Interview with Dr. Ray Peat
If you have read Eat Fat, Lose Fat, or Wise Traditions journals and website, you know coconut oil is pretty amazing stuff. There are a few other people out there who think so too. Dr. Ray Peat is one of them. Early on in this interview he states that saturated fat is good fat—not something you hear every day, except from us. From there, he focuses in on coconut oil and details some of the benefits, which include regulating metabolism and helping to keep weight under control, controlling estrogen, helping the thyroid issues and even preventing or reducing sunburn damage.
While he gives out some good and intriguing information, one must be careful when listening to him. He mentions that there is no such thing as essential fatty acids. Well, yes there are. Dr. Mary Enig tried to straighten out his confusion on this subject in our Spring 2005 Wise Traditions, but apparently he is still confused. He also says we wouldn’t need vitamin E if we didn’t eat any polyunsaturated fats. Dr. Enig points out that there is some polyunsaturated fat in all food. So even if that is true, it is kind of like saying, “If pigs could fly, [fill in the blank].” If pigs could fly, I would give him a thumbs up for saying things like that. THUMBS DOWN.
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Winter 2009.
About Tim Boyd
Tim Boyd was born and raised in Ohio, graduated from Case Western Reserve University with a degree in computer engineering, and worked in the defense industry in Northern Virginia for over 20 years. During that time, a slight case of arthritis led him to discover that nutrition makes a difference and nutrition became a serious hobby. After a pleasant and satisfying run in the electronics field, he decided he wanted to do something more important. He is now arthritis free and enjoying his dream job working for the Weston A. Price Foundation.
Matt Stone says
Think for yourself
Peat is not a bumbling idiot. He too knows that polyunsaturated fats are pervasive. But there are foods that contain tiny traces of polyunsaturated fats, which Peat recommends wholeheartedly, and there are foods with extremely high amounts of polyunsaturated fats, such as those recommended by the Weston A. Price Foundation, such as crispy nuts, lard, goose and duck fat, and poultry skin.
On a WAPF-sytle diet I had many health problems, and I estimate my PUFA intake to have been around 20 grams per day. Since cutting that back to 3 grams per day, my health has improved dramatically.
The longer Enig stays entrentched in the belief that nuts, seeds, cod liver oil, and poultry and pork fat are healthy for Americans, who already have 8 times the tissue concentration of PUFA’s that can be considered healthy, the longer they delay what could easily be the most significant thing a person can do to improve their health… Eat 1% of their dietary calories from PUFA’s as advised by the world’s leading PUFA expert, Dr. William Lands.
what an absurd ‘review’
Phrases like ‘straighten out’ and ‘still confused’ insult Peat’s extensive knowledge. He often calls some fats the ‘so called essential fatty acids.’ Believing that we don’t need to consume essential fatty acids, or having a differing opinion, does not make someone ‘confused.’ You’re trying to say that Peat is wrong because Mary Enig says so. Mary Enig’s ‘scientific’ reasoning goes something like this: ‘Peat is wrong because I say he’s wrong.’ Why don’t you actually try to discuss the issue. Cite studies that you think demonstrate the necessity of the so called essential fatty acids, or try to point out what you believe to be flaws in his reasoning. You can read more at laproline.blogspot.com.
I think you are on to something with this.
I agree! Definitely a poor argument to merely say “Yes, they are”. We have to be careful about PUFA because it is not a mandatory labeling requirement, it’s voluntary.
Many food items will list saturated fats and trans-fat only, but check out the ingredients only to find safflower oil, cottonseed, vegetable oil, soybean oil, etc etc. So the PUFA is there and it’s not calculated, therefore we don’t know if it’s insignificant or too much. Chances are, it’s not worth eating anyway!
Ed Reich says
FRIEND OF Dr. Peat
I am a friend and associate of Dr. Peat. In fact, I am staying at his Mexican home right now.
