, so you would obtain all the health benefits of the rice without the toxins (since all other toxins are destroyed with cooking)[see section 24 of book, pg 157]. Also, I believe the bran is extra fiber, which probably causes a similar effect in the body as the wheat bran. The book says the only two good types of fiber are resistant starch and pectin.

      The only mention of quinoa in the book:
      “Some alternative starch sources, such as quinoa, buckwheat, and amaranth, have been little studied, so it is difficult to judge their toxicity.” I would think that as long as it is cooked it would be similar to rice, but that’s just a guess.

  8. In the book you seem to say that galactose and fructose both go directly from the gut to the liver unlike glucose which can be used directly by other the muscles and other tissue. Does this mean that instead of just limiting our fructose to (nominally) 25 grams per day we should limit the total of fructose and galactose to 25 grams per day?

  9. Dear Paul,

    Firstly I want to thank you for your book and blog. The information I have attained from them has improved my life quality significantly.

    However, I have some detailed questions concerning how to attain micronutrients.

    I started eating oysters weekly, but already the second time got some symptoms of shellfish poisoning from marine neurotoxins, i.e. tingling and numbness in hands and fingers (a summary:

    I also have supplemented magnesium with the combination of magnesium taurate and glycinate. However, after a few months I started feeling a kind of unnatural feeling of calmness. As these forms of magnesium have been reported as the most effective of magnesium forms against depression (, I wonder if an unnatural accumulated amount of these could cause somewhat similar side-effects as I would guess that anti-depressants have?

    Therefore I would be interest in what sources and forms (or combination of forms) of magnesium and zinc you would see as the most natural for humans? My logic here is that when looking at supplements we have to take a closer look of the different forms. Do you see any rationale in this?

    Futhermore, as D-vitamin is a hormone and not a vitamin, I am hesitating to take it. My question here is that can we really simulate the the role of d vitamin by taking it in as supplements or do we risk interfering with a way more complex mechanism than as we currently believe? I do not mean direct health risk, more of functional side-effects if you could call them so.

    Kind regards and thank you once more for your excellent research,

    • Hi Michael,

      Too bad about the shellfish. I think any zinc amino acid chelate would be fine. Glycine is popular because most people are glycine deficient, but if you eat collagen (eg bone and joint stock, shellfish), you may not need this.

      The magnesium, I might wonder first how high your dose is (not over 200 mg?) and second if you might be low in calcium or other electrolytes. In principle sodium, potassium, and calcium levels could all affect the response to magnesium. You might start by balancing the magnesium with an equal amount of calcium.

      Supplemental D may not be as good as sunshine, but it’s probably much better than having low serum D levels. Many hormones, including thyroid hormone, are health improving as supplements when supplementation restores normal levels.

      Best, Paul

  10. Hi Paul,

    I’ve recently read your and Shou-Ching’s book with great interest. I have several dietary issues that the doctors can’t seem to explain; they have just diagnosed them as IBS. I have tried various forms of food exclusion diets, which have made my symptoms better, but haven’t completely solved my problems. I am about to follow your diet, but I would like to have some medical tests before I start and then get them re-tested in 6 to 9 months time. I was thinking of having my cholesterol and IgE levels checked. What tests would you recommend so I can track my progress?

    Many thanks,

  11. I was in a ketogenic diet for 7 weeks. It didn’t worked. After each meal I would feel lethargic and sleepy. Ironally I felt great while fasting. One day I did fasting for 24 hours and I had a lot of energy, but after eating 6oz of beef liver meat and 1\2 cup of broccoli and butter I started feeling lethargic.

    I even tried the PHD. I noticed some improvements in my sleep and mood (just before eating), but the lethargic feeling still persisted after meals. I thought it was because of too many proteins, so I lowered them and increased fats, but it still persisted. I tried digestive enzymes, it didn’t worked either. After 10 weeks I gave up, and now I started a high-carbs and low protein diet, but just with safe starches. After eating I don’t have sleepiness anymore, but my mood is dysphoric and am unmotivated.

