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Context: Common Misinterpretations of Peat

narouz

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Jul 22, 2012
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4,429
There would seem, to me, to be a general and pervasive misinterpretation
of Dr. Peat’s oft-recited quotes about context.
And I would add, too, that reciting this common kind of misinterpretation
is also very Popular:
that is to say, many enjoy reciting it.
I suspect this happens, in many cases, because it confers upon the speaker
a pleasurable illusion of moral and intellectual superiority and of general specialness
(and I surely do NOT include knowledgeable and humble Ray-Z amongst that group! :D ).

Here is one example of such frequently circulated Peat quotes:

“No topic can be understood in isolation.”
--Dr. Raymond Peat
-from "Bone Density: First Do No Harm.")
http://raypeat.com/articles/aging/bonedensity.shtml

...and another...

“Since the contextuality of communication is always in the foreground when I talk or write, you know that someone is confusing me with an authority when they talk about my ‘protocol’ for something. Context is everything, and it’s individual and empirical.”
--Raymond Peat, PhD (I believe this is from the recent interview on
Danny R’s site)

Some posters cite such Peat quotes as evidence that:
-every individual can define a Peat diet as he/she wishes.
-there is no Peat diet.
-no generalizations about a Peat diet should be permitted;
indeed, they are dangerous to circulate or draw conclusions from.
-anybody who uses generalizations about a Peat diet
to try to describe a Peat diet is actually, if scratched beneath the surface,
an evil, Nazi-like, filthy, lousy, dimwitted, dunderheaded Authoritarian
with some kind of power play as a hidden motivation.
-generalizations about Peat’s diet, when not accompanied
by each individual’s specifics,are useless and meaningless.
-Peat is an Artist, and to make generalization about his diet
is as clueless as wanting Jackson Pollock
to center in each painting a house and human figure and dog.

But, what then to make of Peat’s own, numerous generalizations
without an individual, specific context?
Why would Peat make such general statements if he considered them meaningless?
Was Peat, himself, actually a fascistic, power-hungry Authoritarian?

Let’s review a few of his far-flung general statements about diet--
not accompanied by specific, individual context:

Peat Generalizing about Diet

1. “There isn't anything wrong with a high carbohydrate diet, and even a high starch diet isn't necessarily incompatible with good health, but when better foods are available they should be used instead of starches.”-Ray Peat, “Glycemia, starch, and sugar in context”

2. A daily intake of 100 grams of gelatin wouldn't seem unreasonable, and some people find that quantities in that range help to decrease fatigue. For a growing child, though, such a large amount of refined gelatin would tend to displace other important foods. The National Academy of Sciences recently reviewed the requirements for working adults (male and female soldiers, in particular), and suggested that 100 grams of balanced protein was needed for efficient work. For adults, a large part of that could be in the form of gelatin. –Ray Peat, “Gelatin, stress, longevity”

3. “I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption. In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements.”-Ray Peat, “Diabetes, scleroderma, oils and hormones”

4. “It's better to take your protein during the day, sugar and fat in the evening. The powdered protein lacks most of the nutrients, so you probably need some fruit, eggs, and liver, for the other nutrients, including potassium and magnesium. .”-Peat from http://www.dannyroddy.com/main/2011...ding-a-foundation-for-better-understandi.html

5. “Milk, cheese, and fruits provide a very good balance of nutrients. Fruits provide a significant amount of protein. Plain sugar is o.k. when the other nutrients are adequate. Roots, shoots, and tubers are, next to the fruits, a good carbohydrate source; potatoes are a source of good protein. Meat as the main protein can provide too much phosphorus in relation to calcium."-Peat from http://www.dannyroddy.com/main/2011/12/29/ray-peats-brain-building-a-foundation-for-better-understandi.html

6. “Sugar helps the liver to make cholesterol, switching from starchy vegetables to sweet fruits will usually bring cholesterol levels up to normal. If the fat is mostly saturated, from milk, cheese, butter, beef, lamb or coconut oil, I think it's usually o.k. to get about 50% of the calories from fat, but since those natural fats typically contain around 2% polyunsaturated fats, I try to minimize my PUFA intake by having more fruit, and a little less fat, maybe 30 to 35%.”-Peat from http://www.dannyroddy.com/main/2011/12/29/ray-peats-brain-building-a-foundation-for-better-understandi.html

7. “People can do well on high or low fat or carbohydrate, but when the carbohydrate is very low, some of the protein will be wasted as fuel, replacing the missing glucose.”-Peat from http://www.dannyroddy.com/main/2011/12/29/ray-peats-brain-building-a-foundation-for-better-understandi.html

8. “A daily diet that includes two quarts of milk and a quart of orange juice provides enough fructose and other sugars for general resistance to stress, but larger amounts of fruit juice, honey, or other sugars can protect against increased stress, and can reverse some of the established degenerative conditions..”-Peat from http://www.dannyroddy.com/main/2011/12/29/ray-peats-brain-building-a-foundation-for-better-understandi.html

