Difference between traditional Paleo and PHD

by 35 · January 08, 2013 at 7:27 AM

My doctor sent me a copy of PHD as a holiday gift and I am really struggling to get through it. Just a bit to scientific. I've been doing a mostly paleo diet for the last year - what would I need to do differently to change it up to the PHD? Seems like adding the "safe starches: is the main difference but as I already use a lot of coconut oil where is the increased fat supposed to come from? So confused!! Thanks :)

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215 · January 07, 2013 at 2:48 AM

Safe starches are already a part of paleo, but white rice and white potatoes are the main difference I have seen. Those two things are totally nutrient void so your eating them purely for the carbs, and in paleo, safe starches are usually foods that are high in nutrients.

Also the PHD says "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." and thats not paleo.

As for the fats, thats also a part of paleo since fats are crucial. Animal fats that come from organic sources are very important. If you want to up your fat intake, add butter to things, eat the fat from your meat, eat avocado!

In short its really not all that different, just the starch issue. I don't recommend the gluten free baking or too much rice, but its up to you. I prefer to stick with a more "paleo" approach.

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5917 · January 07, 2013 at 1:38 PM

In terms of food choices, the main differences are:

  • Add about one large or two medium potatoes (or equivalent in other safe starches) per day and cut down on fruit and nuts.

  • Cut down on omega-6 (nuts, chicken, pork) and increase saturated fat (beef/lamb, seafood, dairy, coconut milk)

  • Give more care to food combinations, eg eat starches with fats, acids, and vegetables.

  • Give more care to getting specific amounts of key micronutrients and eating key foods to obtain them (supplemental foods, eg egg yolks, shellfish, seaweed, liver, kidney, bone broth).

  • Give more care to meal timing so that it supports circadian rhythms and immunity.

Some general conceptual/theoretical differences:

  • Traditional Paleo seeks to implement a diet that might have been eaten in the Paleolithic; PHD uses Paleolithic diets as a starting point of a search for the optimal human diet, but refines the diet based on all sources of knowledge, including evolutionary and nutritional biology. Ironically we probably end up closer to actual Paleolithic diets than the "Paleo diet."

  • PHD is less restrictive of foods -- for example, white rice is low in toxins and therefore permissible, whether or not it was eaten in the Paleolithic. Some forms of dairy are also low in toxins and beneficial, whether or not it was eaten in the Paleolithic.

  • PHD emphasizes proportions and food combinations -- we need to eat things together and in the right proportions for maximum healthfulness. This gets little emphasis in traditional Paleo.

  • The PHD food combinations are delicious, so PHD generally tastes better than traditional Paleo. They're also quite satisfying. Many people who have food cravings on Paleo find they disappear on PHD. See http://perfecthealthdiet.com/reader-results/#Obesity.

  • PHD much more thoroughly covers all the factors that influence health than traditional Paleo diets, and thus is more effective at curing most chronic diseases. See http://perfecthealthdiet.com/reader-results/.

  • Because PHD more closely resembles traditional cuisines (especially gourmet, tasty cuisines) and has a stronger scientific foundation, it has a better chance than "traditional Paleo" of becoming a widely adopted, mainstream ancestral dietary approach.

19504 · January 07, 2013 at 1:48 AM

Here is the cliff note version: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/the-diet/

Some of the diffrences are white rice and potatoes. However throughout the book the author explains how he and his wife eat.

The cliff notes are enough. However the book is a fascinating read.

30 · January 07, 2013 at 2:07 AM

Love the link!!! If I eat a pound of rice a day I will need a double door on the front of my house to get out without the fire department and the jaws of life. That being said it looks awesome for my kids who are all happy, healthy paleo/Crossfit kids. A few more carbs for them would not be so bad as they burn them off fast.

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