Your opinion on Ray Peats ideas and dietary advice?

by (3512) Updated August 21, 2014 at 2:27 AM 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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16 Replies

55320 · 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.

77348 · 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.

1045 · 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.

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.

249 · 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):


3623 · February 27, 2012 at 11:06 PM

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

77348 · 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.

24343 · 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.

5100 · 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.

1329 · 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.

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


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.


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.

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.

2176 · February 28, 2012 at 2:57 AM

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

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..

1112 · 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..

6 · 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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