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Perfect Health Diet: Regain Health and Lose Weight by Eating the Way You Were Meant to Eat
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Perfect Health Diet: Regain Health and Lose Weight by Eating the Way You Were Meant to Eat

4.18  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,206 Ratings  ·  104 Reviews
Suffering from chronic illness and unable to get satisfactory results from doctors, husband and wife scientists Paul and Shou-Ching Jaminet took an intensely personal interest in health and nutrition. They embarked on five years of rigorous research. What they found changed their lives— and the lives of thousands of their readers.

In Perfect Health Diet, the Jaminets expla
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published December 11th 2012 by Scribner (first published October 12th 2010)
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Practical Paleo by Diane SanfilippoThe Primal Blueprint by Mark SissonIt Starts with Food by Dallas HartwigWell Fed by Melissa JoulwanThe Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf
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10th out of 101 books — 144 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,642)
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Mar 07, 2012 Jodi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: health-books
Don't let the somewhat corny title of this book put you off. This book is a wonderful and very simple introduction to real healthy eating for anyone currently eating a average-quality diet.

Great things about this book:

1. For those that just want the facts super-fast this book gives you a one page summary of the eating plan within the first 6 pages of the book. The book also contains lots of extra information backing up their conclusions as well, for those that want it.

2. This book is about eatin
Ggreg Anderson
Dec 05, 2013 Ggreg Anderson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great paleo diet. I’ve been low carb for years - this is the first book to convince me to put some carbs back in my diet with solid and methodical scientific reasoning and footnotes. Highly recommend to any who are Paleo-inclined.

Dec 09, 2012 Tamahome rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my current thing. Yes, you do need some starches. Very technical. The ebook sample is 50 pages. I'm only following it half-assedly. Stomach lining for dinner anyone? I'm on the fence about beans, but wheat was gone already. For whatever your food plan, if you're not feeling good, you're doing it wrong. I don't know if I can fast from 8pm to noon. I have enough trouble not eating between the 8 hours of attempted sleep.


Scientists have begun to carefully analyze the "human microbiome" a
Jonmarc Grodi
Dec 31, 2012 Jonmarc Grodi rated it it was amazing
Everyone should read this book.

The Jaminets have outdone themselves bringing together anthropological and historical data, evolutionary biology, mammalian biology, the nutritional content of breast-milk, and other sources of data to form a strong foundational blueprint for a what the default human diet looks like. They then apply this hermeneutic to every aspect of the human diet - macronutrients, micronutrients, toxins, diet strategies for specific health issues, etc - combining copious referen
Jan 04, 2013 Melanie rated it it was amazing
This is the nutrition book for smart, intelligent folks who understand data. Not condescending or too folksy in tone as many "diet books" can be. Well written and comprehensive with some conclusive thinking on sticky issue - role of 'ketogenic' diets, low carb or moderate carb?, and which supplements are actually healthy.

Frankly their discussion on safe carbs is really quite helpful. This book will definitely serve as a future resource.
Ali Pasha
Apr 23, 2012 Ali Pasha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Please read this book. You owe it to yourself.

Most nutrition books do a poor job of linking to research and shy away from the science. This does the opposite and comes up with a startlingly different conclusion.

It is largely the reason why I've managed to lose 30 lbs.

Fat is not as bad as you think it is.
Oct 05, 2015 Ricardo rated it did not like it
Shelves: could-not-finish
First, I couldn't finish it, and I ended up browsing and skimming. If you feel that doesn't qualify me to review it, please stop reading now.

The science in this book is questionable, and it's conclusions are complete leaps. For example the assertion is made we can use starvation to examine what should make up a healthy diet. Proportions are given are given for a human bodies constituent nutrients, and the conclusion is reached this must be pretty close to a healthy diet. I saw no mention of the,
David Ranney
Apr 22, 2013 David Ranney rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Literally everyone
A thorough and impeccably-conceived survey of the anatomical and biological purpose of nutrient consumption from an evolutionary perspective. Written with clarity and no wasted words, Perfect Health Diet weeds through a hundred years of industry misinformation to arrive at these basic food tenets: what your body expects, what your body needs (and doesn't need), and how to get it. It's not about losing weight, it's about a sustainable paradigm shift that will allow the overworked body to reach it ...more
May 20, 2013 Polina rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
I eventually stopped reading it. I think I am stuck in the pales style low carb mindset an their suggestion to eat 4 fistfuls of starches daily after providing all the preliminary research showing how our ancestors basically lived low carb and how we are not even designed to digest carbs - somehow they have lost me there. To continue reading while having to disagree and modify their prescribed diet just felt like a waste of time so I stopped half way. They do present a ketogenic version of their ...more
Rhea Dykoski
Aug 21, 2015 Rhea Dykoski rated it it was amazing
I followed this diet and my psoriasis completely cleared in 3 months! It has remained cleared (currently 6 months). I will eat this diet forever, it's delicious! and I feel awesome!

