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Your opinion on Ray Peats ideas and dietary advice?

by (3521)
Updated September 16, 2014 at 7:21 PM
Created April 13, 2011 at 10:07 PM

-Dairy, meat and fruit are the core of his diet.

-He believes in consuming lots of gelatin and limiting muscle meats.

-States protein must be balanced with sugar, according to him protein alone lowers blood sugar so it must be eaten with fruit.

-He believes PUFA's are not essential, and most of our fat should be saturated from cream, butter, tallow and coconut oil.

-He believes vegetables are poisonous.

-Believes in the high consumption of fruit and fruit juices and I think he favors fructose over starches.

What is your opinion on his ideas, particularly his stance on fruit? Are they sound and based on science or are they pure speculation? His ideas do seem a bit out there, but I have read of many people having success on a diet similar to one that Ray Peat recommends?

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3521 · May 12, 2013 at 10:43 PM

I am sorry, next time I will be sure to put every little tiny detail about Peats diet.

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565 · December 23, 2012 at 3:05 AM

Since you bring up Coke... Peat says feel free to drink Coke.

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175 · August 19, 2012 at 2:44 AM

1. Peat is an advocate of juice from fruits, not HFCS. 2. For Peat, it's preferable to obtain sugar from fruits, but table sugar is OK. 3. I think he is 75.

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175 · August 19, 2012 at 2:41 AM

Peat advocates high consumption of milk, like 2 quarts a day, but if it isn't low-fat, you might gain weight.

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1026 · January 31, 2012 at 10:15 AM

So he advocates carrots, roots and tubers. Basically no vegetables...

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250 · January 30, 2012 at 10:18 PM

Just a note - 50 Bananas-a-day qualifies as Paleo if not standard-paleo.

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6087 · January 03, 2012 at 10:45 PM

you sound grumpy

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1689 · July 21, 2011 at 3:51 AM

>we breed vegetables for food that are safe for us to eat, for the most part Are you sure? I have no facts but I imagine the trend would be more towards breeding for greater toxicity rather than less, in order to increase yields.

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78417 · April 14, 2011 at 2:50 PM

It may well be. I'm somewhat new to this area of the science. However, the sheer amount available in juice is dangerous. I think its questionable to even eat fruit.

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20411 · April 14, 2011 at 12:17 PM

I thought it was the vitamin C in fruit that (at least partially) protects against fructose damage...

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3521 · April 14, 2011 at 2:53 AM

The ice cream bit along with his support of fruit juices is what's making me take a critical look at his ideas.

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78417 · April 14, 2011 at 2:04 AM

Yes, the fiber to fructose ratio in fruit makes it difficult to achieve such a dose. Drinking it in juice makes it rather easy to achieve the necessary dose.

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56596 · April 14, 2011 at 1:32 AM

Also, many of the papers he cites are from insignificant journals with very few standards. Most of the rest are on wild plants, which yes, have more toxins.

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56596 · April 14, 2011 at 1:29 AM

In vitro research cannot support the contention that vegetables are toxic. It can only provide researchers a path towards in vitro research in animals and finally in humans, which is the gold standard.

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5232 · April 14, 2011 at 1:10 AM

Fructose is a dose dependent hepatoxin not just a straight up toxin.

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78417 · April 14, 2011 at 12:51 AM

Melissa, can you give an example? I mean, vegetables, including organic ones, do make toxins. That is how they try to defend themselves. Some people go so far as to not eat vegetables for that reason. I understand where they are coming from but think it's overkill. I don't think he misrepresents scientific research. He has a different take on it perhaps.

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7324 · April 14, 2011 at 12:24 AM

Fiber does not protect the liver from fructose...

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56596 · April 14, 2011 at 12:24 AM

I feel he intentionally misrepresents scientific research.

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3521 · April 14, 2011 at 12:08 AM

I never said he was a quack, I like Ray Peat's ideas and it's nice to see a different view on this whole fructose is bad issue, what I meant was that people should have an open mind about different dietary concepts and not rely on once source of information as many, myself included, do. In other words we shouldn't take one persons views as truths, no matter how smart they are and instead embrace it as a plausible theory, because the truth of the matter is, no one really knows what the heck is going on.

