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Let's Talk Shit About Ray Peat

Blog Forums Dieting Sucks! Let's Talk Shit About Ray Peat

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    @j-lo, you make some very good points. You are right in insisting that one shouldn’t “throw the baby out with the bathwater.” I also like something you seem to be hinting at. Ray Peat’s diet is almost a caricature (aspirin, serotonin levels in fruit, etc). So much so that it tends to wake you up to the fact of your own orthorexia. In fact, if you look around here, a lot of people-including yours truly-finally realized just how orthorexic they were while following Peat’s suggestions. Paradoxically, that may be the most important contribution Peat has made!!!

    Now j-lo, you aroused my curiosity with the following:

    But as someone who has had a cult following of sorts, I can also empathize. It’s not easy. People tend to distort messages and take things out of context.

    What cult are you the center of? Does it involve wearing Nikes and waiting on UFOs hiding behind comets? :) Are you Jennifer Lopez? One never knows, although my record on guessing these things isn’t good, since I also guessed that our Pink was the same Pink we hear on the radio :)


    @cody writes:

    Since we are talking shit about Ray Peat, I’m assuming talking shit about ‘the Peat Whisperer? Danny Roddy is OK too?

    Sure, since he guest-blogs here sometimes, maybe D-Rod will even respond to your question.

    My problem here is that when you ask Peat or Roddy how to lose weight, they say cut out fat. They also say that burning your own fat is bad for you.

    Seriously. Am I the only one who thinks this is so much bullshit?

    Is that what they say? In that case, I, too, am baffled. Maybe someone here can explain what their point.


    @ThomasSeay – Not that j-lo. My “cult following” wasn’t nearly as mainstream as that. I used to work as a technology educator, and I was well-published. I spoke at international conferences, etc. I got tons of emails from people all the time. And crazy as it may seem, even though people were asking me technology questions, I often got the sense that they also had the idea that if they could copycat my lifestyle and way of being then they would rise above their unhappiness. Although I never had internet forums dedicated to me (that I know of!) I can still relate to some extent to what I imagine it must be like for Ray Peat to be getting hundreds of orthorexic email questions every week. It’s probably a bit strange and overwhelming. So I am willing to cut the guy some slack when it comes to so much of the nonsense that gets attributed to him out of context. I mean there are seemingly so many people who believe that there is a “Ray Peat Diet” when, in fact, I’ve never seen any such recommendation straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. To my knowledge Dr. Peat has never published a “Ray Peat Diet: Thyroid health in 30 days” book in which he preaches that everyone should consume two quarts of 1% milk, one quart of pulp-free orange juice, four tablespoons of gelatin, two aspirin, one cynomel, and 200 mg or pregnenolone every day…all with lots of coffee and pure white sugar, of course. That is just nonesense as far as I can tell, and yet if you look on the internet there are many people who speak of such things as if it was real. Ray Peat may have found that such a diet worked for him at times, but that doesn’t mean that he’s saying everyone should do that.

    With all that said, Ray Peat, for all his genius, does sometimes come across as obsessive and over the top. It would be fascinating and absolutely brilliant if he did that intentionally to wake people up to their orthorexia. But somehow I doubt it. You know, most of us just need a good mirror to reflect back our insanity. Ray Peat, by his nature of being so extreme and bizarre in his views, can do that for people. I stand by what I said earlier that Dr. Peat’s writings have helped me tremendously – but only because I don’t take them to be gospel.

    I’ll take a moment to say that I find that I find Matt Stone’s current suggestions to be so refreshing and helpful especially in light of the overcomplication of so many other philosophies (Ray Peat, Mark Sisson, Rob Wolf, etc.) It’s the simplicity of Eat for Heat, for example, that makes it so genius. You could spend a lifetime obsessing over all the details of Ray Peat’s articles and double-checking his research. But at the end of the day it turns out to be better to eat the friggin starches, chicken, cooked carrots, grains, etc. and NOT STRESS ABOUT IT…i.e. enjoy life. I do appreciate all the research that Dr. Peat has done because it can be helpful for fine-tuning things when there are problems. But it’s not the first line of defense, so to speak, in my way of thinking because you can worry forever about the right dosage of progesterone or how much vitamin K you need to offset the aspirin or if you need one pint or two pints of orange juice per egg. But it turns out that just eating the food that you want and eating enough of it works a lot better for feeling better.