I had mild plaque psoriasis for 7 years, never once remitting. I also had moderate guttate psoriasis for 7 months, which was becoming severe despite light therapy, steroid creams, etc. I'd always suspected it was dietary, because the only times my aunt's psoriasis ever cleared was whenever she hiked in Nepal for a mo
Feb 04, 2016 Becky rated it it was ok
I struggled with what to give this for a review because it is very well researched and presents useful information. However, this book is just not readable. It is written for scientists and doctors and not the average person. This diet is based on the philosophy of eating what our ancestors ate and is similar to paleo but more do-able, in my opinion. Where paleo is much stricter with regard to grains and dairy, this diet does accept dairy and some safe starches.

The book just doesn't explain it
Matt Hempey
Sep 22, 2015 Matt Hempey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I leave reviews exceedingly rarely. I am trying to change that habit, and what better place to start than with my all-time-favorite book on nutrition.

Paul Jaminet has the most rational approach to nutrition I have ever seen. He is not afraid of complexity, which unfortunately is not a characteristic that sells many books or starts diet crazes. But in a world of knee-jerk headlines about the latest correlation-sans-cause diet study ("Diet Coke causes obesity!"), Paul's framework for nutrition is
Not enough practical how-to. Too much technical detail. Presented in hard-to-skim, unhelpful formats. For example, it wasn't immediately obvious which foods are rich in zinc in the section discussing copper and zinc, which is the kind of thing a person reading about a zinc deficiency would want to know. While I agree nearly 100% with the information/conclusions presented, the presentation was pretty inaccessible.
Jul 01, 2012 Isaac rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book because I wanted to better understand how the body uses different types of food, which it did, but it also convinced me to try giving up wheat and vegetable oils and to start eating more fish and fat. I'd highly recommend this book to anyone looking to eat better.
Jul 30, 2012 Leslie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Diet and nutrition books are like crack (or, if you will, sugar and flour) for me. This one was one of the best. And with the addition of a modest amount of starch (in the form of sweet potato) to my diet, I no longer get hypotensive during my workouts or tired during longer runs.
Jan 11, 2013 Dane rated it it was amazing
As a proponent of the Paleo lifestyle, this book was a natural draw for me. I enjoyed their scientific explanations, and especially appreciated their treatment of supplements. I'm excited to add in the "safe starches" and see how I feel. Overall, I enjoyed the book very much!
Dec 06, 2014 Lois rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yet another diet book. It certainly reinforced what I know is bad: vegetable oil, refined sugar, too much omega 6, wheat. It fell in line with eat plenty of vegetables. And it did quite a job of presenting scientific data on the basic food groups and supplements and daily living (sleep and exercise.) But. . . their prescription diet is pretty much every single thing I have been told by many sources not to do: eat 3 eggs a day, red meat 5 times a week, including liver (including goat!), eat cocon ...more
Jan 08, 2015 Jeff rated it it was amazing
Essential reading for knowing what to put in your body. Best book I've ever read on diet.
Jun 02, 2013 Rob rated it really liked it
Shelves: dnf
Good rationality but I'm still not ready for "safe starches"
Jun 05, 2014 Erin rated it really liked it
Shelves: food, health
I really think the paleo lifestyle is great, but I don't know how sustainable it is (and I say that honestly having tried to follow it off and on for over two years). I think if more people went in the paleo direction, we'd be better off. But THIS version, where there are some safe starches that are allowed (similar to Chris Kresser's Your Personal Paleo Code: The Three-Step Plan to Lose Weight, Reverse Disease, and Stay Fit and Healthy for Life), makes things a lot easier. A little potato here, ...more
Sep 03, 2014 Bree rated it did not like it
Shelves: food
*a scientifically-based scam -- another detox diet pitched as a lifestyle
*an attempt to convince you that you were meant to eat like a caveman that evolved from apes; heavy emphasis on evolution
*18+ supplements are necessary!!!!! EIGHTEEN!!!! eight are daily!
*bone broth is not going to help you with your calcium needs -- just one of many poorly researched items of this book
*enjoy leftovers mixed with 3 egg yolks for lunch every day for the rest of your life -- that's the meal plan folks
Feb 04, 2016 Daniela rated it it was ok
I struggled with what to give this for a review because it is very well researched and presents useful information. However, this book is just not readable. It is written for scientists and doctors and not the average person. This diet is based on the philosophy of eating what our ancestors ate and is similar to paleo but more do-able, in my opinion. Where paleo is much stricter with regard to grains and dairy, this diet does accept dairy and some safe starches.

