The Kaufmann Phase 1 Diet by Doug Kaufmann of the popular website and TV program called Know The Cause is a healthy low-carbohydrate diet.
In this blog post, we take a look at the Know the Cause diet—what it is, and how it could make you feel a little, or a lot, better.
Do you ever wonder what might cause your ongoing weight gain or health problems, despite faithfully following a diet and exercise plan? If so, you're not alone. Read on to learn more about the Kaufmann Phase One diet!
What is the Kaufmann Diet?
On the Kaufmann Phase 1 diet, you minimize your body's exposure to foods contaminated with fungi (mold) and cut off its food supply.
By eliminating grains, most processed foods, and avoiding sugar, you enable the fungi to die off, allowing your body to heal. This, in turn, can reduce chronic aches and pains, fatigue, brain fog, disease, and extra weight, empowering you to live your best life!
As I explained in my last post, My Journey to Better Health, I had been suffering from gluten intolerance for many years and I didn't even know. I thought everyone had a bellyache and needed a nap after every meal.
There was wheat in almost everything I ate and while working as a chef at Whole Foods, I went on a gluten-free diet. As my body detoxed, I quickly learned that I had an immense problem with what I originally thought was only wheat. There was more healing that had to be done. The gluten-free diet was just the tip of the iceberg.
Three years into my gluten-free diet, I saw Doug Kaufmann on television. On the very first program I saw, he was discussing nutrition regarding the biome in the belly. He said the fungi thrive on grains, fruits, and yeasts, and they love when you take antibiotics, which makes their colony grow even stronger.
The gluten-free (high-sugar and yeast) bread, bagels, and muffins I was eating were making the fungi flourish. They were replacing one problem with another.
Recap: Wheat (gluten) is a moldy grain, corn, as in cornstarch, which is in many gluten-free products, is moldy. Yeast and sugar, including fruit, make mold grow. In short, if you eat a Standard American diet, you could be full of mold.
Leaky Gut Syndrome and Fungi
I felt great (or I thought I did) while I was strictly gluten-free. What I didn't know was that I had more healing to do. About two years into my healing, from looking at an allergy test, my doctor told me I had Leaky Gut Syndrome, a condition that is often associated with fatigue, belly pain, and many diseases. A leaky gut occurs when the intestine walls become permeable.
"Disruptions of the “gut-blood barrier” can cause “leaky gut syndrome, which can allow toxins and undigested allergenic proteins to enter the bloodstream. This leaky gut syndrome is believed to be related to many chronic diseases including asthma, chronic fatigue, food allergy/ intolerance, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, autism, dementia, and other autoimmune diseases," according to Doug Kaufmann (1).
The Kaufmann Diet eliminates the foods that cause leaky gut, including sugar, wheat, corn, peanuts, most kinds of vinegar, soy products, alcohol, and animals that were fed these products before slaughter.
How Fungi Enter Our Bodies
In an article about systematic fungus, Kaufmann writes: "Fungi can gain access to our bodies in many ways, whether it is via the food we eat, what we drink, the air we breathe, the medicine we take or through things we touch, including other humans. Fungi are opportunistic organisms; given the opportunity, they will colonize anywhere, including our own bodies.
Often, the point of entry is the gut; particularly if you have taken antibiotics (mycotoxins, themselves) the gut is where pathogenic fungi will first colonize. From there, they can proliferate throughout the body. We know this as dysbiosis, or when fungi colonize the gut in the absence of more beneficial bacteria.
Many practitioners believe that if you have a fungal infection anywhere on or in the body, you likely have fungus in the gut. If you have a fungal problem in the gut, it is likely that it has proliferated throughout the body, to varying degrees." (2)
Where Do Fungi Come From?
- Do you live in a house with a leaky pipe?
- Is there mold growing on the air conditioner ducts and the walls of your home?
- Do you work in an old building?
- Do you see mold coming out of the ducts at work?
- Has your doctor prescribed you multiple rounds of antibiotics as a child or later in life?
- Are you on the Standard American Diet?
If the answer to any of these questions is "yes," you may have an overgrowth of fungi in your body. The Kaufmann Diet can help!
What are Mycotoxins?
According to the World Health Organization, mycotoxins are poisons produced by mold. They grow on grains, dried fruits, nuts, and spices. You can't see them and you certainly cannot taste them.
Mycotoxins grow right on the crops in the fields and continue flourishing after the crops are harvested. They continue to multiply on crops while in storage silos and mycotoxins survive high-heat food processing.
“Mycotoxins can cause a variety of adverse health effects and pose a serious health threat to both humans and livestock. The adverse health effects of mycotoxins range from acute poisoning to long-term effects such as immune deficiency and cancer.” (3)
The Animal Products You Eat
Meat, eggs, and dairy products all come from animal sources that may have been ingesting mycotoxins (corn, soy, and wheat) in their feed. When you eat steak or eggs and drink milk, where do those toxins go? That's right! Right into your belly!
Ted Slanker, owner of Slanker Grass-Fed Meat, explains the key component to purchasing quality grass-fed meat. He says the requirements for "grass-fed" meat companies are loosely defined by the USDA and consumers should be cautious.
"The only important difference between meat products is what they feed the animals," writes Slanker. "All grass-fed, grass-finished meats have 100% of the nutrients required by man in perfect balance. Grain-fed meats, no matter how they are labeled, are anemic and nutritionally deficient. Grass-fed meats are the most perfect food for optimum health." (4)
How Do I Know If I Have Fungal Overgrowth?