9. Muscle meats (including the muscles of poultry and fish) contain large amounts of the amino acids that suppress the thyroid, and shouldn't be the only source of protein. It's a good idea to have a quart of milk (about 32 grams of protein) every day, besides a variety of other high quality proteins, including cheeses, eggs, shellfish, and potatoes. -Peat from http://www.thyroid-info.com/articles/ray-peat.html

10. "Per calorie, sugar is less fattening than starch, partly because it stimulates less insulin, and, when it's used with a good diet, because it increases the activity of thyroid hormone.."-Ray Peat from http://www.dannyroddy.com/main/2011/12/29/ray-peats-brain-building-a-foundation-for-better-understandi.html

11. "Starch and glucose efficiently stimulate insulin secretion, and that accelerates the disposition of glucose, activating its conversion to glycogen and fat, as well as its oxidation. Fructose inhibits the stimulation of insulin by glucose, so this means that eating ordinary sugar, sucrose (a disaccharide, consisting of glucose and fructose), in place of starch, will reduce the tendency to store fat."-Ray Peat, “Glycemia, starch, and sugar in context”

12. “The starch-based diet, emphasizing grains, beans, nuts, and vegetables, has been promoted with a variety of justifications. When people are urged to reduce their fat and sugar consumption, they are told to eat more starch. Starch stimulates the appetite, promotes fat synthesis by stimulating insulin secretion, and sometimes increases the growth of bacteria that produce toxins..... Various studies have demonstrated that starch (composed of pure glucose) raises blood glucose more quickly than sucrose (half fructose, half glucose) does.”-Ray Peat from"Diabetes, Scleroderma, Oils and Hormones,"
http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/diabetes.shtml

13. "Protein deficiency creates an inflammatory state, and since stress causes tissue proteins to be destroyed and converted into sugars and fats, it's common to underestimate the amount of protein needed. One of the functions of sucrose in the diet is to reduce the production of cortisol, and so to spare protein."-from Peat newsletter "Inflammation, endotoxin, estrogen, and other problems"

14. "Any carbohydrate...that is not sugar can potentially feed bacteria [in the intestines] that produce toxins and cause systemic stress."
-Dr. Ray Peat from "Glycemia, Starch and SUGAR in Context!"
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/eastwe...ray-peat-glycemia-starch-and-sugar-in-context
(Go to approximately the 29 minute mark of the interview.)

These are just a few off the top of my head.
Discuss amongst yourselves and report back! :D
 

WilltoBelieve

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Joined
Nov 25, 2012
Messages
34
Looking over this post, I didn't see an example of an interpretation (which interpretation we could indict for being a "misinterpretation").
Did I miss something?

But... the Peat quotes are so thought provoking, freeing, exciting, full of hope and possibility for attaining at better health... I'm jumping out of my seat from the inspiration!
 

kettlebell

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Oct 14, 2012
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Location
UK
Thanks for posting this Narouz,

I find this topic very interesting.

I think we need to briefly look at what it is Ray is focused on:

Promoting and maintaining an oxidative metabolism as a means to reduce/inhibit/normalise stress hormones.

As we know, when our metabolism is high enough to sustain energy production and by that I mean high enough to deal with the current stress levels we are experiencing via good endocrine function and suitable sustenance, stress hormones will be low. The will be low because they are not required for energy production or dealing with the increased energy demands of stress.

If metabolism is low our bodies compensate with high stress hormones to maintain the energy required to deal with stress.

In other words:

High metabolism - Low Stress hormones - Build/Heal
Low metabolism - High stress hormones - Deteriorate/Damage

In the early stages of Peating I am sure many others here have found the same thing I have on many occasions. It can be hit an miss quite often and is a big learning experience BUT every now and again you hit the nail on the head. It might only be for one meal or one day where you feel absolutely fantastic, you have managed to get everything just right and for that short time you feel confident, happy, vibrant, aches and pains temporarily dissappear etc - I am not talking cortisol release here, that feels different, edgy, twitchy etc. Over time days like this become more frequent. For that short time you have without a doubt dramatically reduced the dependence on stress hormones. I am not saying they will suddenly be at normal levels but I am saying they will temporarily be reduced significantly to the point where healthful energy production doesn't need help.

I have reached the point where I have realised that many people here find eating a "Strict" Peat diet (As quoted in the general recommendations above by Narouz) a bis stressor in itself. This, in my opinion goes against what Mr Peat is trying to get across. We want to reduce stress, not add to it.

For example:

Current stress level of Joe Bloggs: 6
Current energy level for sustenance of Joe Bloggs eating what he considers "Strict" Peat: 8

Mr Bloggs feels ok as he is maintaining his energy levels without the need of stress hormones.

What if sticking to what he considers a strict Peat diet is causing him additional stress "I don't know what to eat", "I can't eat that as it has too much phosphate", "Can't eat that, too much iron" etc.
Lets say that additional stress is 3. That pushes him over the threshold to 9 leaving him with a detriment to make up so stress hormones are used. In other words, he is eating what he considers "Strict" Peat but is still stressed.

