Ray Peat: The importance of sugar and the dangers of fat (stress) metabolism

SeekinTruth

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So, again, these things are very individual and not written in stone. I've had similar experiences as luc, where I've had meat from a restaurant that came wrapped in a thin, flexible bread (that's quite popular in Armenia - and it can't help but leave residue, especially because of hot meat juices). This has happened a few times (even when instructed not to wrap it in this bread), but neither I, nor my family have had any negative reaction.

Given, we don't have any hypersensitivity to gluten, but many health issues resolved when eliminated. Also, when I was doing the elimination diet in 2010, I didn't feel nearly as bad reintroducing bread after a few weeks to see what would happen, as I did reintroducing cheese. I felt like I had the flu for a couple of days, whole body inflammation, heavy head, the works - plus constipation. And I tried reintroducing it a couple of times over 6 or 8 months, and it was the same deal each time. The kicker is that cheese was one of the "evil" foods we ate a huge amount of all our lives in my family. We always had at least 3 or 4 different kinds of cheese in the fridge, and ate it almost every day.

When I first used dietary changes to resolve a serious health issue, I couldn't slip even a little without a relapse, especially alcohol (and I've never been much of a drinker, but one drink after several months was enough for an immediate relapse). After about 8 months, I could have the occasional coffee with no problem. After a while, I could have coffee more frequently, but I never went back to trying 3 or 4 large mugs a day like I used to have in NYC.

Same with sugar; I've had it a couple of times in tea - couple of teaspoons - no big deal. As long as I don't go back to consuming the huge amounts I used to, I'm fine with the very seldom slip.

I've also had non-wheat bread after eliminating it completely for a while back in 2010, without much consequence. Also not all wheat is the same, some have much more gluten and overall lectins / anti-nutrients than other strains of wheat, etc. (even excluding GMO/GMO contamination issues). But overall, I felt better with no grains at all. So, the individual differences call for careful experimentation to get as close to an optimum diet for each person, or so it seems.

ADDED: Just saw your latest post, Siberia.
 

nicklebleu

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I read this article yesterday - not sure what to make of it.

My points of critique:

"There's a handful of studies; one done at the University of Utah. They found gluten in the teeth of ancient humans throughout Africa 3.4 to 4 million years ago," Douillard says.

"They also found that these ancient humans could gather enough wheat berries in just two hours to feed them for an entire day. The entire continent of Africa was covered with grasslands.

It does make sense that if they could gather in two hours enough wheat berries for the entire day, it's a lot easier to do that than try to chase down a woolly mammoth or a lion.

We didn't start hunting our own meat until about … 500,000 years ago. We have genetics for meat that are 500,000 years old. There's genetics for eating wheat, barley and gluten … [going back] 3.4 to 4 million years … In a lot of ways, we have a lot more genetics for wheat than meat."
I don't know about that - that seems a bit of a stretch!

The problem I see with this is that our ancestral line is not very clear. What kinds of food did they eat? We must have done a transition from herbivore to omnivore at some stage (IF the whole evolutionary theory has ANY validity at all). But to posit that grain (and wheat) would have been an important staple of these hominids seems a bit of a stretch. Sure they would have been growing wild in patches, but they were not overtly cultivated for a long, long time.

The other problem I see is that even whole grain today is unrecognisable compared to grain from say 100 years ago, as most grains have been selected/ hybridised for their higher gluten content. So if the above theory is correct, it would only ever apply to heritage grains that would contain only a fraction of gluten than it does today.

But maybe I am wrong here! Maybe we should try to experiment with that. I certainly know that if I accidentally get some gluten in a meal, say at a restaurant, there are little consequences for me. But with a bigger load (admittedly these were refined products), it hit me like a brick wall (eg croissant).

And maybe it is really related to digestion rather than gluten itself.
 

Odyssey

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I don't think that it can be stressed enough how each of us is uniquely individual in our dietary needs and what works for one person may not work for another.

For myself, I've found that I'm able to tolerate a higher carb intake as long as I'm intermittently fasting. And by tolerate I mean, not get bloated, retain water, become constipated or gain weight. With intermittent fasting I also sleep better and my bowels function better and it's much more satisfying and easier than trying to remain in ketosis all the time. With intermittent fasting and a higher carb intake I can exercise and not be extremely sore for 3-4 days afterwards. For me, everything just works better with intermittent fasting.
 