    I took all my blood tests, everything is alright. Thyroid, glucose, etc. I just have my eosinophils high. My doctor says its an allergy or a parasite. I think its an allergy to some vegetables, but even when removing vegetables, I would feel lethargic after eating any kind of fatty meats. My blood tests say that I dont have any infections, and fungi don’t cause high eosinophils.

    After reading the metabolic typing diet (Dr. George Watson) I think I am a slow oxidizer, I don’t understand the scientific explanation but its the only explanation about my lethargic feelings after eating protein and fats, its so sad for me after reading the books grain brain PHD and potato not Prozac, I have depression since my teen years, dysphoric depression, apathy, just dysphoric, unmotivated and low energy.

    I can’t understand why not even the PHD works, fats make me feel lethargic, I have 27 years, I weight 118 lbs, 168 cm, very skinny, its hard for me to me wake up in the mornings, I tried a lot of psychiatric meds and none of them worked, only desvenlafaxine, just after suspending it my depression lifted for 3 days. I think an ultra low dose was in my blood, surprisingly the days when my depression was lifted my sleep was perfect, easy to fall asleep and easy to wake up in the morning, with the ketogenic diet just for 2 days I woke up easily in the morning with good mood, my depression lifted but after eating breakfast the lethargic feeling brought my depression back.

    Since two days ago I am in a high carb diet 70% carbs, 25% protein, 5% fats, I don’t get the lethargic feeling after eating but my mood is very, very dysphoric, I don’t feel a lot of energy like when I was fasting in ketogenic diet, I am using the PHD safe starches.

    This one example of my breakfast that lifted my depression:

    1 tbspoon of coconut oil
    37g of fried plantains
    3 boiled eggs
    85g of cabbage
    85g of cucumbers

    I feel a lot of energy with this breakfast and my depression lifted but after 2 hours I ate 45g of walnuts and the lethargic feeling brings my depression back, I tried to reproduce my breakfast other days and it didn’t work.

    What do you think about slow oxidizer hypothesis? Why do I get lethargy after eating fats? I have tried everything. I have searched and investigated a lot but nothing seems to help.

    • Have you considered adrenal burnout?

      • Adrenal burnout can cause lethargy feeling after eating? The lethargic feeling go away after 1 hour, sometimes 1 tablespoon of coconut oil give me a lot of energy but 3 tablespoons give me nausea and lethargic feeling ( recently I did a test with it fasting) , I think my body can’t handle fats, 2 eggs fried in 2 tablespoons of coconut oil give me a very hard lethargic feeling after eating but 2 eggs fried in 1 teaspoon of butter give me a middle lethargic feeling, 2 hard boiled eggs give me low lethargic feeling, fats is a big suspect.

        4 tablespoons of cream cheese with 100g of strawberries give me somnolence.

        Slow oxidizer hypothesis is a good one, slow oxidizers felt lethargic after eating high proteins or fats, I just remember a months ago before starting the ketogenic diet that I felt lethargic after eating in a restaurant a fatty beef meat.

        My family ancestors are Asians, this make sense, I can’t find another explanation, I am switching to a slow oxidizer diet, I have two days with high crabs, ironically if I use olive oil In my salad I get the lethargic feeling, without it I dont get it, right now I have symptoms like pre-diabetic or hypoglycemic, high carb flu I think, but the lethargic feeling is improving after each meal.

        • Do you get light headed when standing up suddenly from a sitting or prone position? Are you tired in the morning but get a second wind late at night? Do you crave salty foods?

          • No, I just feel lethargic (low energy, tired, laziness, depression) or sometimes drowsy (somnolence or sleepy) after eating.

            yesterday in the night I ate 100g of rice + I drink 2 tablespoons of coconut oil + 3.3oz of fish, I felt a lot of energy after this dinner, even my depression lifted.

            but today I ate the same meal in my breakfast and I felt so much drowsiness and hearth palpitations, oils slow the digestion, I am considering seriously that I am slow oxidizer, universal perfect health diet don’t exists, everyone is different.

            But the big question here is why yesterday the same meal give me a lot of energy and today give me the opposite?