If you read the articles on Omega 3 and 6 polyunaturated oils,
carefully, on Dr. Peat’s website (raypeat.com), I believe taht you will come to the conclusion that the N-3 and N-6 lipids are dangerous. And the Omega 3s are more dangerous that the Omega 6s. Ray Peat is in great health, mentally and physically, and at 74, he looks about 62! The marketing teams of the supplement industry are hard at work deceiving the public about some of
the products they proffer. The guy, above, in particular, needs to bone up on Dr. Peat’s great ideas!
Lori Ells says
Hi, No disrespect intended, but why does Ray Peats voice sound so frail. It sounds like he has the shakes. Thank you, Lori
You’re replying to a comment from 2010. Peat is now 82 and still acting as a guest on a monthly phone in radio show (https://player.fm/series/ray-peat-interviews). For 82 I would say he sounds extremely healthy and mentally alert.
“Well, yes they are!” is not an argument. You’ll have to counter Rays extensive knowledge of biochemistry to make this article less of a joke. To prove that they are not essential, all you have to do is feel what happens when you are able to make significant adaptive changes through intermittent fasting. No EFA’s required.
This site had gone down in quality for a few years, I noticed this when I saw the homeopathy articles and some “spiritual” gobbledeegocks writings. Homeopathy is quack science, any kid in sixth grade who just learned about Avogadro’s number can understand that.
This “review” and the other reply about Peat’s views on EFA are another low value writing which drag down the average value of the WAP site and philosophy and make someone to doubt the credibility of the whole …
I just heard an interview with Ray Peat on the thyroid today and he sounded tired and not vibrant. It was actually painful and boring to listen and follow him. I love learning about nutrition and health, but I lost interest. He sounded much older than 74. I’ve met people who were older and sounded more vibrant. Sorry for the negative review, but it’s my truth.
You write “It’s my truth.” Your “truth” is based on listening to one interview. I suggest to you that listening to one interview does not necessarily disclose anything remotely like “truth” about a person or a person’s ideas.
yes, I agree…I’ve listened to Ray Peat on different podcasts, and he sounds more lively on some and not on others. It means nothing that he wasn’t as lively in that particular interview. Go thru about 8 of them, and you will see the differences. Sheesh!
Still debating Ray Peat’ credibility, really.
I am one of the people – and I am sure we are many – who can say that reading Dr. Peat’s articles, books and newsletters saved my life. John R. Lee described that when he first met Peat (They were both giving speeches at a University.) he introduced Lee and all the other doctors in the audience to progesterone. Lee says most doctors’ research involves 5, maybe 7 studies. From those they draw their conclusions and give speeches or publish their observations. When Ray Peat talked about progesterone that day he had a list of 150 references. One Hundred and Fifty.
Lee asked him for the list after the speech and checked every study carefully during the following weeks. ‘They all worked out’, he writes. ‘I had been studying and practicing medicine for many years – but never in the medical world had I experienced anything like this.’ Lee followed Peat’s lead … and is now called a pioneer of natural progesterone treatment. Yet he was neither the first nor was he much of a scientist. Lee was a doctor. He was open minded, tried something new – and succeeded. Ray Peat could have taught him why and so much more because he didn’t stop there.
Ray Peat never stopped being a scientist. PUFAs, calcium, serotonin, iron, salt, water, aspirin, cascara, progesterone, thyroid, … he is not a specialist in the sense that he knows all about the thymus gland but nothing about the bones. Ray Peat understands mind and body as one and every cell as important. He doesn’t just give advice on thyroid problems. He is not just a nutritionist. He knows about art and economy, history and physics, biology and geography. We are complex beings in a complex world and it takes a complex mind to understand complexity.
Read Peat’s articles and you’ll see that they build a universe of knowledge. The pieces of information interlock and give you a whole picture of the human being and the world we are part of. Best case: you’ll be fascinated and educated, worst case: you just do what he suggests and live a longer and healthier live. I should know. But don’t believe him – check his references. There’ll always be more than you can read. The truly exceptional thing is that HE seems to know every study that was published during the last 100 years by heart.