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78417 · April 13, 2011 at 11:49 PM

Why do you think he is a charlatan? He prints a newsletter and offers consultations at $75 an hour. Very often if you email him, he will answer your questions for free. We can agree and disagree with certain of his ideas, but that doesn't make him a charlatan. I wonder why you use such strong language.

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78417 · April 13, 2011 at 11:32 PM

He's not wacky. Go read his articles and you will see that he is very serious and bases his theories on studies, etc. I don't agree with him, but he's not wacky.

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3521 · April 13, 2011 at 11:13 PM

Interesting, I don't mind putting on weight, but I am still not to convinced with his stance on sugar.

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78417 · April 13, 2011 at 11:12 PM

http://www.raypeat.com

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3521 · April 13, 2011 at 11:11 PM

...and that's why its important to never religiously follow a dietary guru without first analyzing his/her work and making your own judgement.

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3521 · April 13, 2011 at 11:08 PM

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/AV-Skeptics/message/5523 this link describes his diet. and this is his blog http://raypeat.com/

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78417 · April 13, 2011 at 11:06 PM

All vegetables have toxins. That much is true. Fruit (because of the seeds) "want" to be consumed, so don't have the toxins that vegetables have. Of course, now we know about hormesis and polyphenols and so I think that pretty much does away with the "toxic" vegetable issue.

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3159 · April 13, 2011 at 11:03 PM

Is there a link?

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25467 · April 13, 2011 at 10:19 PM

But fruit should be seasonally eaten.....not year round and should be limited when trying to get lean

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25467 · April 13, 2011 at 10:18 PM

I agree with Melissa.........

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16 Answers

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56596 · April 13, 2011 at 10:14 PM

He's a natural person to become popular considering the promotion of high-protein diets and misinterpretation of research on fructose. The truth is that there is lots of evidence high protein diets can be harmful and no evidence that fruit is harmful (purified fructose does not equal fruit). The truth is you don't need much PUFA, though I'm not sure PUFA from natural sources will be proven harmful. People are flocking to Peat because they have bad experiences with high-protein diets. Unfortunately, he's just as much of a charlatan as the rest. His evidence that vegetables are poisonous is complete misreading of the studies he cites.

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6087 · January 03, 2012 at 10:45 PM

you sound grumpy

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56596 · April 14, 2011 at 1:32 AM

Also, many of the papers he cites are from insignificant journals with very few standards. Most of the rest are on wild plants, which yes, have more toxins.

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56596 · April 14, 2011 at 1:29 AM

In vitro research cannot support the contention that vegetables are toxic. It can only provide researchers a path towards in vitro research in animals and finally in humans, which is the gold standard.

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78417 · April 14, 2011 at 12:51 AM

Melissa, can you give an example? I mean, vegetables, including organic ones, do make toxins. That is how they try to defend themselves. Some people go so far as to not eat vegetables for that reason. I understand where they are coming from but think it's overkill. I don't think he misrepresents scientific research. He has a different take on it perhaps.

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56596 · April 14, 2011 at 12:24 AM

I feel he intentionally misrepresents scientific research.

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3521 · April 14, 2011 at 12:08 AM

I never said he was a quack, I like Ray Peat's ideas and it's nice to see a different view on this whole fructose is bad issue, what I meant was that people should have an open mind about different dietary concepts and not rely on once source of information as many, myself included, do. In other words we shouldn't take one persons views as truths, no matter how smart they are and instead embrace it as a plausible theory, because the truth of the matter is, no one really knows what the heck is going on.

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78417 · April 13, 2011 at 11:49 PM

Why do you think he is a charlatan? He prints a newsletter and offers consultations at $75 an hour. Very often if you email him, he will answer your questions for free. We can agree and disagree with certain of his ideas, but that doesn't make him a charlatan. I wonder why you use such strong language.

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3521 · April 13, 2011 at 11:11 PM

...and that's why its important to never religiously follow a dietary guru without first analyzing his/her work and making your own judgement.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117
25467 · April 13, 2011 at 10:19 PM

But fruit should be seasonally eaten.....not year round and should be limited when trying to get lean

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117
25467 · April 13, 2011 at 10:18 PM

I agree with Melissa.........

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78417 · April 13, 2011 at 11:04 PM

I spoke with him on the phone a couple of times (Ray Peat) and I asked him point blank about sugar. He thinks it is a very clean, good substance. He advocated ice-cream as a good source of calcium and good sugars. I never understood exactly his theory of glycination. He believes that you need to keep your blood sugar up. He is especially fond of orange juice. I bloated up to 230 pounds, which was ok at the time since I was bulking for my weightlifting, but would not be a good idea in general.

