- Diet & Weight Loss
A Perfect Health Diet Review
The Perfect Health Diet Book
A couple of years ago I was having a lot of health problems. I was anxious and exhausted, but couldn't sleep at night. Also, I had migraines – occasional at first, but eventually almost every day. I was almost ready to go to a doctor, but I wanted to see if there was anything I could do with a healthy diet and lifestyle first.
Somehow I got interested in paleo eating. This involved cutting out grain, beans and most sugars, depending instead on meats, fats and produce. Eating paleo did a lot for me – after adjusting for a couple of weeks, my energy patterns were great and my migraines were gone. After a while, though, it got hard to sustain. I felt moody, irritable, and always dehydrated no matter many liquids and healthy fats I consumed. Maybe worse, I still had a lot of cravings. Despite everything it had done for me, I found it very hard to stick with the paleo diet long-term.
Luckily, I kept researching and discovered the Perfect Health Diet book. This book has a ton of great scientific information about the ideal human diet, but it also boils down to a fairly simple plan. It's similar to paleo, but besides meat, eggs and produce you are actually encouraged to eat some "safe starches" daily, basically potatoes or white rice. These starches are considered desirable because they don't have the hard-to-digest proteins found in the hulls of most grains.
When I tell my friends about this plan, they joke about a diet based on buttered potatoes and rice. One of the reasons I love it, though, is because it's true. Incorporating these starches has really evened out my moods and significantly limited my cravings. Most of my perfect health diet meals are delicious and satisfying as well as healthy, and I finally feel like this is a plan I can stick with.
What is the Perfect Health Diet?
There are many details of the perfect health diet, described in the book. The basic daily plan, though, is:
- 1/2 to 1 lb meat
- about 1 lb cooked potatoes (peeled), white rice or rice noodles
- up to 1 lb sweet fruits or vegetables like berries and carrots
- as many other vegetables as you want
- 3 egg yolks
- fats, sauces and seasonings
- a little dark chocolate if you want it
I usually find it very easy to plan two or three meals and a snack or two using this template.
Dairy and the Perfect Health Diet
Dairy is not a staple food on the perfect health diet, but if you tolerate it well, high-fat dairy is permitted. For example, butter and cream are allowed and so are fermented or aged dairy products like full-fat yogurt and cheese. In general, the perfect health diet is a high-fat diet, which is part of what makes it so satisfying.
Sweets and the Perfect Health Diet
While all healthy diets limit sweets somewhat, the perfect health diet does allow a few. Dark chocolate is specifically included because of the health benefits of cocoa. Besides that, grain-free desserts sweetened with rice syrup are allowed as long as they are included in the daily starch count. Mildly sweet rice syrup is actually nutritionally similar to plain rice, which means that if you really want to you can have cheesecake as your daily starch allotment.
Nutrient Dense Foods
Besides the basic meal planning guidelines, the perfect health diet strongly emphasizes nutrient-dense foods. These include eggs, green vegetables, berries, bone broth, organ meats and many kinds of fermented foods. There is also a list of suggested vitamin and mineral supplements for optimal health. I find this list very helpful, but I hope that no one is too intimidated by it. Although I haven't incorporated all of these foods and supplements yet, I already feel a lot better planning most of my meals the perfect health diet way.