    I agree with J-lo that Peat’s insights and research into sugar, salt, gelatin and PUFAs have been very helpful, and his research on sugar has been HUGE.

    Who else has done convincing research on the health benefits of sugar? Without that insight, I would still think that sugar was evil and useless, mistakenly thinking it was the cause of all kinds of illness and I would be missing out on knowing about the importance of sugar for energy. With that insight, I can feed my body with the kinds of sugar it needs for energy production, and overcome the tremendous lack of energy that has plagued me since falling for the low carb dogma several years ago. And where would Matt be without that insight?

    Peat was telling the truth about PUFAs even before the WAPF was. Although, I have to admit that I think he’s gone too far with paranoia about finding it in vegetables. And the starch and serotonin paranoia has gone too far. But those things are almost incidental compared to the main thrust of his research on supporting thyroid function.

    Speaking of WAPF, I think their research and publication on the truth about fats was HUGE. Where else would most of the have found out about that?


    Yes about PUFA was very helpful.But I have doubt if PUFA in whole food have the same effect like from vegetable oil.

    BTW. PUFA is in almost all food, so it’s not possible limited 100%.


    I agree with Matt in that Ray Peat has to be respected for his strange, albeit fascinating research and the amount of time he has for responding to his followers. I commend him for thinking outside of the box.

    That being said, I think most of what he says should be taken with a grain of salt as following too closely within his “recommended guidelines” could cause someone to become insanely fanatical and lose their minds. It’s a very dogmatic approach.

    I recall reading a post on one of the Peat forums with a girl who posted about “giving in” and eating a potato and how she felt screwed up and guilty afterwards and how would it effect her health. Sad really.

    I think the biggest concerning point is, all of his followers are strictly following the dietary guidelines of one man’s opinion, none of which have been strictly followed by people before him, only Peat himself. I see no studies of healthy centurians who followed a similiar Peat-like diet.

    What would his followers say if he only makes it to 78 years old?

    “So sad… but look at his skin!”


    “I think the biggest concerning point is, all of his followers are strictly following the dietary guidelines of one man’s opinion, none of which have been strictly followed by people before him, only Peat himself. I see no studies of healthy centurians who followed a similiar Peat-like diet”




    Haha… yes. I have big respect for Ray Peat, but I don’t think he has all the answers. He makes progesterone, pregnenolone, and thyroid sound like miracle cures, but I bought the very ones he recommends, and they didn’t do anything for me or my menopausal mother. The way he talks, you’d think you should avoid serotonin like the plague. I believe there are many people who are better off in a high-serotonin state. (I’ve tried many of the anti-serotonin and CO2-raising drugs he’s suggested. They were terrible.)

    That said, you shouldn’t take pot-shots at Ray Peat. He may look a little old and sound weak, but that’s probably because he’s been sickly his whole life (as is what often drives people to research health at an early age). And he doesn’t profess to know the answers. I just think he’s arguing a side of a story that no one else argues. Yes, if you follow his advice to the letter, you’ll end up with a diet like Danny Roddy’s. But maybe Peat doesn’t advocate that, and maybe that’s why he doesn’t support Danny Roddy.

    Ultimately his articles are fascinating and mind-opening like few others are. We can’t get mad if they only end with suggestions and not conclusions.


    Personally, I think Ray Peat is a weird genius. His research is groundbreaking and fascinating. It’s Danny Roddy that screwed the whole perception of Ray Peat up. I’ll explain..

    I have heard Ray Peat lecture before, that brown rice is a great food, as long as you soak it beforehand. So, brown rice should be on the “Ray Peat” diet, shouldn’t it?

    I have emailed back and forth with Ray Peat a number of times. Told me flat out that you should only use white sugar as a supplement in times of stress, but otherwise, it’s demineralizing and to avoid it. Yet Danny Roddy sugars the shit out of everything. He even posted a YouTube video on how to boil sugar and add it to your milk. Calls it “anti-stress milk”. Come on, man. Talk about misinterpreting Ray’s research.