How are you feeling? Besides having low energy and being absolutely unambitious, the following list of conditions could be related to fungal overgrowth in your gut:
- Joint pain
- Autoimmune Disease
- Bloating and Gas
- Candida (Yeast Infections)
- Toenail fungus
- Eczema/Psoriasis Migraines
- Constipation or Diarrhea
- Food and environmental allergies
- Hormone imbalance
- Mood Swings
- Inability to concentrate
What are the Side Effects of the Kaufmann Diet?
The significant side effect of the Kaufmann Phase 1 Diet is better health.
I've been watching Doug Kaufmann's Know The Cause TV show for several years. People tell him at almost every Facebook Live show that their cancer is in remission, or their mother's tumors reduced by 50% as a result of the Kaufmann Diet, and they are just trying to live to a ripe old age and be proactive.
You might experience some discomfort for a brief time during the initial few weeks of the die-off period, which is called a Herxheimer reaction. My detox period lasted 21 days. I had bad intermittent stomach pains that were worse when I was hungry. It is different for everyone depending on how severe your problem is.
When you start, give your body the time it needs to heal, and you can experience better health, a happier disposition, and you'll look better too.
What Makes the Kaufmann Diet Different?
Doug Kaufmann makes the Kaufmann Diet what it is, and why it is so popular. He truly cares about the welfare of his audience. The information he presents is thorough, easy to understand, and well-presented. He's on Facebook Live on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and answers your questions on air.
Who is Doug Kaufmann?
Doug Kaufmann has been working in mycology, the study of fungi, for almost 50 years. He is the host of the television program, Know The Cause, available in 200 countries and approximately 400,000,000 households worldwide. He is the author of 12 books providing guidance and knowledge about how to starve the body of parasitic fungi and supply the body with proper nutrition. (5)
Mr. Kaufmann served in the Navy from 1968 to 1972 as a hospital corpsman. He was trained in emergency medicine and worked in both the hospital and on the field in Vietnam. In Eating the Right Foods to Feel Great, he described Vietnam like this:
"If you have ever experienced a monsoon weather pattern like those seen in Vietnam, you know how miserable they can be. Now imagine a rain-filled monsoon weather front that lasts an entire week or two. Strong wind and drenching rain are the standard. Imagine a few more things: living outside during that week with no daylight 50% of the time, no walls, no heat, no change of clothes or shoes, no bathroom, and knowing that you might be surrounded by people who want to kill you." (6)
Wet, damp environments caused a skin condition called Jungle Rot on many of our soldiers, including Kaufmann. He returned to Los Angeles determined to get rid of it. He says that "Germs can enter our bodies transdermally, and I am 100% convinced that this was the way the fungus gained access to the inside of me so long ago."
In time, Doug Kaufmann cured his skin condition and has helped millions of people heal their illnesses too.
What Can I Eat on The Phase 1 Diet?
On the Kaufmann Phase 1 Diet, you will eat lots of fresh vegetables, clean meats, nuts, and eggs. All forms of sugar must be restricted. Items such as mushrooms, pickles, vinegar, yeast, corn, peanuts, wheat, and alcohol are to be avoided.
By eating a clean diet, you will be rewarded in more ways than you could ever imagine. You can heal your leaky gut, destroy the colonies of fungi in your body and live life to its fullest. Phase One can be the most enlightening time of your life. When you get to know what your body needs to thrive, your mind will be clear, your body will perform better, and you will be a happier version of yourself.
Check out our Phase One Recipe Index!
Print this diet. Tape it on the fridge!
Kaufmann Phase 2 Diet
After a month or more on Phase One, you can carefully add a few more foods back into your diet. Phase Two includes foods such as brown rice, buckwheat, additional fruits, oatmeal, and sweet potatoes, to name a few. After avoiding sugar for a period, a peach or plum is going to taste divine, but you are advised to take it slowly and limit higher carbohydrate foods.
Phase Two is Fun! Check out Phase 2 Diet for all the details!
Recipes on Cooking in The Keys
The recipes on Cooking In The Keys are foods Michael and I eat at home. When I started this blog, my intention was to cook things that were "fun" and available in the Florida Keys, but I was cooking and baking many foods like Key Lime Pie that I don't normally eat.
I gained some weight and my skin broke out. I started feeling "off" after meals and my energy waned. My old ways were sneaking back in and I didn't like it. I switched gears and went back to Phase One and now I'm sharing my favorite recipes. They are all easy to make and I hope you enjoy them.
Try the Kaufmann Phase 1 Diet and let your body heal. No processed foods and lots of lightly cooked vegetables. Consume high-quality fats such as grass-fed beef, bison, duck, extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, eggs, and wild-caught fish. Eat some fruits such as grapefruits, avocados, and blueberries.
If this all seems like too much change at one time, see the Phase Two Diet, which is an all-around healthy eating plan.
For Phase One Recipes: Kaufmann Phase One Recipe Index →
For Phase Two Recipes: Kaufmann Phase One Recipe Index →
- Mycotoxins and Leaky Gut Syndrome as cited in knowthecause.com by Doug Kaufmann
- Systematic Fungus as cited by knowthecause.com
- Mycotoxins as cited by The World Health Organization, May 2018.
- Grass Fed Meat Explained as cited by texasgrassfedbeef.com
- Kaufman, Doug. Eating The Right Foods To Feel Great. Rockwall, TX, Readandlearn LLC, 2018.
Talk with your doctor or licensed healthcare professional before changing your diet. This is not intended to be medical advice.
Please Note: I have really cool relatives, but Doug Kaufmann is not one of them. We have similar last names. I watch him on TV like the rest of the world and I think the Kaufmann Diet is outstanding!