He advocates coffee is a way of boosting your metabolism. I tried this and, honestly, for the first time in my life I had high blood pressure. I probably am extremely sensitive to caffeine, though to be honest.

I think he has some good ideas, but I find him quirky. I don't have the background in physiology to get one-on-one with him. He's a smart guy. However, I was not too pleased with the results. That's what I have to go on.

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175 · August 19, 2012 at 2:41 AM

Peat advocates high consumption of milk, like 2 quarts a day, but if it isn't low-fat, you might gain weight.

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3521 · April 13, 2011 at 11:13 PM

Interesting, I don't mind putting on weight, but I am still not to convinced with his stance on sugar.

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1065 · April 14, 2011 at 1:40 AM

I think Peat is mostly kind of a wackjob. I sites really old editions of encyclopedia brittanica and funny little websites as citations, so he kind of misleads as to the quality of information backing claims.

That said, many of his articles are at least funny to read, so I'd go through them at least once. Just not as a serious "wow I should eat a quart of ice cream everyday" advice source.

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92 · August 21, 2014 at 2:12 AM

I'm not sure he recommends a quart of ice cream per day... It's not fair to say things like this as it spreads misinformation. For example, he makes what he calls "gummy bears" with gelatin and juice as an occasional snack and now people go around saying his diet is gummy bears and ice cream because they know it's an easy way to criticize him without actually having to think. 

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3521 · April 14, 2011 at 2:53 AM

The ice cream bit along with his support of fruit juices is what's making me take a critical look at his ideas.

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10 · May 12, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Your synopsis of Peat is so cryptic and oversimplified any response is difficult. The term 'peleohacks' seems geared to excite readers to criticize first and think later, and calling Peat a charlatan only wastes intelligent readers time, whether it provides a cathartic outlet for others or not. I'll take on one critical arena -

Peat's point about vegetables if vital and helpful. Many families today are so brainwashed by popular and chaotic claims for foods in the mass media that they forget ordinary caution and common sense. I've seen families here in the bay area of California who think they are advanced and enlightened, while their children are so thin it's frightening. And vegetables are always, not sometimes but always, high up on their list of things to eat all the time, morning noon and night. Under those circumstance you can the signs of poisoning related to the natural feature of vegetables to defend themselves with bio toxins. Their children are not just thin, but gaunt, also tired, listless, poorly coordinated, and withdrawn. These are more than signs of starvation - which is probably a factor in their plight - these are signs of downright poisoning, and it doesn't take long to find out what the culprit it - mountains of root and other vegetables that are often eaten uncooked, and a marked absence of milk, meat, other proteins and fats. Humans need fats in moderate, not small amounts, and a lack of fats encourages too rapid and incomplete digestion that is a large factor in making vegetables a problem.

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3521 · May 12, 2013 at 10:43 PM

I am sorry, next time I will be sure to put every little tiny detail about Peats diet.

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269 · February 28, 2012 at 1:25 AM

On that note it seems like the toxins found in plants, a reason for why Ray Peat avoids vegetables, is to the contrary mentioned as a good thing in this fascinating article on antioxidants (it was mentioned on Paleohacks on the subject of supplement abuse):

http://gettingstronger.org/2011/03/the-case-against-antioxidants/

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3651 · February 27, 2012 at 11:06 PM

Someone just post a list of what he says to do so I can do the opposite.

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92 · August 21, 2014 at 1:54 AM

Eat in a such a way that you have a healthy thyroid, low stress and are happy and enjoy life. Okay now go do the opposite!!

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78417 · April 13, 2011 at 11:29 PM

Fructose is a hepatotoxin, like alcohol. It has no effect on blood sugar or the insulin response. It is fine in fruit, as the fiber of the fruit that comes along with it keeps it in check and makes it more difficult to eat large amounts. Fruit juice is worse than regular Coke.

Vegetables give us fiber and minerals without fructose.

This guy sounds wacky.

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92 · August 21, 2014 at 2:27 AM

Show me a study that shows toxic effects of fructose in the form of fruit. 

It's hard to trust studies that use...