    You also have to use a little common sense when you’re applying Ray’s principles. Raspberries contain a high percentage of PUFA, but you can eat a 5 lb bucket full of raspberries and get less overall fat than a handful of potato chips. So avoiding raspberries is actually insane.

    It’s just little things like that. Ray Peat is a fan of orange juice and there have been times where he has drank a gallon of it in a day, when he was in Mexico and didn’t have access to good fruit. It doesn’t mean that he drinks a gallon of it a day, or recommends doing it. But Danny Roddy jumped right on that one, saying to drink 2 quarts of OJ a day, or whatever he says. Drinking 2 quarts of OJ per day is insane. It’s unnatural, unhealthy, and you’re asking for trouble by doing so. Ray Peat doesn’t recommend it. Danny Roddy THINKS he does.

    People eat gummy bears, bugles, and all kinds of crazy crap on the “Ray Peat Diet”. I emailed Ray about this and he suggests to make your own Gummy Bears by mixing fruit juice, hot water, and gelatin together and putting it in the fridge. Not to buy commercial bears with added sugar, artificial colors, wax, and all kinds of crap in them.

    Basically, he recommends a fruit, dairy, meat, shellfish diet, which is a wholesome, healthy diet. He likes to drink coffee too. He never said to drink 6 cups a day. He said he experimented with it and got it a very high metabolic state, but he doesn’t RECOMMEND it. Another thing that Danny Roddy totally misinterpreted.

    The Peat Whisperer sure doesn’t listen to Ray Peat very well.


    It’s insane to me that Danny Roddy is passing himself along as a Ray Peat “interpreter”, when he is totally mis-interpreting the wonderful research of Ray Peat.

    Charging $47 or whatever the price is for his Peat Whisperer book, when half of the suggestions are totally against what Ray Peat stands for.

    What I have gotten from my understanding of Ray’s writing, lectures and my communications with him, is that you need to try to keep your intestinal irritation to a minimum, because this is the basis of good health. Things that damage your gut like nuts, seeds, most vegetables and so on, should be avoided. Yes, they have PUFA, but they also irritate your gut, which leads to increased estrogen, and a whole other mess up symptoms.

    A diet of fruit, dairy, eggs, gelatin, organ meats, shellfish, potatoes, and things like coconut oil and butter, are easily digested, don’t cause intestinal distress, and are ideal foods for the human species.

    Where the whole thing comes in, with drinking 6 cups of coffee, popping 10 aspirin, dousing everything with salt and sugar, drinking quarts upon quarts of milk and OJ, and so on, is sheer madness. Not at all what he suggests or recommends.

    What I ate today:
    Sambazon Acai Juice, 2 TBSP Gelatin
    Grass Fed Beef, fresh mozzarella cheese, coffee, cream, coconut sugar.
    Chicken Breast pan fried in refined coconut oil, 2 cups skim milk.
    Pre-workout, I had a Starbucks Refreshers can (which is just carbonated water, fruit juice blend, green coffee bean extract, ginseng, and b-vitamins)
    3 eggs in coconut oil, 2 cups of fresh orange juice, 2 TBSP gelatin

    Roughly 2350 calories, got about 150g protein. Tasted great. Had super, balanced energy all day long. Worked out with weights for an hour. Temp was 98.2. All good.

    Chicken Breast is supposed to be so high in PUFA, right? Well, my skinless, boneless chicken breast had 3g of fat. So my PUFA was about 1 potato chip worth, if that.

    Also, I drink coffee because I love how it tastes, not because Ray Peat said so. I have been drinking coffee for a decade before I ever even heard of Ray Peat. I drink Valley of the Moon, shade grown, organic coffee.


    Interesting thoughts Jaketthomas. Hearing you explain Peat’s work that simply makes it seem a lot more understandable.

    I’m still curious though about folks that don’t tolerate dairy well. I know that Matt says that we should just force it all down and eventually we’ll have a steel stomach- but I can’t get past the mucousy, zit proned skin, etc. that I get when I try to drink milk (raw or not).

    And as far as the gelatin and bone broth goes, the more I eat, the more cold sores I get. As the gelatin is high in arginine, this makes sense, as that brings on cold sores. I got 5 outbreaks in two months while eating lots of gelatin. Christ, what do I do now??

