Ray Peat's diet, was Re: Do Calories Really Count?
Okay, Bruce, this is a summary from my correspondance with her about
what Ray Peat eats (or ate, if he's changed things) and what he
recommends. This is from 2005.
- dairy, fruit and meat are the core of his diet.
dairy for the protein, calcium, and other nutrients
fruits (or other sugars as 2nd choice) for the KAs and EAAs
gelatin to balance the aminos and to replace the need for eating
animal brains and other organs muscle meat as a supplement for
protein magnesium, etc.
- he gets from 120 to 150 grams of protein per day. Doesn't feel quite
right when he goes as low as 100. A few quarts of milk, several ounces
of cheese, gelatin in some form (broth, chicharrones, gummy bears,
etc.), at least a quart of orange juice (or equivalent other fruit),
and the occasional (rotating) eggs, shellfish, fish, and beef, bison,
or lamb, in one or two of his meals.
- says one must always balance protein with sugar (fruit being the
best) because protein alone lowers blood sugar and you need the sugar
to better metabolize the protein. So when he eats protein, he eats
sugar with it: about 1:1 fruit to meat, and about 2:1 fruit to cheese.
- says best to limit meat due to the tryptophan and antimetabolic
properties, but it can be handled if consumed with fruit and gelatin.
He does eat meat almost every day, or just beef or lamb broth When
the meat is aged he doesn't like the taste so he doesn't eat much of it.
- he eats meat with gelatin. The gelatin can be either from regular
powder or from broth cooked no more than 3 hours (otherwise you
degrade the nutrients he says).
- he avoids all fatty fish.
- says chicken should be eaten no more than one meal every 10 days due
to toxins and PUFAs.
- eggs where the chickens are fed corn and soy should be minimally
consumed (for him 2 per week if that), and with one egg you need about
10 ounces of OJ to balance it (because egg protein is a powerful
- he eats shellfish about once every ten days. Shrimp, scallops,
lobsters have a high ratio of protein to unsaturated fat and help to
insure adequate selenium. Cooks them thoroughly, having known people
who got hepatitis from raw seafood.
- rotates his animal protein sources only because he gets tired of the
same meals, no health reason
- he avoids most vegetables due to their intrinsic (defensive) toxins.
He occasionally makes leaf broth for some extra minerals, but usually
prefers for a cow to process them for him. Mainly he thinks of them as
- underground (root/tuber) vegetables are okay if cooked for about 40
minutes, and fruit-vegetables (tomatoes, peppers) are okay if you're
not allergic to them.
- he avoids all other above-ground vegetables, including greens and
many herbs (basil, etc) due to toxins (even if cooked) that far
outweigh the benefits.
- says that cooked young squashes are generally good for everyone, and
although raw shredded carrots are "nutrient subtractive," it's good to
have a plate of them every day because they lower estrogen (and thus
stimulate the thyroid) and accelerate peristalsis.
- he avoids fermented foods. Stopped using black pepper (a fermented
food, apparently) about 30 years ago when he saw the toxicity studies.
Avoids things like apple cider because it is frequently contaminated
with fungal poisons. Says that the more nutritious it is, the more
likely to contain fungal estrogen and other harmful things, unless you
know the actual materials and process used in making it.
Lacto-fermented foods are carcinogenic. Cheese is okay being fermented
because of the strong nutrients in the milk to start with that
vegetables don't have.
- says reason for people's negative reactions to dairy (if the milk
isn't contaminated) is from either preexisting gut damage (from
gluten, for example) or from a low thyroid or protein deficiency
problem. People who are under stress from low thyroid or protein
deficiency have considerable trouble adapting he says, but with
gradual changes (adding dairy back in) the tissues will adjust and do
what they have to do.
- says to eat liver only occasionally because it depresses the thyroid.
- he doesn't eat fruits with seeds that can't be avoided (berries,
figs, etc) because while the antioxidants are good, the benefits are
less than the toxins in the seeds. Other fruits like peaches, plums,
apples, etc should only be eaten if organic and tree-ripened;
otherwise they have very powerful toxins (if unripe or shelf-ripened)
that can cause gut damage. Melons, cherries, and citrus are the best
- when off-season, says it's better to eat frozen fruit and juice
rather than rely on importation because many studies show that storage
methods and stress from importation and treatments make them carcinogenic.
- with cheese and milk, the feeding of the animals (grassfed vs.
grainfed) is more the issue than raw vs. pasteurized.
- he avoids all grains. Traditional "proper preparation" methods used
throughout the world to render them less harmful involved using
alkaline mediums such as wood ash (as opposed to "acidic" as Sally
Fallon suggests) and "lime" as in calcium oxide (as opposed to "lime
or lemon juice" as Sally Fallon asserts). Research shows that that
these methods will convert some of the tryptophan to niacin. Using
whey would be especially ineffective as well as problematic due to the