Lets now consider Mr Bloggs sticking to what he considers a Peat diet so he is restricting PUFA etc but maybe he is mitigating a lot instead of cutting out and not going overkill on Milk/OJ.

- Cooking veg really well and dousing it with butter instead of restricting it
- Having coffee/Coke and Gelatin+ Calcium with his meat he has a fair few times a week
- Eating lots of different fruits regardless of their serotonin/fibre content instead of tons of OJ
- Using a pure calcium carbonate supplement instead of having lots of Milk

Lets say eating this way gets rid of the "Stress" of 3 above as he is not self restricted in what he can eat but is just mitigating well any damage certain foods will do. Lets say that additional stress the "Not ideal" foods re causing is 1.

That puts him at a sustenance level of 7 so he still covering the current stress level of 6.

Rudimentary and simplification I know but making my point.

We are all that Mr/Mrs Bloggs and we cannot afford to let our diet add additional stress as that is far from what Mr Peat is promoting.

I eat read meat more often that people would consider strict peat but I still consider myself someone who eats in a Ray Peat inspired fashion. I mitigate foods more than restricting foods and as long as I feel I am heading in the right direction thats good.

Mr Peat does make generalised recommendations as we can see above and they are great but that doesn't necessarily mean they are right for every person in their current situation. Everyone needs to be as strict as they need to be for their current situation, taking into account the additional stress that strictness comes with.

Its a seesaw balancing act that changes every second!

Rambling over haha.
 

kettlebell

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Messages
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Location
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Just realised that what I rambled above had little to do with your subject Narouz so apologies for that.
 

narouz

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Messages
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WilltoBelieve said:
Looking over this post, I didn't see an example of an interpretation (which interpretation we could indict for being a "misinterpretation").
Did I miss something?

Will2-

"Some posters cite such Peat quotes as evidence that:
-every individual can define a Peat diet as he/she wishes.
-there is no Peat diet.
-no generalizations about a Peat diet should be permitted;
indeed, they are dangerous to circulate or draw conclusions from.
-anybody who uses generalizations about a Peat diet
to try to describe a Peat diet is actually, if scratched beneath the surface,
an evil, Nazi-like, filthy, lousy, dimwitted, dunderheaded Authoritarian
with some kind of power play as a hidden motivation.
-generalizations about Peat’s diet, when not accompanied
by each individual’s specifics,are useless and meaningless.
-Peat is an Artist, and to make generalization about his diet
is as clueless as wanting Jackson Pollock
to center in each painting a house and human figure and dog."

And I could go on....
 

narouz

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kettlebell said:
I have reached the point where I have realised that many people here find eating a "Strict" Peat diet (As quoted in the general recommendations above by Narouz) a bis stressor in itself. This, in my opinion goes against what Mr Peat is trying to get across. We want to reduce stress, not add to it.
...
We are all that Mr/Mrs Bloggs and we cannot afford to let our diet add additional stress as that is far from what Mr Peat is promoting.

I eat read meat more often that people would consider strict peat but I still consider myself someone who eats in a Ray Peat inspired fashion. I mitigate foods more than restricting foods and as long as I feel I am heading in the right direction thats good.

Mr Peat does make generalised recommendations as we can see above and they are great but that doesn't necessarily mean they are right for every person in their current situation. Everyone needs to be as strict as they need to be for their current situation, taking into account the additional stress that strictness comes with.

kettle--
Thank you for that long and thoughtful response!

Perhaps I am oversimplying and being unfair to your views,
but it seems I might distill your argument above
by comparing to one another poster on another board made about a Peat diet.
He said something like:
"A Peat diet is better if you don't do it very strictly."

Leaving aside all the difficulties springing from the fact
that many argue there is no Peat diet
or that, if there is one, it can be defined in radically different ways
by any individual...
...leaving that aside... :lol:

...My response would be:
I would at least like to know as best I can,
what a strict Peat diet is.

Then...if I chose to deviate from it,
...well, I'd have something to deviate from!
And I could evaluate how that diet worked for me.

And then if I wasn't doing so great,
I would have some parameters within which to stick,
so I could evaluate how I was doing on a stricter version.

I don't have the slightest interest in trying to make people eat a certain way.
(I know you know this, kettlebell; not directing this at you. :) )
My interest is just in the clarity thing.
I'd like to formulate or distill the general contours of what a Peat diet is.
Whether people wanted to give creedance to those contours and decided to stay within them...
I don't have a dog in that fight.