          • You asked why you had a different response to the same meal. Well, one was in the evening and the other in the morning. Hormonal variations throughout the daily circadian cycle make our reactions to food different at different times of the day. Also it looks like you topped off your glycogen stores in the evening, so 100 grams of starch the next morning was probably too much unless you had a big workout before breakfast.

            If I were you I would try the following form of intermittent fasting: (1) ingest nothing caloric in the morning. (2) take a nap immediately following your noon meal. (3) don’t eat much more until your satiating meal in the evening just before bed-time at ten or eleven pm. A few near-zero-calorie green drinks with sea salt can be inserted.

            If that doesn’t fit your schedule, consider moving to Latin America where the traditional early afternoon siesta is still practiced, and supper is in the late evening.

          • I am in Latin America, sorry my mistake writing, my meal was in my lunch, Not in my breakfast, anyways coconut oil put me in lethargic state, no matter now where time I consumed it, I am waiting for digestive enzymes with ox bile, if ox bile dont fix my problem then perfect health diet isn’t perfect and slow oxidizer hypothesis will have more sense.

          • I can’t eat more of 600 calories per meal, even with 500 calories I felt too full, I am very sedentary, right now I stopped my daily 60 min of elliptical machine.

          • I get light headed when standing up and a often get a second wind late at night. Do you know why?

    • McKay, have you looked into a rigorous detoxification protocol?

      best wishes & prayers!

      • I am trying, I just removed all suspicious food allergens, I will take another blood test soon to see my eosinophil levels.

  12. Did you follow up on the parasite angle?

    Food grade diatomaceous earth is a good way to address that issue.

    The same stuff works in humans, dogs, and cats. And pet stores are an economical source.

    You can find the protocol on the internet (if not on the bag that it comes in), but most people work up to an heaping tablespoon mixed in water or a smoothie a couple of times daily for a month or so.

    The diatomacious earth seems to have other digestive benefits. Also it is a good source of silica for those with connective tissue issues.

    • I will take a stool test but I tried anti parasite meds a few months ago, maybe I have a food allergy

      • Anti parasite meds generally don’t work as well on a broad spectrum of parasites as diatomaceous earth does, and they (the meds) can have unpleasant side effects. The stool tests can easily have false negatives. I suggest just taking a course of the DE. It’s cheaper and more convenient than the test.

  13. christina lordo

    what about brown rice ?

  14. Hi Paul, I’ve kept on following your diet and improving. But after h pylori i seem to not tolerate dairy like before. Due to my high histamine I have started the Fred Davis methylation protocol, and to my surprise I can have know dairy with little symptoms like a bit itchy eyes. In Spain genetic testing is unknown. But I’m afraid to have one or two copies of the mthfr gene. I also had mono with 22.
    Do you think h pylori is related to the mono and the dairy intolerance?
    With your diet and the methylation protocol I eat chocolate with traces of dairy and ghee.
    Thank you!!

  15. What would the official recommendations of food proportions for a woman with SIBO who weighs 100 pounds and is 5 ft tall? I am 37 years old. I would like to gain at least 10 pounds to be 110 pounds.

  16. hello everyone,
    im sure this has been asked before already, just cant find it:
    in food combining are fat / carb dishes like curries or potato with butter/olive oil etc. suitable in spite of the carb digestion process being impeded by the presence of fats?
    it seems right to my taste and personal body chemistry and i read the glycemic spike is lessened by the presence of the fats, but then there is the dietary recommendation out there to not mix the two for the digestive blocking.
    thanks for any ideas on this,

  17. Been trying to post a comment and can’t get it to work. This is a test.

  18. OK, see it worked now. I was wondering what Paul thinks about fermented cod liver oil. Some say its fantastic, while others like Peat, say stay away. If this has already been addressed, please point me in the right direction.


  19. Why would you recommend the arsenic contaminated rice over legumes and grains?

    • Melanie, Paul has answered this before.

      “The biggest problem is in rice from the South where arsenic was used as a pesticide against boll weevils in cotton growing regions in the 19th century.

      The arsenic concentrates in the bran.

      So what you want to do is:
      – Eat white rice from Asia or California;
      – Follow our advice to eat a low-carb (30% carb) diet with carbs split among a variety of safe starches, so rice may be limited to about 10-15% of calories at most.