    I just don’t know how to make this all make sense when it feels like crap trying to eat this stuff- be it a Matt Stone or Ray Peat ‘diet’.


    Jakethomas I don’t see how you can blame danny roddy for misinterpreting peat’s work. Peat himself has answered tons of emails recommending to consume a certain amount of OJ and a certain amount of Milk per day. So how do you get around that? Basically everything you just said about Danny is wrong based on that. And just because Peat tells people how to make gummy candies doesn’t mean he is saying don’t buy regular gummy bears. I think if anything you are misinterpreting him.

    “Told me flat out that you should only use white sugar as a supplement in times of stress, but otherwise, it’s demineralizing and to avoid it.”

    Guess what? Ray Peat has said about one million contradicting things and his “followers” just use the “context” argument. He said in interviews that he drank milk shakes and ate chocolate and people who know him have reported that he drinks coke, not even mexican coke!! So I guess he was one stressed son of a gun to need so much sugar. Then he tells you something else? I am sorry something doesn’t jive about all of this. Not that you are lying, it’s just he incessantly and directly contradicts himself and gets a free pass because of ?context. In this example alone anyone with 2 brain cells can see the direct contradiction even with the context pass.

    Who cares what Peat eats. His recommendations are terrible. He recommends the same thing to every one whether you have a spike stuck in your abdomen or whether you are menopausal. His body of work is interesting but keep in mind he doesn’t conduct experiments or studies. He is more of a researcher. He got a lot of stuff from broda barnes and Hans selye, etc. Probably why so many of his recommendations don’t help and if serotonin was so bad you would think those medicines he recommends would make people feel better right away but instead they make people feel like hell. He seems to be like every other guru where feedback from ?followers? doesn’t encourage him to amend his work at all.

    One thing that is weird are his replies about gaining muscle, that just sitting at home increasing carbs from fructose sources and drinking milk and eating ray peat approved foods puts all this muscle on people. That is comical.

    Here’s an email by him that is posted on raypeatforum:
    “My recommendation is to eat to increase the metabolic rate (usually temperature and heart rate), rather than any particular foods. Usually the increased metabolic rate, with adequate protein, causes some muscle increase, and when that happens the basic calorie requirement will increase. The increase of muscle mass should continue for several weeks, and during that time the weight might increase a little, but usually the loss of water and fat will compensate for the greater muscle mass. I have heard from several people that they think I recommend drinking whole milk, which I don’t, because the amount of fat in whole milk is very likely to be fattening when a person is using it to get the needed protein and calcium. When a person wants to lose excess fat, limiting the diet to low fat milk, eggs, orange juice, and a daily carrot or two, will provide the essential nutrients without excess calories.”

    Except it doesn’t happen that way at all. We haven’t seen that in anyone, just people getting very fat. Ok so let’s say you gain a whole 2 lbs of muscle just from changing your diet, no resistance training. How many calories can one additionally expect to need solely from that? I have never heard of people getting muscular without exercising or increasing muscle to any noticeable degree from just food unless they came from a concentration camp. We are talking about well-fed americans, many coming to him after wapf and paleo..

    Also he says he doesn’t recommend particular foods, then he recommends particular foods as he has done in probably thousands of emails. He also says he doesn’t recommend whole milk but talks about vitamins added to the milk as being bad. Find me a brand of low fat milk with no added vitamins at Whole foods? I feel he’s either out of touch with many things about exercise and diet or he is just saying things that don’t make sense and then backtracking later on when people don’t have success. I think he is doing one grand experiment on people with these email answers of his. His recommendations aren’t based on any evidence. Like someone mentioned there are not studies of anyone doing this type of diet. And yes it’s a diet!! It’s a list of foods to eat and a list of foods to stay away from. People who say this isn’t a diet because he never published a book are ridiculous. He has made the diet himself in all his interviews and emails. What emerged is an emphasis on tropical fruits, sugar, eggs, milk, gelatin, liver and certain supplements. It’s one of the most narrow “diets” around.