But I would have a dog in this kind of fight:
If someone posted that they were doing a great Peat diet,
but that after a year they still were feeling terrible and their health sucked,
well...my first question would be:
describe your "great Peat diet."
And then I'd be interested to see if it was indeed a great Peat diet
when considered against the general contours of A Good Peat Diet (or whatever)
as derived from Peat as accurately, non-commercially, and unauthoritarianly as possible. :lol:
I'd have a dog in that "fight"
simply because I'm interested in Peat's ideas
and interested to see if they work.
To flail around with harebrained notions like
"there is no Peat diet" or
"a Peat diet is (radically) different for everybody"...
...that makes it much much more difficult--probalby impossible, actually--
for us to investigate in any scientific way.
 

kettlebell

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Location
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But I would have a dog in this kind of fight:
If someone posted that they were doing a great Peat diet,
but that after a year they still were feeling terrible and their health sucked,
well...my first question would be:
describe your "great Peat diet."
And then I'd be interested to see if it was indeed a great Peat diet
when considered against the general contours of A Good Peat Diet (or whatever)
as derived from Peat as accurately, non-commercially, and unauthoritarianly as possible.
I'd have a dog in that "fight"
simply because I'm interested in Peat's ideas
and interested to see if they work.
To flail around with harebrained notions like
"there is no Peat diet" or
"a Peat diet is (radically) different for everybody"...
...that makes it much much more difficult--probalby impossible, actually--
for us to investigate in any scientific way.

Hi Narouz,

I completely understand that as there is nothing to measure against. Saying that, this is my interpretation of what I consider "Strict":

Majority of carb Calories from Orange Juice and Milk
Majority of Protein from Dairy - Milk and Cheese - 80-100gm Minimum per day
Some coconut oil daily, regularly
Some Gelatin every day (Mixed with teh OJ, coffee etc)
Coffee - A few cups every day
Salt - Some every day
Liver - once a week
Oysters Once a week
Bag breathing - Daily
Red light - Daily and as much as possible

For situational purposes if at all (Symptoms, Mitigation of foods etc):
Aspirin as required, Pregnenolone/progesterone as required, Vitamin E as required, Niacinamide as required, White sugar as required. There are others but im tired so can't think right now.


So foods - OJ, Milk, Cheese, Coconut oil, coffee, Gelatin, Salt, Liver, Oysters - That is my personal interpretation of a stripped down "Strict" and basic Peat diet. From what I have read all bases and nutritional needs are covered by those foods.

As that is my interpretation, that is a "Kettlebell" diet I suppose!

So when I see what other people say they are eating I can only measure it against my interpretation really.

I am fond of Danny Roddy in the way he likes people to get labs. You can tell a lot from symptoms (Pulse, Libido, Anxiety, temperature) but no one seems to measure those things enough. Getting some specific labs like prolactin and serotonin being the top two (Peat has mentioned those two more than any other in interviews) you can tell so much and adjust things accordingly.

As you can see above - That is how I interpret Ray Peat and I have been that strict but not now.

Even though I am not as strict as that I adhere to increasing metabolism so in any given meal I will ensure that the overall effect is positive, healing, energy promoting. My meals at very worst would be neutral i'm sure.

Most of the "Peat" friendly foods still contain PUFA, still contain phosphate and Iron, so mitigating, eliminating or even reversing damage is more important, in my opinion, than completely avoiding certain foods. I even mentioned in another thread about hearing Ray say that vegetables, cooked well and eaten with lots of saturated fat, enough so it binds with that fat helps cleanse the intestine as we cant digest the fibre and thanks to the fat, the bacteria can't either. Something that was "Not ideal" has just become beneficial. I think this is why specific recommendations are hard to pin down as so many things if prepared properly can be harmless, even beneficial.

On another note. You mentioned earlier about Josh Rubin. I have the cook book they recently published for sale. There are lots of great recipes in there that overall would promote an oxidative metabolism BUT few of them adhere to being "Strict" if I were to use my criteria above. At EastWest Healing they seem to have great success with clients by using a Ray Peat inspired diet but "strictness" will likely vary dramatically dependent on the current physical and mental state of the client. As long as they are are moving in the right direction then its all good and they can adjust accordingly over time.
 

narouz

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kettle--

I think the brief Peat Diet generalizations you offer...

Majority of carb Calories from Orange Juice and Milk
Majority of Protein from Dairy - Milk and Cheese - 80-100gm Minimum per day
Some coconut oil daily, regularly
Some Gelatin every day (Mixed with teh OJ, coffee etc)
Coffee - A few cups every day
Salt - Some every day
Liver - once a week
Oysters Once a week
Bag breathing - Daily
Red light - Daily and as much as possible

...are fine, as far as they go.
This would seem to tell me that you are not against stating generalizations
about the shape of a Peat diet.

So, I would think, you wouldn't have anything against
an attempt to spell it out--generally--
more fully and carefully and systematically...?

For instance: I don't see any mention of when/how much to eat,
about which you made wonderful contributions.

For another instance: It would be cool to present the generalities
in visual form--in a graph or graphs or charts or whatever.

I guess another way of putting it would be:
Is it only permissable to articulate the general shape of a good, strict Peat diet
in rough, informal language, as you have done in your post?
I'm just reading between your lines
and probing to see if you may have some lingering, unspoken reservations
about an effort to present your informal, shoot-from-the-hip notions
in a fuller, more formal, scientific, visual form....?