      If you do this your arsenic intake should be well within safe ranges.”

    • Melanie, Paul has answered this before.

      “The biggest problem is in rice from the South where arsenic was used as a pesticide against boll weevils in cotton growing regions in the 19th century.

      The arsenic concentrates in the bran.

      So what you want to do is:
      – Eat white rice from Asia or California;
      – Follow our advice to eat a low-carb (30% carb) diet with carbs split among a variety of safe starches, so rice may be limited to about 10-15% of calories at most.

      If you do this your arsenic intake should be well within safe ranges.”

  20. I do like potatoes and plantains.

  21. Is Lucuma powder an acceptable sweetener for PHD? And what about citric acid, could that replace lemon juice and vinegar?

  22. Hello Paul,
    Due to food allergies/sensitivites, I needed to modify the kimchi receipe. The components I’m using includes: cucumbers, green onions, a little ginger, one tablespoon of red pepper, daikon radish, a little garlic, salt and fish sauce. Is it ok to skip the carrots in this receipe or is it a critical part of the fermentation process? Thank you.

  23. Hi!
    I have already posted comments in the “bowel disease ” discussion but for the sake of this new comment I think I should specify what my issues are.
    My questions go to all the Keto specialists on this blog:
    I’m a 40 year old female, originally from France ( I ate a high wheat and dairy diet my whole life) who was recently diagnosed with IBD,leaky gut syndrome, possible Celiac ( waiting on biopsy) ,and a 1.2 cm gallstone.I was also diagnosed bipolar 2 at age 33 and have been taking Wellbutrin and Topamax ever since with good results but I am highly disturbed by the idea of having chemicals in my system permanently.
    My symptoms include: painful bloating after meals, sharp pain in the middle of my rib cage after fatty food ,chronic water retention in hands,feet,legs and face,itchy swollen eyes,stuffed nose,eczema like rashes,constipation and diarrhea,foggy brain,prone to muscle strains and sore throats, weak nails, gum problems , cravings for sugary starchy food( boy!)
    Upon strong recommendation from an excellent naturopath I went Gluten free twice for two months each time and had tremendous results (duh!)
    For the record, behavioral issues run on my father’s side and my mother had Anal cancer, my brother recently had a good portion of his small intestine removed .
    I have been on the PHD for a week now and most of my symptoms have receded.
    Last night though I had the ill idea to deep fry shrimp coated in coconut flakes in coconut oil and had an immediate severe headache and gallbladder pain…could be some of the unnatural stuff they put with the coconut flakes but here are my questions:
    *Is it ok to fry with coconut oil? I have no reaction to it when cooking with it otherwise
    * Is plantain a safe starch? It was part of the meal too
    And most importantly: I am very interested in a Ketogenic diet hoping it would help with Bi polarity and mood imbalance , although I have been stable for years I really want to come off medication, however:
    * Is it safe to start a Ketogenic diet with an existing gallstone?
    * Do you recommend a course of UDCA first?
    * How can I be sure that the recent increase in fats is not aggravating the gallstone issue?
    I am really trying to avoid having my gallbladder removed.
    By the way, does anyone believe the Epsom salt/ apple juice/ olive oil flush to be legit or is it bogus?

    It’ a lot of questions….sorry.
    And thank you for any information you may send my way, anything helps.

  24. Are chickpeas okay to eat in accordance to this diet?

  25. Should weight of potatoes be before or after cooked, I know I have seen the answer but can not find it now… thanks

    • This confused me at first, too, but I think I’ve got it figured out now. Safe starches are best for you if prepared boiled or steamed, and if boiled or steamed weigh pretty much the same before and after cooking. Rice is definitely weighed cooked. If I eat a baked potato or fried potatoes, I just weigh them cooked, knowing I’m getting my glucose a bit more concentrated.

      Meats, however, are weighed raw. The 4 oz. of ruminant liver/week is BEFORE it’s cooked. I usually give myself around 4 oz. cooked meat/meal and I think it works out to around a pound/day uncooked.