Are you really still debating whether he’s a genius or not? Really? 50 years of studies and being right are on his side. He is not trying to sell anything. All he’s doing is providing information. If you use it, it’ll be to you benefit. If you don’t – your loss.
Shirley Shumake says
You said all the wonderful things I’ve been discovering. You can’t help but love and admire this man – what a brain! and wisdom. Can’t get enough of him.
June Heimsoth says
i have read and studied natural medicine for about 40 years..I think I know quite a bit. I just discovered Ray Peat and am reading every thing. On his site.. I think he’s a genius. He certainly straightened me out on calcium (I m not getting enough ) and estrogen (I got too much) and really messed myself up..
Both weston price and ray peat’s work has helped me a lot with my health. They are very similar: milk, broth, coconut oil, pastured eggs, liver but yes there are differences too. To use Joseph Campbell’s quote about religion and apply it here: “The old-time religion belongs to another age, another people, another set of human values, another universe. By going back you throw yourself out of sync with history.” I feel that way about Weston Price’s work a little, studying all those cultures and natives a long time ago, that didn’t have a 1/4 of the stresses,toxins and pollution we do now. So Peat’s work is more in terms of the modern world of estrogen dominance and rampant thyroid problems. Peat’s work can’t be perfect, it will be improved upon and same with Enig, that’s just life. There should be more respect on both sides. “Dr. Mary Enig tried to straighten out his confusion on this subject in our Spring 2005 Wise Traditions, but apparently he is still confused.” is a condescending statement to say in regards to Peat who definitely is a genius and likewise I have defended Enig who has made some great contributions herself. I wish they could just talk on the phone and see where the misunderstanding is without competition or attachment or disrespect. One more point: Peat looking ten years younger is not something that can be largely considered b/c my grandmother, who had diabetes and a diet of artificial sweeteners and junk food, looked fifteen years younger than her age.
Shirley Shumake says
great and wise reply.
Eric Lepine says
I am a Chapter leader for the WAPF, and I have to say I am utterly embarrassed by this “review” of Dr. Peat’s work. I share the same sentiment as all the other people who have posted here namely, that an open-mind and open communication between researchers are the best route towards a better understanding of human nutrition and the human body. Anyone who thinks they “know everything” is just kidding themselves… Peat’s work has so much to offer, and he does it with a large dose of humility, and without any condescendance… I would hope that the WAPF would also hold itself to the same standard…
Ann Blachly says
Count me in as one who easily recognized the brilliance of Dr. Peat’s work. I bought Dr. Lee’s Menopause book, found the reference for Dr. Peat and called Dr. Peat (went to the source) to recover my health….more than once as I navigated through menopause and for improved health in general.
I too believe the ‘essential fatty acids’ proposed by Enig are just a bunch of hooey. The essential fatty acids we need are the fats that we eat in animals.
However, when animals are fed foods not natural to them, it makes their fat high (unbalanced) in polyunsaturated fats. Unhealthy for them, unhealthy for us if we are that animal. And unhealthy for us if we eat the fat of such a denatured food animal. Common sense.
Garden Girl says
WAPF review peat
I thought this was a very unprofessional review. Dr. Peat does not recommend no polyunsaturated fats. I think he recognizes that it exists in a in foods, some high and some low in it. He himself stated his diet to be about 2% polyunsaturated fat. He does correctly state the toxicity of seed and fish oils. Dr. Enig’s book has a paragraph in one chapter on the carcinogenicity of polyunsaturated fats, then in the next chapter she is recommending a recipe made with them. Hmm?
Having worked in the area of fertility for over 15 years, giving diet and lifestyle counseling to people all over the country, I have seen the damage excess polyunsaturated fats can do and the great advantage to health of the saturated fats and their nutrients. I was happy to find WAPF supported this view on saturated fats and pastured animals, but puzzled on all the crispy nuts, unrefined vegetable oils, pork fat and fish oil. I believe Dr. Enig’s stand, is a great discredit to her and to the WAPF. In fact I tried the HV fermented cod liver oil for almost 9 months, 1/2 tsp daily along with other WAPF recommendations, only to find that I developed allergies, inflammation, high blood pressure, muscle pain, estrogenic and neurological symptoms. Scary. When I discontinued, all the symptoms quickly went away. I tried it again for a day, only to have them begin to return. Dr. Peat is a godsend.