Thanks, kettlebell, for your thoughts on this.
 
J

j.

Guest
OK narouz, so the ideal RP diet can be divided in two components. Food sources and amounts. The sources part is just eating what he considers the best sources of fat, protein, and fat. The amounts parts of the diet I can remember:

-Enough protein to have the liver working well, which means 80g for a non-active, midsize person, at least. More protein for more activity. It's good to probably go by feel here, as Peat says he "feels" better when he has 100g or more.
-Liver or seafood for the some vitamins and minerals between one and four times a week, the exact amount probably depending on how they feel, which is probably influenced by metabolism and sun exposure.
-The calcium phosphorus ratio should be in a certain range, with more calcium than phosphorus.

This is all I remember about amounts. In my opinion, if one is following the "amount" part of the diet, and the "sources" part of the diet, then one is doing a strict Peat diet. I guess in "sources" we have to include sun exposure or good supplementation for vitamin D.
 

narouz

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j. said:
OK narouz, so the ideal RP diet can be divided in two components. Food sources and amounts. The sources part is just eating what he considers the best sources of fat, protein, and fat. The amounts parts of the diet I can remember:

-Enough protein to have the liver working well, which means 80g for a non-active, midsize person, at least. More protein for more activity. It's good to probably go by feel here, as Peat says he "feels" better when he has 100g or more.
-Liver or seafood for the some vitamins and minerals between one and four times a week, the exact amount probably depending on how they feel, which is probably influenced by metabolism and sun exposure.
-The calcium phosphorus ratio should be in a certain range, with more calcium than phosphorus.

This is all I remember about amounts. In my opinion, if one is following the "amount" part of the diet, and the "sources" part of the diet, then one is doing a strict Peat diet. I guess in "sources" we have to include sun exposure or good supplementation for vitamin D.

j.-
These seem pretty good as rough, off-the-top-of-the-head starting points.
You would acknowledge, I think,
that you have not attempted an exhaustive presentation...? :)

In this thread, I'm not so much interested in trying
to create a Good Peat Diet chart/s or whatever.
Rather, I'm exploring and challenging a common misinterpretation of Peat about context
which I believe many have,
and which is used to argue that no one should be allowed
to interpret such a thing.
 
J

j.

Guest
Yes, I have not attempted an exhaustive account, that's why I said "that's all I remember".
 

narouz

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kettlebell said:
Just realised that what I rambled above had little to do with your subject Narouz so apologies for that.

Almost all ramblings are welcome.!
 

Ray-Z

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Narouz:

You are too kind. Who is this knowledgeable and humble Ray-Z of whom you speak? He obviously doesn't post on this forum! :lol:

Let me nitpick your characterization of your adversaries' views. I'm using the term adversaries in jest because I don't really think any of us (or the Peaty peepz at the RP Fans page or Danny's site) are adversaries.

You level the following (intentionally hilarious) charges:

narouz said:
Some posters cite such Peat quotes as evidence that:
-every individual can define a Peat diet as he/she wishes.
-there is no Peat diet.
-no generalizations about a Peat diet should be permitted;
indeed, they are dangerous to circulate or draw conclusions from.
-anybody who uses generalizations about a Peat diet
to try to describe a Peat diet is actually, if scratched beneath the surface,
an evil, Nazi-like, filthy, lousy, dimwitted, dunderheaded Authoritarian
with some kind of power play as a hidden motivation.
-generalizations about Peat’s diet, when not accompanied
by each individual’s specifics,are useless and meaningless.
-Peat is an Artist, and to make generalization about his diet
is as clueless as wanting Jackson Pollock
to center in each painting a house and human figure and dog.

Your adversaries would dispute some of these characterizations. Unless they are silent about Peating, most probably generalize quite a bit. Most would probably have trouble characterizing a diet of corn oil, spaghetti-os, and chicken mcnuggets as Peaty, and therefore wouldn't agree that anyone can define a Peaty diet however he wishes.

Let me offer a more sympathetic characterization of the commenters who find themselves in your crosshairs.

Human language and concepts are crude tools for describing our endlessly complex and uncertain world. If you don't believe me, read court cases involving the interpretation of contracts or statutes or academic disputes about historical documents or literature. Or save yourself some time and read this quote from Ray Peat's article, "Intuitive Knowledge and Its Development" (http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/in ... edge.shtml):

Ray Peat said:
I think our use of language is both the means by which understanding can be preserved, encapsulated, and disseminated, and a great impediment to understanding. At first, words are continuous with the intuitive framework in which they are learned, but they gradually become relatively independent and abstract. Things can be learned without directly experiencing them. Even though words gradually change through use, the simple fact that they have a degree of dependability allows them to function even when there is no active thought. Uncritical listening is possible, and if a person can say something, it seems to be easy to believe that it's true. By the age of 25, our language has usually given us many assumptions about the nature of the world.