1. Incredibly high amounts of fructose

2. Fructose by itself (which never occurs in nature)

 

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565 · December 23, 2012 at 3:05 AM

Since you bring up Coke... Peat says feel free to drink Coke.

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78417 · April 14, 2011 at 2:50 PM

It may well be. I'm somewhat new to this area of the science. However, the sheer amount available in juice is dangerous. I think its questionable to even eat fruit.

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20411 · April 14, 2011 at 12:17 PM

I thought it was the vitamin C in fruit that (at least partially) protects against fructose damage...

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78417 · April 14, 2011 at 2:04 AM

Yes, the fiber to fructose ratio in fruit makes it difficult to achieve such a dose. Drinking it in juice makes it rather easy to achieve the necessary dose.

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5232 · April 14, 2011 at 1:10 AM

Fructose is a dose dependent hepatoxin not just a straight up toxin.

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7324 · April 14, 2011 at 12:24 AM

Fiber does not protect the liver from fructose...

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78417 · April 13, 2011 at 11:32 PM

He's not wacky. Go read his articles and you will see that he is very serious and bases his theories on studies, etc. I don't agree with him, but he's not wacky.

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24523 · April 13, 2011 at 10:21 PM

I like the 'ol bastard. But mostly as a check against what others say.

He cites evidence, but not comprehensively. In other words, he seems to only approach one side of the story sometimes. His article on vegetables did not have a real conclusion-- we breed vegetables for food that are safe for us to eat, for the most part. This is not addressed by him.

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1689 · July 21, 2011 at 3:51 AM

>we breed vegetables for food that are safe for us to eat, for the most part Are you sure? I have no facts but I imagine the trend would be more towards breeding for greater toxicity rather than less, in order to increase yields.

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5132 · September 07, 2013 at 12:44 AM

3 questions:

(1) Is he advocating fruit juice as in commercial fruit juice or home-made, hand-squeezed fuit juice devoid of HFCS?

(2) Is he advocating sugar as in granulated white sugar or sugar that's naturally in fruit and vegetables (endogenous sugar)?

(3) How old is Mr. Peat? Judging by his voice, he is quite up there. If he is, he could cite himself as the best example of his own diet for promoting longevity.

I do agree with his general opinion that PUFA is harmful, even Omega 3 FAs. But his other opinions are hard to square with current research.

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92 · August 21, 2014 at 2:21 AM

He himself drinks freshly squeezed orange juice. I think he has a distrust of large scale juice industry as they tend to add undesirable things to the juice like "flavor packs" and enzymes to break down pulp.

He says ideally sugar should come from fruit because it comes with other good things like vitamins and minerals. He once said it would be ideal to get around 50% of your calories from fruit in a podcast. 

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92 · August 21, 2014 at 1:59 AM

In a podcast a couple years back someone asked him and he said he was 76 and that was around 2012. So maybe 78 or so?

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175 · August 19, 2012 at 2:44 AM

1. Peat is an advocate of juice from fruits, not HFCS. 2. For Peat, it's preferable to obtain sugar from fruits, but table sugar is OK. 3. I think he is 75.

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1327 · July 25, 2013 at 11:03 PM

I think the dairy thing is unhelpful if you're intolerant, but otherwise there's a lot of good advice there. The stuff on fats, and on hormones, and amino acid ratios... All useful.

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0 · July 25, 2013 at 4:43 PM

While many of his ideas might seem whacky, there is a logic to them

For example sugar helps cure and heal cure diabetic ulcers , read this full article

Methods to heal wounds have been studied for the past four or five millennia. Surgery's earliest known document on the care of wounds is The Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus, dated around 1700 BC, which describes the treatment of a number of difficult wounds encountered on the battlefields of Egypt.9 Since then, our knowledge of the physiology of wound healing has been elucidated, but timely and efficient wound healing has remained somewhat elusive, especially in areas where technology and modern wound care supplies are limited. However, natural resources have been used extensively for wound care with acceptable results. The use of sugar for wound healing is one of the earliest known methods. In premodern times, the idea that sugar can facilitate the healing of wounds has been documented.10,11Mesopotamians were known to wash wounds with water or milk and subsequently dress them with honey or resin. Mesopotamians also documented the severity of wounds and which conditions were optimal for facilitating the rate at which the wounds would heal. Other substances, in conjunction with sugar, such as plant derivatives, wine, and vinegar were explored and implemented to determine their efficacy in wound healing.10 In 1679, Scultetus made use of finely powdered sugar to clean wounds.12 Zoinin, in 1714, promoted the value of sugar for promoting wound