The book just doesn't explain it
Nov 06, 2014 Jhfrancis01 rated it really liked it
By far the BEST diet book I've ever read, not just because the authors are scientists with the ability to dig into all the cold hard facts and synthesize research results but because it looks not just at nutrition but toxins. That's right - toxins. They are the other side of the coin that lurks inside everything we eat. What the Jaminets do is weigh the pros and cons of different foods to find which contain the highest nutrient density with the lowest toxicity. They then balance that with nutrit ...more
May 24, 2014 Ashley rated it it was amazing
Okay. This is going to be a really obnoxious review, but I have to go there to give the Jaminets their due. I have an unnatural obsession with avoiding my imminent demise to the point that somewhere along the way I convinced myself that if I read enough about health, I'd live forever. Still holding out hope for this strategy; it's one of several I'm currently trying. In the meantime, I have read more than I care to admit about diet, and I read much of the health research that is released every d ...more
Mar 27, 2014 Kris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: health
Finally finished this! Fell out of my reading habit for a while, long story short, but happy to be back.

Anyway, the book was super awesome. I'd put it right up there with 'Good Calories, Bad Calories' in terms of health/nutrition books. Both are very scientific, which is something I deeply appreciate/respect/want. Studies and research are cited as it goes along, and calculations done as well on nutrient profiles, etc. A bit less so than GCBC, but that sets an almost impossibly high bar, so this
Alex MacMillan
Jul 25, 2015 Alex MacMillan rated it really liked it
Shelves: re-read
I'm one of many new converts who started reading and implementing the PHD soon after reading The Paleo Manifesto. With the help of butter and olive oil, I've never had so many vegetables in my life. Oven-baked yams and potatoes are a daily staple.

The PHD's dietary recommendations of what to eat and avoid sometimes appear unusual at first, and require more money and preparation time than the cheap, pre-packaged and heavily processed meals that bedeck the halls of your grocery store. However, I ca
Although this book is FULL of information and cites hundreds of studies to support its claims, it is not fun to read through. And, after awhile, it all starts to run together (as Gary Larson wrote, "Blah, blah, blah, Ginger). That's not even including additional notes, which the authors say are available for each chapter on their website. At least chapters tend to wrap up with a take-home message that gives you the gist of what they're recommending.

I think some of their conclusions are quite so
Mar 05, 2015 Kat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
So far I am enjoying this book. Paleo is a very fad diet right now, and while I can see why certain aspects of it might benefit one's health, the whole "our caveman ancestors did it so it must be best" approach strikes me as a little weak. This book has gotten into the research and data about what macro nutrients to eat and why, and I am finding it interesting to read. It also debunks the whole "gorillas are vegetarian so we can be too" argument that is introduced in the much more flaky The Beau ...more
Todd Stark
Apr 30, 2014 Todd Stark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two things: (1) the authors did a lot of diligence reviewing relevant research and coming to independent meaningful conclusions on a very complex subject, this is not just a rehash of the work of other authors, and (2) the conclusions here seem to help reconcile conflicting findings of other authors, which in itself is a very valuable service.

When the authors draw a conclusion that differs from common received wisdom, they don't always tie it back to the specific evidence for it. While there is
Dan Gabree
Feb 28, 2015 Dan Gabree rated it it was amazing
Good book with an interesting perspective on food and diet. Several things that seem contrary to what we have all learned and been told, but other recent announcements on cholesterol, for example, suggest there may be more here than one might suspect.

Everything is backed up by scientific statements or stories, but I have learned to never accept something from only one source. One the other hand, it all makes sense. There is a lot of detail about vitamins and minerals, many suggesting they come o
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