The crudeness of language and concepts doesn't prevent our having meaningful conversations and understanding each other tolerably well much of the time, but inevitably generates "gray areas" ripe for misunderstanding. And as Peat points out, language can foster uncritical acceptance of ideas.

Like many other concepts, the concept of a Ray Peat diet has large, murky boundary regions and may change over time and space and from person to person. What if you have access to a really fabulous source of low-PUFA eggs? What if, for purely ethical reasons, you are a vegetarian, but otherwise agree with Ray Peat? What if you have no orange juice in your area? What if, in the future, we gain easy access to a small, warm-water fish with low PUFA and (because you can eat the bones) high calcium? What if changing agricultural and industrial practices contaminate a previously safe, Peaty food? I could go on for pages. :eek These kinds of problems arise not because Ray Peat is a bad or obscure writer, but because of the limits of language and Peat's lack of time to address all conceivable circumstances.

The murky or fuzzy boundaries of a Peat diet matter because nearly all of us will encounter them at one time or another. Peat's writings are, like all teachings, incomplete. Eventually, the student always encounters circumstances his teacher did not directly or clearly address. When we find ourselves in these boundary regions, we must exercise our own independent judgment, conduct our own experiments, and draw our own conclusions from our experience and the literature. In short, in these boundary regions, we have to take up Ray Peat's work; he can't do it all for us. The more closely we are wedded to simplified notions of a Peat diet, the less we will be able to respond flexibly and creatively to the challenges we face.

I think the people you criticize may be concerned with these risks of defining a single Peat diet or simplifying his views. I don't think they are saying "Never generalize about Peat's views" or "It's impossible to generalize about Peat's views" or "Anything can be part of a Peaty diet." After all, while we spend a significant amount of time in the gray border regions of Peating, we spend more time inside the borders, where our simplifications and generalizations aren't so dangerous. Instead, I suspect your adversaries are saying something like this: "Peat's greatest gift to us is not any specific dietary recommendation, but rather the example of an independent mind carefully questioning, observing, and reasoning. We abandon this example, and trust a simplified view of Peat's teachings, at our peril, because sooner or later we will all find ourselves on the frontier, where simplifications break down, and only our own understanding and judgment can save us."

Bottom line: I don't think you and your critics disagree about much. You just place different weights on the costs and benefits of simplifying or systematizing Peat. :2cents

\End WALL OF TEXT.
 

narouz

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Thread starter
Joined
Jul 22, 2012
Messages
4,429
Ray-Z said:
Let me offer a more sympathetic characterization of the commenters who find themselves in your crosshairs.

I will not be called a sniper! :lol:

But seriously, Ray-Z, thank you for your thoughts.
I'm going to have to digest them a little while,
but there are some questions I have that I'd like to respond with now.

Looking at your statement...

Ray-Z said:
I think the people you criticize may be concerned with these risks of defining a single Peat diet or simplifying his views. I don't think they are saying "Never generalize about Peat's views" or "It's impossible to generalize about Peat's views" or "Anything can be part of a Peaty diet." After all, while we spend a significant amount of time in the gray border regions of Peating, we spend more time inside the borders, where our simplifications and generalizations aren't so dangerous. Instead, I suspect your adversaries are saying something like this: "Peat's greatest gift to us is not any specific dietary recommendation, but rather the example of an independent mind carefully questioning, observing, and reasoning. We abandon this example, and trust a simplified view of Peat's teachings, at our peril, because sooner or later we will all find ourselves on the frontier, where simplifications break down, and only our own understanding and judgment can save us."

...what I wanted to know more about were the "risks," "dangers," and "perils"
which, you say, could result from distilling the general shape of a good Peat diet:

"...these risks of defining a single Peat diet..."
"...our simplifications and generalizations aren't so dangerous..."
"...and trust a simplified view of Peat's teachings, at our peril..."

It would seem that you think one peril would be the inability to grapple with
various different interpretations of a good Peat diet.
You worry:

Ray-Z said:
"Like many other concepts, the concept of a Ray Peat diet has large, murky boundary regions and may change over time and space and from person to person. What if you have access to a really fabulous source of low-PUFA eggs? What if, for purely ethical reasons, you are a vegetarian, but otherwise agree with Ray Peat? What if you have no orange juice in your area? What if, in the future, we gain easy access to a small, warm-water fish with low PUFA and (because you can eat the bones) high calcium? What if changing agricultural and industrial practices contaminate a previously safe, Peaty food? I could go on for pages. :eek These kinds of problems arise not because Ray Peat is a bad or obscure writer, but because of the limits of language and Peat's lack of time to address all conceivable circumstances."

With the kind of Good Peat Diet (or whatever it would be called) generalization
I have in mind,
none of those various versions or wrinkles on a Peat diet
would pose any problem whatsoever.
They could all fall within the outlines of such a General Peat Diet.