  26. I’m not sure about grains. I’ve heard this a few time; keep off grains. But other well respected nutrition experts don’t see a problem if the grains are properly prepared. All seeds have phytates to prevent (or attempt to prevent) them being digested, and these can interfere with digestion of other foods. Soaking overnight, fermenting or sprouting can take care of the phytates before you ingest the grains. I try to avoid grains that haven’t been prepared properly. I make sourdough (true sourdough) bread (usually from wheat but sometimes from gluten free flours) and am experimenting with sprouted wheat flour.

    I’m sure that properly prepared grains are fine and this is the case with other foods (e.g. you mention that beans are OK if properly prepared).

  27. great chart, dude 😆

  28. Is the rice cooked weight or dry weight?

  29. I just reread your book and had a quick question on the weight loss recommendation. Is the 1,300 calories min needed for basic nutrients (500 calories from carbs, 500 from fat, and 300 from protien) mitigate the stress on the body that comes with calorie restriction? Or is 1300 calories still stressful on the body and we shouldn’t restrict calories for extended periods of time?

    Thank you!!

  30. Dear Paul:

    I know you have put out a lot of info to help summarize the diet, but I am still a bit confused as to what my PHD week would look like if I wanted to do the diet right every week. I feel like a good way to summarize your diet for people who want a simplified version of it would be do a “desert island” thought experiment (I know this one is a “doozy” but I believe the answer will also benefit the PhD readership, and/or could even be used as a guide):

    Let’s say you (Paul Jaminet) were stranded on a desert island and could only take the minimum of what you absolutely needed to do PHD, and do it sufficiently well.
    You would have all the materials there needed to cook and prepare meals.
    Assume you will have access to an unlimited quantity of all the foods, supplements, and herbs that you specify for such the island excursion.
    Assuming both of the above:
    What specific meats and proteins would you select (this includes nuts and seeds)?
    What specific vegetables would you select (includes fermented)?
    What specific starches would you select?
    What specific fruits would you select?
    What specific herbs and spices?
    What specific supplements?
    Anything else I forgot? (Maybe types of bone and joint stocks? whether chicken, beef, pork, etc.)
    An additional rule: If a vegetable like spinach has a similar nutritional profile to, say, chard, then bringing spinach and chard is against the rules, as it would be considered a “duplicate,” nutritionally speaking. Same goes for other food groups. So, it behooves you to select the absolute best source for various nutrients among meats, starches, etc.
    The supply plane will bring specific quantities of each type of food, each week. How much of each quantity of each food would you want the supply plane to get?
    Let’s say you had to eat the same three meals every day, which included daily amounts of all necessary food and nutrient content across all food groups named above. What would those three meals be (so, omelette with x,y,z; soup with a, b, c, etc.)?

    If there are specific resources or pages that have already answered this question, please let me know.

    Thanks and best regards,
    Mike Lydon

  31. I have just read the book and I am about to start PHD. But this sounds like too much food for me! I am a small woman of 110 lb and I am not used to eating so big quantities. Shouldn’t quantities correspond to the body weights?
    Thank you

  32. Paul,

    Do you have any input regarding grains, as per my recent comment? Which grains are you referring to, are grain-like seeds also out and does preparation have any impact on the advice?

    • Hmm, maybe there is nothing to the grain ban in this diet.

      In any case, I’m going to try staying off them for a month to see if there’s an effect. I suspect there won’t be, which would be nice (actually, it will be nice either way). I do think that proper preparation is vital for all seeds (including grains) such as soaking, fermenting and sprouting. Properly prepared, seeds are probably fine, but I’ll see if their absence has a positive effect, first.

      • Been off grains for about two weeks now. I haven’t noticed any change yet. I’ve seen the grain ban mentioned by others, who found it “cured” their arthritis. I have some inflammation in my hands, particularly my right hand, though it’s not too bad, just annoying as I can’t bend my forefingers as much as I used to be able to do. So far, no improvement on that.