    I think people who have fared the best are the ones that got away from low carb from studying his work on sugar and people who added some stuff here and there, not committed to following his every word. i feel sorry for people who eat this way and expect their health to improve. They get that initial placebo effect or benefit from the added carbs where they were low carb and then attribute the benefits of correcting that extreme to all this wackiness about not having any pufa and low serotonin and no cooked carrots.


    Aims – are you just pissed off beacuse it didnt work for you? Or perhaps you are fortunate not to have any health problems that there is nothing much to fix.

    I started losing my hair in my early twenties and basically read everything on the internet to do with health and hair loss. There are much crazier ideas out there. Like veganism and low carbing. I tried many of these which actually did improve my hair in the short term. However I basically had to avoid pretty much all types of calories to try and keep my hair and I destroyed my liver. I woke up in panic attacks every night for three months and would writhe in pain if I ate anything fatty – which I ate a lot of from my low carb days. Then I read Ray Peats ideas.

    I have gone beyond my previous level of health and my hair no longer falls out. I am confident of keeping it into my forties. From the past 5 years of living with hair loss I can tell exactly what foods cause it from the inflammation. Suprise suprise they are – PUFAs, excessive isolated glucose (glucose sweets and starch), excessive fibre, chewing gum (estrogen) and so on so forth. I can tell what stops it, they are – liver, coffee, milk and other thyorid supporting substances. It is not my imagination, Ray Peat seems to be correct in a lot of what he says.

    And please, before you continue your diatribe, maybe use a thing called google. Bodybuilders and athletes have been using insulin for its muscle building effects (notably the effects on myostatin) for decades. Insulin can cause the muscle to take small amounts of protein without a workout. The effect is imrproved with a workout which is why whould always have carbs with your protein after a workout.

    So please stop being a know-it-all asshole and learn some science.

    • This reply was modified 9 years, 9 months ago by ceileachair.

    celiachair Your post had nothing to do with my post. You addressed none of my points, undid none of my reasoning, you just came on with some over-emotional pleas and insults that had almost nothing to do with what I wrote. But the truth hurts otherwise you wouldn’t have taken this so personally and failed to respond with a modicum of logic. If you aren’t here for discussion under the title ?let’s talk shit about ray peat. but are only here to proselytize your over-reactive peat nonsense, isn’t there about a dozen places to do that on the internet?

    Ray peat can’t be criticized, he’s an authority. We really haven’t had enough of that type of thinking in the nutritional world. Peat cult members will never see anything that is wrong with his work. In a repository of his emails about 20 health issues are addressed besides generalized questions about nutrition. He uses the carrot in his reply 15 times. From all the reading and responses I have seen on various forums, that carrot hasn’t done half of what peat insists what it can do. Also, where are all the healing stories? Just people going from low carb, which was ridiculous to do in the first place, to introducing fruit and sugar and feeling better, then their improvement beyond that comes to a grinding halt. Then they often make themselves worse with experiments with bromocriptine, the milk/OJ diet, obsessions with bag breathing, indiscriminately piling hormones into their body and a ridiculous fear of pufa.

    “I woke up in panic attacks every night for three months and would writhe in pain if I ate anything fatty ? which I ate a lot of from my low carb days.” You have proved my point exactly. Peat attracts people who love doing extreme things with their diet. Cutting out carbs is replaced with obsessing over pufas. You are the typical extreme person who makes themselves worse by refusing to find moderation with anything. The extreme person puts and keeps peat on the map because if it wasn’t for low carb wrecking so many people, most people who do his non diet of very limited foods wouldn’t know his name. That low carb obsession needed to happen first. But just because carbs fix horrible condition of low carb doesn’t make all or even half of his work worthy of blind worship.

    ?Bodybuilders and athletes have been using insulin for its muscle building effects (notably the effects on myostatin) for decades. Insulin can cause the muscle to take small amounts of protein without a workout. The effect is improved with a workout which is why would always have carbs with your protein after a workout.

    You are going to compare bodybuilders, people who spend hours in the gym to where their muscles even have muscles to the average unhealthy person eating peaty? OK you lost all credibility right there. Peat is saying you will gain muscle from food alone and enough muscle to where your calories can even increase. Again not concentration camp victims but average Americans.

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