People have imagined many dreadful things when confronted with the horrible specter I propose.
One poster, an excellent and knowledgeable one at that,
was under the impression that what I propose is A List.
I envision nothing of the sort, but I couldn't talk that poster out of the assumption.
Perhaps you too, Ray-Z, are operating under this wrong-headed assumption?

So maybe that is one "peril" laid to rest.

Another peril, in your view, might be hinted at in your wording:
"...risks of defining a single Peat diet..."

The word "single" tends to evoke the same kind of understandable wrath
as when non-Christians hear the preaching:
"I am The Way and The Only Way,"
or whatever it is.
I think you understand this, Ray-Z,
but just to remind:
my project does not seek to identify one and only one correct Peat diet.
Rather, it would try to articulate in distilled form
all the many generalizations Peat himself has made about diet
(see the list in my introductory post).

But the central peril, in your view as I understand it--
and it is indeed a quite terrifying one!--
emerges in your thoughts here:

Ray-Z said:
"Peat's greatest gift to us is not any specific dietary recommendation, but rather the example of an independent mind carefully questioning, observing, and reasoning. We abandon this example, and trust a simplified view of Peat's teachings, at our peril, because sooner or later we will all find ourselves on the frontier, where simplifications break down, and only our own understanding and judgment can save us."

So...let me try to understand this...
if we try to articulate the general shape of a Peat diet,
we will awake to the realization that we have
surrendered our ability for independent thought,
thrown away our capacity to question and reason,
and forfeited even our very ability to understand and judge?! :eek:

I am picturing a flock of sheep with brief Lists headed
"Peat Diet" pinned to their sides,
wandering, lost and, in effect, lobotomized. :roll:

You see, Ray-Z,
these kinds of dire pictures of doom do not surprise me
because I have become familiar with them.
My hobbyhorse, my little project with "Notes Toward..."
has frequently caused some critics to imagine
such dire visions of the hell I apparently intend to release. :lol:

And such dire perils, risks, and dangers are revealing.
They point not toward reasonable objections,
but toward emotional assumptions,
like the handful I sketched out at the start of the thread.

So...I just can't agree entirely with your presentation of critics of my project.
In your presentation, they are all equable, reasonable folks,
motivated purely by the philosophical conviction
that all language is limited and therefore unreliable,
and that therefore any attempt to articulate a General Peat Diet
is doomed from the outset.

No doubt there are such reasonable and equable critics.
And I think you are among them.
I do think you are misinterpreting and/or misapplying Peat's remarks on language,
but I'll return to that when I get some time.
 

narouz

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Joined
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Messages
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Peat's Greatest Gift

Ray-Z said:
"Peat's greatest gift to us is not any specific dietary recommendation, but rather the example of an independent mind carefully questioning, observing, and reasoning. We abandon this example, and trust a simplified view of Peat's teachings, at our peril, because sooner or later we will all find ourselves on the frontier, where simplifications break down, and only our own understanding and judgment can save us."

Ray-Z,
This is, I'll admit, a rather weird hypothetical question.
But just to focus closer attention to
the lofty-toned suggestion in your last post,
about Peat's Greatest Gift
and with the goal to sorta "keep it real,"
let's pretend.

Let's think about your musings upon "Peat's Greatest Gift" for a moment.

Alright, let's say an angel, looking suspiciously Ray Peat-like,
descends from the heavens.

He says:
"Okay, you can keep your Peat-inspired and Peat-invigorated
-independence of mind
-ability to question carefully
-ability to observe and reason
and
-capacities for judgement and understanding."

He continues:
"Dr. Peat has inspired you in these aspects of your humanity,
has given you new energy and vigor.
But here's the deal.
In exchange for those enhanced faculties,
you must now sacrifice Dr. Peat's work.
With the wave of this Red Light Wand,
your memory of all things Peat will be erased.
All of Dr. Peat's books and articles and lectures will vanish from the earth.
All secondary sources referring to those works will also vanish.
But do not be sad:
Your Peat-enhanced and Peat-inspired mind,
will remain.
Goodbye, Grasshoppa."

My question:
Would you be disappointed?
 

gretchen

Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2012
Messages
816
Strict Peat diet + summertime= about a 7-8 energy-wise most days.

Restricting even a little + fall/winter weather= stress, 5-7 energy/well-being.

Once again eating enough, strict Peat + winter= BLAH. But better than I felt last year!! :idea:
 

narouz

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Thread starter
Joined
Jul 22, 2012
Messages
4,429
Ray-Z,
You place great emphasis in your very thoughtful post above
upon an inherent murkiness and ambiguity of language and knowledge
which you say Peat believes to be inescapable:

Ray-Z said:
"The crudeness of language and concepts doesn't prevent our having meaningful conversations and understanding each other tolerably well much of the time, but inevitably generates "gray areas" ripe for misunderstanding. And as Peat points out, language can foster uncritical acceptance of ideas."

Ray-Z said:
"Like many other concepts, the concept of a Ray Peat diet has large, murky boundary regions and may change over time and space and from person to person."