        But I’m disappointed at the lack of response by Paul here. He seems to reply to some but not to others and I see no pattern in that. I’ve been largely following a Weston A Price diet. That, and other books I’ve read, emphasise the preparation (soaking, fermenting or sprouting) of grains and seeds to neutralise the phytates and other digestion inhibitors. Most of the books I’ve read on nutrition (not weight loss, which is a by-product of good nutrition) reference a lot of science on this. What’s the science behind a ban on grains and seeds, except some, like some types of rice?

        I’m not sure there is a one size fits all so the general principles given in books like Nourishing Traditions and Deep Nutrition are sensible. Humans may not have evolved on grains but the environment now is nothing like 200,000 years ago. People’s physiologies change with the environment (just as some races now tolerate some diets that other races couldn’t).

        However, I’ll continue with the grain ban for the rest of the month as an experiment. If there is any effect, it won’t be placebo, as I’m quite keen to get back to my sourdough bread, rice, and wheat sprouting experiments. But I won’t go back if I feel improvements.

  33. I see in the sample menus that proteins are combined with starches in the same meal, which might disturb a delicate digestion. Is there any reason for this combination? Shouldn’t it be safer to have eg starches in one meal and proteins in the other, when the total is well balanced?
    Thank you

    • I think Paul prefers to use foods to heal digestive issues. One way is to incorporate acids (such as lemon or lime juice, vinegars) or fermented foods (kimchi, sauerkraut) into meals to help digestion. I am finding that this really does work albeit slowly. I also have what would be described as a delicate digestive system and there are so many foods I can’t eat as a result.

      I’ve been trying to get into the habit of including just a T or 2 of sauerkraut (raw, organically produced) with meals at least 3 to 4 times per week. I’ve noticed that over time, if I keep up with the sauerkraut, my digestion is actually improving and I need far less help (digestive tablets for example) than before. In fact I can usually omit such ‘help’ entirely while still eating some foods that always gave me problems. I can’t eat kimchi (too spicy) or other fermented foods such as kvass but maybe eventually I will be able to handle them.

      • Hilary, thank you for the helpful comment.
        Fermented foods are too hash for me, but I take probiotics. I still wonder if it is better to eat proteins and starches separately. Eating them together make me very “full” and I have difficulty to finish my meal.

  34. Paul,
    Congratulations again on the birth of Luke.
    I thought it might be timely to ask whether you will you be looking at supplements for children. Do they need any on PHD? Also it would be good to know how many eggs etc would be recommended.
    Many thanks,

    • Hi Maryam,

      Generally children don’t need supplements because they eat more food relative to body mass. However, in individual cases (if they are picky eaters or eat restrictive diets, don’t get enough sunshine to generate vitamin D, etc) supplementation may be appropriate. I would focus on eating a healthy diet. Two egg yolks a day would be good, mixed with food; I would avoid egg whites due to risk of allergy.

      • Thank you Paul. That’s good to know as there are so many different opinions out there. I do give my kids vitamin D3 (1000 IU for 8 year old and half of that for a 3 year old) as we have very little sunshine in the UK. I assume vitamin C is good on an adhoc basis too – around colds, eczema flare-ups etc.

  35. Hi Paul

    I am having trouble working out how much salmon I need to get optimal omega 3. I know you say 450g/week but the amount of omega 3 in 450g of salmon seems to vary widely depending on where you get it. I have been eating 450g frozen salmon thinking that Im getting all my omega 3’s, only to see that on the nutritional info on the packet it says there is a measly 1.8g of omega 3 per 450g. I now realise that this is because there is no skin.

    In your book you say that 1.8g of omega 3 per day, or 12.6g per week, is optimal if LA is equal to 2% of calories per day. Is this including the omega 3 you get from other sources or purely from oily fish/shellfish? Could you please clarify the amount of omega 3 per week from oily fish and shellfish we should be getting.

  36. Is basmati rice fine? Would it be considered a variation of white?

  37. Hello Paul, last days I discovered your website and perfect health diet plan, im very excited about that because it could be nice alternative to paleo diet especially autoimmune protocol which im doing now.
    Im suffering from eczema and this diet helps me a lot but the problem is that im feeling extremely tired all the time.
    Do you recommend yours diet to fight with eczema ? Do you have any feedback from clients which are suffering from this illness?
    I would be very grateful for your answer.

