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Perfect Health Diet: Regain Health and Lose Weight by Eating the Way You Were Meant to Eat Paperback – December 3, 2013
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“This is more than a diet. It's a program for perfect health. The result of 5 years of research, the Perfect Health Diet enabled scientists Paul and Shou-Ching Jaminet to cure their own chronic diseases. With more than 600 citations to the scientific literature, Perfect Health Diet explains simply and clearly how to optimize your diet for a lifetime of great health. I've read hundreds of books on nutrition and health in my life, and Perfect Health Diet is at the top of the list." (Chris Kresser, M.S., Lac; integrative medicine practitioner and blogger at ChrisKresser.com)
“The Perfect Health Diet is the missing link. It bridges the gap between the philosophical, broad-based, almost intuitive ancestral approach to health and the hard-core data hounds who need to see proof at every step. The authors are scientists through and through, an astrophysicist and a molecular biologist, who deftly wield the scepter of cold, hard science while paying homage to the inescapable wisdom of traditional, ancestral, evolutionary health.” (Mark Sisson, author of The Primal Blueprint and founder of marksdailyapple.com)
“From the best of what we know about ancestral science and the natural world comes a modern-day formula proven to return us to optimal health. The Perfect Health Diet delivers exactly what it promises.” (Dallas & Melissa Hartwig, authors of It Starts With Food)
“The sanest overview of what to eat I have ever seen. If you are going to read only one thing on the subject, read this.” (Seth Roberts, Ph.D., professor emeritus of psychology at UC Berkeley and author of The Shangri-La Diet)
"Whenever any of my clients ask me a health/performance diet question, I just tell them to go to Perfect Health Diet; I trust that anything that appears in the book has been thoroughly researched and examined. One of my best friends was on the diet while undergoing chemo and his bloodwork numbers were so good that they would have been considered average...for a person without cancer. This book is my number one nutritional resource for my family, friends, and clients.” (Court Wing, Co-founder and Head of Training, CrossFit NYC)
"This book provides the missing link between Paleolithic diets and complete health and vitality, and provides a complete foundation for total ancestral health in the modern age." (Aaron Blaisdell, Professor of Psychology at UCLA and President of the Ancestral Health Society.)
About the Author
Paul Jaminet, PhD, was an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Paul’s experience overcoming a chronic illness led the Jaminets to develop the views of aging and disease presented in Perfect Health Diet.
Shou-Ching Jaminet, PhD, is a molecular biologist and cancer researcher at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, and Director of BIDMC’s Multi-Gene Transcriptional Profiling Core. Shou-Ching was born in Korea to Chinese parents, attended college at National Taiwan University in Taipei and graduate school at University of Newcastle in Australia, before coming to the US to work at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Children’s Hospital Boston, and Beth Israel Deaconess and Harvard Medical School.
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Top Customer Reviews
It is a testimony to the insightfulness of this book that it persuaded me to change.
How was I persuaded?
* The Jaminets are highly educated (Ph.D.s both), but not they're not nutritionists and are not bound by any party line.
* They amass a huge volume of scientific literature in support of their assertions - about 1/3 of every page is journal citations.
* They write clearly, and are clearly motivated by a desire to share the keys they've discovered for better health.
* Time after time, while reading, I exclaimed "so *that's* why!" - there's an overarching framework they build, and after reading it I have a much broader and deeper understanding of health and nutrition.
The changes I made were:
1. Eat a modest amount (15-20%) of calories as carbs from what they call "safe starches" (rice & potatoes in my case.)
2. Eat a large (~70%) of calories from fat. In particular, I consume dramatically more butter (kerrygold!), and I've added a fair bit of coconut oil too.
3. (As a result, the amount of protein I eat has dropped somewhat.)
4. Supplementing with a mix of the vitamins they recommend.
5. Doing a 24-hour fast once a week.
Results: (after 1.5 months or so.)
1. I'm no longer "brain-dead" and unable to think in the evenings after work.
2. I no longer have fruit or chocolate cravings.
3. I'm much happier, and wake up looking forward to the day.
4. I've been much more social.
5. The extra starch has not resulted in weight gain. (I always gained weight when eating carbs before.)
6. It looks like the fasting (which I've never tried before) is helping my alertness and also contributing to healthy weight loss.
It took less than a week for me to notice dramatic changes. The diet guidelines are straightforward and fit on a page, but the explanatory material is priceless. The Jaminets post on an ongoing basis at their perfecthealthdiet dot com blog as well.
I can't recommend this book highly enough.
Background: I was an Atkins dieter in the 1990's. Lost a lot of weight, but staying on it was difficult.
Last year I came off a bout of depression determined to beat it without drugs. I stopped eating sugar and (surprise!) started losing weight. Since exercise is also helpful to depression, I thought that it would be better if I kept losing weight to reduce my chance of injury while exercising. Along the way I found that many of the things that are recommended in the Perfect Health Diet greatly helped me in losing weight.
I lost a total of seventy pounds. As a man at fifty-five years old and 195 pounds, I am now in better physical condition than I was in my 20's. This is due in large part to the dietary recommendations in the Perfect Health Diet.
What is even better is that the recommendations in the Perfect Health Diet led to removing the last things that were contributing to my depression. I believe now that grains and omega-6 in vegetable oil was making me depressed. That's why adding omega-3 fish oil to your diet helps fight depression, something I had started doing without understanding why.
To go back to the beginning, the Atkins diet had two flaws which undermined long-term weight loss:
1) Atkins diet "phases" lead to the idea that somehow you lose your weight and then slowly phase back into eating "normal" food. Atkins didn't say this exactly, but it's implied.
2) When Atkins wrote the Diet Revolution book, he didn't have access to the research that we have now, and couldn't see that some fats (high omega-6 vegetable oils) are bad for you, while some carbs in moderation (rice, sweet potato) are okay. His blanket recommendation to get rid of all carbs would have been better focused on SUGAR, FRUCTOSE and GRAINS.
The Perfect Health Diet is written so that you can read to whatever depth of scientific detail you want to. I am about done with my third time through. My particular health issue is depression, and the Perfect Health Diet has many links to dietary causes of depression. The most helpful aspect is that it is written from the perspective that this way of eating is a PERMANENT change, and that this way of eating is based on sound science, including cultural and epidemiology studies, not just lab experiments.
This book is a good companion volume to "Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It" by Gary Taubes.
The only qualification that I would add is that the book recommends eating a lot of fish rather than using supplements for omega-3. This recommendation is based on the observation that most fish oil capsules are stored at room temperature and the oil may go rancid without you knowing it. My answer is to take fish oil as a liquid and KEEP IT REFRIGERATED. It's lemon or lime flavored and refrigeration keeps the the fishy taste down. No capsules needed, and it's actually cheaper than capsules.
Again, as a person who has lost seventy pounds and now enjoy a life free of depression. I wholeheartedly recommend the Perfect Health Diet.