I have a friend who took 3 Tbs a day of the CLO, on recommendation of Sally Fallon for her fertility issues, only to have her fertility completely stop within a couple weeks. This friend doesn’t see the relationship to the CLO and only continues to take larger amounts, thinking she just must need more. Sad. Her health is deteriorating, and she looks so much older than her age. Commented one day on drinking ‘half a bottle’, oh dear. She follows everything WAPF and her fertility has never returned, despite still being young, and she’s now overweight. How many other’s fertility and health have been affected? When subfertile women follow a Peat recommended diet, I find their fertility returns in a few weeks, always. I don’t see this consistency with the WAPF diet in my experience.
Shirley Shumake says
Great reply to this review. Thanks for discussing cod liver oil. I became convinced that I should take it by Dr Jonathan Wright’s writings. When I read Dr Peat about fish oil and Omega 3, i stopped immediately all that I was using. The 3 T was mentioned by Jonathan Wright. Hmm…wonder if that is where Sally Fallon got that.
David Clark says
Have you seen any pictures of Jonathan Wright? He looks old and ragged to me. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t particulaly judge people on appearance, but if he is using the CLO, that is probably why he looks the way he does. I lost my fish oils when I read Peskins book, now I am going to lose my seed oils as well.
Just read the about the reviewer, and you can deem this review laughable at best.
Marian Porter says
doctor of naturopathy
I totally agree with the comments previously made. That Dr. Peat would be deemed “confused” and that anyone would presume to “straighten him out” is not only disrespectful but presumptuously ludicrous. I am a HUGE fan of Dr. Peat and dismiss completely this review by a computer engineer who worked for the defense industry for 20 years. Dr. Peat spent over 20 years researching what he talks about. He is no joke. This review make him appear to be a joke to be made fun of. I have no respect for Enid for doing this. It was without merit. Shame on the Foundation !
Catherine Betts says
I greatly appreciate everyone’s comments as I am a new believer in Ray Peat. Having struggled with Hashimotos and Celiacs for 8 years at only 28 years old it is amazing to come across someone who truly understands my condition. Thanks Dr. Ray Peat
Im another here in defence of Peat’s genius. My whole family have improved drastically after adopting Peat’s recommendations. Previously followed much of the WAPF and that did zero for hypothyroid symptoms. Peat’s metods, on the other hand, worked like magic. I highly recommend to all WAPFers to check out Peat’s ideas. They do actually work. Still WAPF is still better than mainstream BS, dont get me wrong.
Could someone please explain to me why Dr. Peat is considered such a genius by some?
His ‘diet’ seems bizarre — several quarts of orange juice and milk every day, plus lots of sugar, coke, and thyroid meds and ASPIRIN of all things, several times a day.
If omega 3’s aren’t essential, then why does he need to take aspirin every day? That doesn’t seem ‘natural’ at all.
Dr. Peat doesnt have a “diet” you have grossly simplified and mis-characterized his work with your comments. You do not have an understanding of his work and you need to spend a LOT of time reading it, especially if you have no biology or chemistry education. This is by no means a condescending post, but people seem to do this all of the time with Dr. Peat because they are used to diet “gurus” telling them what to eat, he is not one of those.
Shirley Shumake says
That’s an answer of someone who has not thoroughly examined Dr Peat’s writings, interviews, and all that is available online. I never listen to anyone who answers before they do their own research at least equivalent to mine.
“He mentions that there is no such thing as essential fatty acids”
Well, no there isn’t. Our body can make its own omega 9 as required to cover any unsaturated fat needs. I as yet have never seen any research that shows Linlenic or linoleic acids are “Essential” for any function.