  38. is Hibiscus tea good?

  39. How can protein calories only account for 300 calories with the recommended 3 egg yolks and minimum of 1/2 lb of meat/fish?

  40. I thought yolks have almost half of the protein in an egg? (43%) No?

  41. Hello Paul,
    If a family member doesn’t like fermented vegetables/kimchi, can they substitue yogurt daily (goat)?

    • I wondered about that, and finally read somewhere that the thing about it is the strains in fermented dairy are limited to just the bacteria that feed on dairy. The strains present in vegetables are more varied.

      So it’s not sufficient to get your dietary probiotics from yogurt and kefir.

      I certainly tried to do that myself for years. It proved insufficient in my experience, as well.

  42. Donna
    my opinion is that you should go on all the diets includind phd and test your body and see how you feel.. this is the best way to find out and also.go to your every year and do some test and see the results..
    I been on PHD for a year and tried a lot of diets for a while and none of them work , only phd did the job… this diet works 100 percent but it takes time for the body to get well and to adjust . the key is not eating processed food and also to avoid bulk of calories from cereal grains , beans and sugar…. you can still eat them but in small amount and well prepared and your body will deal with that…

    • Thanks for commenting, Joaquin. So you’re saying that grains, properly prepared, are fine on this diet? Paul Jaminet’s article above seems to prohibit grains, period. That seems too proscriptive to me, without some solid reasoning. I do feel that properly prepared grains are fine.

      • Dear Tony Weddle,

        my opinion, if grains are properly prepared, i do not see any issue.Asians and Europeans consume grains; They still have toxins but if you take the time to soak them until soft and then fullly cooked them is fine, your body will deal it.. the problem is when you consume high amounts and replace them as your main source of calories

        if you are doing PHD diet, i strongly recommend to be on supplement always because if you do not supplement you will be deficient on vitamins and minerals which you get from grains, beans etc.

        The only one i would be concern is wheat… Eat only organic sourdough wheat and it should be ok……your body will get use to it.

        • Thanks for replying JOAQUIN. I tend to agree with that. It’s a shame that Paul Jaminet hasn’t felt the need to chime in on this. I’m still going grain free, for this month – I may as well soldier on to the end, to see if there is any impact at all; none so far. I always soak my flours and make sourdough bread, so I’m sure most or all of the toxins are broken down.

          On supplements, my view is that if you need supplements, then you’re on the wrong diet. We should be able to get the nutrition we need from a natural diet. Of course, there is always the possibility that we’ve so altered our food sources, that this isn’t possible. But, in principle, supplements equals poor diet.

  43. Hi Paul, Hi Everyone,
    I love rice cakes but all of them are made from wholegrain. I live in the UK but I would be happy to order a big quantity if anyone has found some WHITE rice cakes anywhere else.

  44. Have you tried an Indian grocer?

  45. Dear Tony Weddle,

    my opinion, if grains are properly prepared, i do not see any issue.Asians and Europeans consume grains; They still have toxins but if you take the time to soak them until soft and then fullly cooked them is fine, your body will deal it.. the problem is when you consume high amounts and replace them as your main source of calories

    if you are doing PHD diet, i strongly recommend to be on supplement always because if you do not supplement you will be deficient on vitamins and minerals which you get from grains, beans etc.

    The only one i would be concern is wheat… Eat only organic sourdough wheat and it should be ok……your body will get use to it.

  46. I’d just as soon eat foods that don’t need to be “properly prepared” or “your body will get use to it “

    • Interesting comment. So you don’t think any foods need proper preparation? Human communities figured out, from trial and error over many generations, how certain foods can be prepared for best nutrition. I don’t think we should just discard that knowledge because it’s inconvenient and we can just go to the store and get some supplement off the shelf.

  47. Does anybody know, whether the carb calories from honey and berries and and seeds (pumpkin seeds are high in glucose) counts for carb calories? I eat ca. 150 carb calories a day, 35 carbs from vegetables, 65 from safe starches, 50 carb calories are berries, seeds and honey.

  48. I cannot wrap my brain around what 3 pounds of plant food looks like and how to divide it between a day’s meals. it just sounds like an immense and unrealistic amount of food. Can someone point me in the direction of where this is explained in greater detail?

