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

4.26 of 5 stars 4.26  ·  rating details  ·  344 ratings  ·  48 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...more
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published December 11th 2012 by Scribner
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Practical Paleo by Diane SanfilippoIt Starts with Food by Dallas HartwigThe Primal Blueprint by Mark SissonWell Fed by Melissa JoulwanThe Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf
Best Paleo/Primal Books
10th out of 103 books — 105 voters
Why We Get Fat by Gary TaubesWhat's Behind Your Belly Button? A Psychological Perspective ... by Martha Char LoveWheat Belly by William  DavisNo Excuses, The Fit Mind-Fit Body Strategy Book by Lorii Myers5 Gears Diet by Diana Artene
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39th out of 137 books — 97 voters

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Ggreg Anderson
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.

Jonmarc Grodi
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...more
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.
David Ranney
Apr 22, 2013 David Ranney rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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
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
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!
Alex MacMillan
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...more
Jun 02, 2013 Rob rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: dnf
Good rationality but I'm still not ready for "safe starches"
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 1 of 5 stars
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
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
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...more
Chris Webb
This book is simply fantastic. It is a no-nonsense, straightforward explanation of a healthy diet, and why it is worth following. I say diet, but this word has been tainted by modern dieting crazes; the perfect health diet is reminiscent of Pollack's three rules (Eat Food, Mostly Plants, Not Too Much) while being more rigorous and complete.

Don't let the name put you off. This book isn't about a new diet fad. It just tells you how we were meant to eat.
I appreciated this book a lot because it is well-researched and extremely informative. The guidelines are spot on. The basic gist is the right amounts of real foods, be completely nourished, and you will be healthy. This isn't a lose-weight quickly book. But you will probably lose weight following these guidelines if you are currently unhealthy or over-weight.

However, I was not prepared for the high amount of science in this book. Yes, it was necessary, but, boy, did I have to skip a...more
Paleo diet gurus are truly irritating: too sure of themselves, flaunting their PhDs and disdaining what they call "mainstream" nutritional science... But this book distances itself from Paleo orthodoxy (for example, promoting what the authors call "safe starches") and makes some interesting points, especially the concept of "nutrient hunger". Their recommended diet (prettily summarized into an apple diagram) is sensible in spite of their anti-wheat advice, which is very well if you are celiac or...more
Meredith Stranges
I agree with about 90% of this book's content. It's eye opening and gratifying to see how well researched it is. But I don't agree with the recommendation to cut calories to lose weight (see Taubes). I have a little trouble with the "safe starches", not in terms of consumption but the quantity. White rice? Things are also a little inconsistent - cut out wheat and other grains, but you can drink beer in moderation? Beer is a drink made from seeds. I don't consider "3 glasses of wine a day" to be...more
Very readable, lots of interesting studies...seems like the authors went in with a predetermined conclusion and used the numbers to support it rather than using them to ask questions... a lot of times they assume causation from studies that only prove correlation, e.g. "people who watch the most hours of TV are the unhealthiest" means to the Jaminets simply that TV is unhealthy, they don't ponder whether there might be some other shared characteristics among heavy TV watchers leading to their un...more
This book is the best Paleo book from a scientific research angle. There are many correlations or associations in their research, which I find are not as convincing as double blind controlled studies they use. They also give permission to use safe starches like rice and potatoes in moderation. Good book if you are looking for the science behind the Paleo/Primal/Real Food diet.
A great compilation of research. A very interesting read, and it made a lot of sense to me.
Lots of great info on healthy ways to eat.
After reading this book, I became something I never thought I would be -- a dietary partisan. Read it and decide for yourself.
One of the best health/nutrition books I've read, and I've read quite a few....
One of my top 5 nutrition books that explains what humans are designed to eat. While I have not followed their advice or diet very closely, I have made a lot of changes to my family diet based on the authors findings. We have added more shellfish, organ meat and happily enjoy non gluten starches. I will read this book many times in the next few years and I only wish it could be broken down a bit more (although I appreciate the science).
Aug 16, 2014 Kris added it
Shelves: the-library
I got to the end of the book and expected more detail. Lots of science, but not particularly actionable.
Found dietary advice recommending daily consumption of a pound of white rice and a pound of organ meats--while suggesting grains like quinoa and legumes to be toxic--to be disturbing, at best. Will happily and healthily cling to my personal science of "everything in moderation"...and pass on the livers and tubers!
Melanie Martino
This book has done so much for my health. I haven't had wheat, grains or devil oils for over 2 weeks. The difference is amazing. I was always feeling like something was not quite right but couldn't put a finger on it. Had been doing low carb for about a year and adding back some safe starches has been a a real treat. Have also lost a couple of kilos. A definite bonus.
Darrin Holst
This is a book that's very heavy on the science which I enjoyed. It'll take 2-3 readings to get everything out of it though. I liked the part about micro-nutrients and supplements. Most everything I've read recently has focused on the macro-nutrients and carbs in particular. I've started adding starch back in to my diet after reading this.
Very thorough and well researched. Their recommendations should be seriously considered if you are concerned about your diet.
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