“Dr. Enig points out that there is some polyunsaturated fat in all food”
So what. As stated we get it in foods unavoidably so we need vitamin E as Dr Peat says. That “Nit picking” doesn’t make any sense at all. Dr Peat was clearly speaking hypothetically.
Dr Enig clearly doesn’t understand Dr Peat.
“Dr. Mary Enig tried to straighten out his confusion on this subject in our Spring 2005 Wise Traditions, but apparently he is still confused.”
When I first read Dr. Peat’s work, I thought no way, no how. After a couple of years I have come to realize that his ideas are great. I don’t follow his diet recommendations fully, but they have to be respected. He is well researched and really deserves more respect.
Whoever wrote the above comment is still at the first stage of understanding, ridicule.
Memma White says
After reading these eloquent reviews, I will be on guard to avoid any recommendations bearing the signature of WAPF.
Shirley Shumake says
I certainly respect and appreciate Dr. Peat’s work, regardless of the fact that his particular diet was a disaster for me for the year I followed it. That said, I think he veers into PUFA-noia and that most people – taking sides on this black and white issue – are missing the point, perhaps, which is really a quality and quantity issue.
On the one hand it’s no doubt that Americans are eating too much rancid, peroxidized linoleic acid. This is not even debatable because crappy soy and canola oil are found in pretty much all packaged “foods” and most restaurants – even “good” ones – use it for cooking and in salad dressings because it’s cheap.
Fish oil is so fragile that it quickly becomes denatured and has to be distilled and stabilized with anti-oxidants to make it even – barely – palatable. Peet is right on when he crusades against fish oil, as many of his references cite fish oil studies, as it is indeed problematic and their is hardly any historical precedent (at least in the bottled form) for high dose use.
So, yes, we all know that rancid linoleic acid and fish oil are dubious products shoved on to us by industry, but then the magical thinking appears and sweeping generalizations swoop in: Claims against refined LA and fish oil are used to denounce PUFA as being conditionally toxic to everyone at any level. There are a few steps of logic missing there, and the Peatarians seem to throw the baby out with the bath water.
It’s interesting when you read Budwig’s lectures from the 50s (and she was a chemist and physicist who was a specialist in lipid research at the time, and one of the original people to use chromatography to study different lipid fractions), where she also rails against the use of de-natured LA and fish oil, and yet strongly advocates the use of ALA (and indirectly, quality, fresh LA), as being a source of “biological electrons” that the body could draw on for health. In her decades-long work with cancer patients and also the parallel work of Dr. Kousmine, who used some of her methods, there appeared to be benefits of using high-quality PUFA to treat a variety of chronic degenerative diseases. Sources of LA also have a long-time use medicinally in Ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine, and traditional Islamic medicine.
When we contrast Ray Peat’s writings and the cherry-picked research he uses (everyone does that, so it just goes with the territory) with the long-time therapeutic use of PUFA in Europe and Asia, one can only be left with the reasonable deduction that with PUFA the issue at hand is all about quality and to some degree quantity.
In other words, what if Ray Peat is both right AND wrong. Why is it so hard to imagine that a ubiquitous food, linoleic acid, for example, doesn’t play some kind of nutritional role? But with these fragile fats, the issue really is quality, and historically they were always used very fresh. So, perhaps the real issue at hand with PUFA, is the modern handling of these fragile oils, and not some inherent toxicity? Also, and a fact that seems lost on everyone, is that if the studies that Ray Peat cites are using de-natured PUFA (and why wouldn’t they be — it’s not like researchers are getting bottles air shipped from Barlean’s), what does that tell us about the results of the studies?
So, I might put forth a radical idea that high quality PUFA may play an important biological role physiologically in humans, in modest amounts, as long as it is not denatured — a fact that Budwig stressed many, many times, but seems lost on modern thinkers in this area.
It is the denaturing that seems to be the issue here.