    • It’s about 2-3 medium potatoes or 2 cups cooked white rice for the starch, 2-3 pieces of fruit, and 2-3 cups vegetables. Spread over 2 meals and a snack or two, it’s not that much.

      • Thanks Paul. It may not sound like a lot to you but that’s a ton for me! I’ve been very interested in trying PHD for a number of months now, but I struggle with persistent SIBO. When I eat carbs, my stomach is extremely big and bloated, which feels very wrong as I’m a very skinny lady. I’ve read out and tried many different recommendations for SIBO and am frustrated by my lack of progress. Do you have any experience with PHD helping SIBO? I’m afraid to feed whatever disbiosis I have, but also hate the diets that starve gut bacteria (like SCD)..

        • As a fellow skinny lady I can tell you, 3 pounds of vegetables is a bit much for me. I’ve followed PHD for over a year. I’m just now realizing I’ve got to listen more to my own appetite and sensations of fullness.

          I bake ONE potato and eat half early in the day, the other half later. Sometimes a yam instead. Other vegetables that usually appear in my day some time or other: one carrot, one small beet, maybe 1 cup of squash (various kinds), 2 oz spinach, some kimchi, maybe half a tomato or other seasonal vegetable, maybe a cup of fruit some days, plenty herbs/spices.

          good luck finding your optimum

        • Have you tried AnimalPharm (Dr. Grace) 7-step SIBO cure? Dr. Grace is all about a healthy gut leading to a healthy human. She is very aware that diets which restrict necessary starches can starve both bad and good bacteria. I understand what you mean about the amount of food but I think its the proportion rather than the exact amount that’s key. Obviously, a guy who is 275 lbs is not going eat the same amount as a petite skinny lady of 115 lbs, but the proportions that Paul Jaminet sets out would be the same.

          • Sal, yes I’ve read Dr BGs 7 steps for SIBO. I was very excited when I found it! have gone through most of the steps but the stomach bloating became even worse. What do you do when the starches just seem to feed whatever’s going on in there? I’m really sick of having a giant belly that looks 3 months pregnant every time I eat :/ I’m sticking with moderate carbs for now, and trying to follow the PHD suggestions, I just have no way of knowing if I’m even helping anything or making it worse. I just know I can’t do VLC again, I lost way too much weight doing that.

        • Hi Jane,

          Women may need less food so just keep the proportions and eat to appetite. For SIBO, keys are: vitamin A (liver, spinach, sweet potatoes, carrots – but the liver is essential), vitamin D (sun, supplements), vitamin C, bone and joint material in soups and stews, zinc/copper/selenium, choline (egg yolks, liver), circadian rhythm entrainment, intermittent fasting, exercise.

          Best, Paul

  49. agree. cups would be more useful.

    • Sal, yes I’ve read Dr BGs 7 steps for SIBO. I was very excited when I found it! have gone through most of the steps but the stomach bloating became even worse. What do you do when the starches just seem to feed whatever’s going on in there? I’m really sick of having a giant belly that looks 3 months pregnant every time I eat :/ I’m sticking with moderate carbs for now, and trying to follow the PHD suggestions, I just have no way of knowing if I’m even helping anything or making it worse. I just know I can’t do VLC again, I lost way too much weight doing that.

  50. i have a lot of food allergies, to nightshades (tomato, potato), dairy (yogurt, milk, cheese), lettuce, cucumbers, fish, eggs and chicken, what i can do? right now everyday my breakfast is boiled yucca, my lunch and dinner is white rice cooked in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and 3oz of beef boiled with 2 different boiled vegetables, fruits only for snacks and i only drink water, my macronutrient ratio is a high carb diet, i am very skinny 5″6 – 120 lb, i dont have problems with sugar, my glucose tolerance blood test is ok.

    • Hi allergy, You need to improve gut barrier integrity and immunity with liver (vitamin A), spinach, carrots, sun / vitamin D, vitamin C, bone/joint/tendon/matrix, egg yolks, intermittent fasting, circadian rhythm entrainment.

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