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2956799/

A study has now shown that sugar actually helps regenerate beta cells in the pancreas A spoonful of sugar may be a remedy for diabetes. The more glucose that insulin-producing cells in the pancreas use, the faster those cells reproduce, a new study in mice shows. The findings, published in the April 6 Cell Metabolism, may help researchers devise new treatments for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes by harnessing the mechanism that leads to sugar-fueled cell growth. Such a strategy could help restore function to the cells in the pancreas damaged in diabetes while avoiding the toxic effects of high blood sugar. Giving animals more food to eat or bathing cells with glucose—the type of sugar that cells burn for energy—can increase the amount of insulin-producing pancreatic cells known as beta cells. But exactly how the sugar increases the number of beta cells has not been clear.

http://www.usnews.com/science/articles/2011/04/06/sugar-fuels-growth-of-insulin-making-cells

I know many who have eaten only vegetables and or grains and felt crappy. After getting of the salads and eating potatoes, some carrots, I feel a lot better. He also recommends beets states that certain greens like green beans and collard are ok if cooked well. He also recommends baby squash.

why would you have to eat a bunch of vegetables if you can get a lot of the fiber from potatoes which he fully endorses, carrots, beets, some greens. Also magnesium which he recommends and coconut oil both make it easy to go to the bathroom without the need for stuffing yourself with fiber.

Unlike ruminants we do not have the enzymes to digest fiber and for the most part fiber sucks out a whole bunch of good minerals with it.

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0 · December 23, 2012 at 12:56 AM

I've been listening to one of the followers of Ray Peat's diet... and I must agree that his ideas just don't "ring true." Based on common sense, leading edge nutrition doctors, and intuition and gut instinct they don't make sense. I tried listening to them and tried thinking outside of the box but I couldn't believe it.

I do believe some vegetables are hard to digest (Kale) and require juicing, etc. and I do believe pasture-organic dairy is good when raw an un-altered but to live on only protein and dairy and carrots just doesn't do it for me. It goes against every grain of knowledge.

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2175 · February 28, 2012 at 2:57 AM

Other than high blood sugar possibly causing myopia (he wears glasses), could work for some people.

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8 · June 30, 2011 at 4:47 PM

Peat is not totally anti veggie.. He promotes intake of carrots before starchy meals and promotes some root/tuber veggies..

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92 · August 21, 2014 at 2:18 AM

Oh and one more thing. Peppers, tomatoes, summer squash, etc. those are fruits.

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92 · August 21, 2014 at 2:05 AM

He mainly says to cook vegetables and not eat them raw. I think his words were "cook them to death".

He commonly recommends green leafy vegetables saying they are important sources of vitamin k mainly, but also other vitamins and minerals. He says they have a good calcium to phosphorus ratio, some being as high as 10:1.

I think it's a little misleading when someone says "He says vegetables are poisonous" because people who have read that will now repeat it without understanding some of the points.

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1026 · January 31, 2012 at 10:15 AM

So he advocates carrots, roots and tubers. Basically no vegetables...

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1132 · April 13, 2011 at 10:15 PM

there is logic behind the paleo diet principal, what is his logic? why vegetables no, but fruit yes?
sure people might get results following his advice, people get "results" eating 50 bananas a day. Most of it seems good though, try it if you want..

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250 · January 30, 2012 at 10:18 PM

Just a note - 50 Bananas-a-day qualifies as Paleo if not standard-paleo.

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78417 · April 13, 2011 at 11:06 PM

All vegetables have toxins. That much is true. Fruit (because of the seeds) "want" to be consumed, so don't have the toxins that vegetables have. Of course, now we know about hormesis and polyphenols and so I think that pretty much does away with the "toxic" vegetable issue.

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2 · December 20, 2012 at 12:14 AM

The healthiest, most sustainable and most economical diet in the world is a vegan diet.

Ray Peat is a charlatan. He avoids rigorous peer review and seems to have recruited a team of white, upper middle-class women (with too much time on their hands and imaginary intolerances) to endlessly recite his groundless 'research' [SIC]. Most of which seem to be offering paid-for consultancy services - shock, horror.

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