Also, Dr. Peat – I am not sure how he can really do this – seems to dismiss prostaglandin/eicosenoid production entirely and hence his recommendations for regular use of aspirin. I’ve always thought that this was a very bizarre stance. Since prostaglandins and eicosenoids are natural, biological processes that happen in our bodies, how can they be “bad” and how can we have the hubris to want to pharmacologically shut them down by taking a synthetic drug? How does the use of active T3 – that Peat uses and promotes – effect the results of his diet?? So, while Peat is brilliant, no doubt, anyone who jumps on the Peat bandwagon without knowing what they are doing are kind of foolish. What kind of diet needs you to take aspirin and T3, as well as large amounts of fructose, the benefits of which are very debatable, or at least unprecedented in the human diet (please show me any culture that lived on the massive amounts of sucrose/fructose that a Peatarian eats).
So, in summary, perhaps we should studiously avoid poor-quality LA and fish oil, while being open to the possibility that high quality PUFA, in modest amounts, might actually have a nutritional or therapeutic role to play in human physiology, as a few ahead-of-their-time European doctors asserted, as well as the time-honored empiricism of a number of traditional medicine systems found in the East…..
Shirley Shumake says
your reply makes me wonder what you ate for a year that was a Peat diet? I’d like to know. I’m starting to include some of his ways and thoughts on food, as I have already learned in a short time, but you make me wonder what part of his diet was bad for you.
Ray Peat makes various recommendations usually depending on the health of your thyroid, liver and how close to normal your hormone balance is. This previous commentor above me is summarizing for the reader as to what Ray Peat recommends. This is inappropriate.I have read his work extensively now and listened to all his interviews because it is just so fascinating. I do remember him saying in an interview that his nutritional advice is always based on individual needs and stated that recognizing that everyone is different is important. His speaking style is very scientific and is being taken out of context by his ‘opposers’. When he brings up a study it is simply to bring a view forward that usually keeps us from getting locked down is a rigid point of view. The point he brings up is just that, a considersation not an ego declaration.
He doesn’t recommend drinking Coke, that is usually where the insults come in. However if someone you know is having a stroke in front of you as an emergency measure and all you have that could help is a coke, get them to drink it pronto.
If you don’t understand the scientific basis behind this, get studying on CO2 utilization in the body. He does recommend looking in to CO2 therapy. But you have to think for yourself. if PUFAS are blocking your cell respiration YOU MAY HAVE A PROBLEM WITH SUGARS that they call diabetes. But learn what the probable cause of diabetes could be other than just eating sugar itself. You have to carefully think for yourself and you can maybe save yourself. Dr Peat is not recommending diabetics throw away their medicine in a day and start drinking coke…
I myself can’t consume the ice creams or drink milk but I have been able to adapt with the ground up eggshells for
calcium and potatoe juice and this has saved my life. My liver can function , my hormones are balancing and I am very well after a year of hell in this body. I am so thankful I found this Dr Peats work and I can handle what seem to be radical statements not by reacting with outage, but by investigating it till I understand the scientific basis of it.
I would summarize my experience with Dr Peats work has been highly self-empowering, reducing dependance on old medical myths that killed my parents.
Shirley Shumake says
love,love, love your answer to all the doubters. I am totally impressed to say the least with Dr Peat – somewhat obsessed at this time – trying to find out more about him and his work. Thanks for your words which are so helpful to me in this schooling I’m anxious to get from Dr Peat and those who have been helped by him.
I wish all of these doctors sat together and discussed these issues, so they can give us a consistent thyroid program to follow. For that, they need to make their egos small and strong, and simply examine all the research available with an open mind and without created interests. All these bitter disagreements cause confusion and solve nothing.
The core reason for that, Marty, is not ego, in my opinion. It’s that the human body is fantastically complicated (in fact holds many mysteries) and two researchers of “equal” training and consciousness (if, in fact, two such people exist) can look at a sheaf of data and interpret it in radically different ways.
I have just found this very awful critics. I think it is all very wrong. But I appreciate the effort. Thank you ver much for posting.