Ray-Z said:
"The murky or fuzzy boundaries of a Peat diet matter because nearly all of us will encounter them at one time or another. Peat's writings are, like all teachings, incomplete."

Ray-Z said:
"Human language and concepts are crude tools for describing our endlessly complex and uncertain world. If you don't believe me, read court cases involving the interpretation of contracts or statutes or academic disputes about historical documents or literature. Or save yourself some time and read this quote from Ray Peat's article, "Intuitive Knowledge and Its Development" (http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/in ... edge.shtml)"

You draw those notions about the inherent ambiguity and instability of language and knowledge
from, as you note, Peat's "Intuitive Knowledge and Its Development."
So let’s look more closely at the Peat quotes opening that essay,
the Peat quotes you base your views upon:

“To understand our ability to know and discover, I think it's valuable to consider foolishness along with wisdom, since "knowledge" consists of both.”-R. Peat

Should we really interpret Peat here to mean that,
in the rest of his essay,
he himself will be expressing “foolishness,”
or at least “foolishness along with wisdom”...?

If one reads the rest of the essay,
it seems pretty clear to me that Peat means
that those who propound "genetic epistemology"
are the ones who are “foolish.”

For his own part, I believe Peat thinks he communicates with clarity,
and can be understood with clarity by other humans.
And personally I agree with that view: I think he does communicate clearly.

Let’s turn to another of Peat's introductory, abstract thoughts from the article:

“I think our use of language is both the means by which understanding can be preserved, encapsulated, and disseminated, and a great impediment to understanding.”

Here too:
Do we seriously want to understand Peat in this quote
as trying to say that he believes that his own words
in the rest of the essay
are “a great impediment to understanding”...?

It seems pretty clear to me that Peat means to argue
that the "genetic epistemologists" are the ones
constituting that “great impediment,”
not him.

And one more of the Peat quotes from his article:

“Sometimes graduate students seem to have lost all common sense. It's as if their hard-drive had been reformatted to allow their professors to download onto it. But common sense, usually, is just what Einstein called it, an accumulation of prejudices.”

Do we honestly believe that Peat means to say
that he himself, in the rest of the article,
is just like the professors who “reformat” students' brains
so that Peat can “download” his “accumulation of prejudices” onto them...?

And again: I think a fair, intelligent interpretation of the passage and the whole article
will reflect the clear interpretation
that Peat means to express that
it is the genetic epistemologists who are guilty
of this reformatting and downloading of prejudices--not himself.

So, to me,
we have just added a few more
abstract, high-toned, intellectually imposing Peat quotes
to the popular list of misinterpreted or mis-applied Peat quotes
with which I opened this thread:

“No topic can be understood in isolation.”
--Dr. Raymond Peat
-from "Bone Density: First Do No Harm.")
http://raypeat.com/articles/aging/bonedensity.shtml

and

“Since the contextuality of communication is always in the foreground when I talk or write, you know that someone is confusing me with an authority when they talk about my ‘protocol’ for something. Context is everything, and it’s individual and empirical.”
--Raymond Peat, PhD (I believe this is from the recent interview on
Danny R’s site)

One will notice that all of those quotations
can be turned to the same convenient purpose:
they can glibly be used to argue that
no distillation of a Good Peat Diet can be generalized upon because:
-all language is unstable and untrustworthy
-all knowledge is a mixture of truth and falsity
-no generalization is reliable unless a specific, individual context accompanies it

In my opinion,
Peat does not write his hundreds of articles and books
and participate in the hundreds of hours of interviews
believing that he will be unintelligible or unclear
due to some innate defect in the nature of language and knowledge.

Consider Peat’s work interpreting Willam Blake’s poetry.
He has written that much of the problem
in Blake interpretation for novices
is that readers will not accept that Blake means what he says.
(see Peat's "Can art instruct science? William Blake as biological visionary,"
at http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/william-blake.shtml)

Peat says that Blake’s work is almost unintelligible
without study of the language of Blake’s time.
Even with an artist as notoriously difficult as Blake,
and even given the interpretive difficulties imposed by archaic language,
Peat never argues that Blake should be viewed as impossible to understand clearly.
Indeed, Peat believes that Blake can be interpreted clearly.

This is not a person (Peat) who believes that
all communication is doomed to murk and ambiguity.

When I try to figure out why some are so eager
to seize upon the abstract Peat quotes noted,
and to use them as a basis from which to argue
that we can not distill the general shape of a Good Peat Diet (or whatever),
my mind turns in the direction I explore in another of my posts
of a few minutes ago, here:
http://raypeatforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=951&start=10#p8462
 

frustrated

Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2012
Messages
134
Do you guys ever fact check any of peats quotes?

"Fructose inhibits the stimulation of insulin by glucose, so this means that eating ordinary sugar, sucrose (a disaccharide, consisting of glucose and fructose), in place of starch, will reduce the tendency to store fat."

?????????
 

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