Dr. Perricone's Salmon Diet

ikeko64/iStock/Getty Images

The YWCA reports that $7 billion is spent in the United States annually on cosmetics alone. Cosmetic surgery spending hit $12.4 billion in 2007, according to the International Association for Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine. While many turn to cosmetic procedures, a healthful diet is the best solution to looking and feeling young longer. Dr. Nicholas Perricone, a board certified clinical and research dermatologist, believes the answer is his salmon diet, also called "The Perricone Prescription."

Health Benefits

According to Perricone, eating salmon regularly will make your skin look younger longer. Many health experts agree that we should eat two or more portions of fish a week, and an oily fish such as salmon once a week. Salmon is considered a healthy choice and an essential part of a healthful and balanced diet because it is rich in vitamins and minerals, such as niacin, selenium, iodine, vitamins A and D and omega 3 fatty acids. These nutrients have been linked to reduced inflammation and the prevention of heart disease, according to the British government's Food Standards Agency.

The Diet

The Perricone Prescription is presented as an anti-wrinkle diet with weight loss as an added benefit. In the diet, what you eat is just as important as the order in which you eat it. For example, protein is to be eaten first and Perricone suggests that the salmon consumed should be wild, or at the least organic. From a scientific perspective, the Perricone diet aims to regulate blood sugar levels by eating foods that have a low glycemic index, according to Diet.com. The diet is based on a 28-day program during which the foods and supplementation recommended aim to reduce saturated fats, refined sugars, and other high glycemic carbohydrates. Specifics of the meal plans, supplements and topical products created by Perricone can be found in his book "The Perricone Prescription."

Time Frame

Perricone offers three plans with varying time frames for those interested in his plan, which include three days, 28 days and a lifetime plan. While the main premise of the book is a 28-day program, Perricone suggests a lifetime plan of good eating, exercise and topical treatments suggested by him for optimal results. For the skeptic, or those just wishing to sample his program, he offers a three-day trial plan. Some who have followed the three-day plan have claimed that they had already noticed a reduction in facial puffiness and inflammation and an increase in energy.


While oily fish such as salmon are high in healthy omega-3s, too much can also be a risk because these fish could contain high levels of mercury, according to the Food Standards Agency. These risks are even higher for woman who are pregnant and nursing. Be sure that you have no allergies to fish before starting a diet of this kind. The American Dietary Association, the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association and the U.S. Department of Agriculture do not endorse low glycemic index diets because extreme fish consumption is seen as an unbalanced diet. People with medical conditions, including heart disease and diabetes, and those on prescription medication should discuss this diet with their physician before starting it.


This diet was designed by a doctor, but it is best to consult your own doctor before starting any diet or exercise plan. The best-selling status of many of Perricone's books does not translate into acceptance by the medical community at large. Very little scientific research exists to substantiate many of the anti-aging aspects of this diet, according to Diet.com Diets low in carbohydrates, not limited to that of Perricone, have been shown to promote weight loss. Partnering with your primary health care provider is the safest way to set and monitor your diet and fitness goals.