I am allergic to citrus. What to substitute for orange juice?
how about grapefruit, which I hated at first because it’s tart… but after a while, I not only got used to the tartness but also couldn’t live a day without eating one a day. I could easily eat 2 or more when they are sufficiently chilled in the fridge, but it costs quite a bit in my part of the world. Google it up and you’ll read plenty on its nutritional virtues.
David Clark says
I believe Dr. Peat does not recommend grapefruit due to, and I might not be recalling this accurately, it storing estrogen in the liver, or possibly not being able to clear estrogen. I heard him talk about it on several podcasts. I am certain he did not recommend grapefruit juice, plus this is a citrus fruit, FYI.
Grapefruit juice can increase oestrogen. Its an inhibitor of cytochrome P450 in the liver and can be counter productive.
WAP you’re a great organization. But I know how Dr. Ray Peat feels about CLO/fish oil and this would be hard to swallow since you’ve made you fortune selling this stuff.
But to use the word ‘confused’ and out of context quotes from Dr. Ray Peat is shallow and obviously you are on the offense. Do not try to discredit Dr. Ray Peat and make him appear unqualified, when he is most qualified. Just because he has chosen to stay humble and not “make it big” and make a renowned name for himself, (the only thing he patented, that I am aware of, is Progest-E) does not lessen knowledge.
Besides I have wanted expose the truth on the use of CLO since I found out in Dr. Price’s book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, the amounts of FCLO/Butter Oil blend was to stand in as a substitute for Americans who did not eat the way those in primitive places did (large amounts fresh seafood/ bugs/ blood/ fats/ constant organ meats) . And this is important because nowadays many faithful WAPers follow the traditional diet (longterm) and pour on top of it all huge doses of FCLO. FCLO should be treated as a supplement not life long dependancy unless you are a mother constantly nursing/pregnant. Look at Sally Fallon, she is a case of too much for too long. She’s past menopause and doesn’t need it.
The Peatarian Cult strikes again in the comment section! Can’t disagree with their leader without outbursts like “I’m through with the WAPF/Paleo/ect.”, followed by offering each other dietary advice and compliments. Such a bizarre group of fanatics.
Although Peat does offer intriguing ideas that are largely misconstrued by his loyal followers, I can’t help but wonder how older cultures survived with little to no disease but relied on heavy use of seafood such cold water fish. Also it is nearly impossible to avoid PUFA in the diet despite Peat recommending shellfish. Did he ever establish a guideline as to how much PUFA you can have a day? I’ve seen his fans rant about being on an OJ/Milk only diet while messing around with hormones. How insane is this?
Again I don’t want to confuse Peats writings to his followers interpretation of it but it’s hard to agree with the no excercise, high sugar (which I’m not opposed to but I read he thinks 300 grams daily is okay??), hormone manipulating routine he advocates. I’d take some of his ideas and test them for yourself rather than create conflict with groups like WAPF or Paleo who really share many of the same ideas like raw dairy and avoiding heavy Omega 6.
I’m a huge fan of a Peat inspired diet, which is not drastically different from WAPF diet. The one difference is Peat recommends the majority of your carbs to come from fruits whereas WAPF isn’t really all that clear on this matter but does seem to support starch more then fruits. Case in point their emphasis on sprouted grain, sprouted legume, tubers, etc. Or I suppose there’s also that faction of people that are against carbs entirely, which is unhealthy. Also Peat makes it pretty clear that coconut oil, grass fed dairy fats, and tallows from ruminant animals are the only good fats. All vegetable oils (including olive oil) and unsaturated animal fats like lard are NOT good. Nuts are also bad, although macadamia nuts are fine in moderation. I forgot to add earlier, the biggest difference in Peat inspired diets and virtually every ancestral type diet is the aversion to vegetables. Foliage is starvation food, always has been. That and grains is what peasants use to live on. While he does go on to say some foliage is acceptable in the diet, it’s never been a corner stone and shouldn’t be one today either. If you were to put meat, fruit, milk, starch, and green all out on a table and tell someone to take a bite of all of them without seasoning the green is the only thing that will be bitter and unpleasant to the taste buds. It’s simply not human food. Now, the polyunsaturated fat debate is something I think, respectively, the good people at WAPF took completely out of context. Peat states on his website that the scientists should be finding out what our threshold for toxicity is for PUFA. And since PUFA is found in small amounts everywhere (including coconut oil) a complete avoidance is not only theoretically impossible, but factually impossible as well. I’m sure he was speaking in theory, not confused, when he said if your diet was devoid of PUFA you wouldn’t need vitamin E. All and all I think a ancestral/peat inspired diet is the best of all. Simply because Peat does say some things I don’t fully agree with, like how a coke could actually benefit you. So taking his principles and splicing them with ancestral principles is the best, IMO.
I became aware of Dr. Peat’s research about one year ago and I have been fascinated with it ever since. Thank you for this wonderful post!
John Feher says
Although a massive fan of Peat I think he has a glaring blindness when it comes to natural PUFA. I agree that the seed oils that everybody cooks with are the cause of the modern diseases. But these processed “vegetable” oils are essentially inorganic and like nothing we have ever eaten in our evolution. (I also agree that isolated, processed fish oils are another horror).
However, as has been mentioned, cold water fish have always been eaten by many human cultures. Same with nuts. Walnuts were “the food of the Gods” to the Romans. We have only been dying from the modern “diseases of civilisation” in the last 150 years. Therefore we have to look to things which are new and widespread and the new seed oils fit the bill.
Sugar is not the problem. We have had a high glucose diet going back millions of years. The consumption of processed sugar has gone down substantially in the last 20 years but the modern diseases have increased in the same time frame, along with consumption of seed oils.
I can’t help but laugh at how the gullible are defending their hero. “He is a genius!” or “He has lot of references!”. Sorry but that means nothing to me. I looked up his so called “references” ; most of them old studies done in vitro or in vivo (rats) with isolated compounds from food. Of course, you will find bad things, you can’t bypass Nature’s intelligence. Read multiple articles, have yet to find a single human study. I will outline Peat’s flawed logic below :
1. Studies show ranc >
2. Studies show sugar is not that bad = Gulp down liquid sugar like Mexican Coca Cola, orange juice and take pure granulated sugar, devoid of nutrients, freely.
3. Studies show some isolated compounds from vegetables might be toxic = Avoid most vegetables and label them as “famine food” (meanwhile our closest relatives thrive on them)
4. Talks about how oestrogen dominance is the source of all problems but promotes one of the most oestrogenic food around and makes it the foundation of his diet, namely dairy fat. (Note I have nothing against dairy in small amounts, as long as it is raw, grass fed and the cows are not pregnant)
5. Never has any conclusions whatsoever, only cites some flawed studies and let the readers make their own conclusions. Of course It is a great strategy, he can never be wrong.
Do whatever you want with your health, but I will take traditional wisdom over Ray Peat’s opinions anytime.
John Feher says
To Marc, most of your post is wrong. I’ll take your points in order:
1. I agree. In fact you merely repeated what I had said in the post directly above yours.
2. He constantly repeats that the best form of sugar is from fruit, a food we have eaten longer than any other. Fruit has: K and Mg which can do the function of insulin; fructose that doesn’t even invoke insulin; other minerals; structured water; and fibre. He never says to over eat processed sugar. But in fact the sucrose molecule is the same, ie not corrupted by processing and we have processed sugar for 9000 years. I should say that I don’t use processed sugar but any stand against the current sugar fear campaign is refreshing.
3. I get the impression that he has some greens in most meals but values the animal protein and the tuber parts of the meals more. He recommends eating meat with something like spinach.
4. He says that the estrogen content of milk is minimum and anyway it is neutralized by the progesterone. I don’t know if this is the case but milk is a traditional food (and modern cows are not always pregnant as some say).
5. He gives his conclusions strongly in every interview he does and every article he writes.
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