Pierre

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nicklebleu said:
I read this article yesterday - not sure what to make of it.

My points of critique:

"There's a handful of studies; one done at the University of Utah. They found gluten in the teeth of ancient humans throughout Africa 3.4 to 4 million years ago," Douillard says.

"They also found that these ancient humans could gather enough wheat berries in just two hours to feed them for an entire day. The entire continent of Africa was covered with grasslands.
Even if scientists found gluten in ancient humans' teeth (c. 4 million years old), it doesn't prove that their diet was gluten based. And the broad availability of gluten food (grasslands) only suggests that they could have consumed it, not that they actually consumed it on a daily basis.

In addition, gluten content of wild varieties of grains is much lower than what is found in modern hybrids that require very high gluten content for cooking application (binding agent).
 

aimarok

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Thank you for brining up this interesting topic, Keyhole. But the theory must be supplied with an evidence base or it's just a theory. Going 50% carb doesn't look like a healthy option in the long run for majority of people living detached from the nature.

Like many other forum members I don't fit into Peat's hypothesis. Consuming virtually zero PUFAs I have hard times with carbs. Having an apple or orange from time to time can be OK but making an "orange supper" is always a bad experience. Skin rashes, tooth pain, diarrhea and so on come without a knock. Another common attribute of carbs for me is a "diminished focus", when I start to dissociate too much and have little control over myself.

While genetics, epigenetics, climate and sun exposure should play a major role in carb tolerance there is another factor possibly not mentioned in this thread — the microbiome. Having the right bugs to chew all the carbs we eat might be crucial for healthy being.

Siberia, you case on wheat is very interesting. I wonder what might be the cause of it because it's hard to find a rational explanation. It just looks spooky :scared:.
 

fabric

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Odyssey said:
I don't think that it can be stressed enough how each of us is uniquely individual in our dietary needs and what works for one person may not work for another.
It really is quite different for everyone. In my case, I found that staying strictly ketogenic by keeping protein at 3oz per meal and the rest fat didn’t really work for me. No matter how much fat I ate I would still be hungry after a couple of hours. When I started upping that to about 6-8oz per meal, I’d be fine all day. I would also eat some carbs and through testing found that I could eat about 50-60 grams of carbs and not be knocked out of ketosis. Occasionally I would eat rice and though it would stop ketosis, I could get back within the next day or 2. I would also be really hungry the day after if I overdid it on carbs, especially in the morning!

As for gluten, I haven’t ventured into wheat but have tried on occasion spelt , which didn’t seem to really bother me. Although I have had stuff with wheat in it (like soya sauce for example) and in small amounts didn’t affect me either. So I stopped being too concerned about when eating at a restaurant or at a friend’s house. As luc mentioned, it seems that once you’ve had a period of being really strict with the diet and have given the body a chance to detoxify and heal the gut, the body can handle a little more. Not to say one can willy nilly eat crap all day long but the occasional ‘cheat’ would be tolerated.

Interestingly enough, I did gain some weight when going keto (I’m on the skinny side so that was one of my goals) but also had to work out like crazy to gain some muscle mass back. Otherwise I couldn’t reach my target weight. More recently I’ve been eating a keto breakfast which keeps me going all day and in the evening having more carbs. This seems to work pretty well as I’m at the weight I’m supposed to be at and don’t need to struggle so much to maintain it now. I don’t wake up super hungry like I used to either. So for now this seems to work and as new data comes to light, make adjustments and go from there.


Odyssey said:
For myself, I've found that I'm able to tolerate a higher carb intake as long as I'm intermittently fasting. And by tolerate I mean, not get bloated, retain water, become constipated or gain weight. With intermittent fasting I also sleep better and my bowels function better and it's much more satisfying and easier than trying to remain in ketosis all the time. With intermittent fasting and a higher carb intake I can exercise and not be extremely sore for 3-4 days afterwards. For me, everything just works better with intermittent fasting.
That's something I haven't tried. What type of IF are you doing? Is it a daily type (eat only in an 8 hour window) or one or two days a week where it's 24 hours?
 

Carl

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This wheat thing is interesting for sure. You'd have to source organic wheat flour and bake everything yourself from scratch but it could be worth a try for a special occasion, and to generally not be so paranoid about gluten.

Also if one is gonna do grains I think oats are a good option, although last time I tried they didn't agree with me so well.

fabric said:
Interestingly enough, I did gain some weight when going keto (I’m on the skinny side so that was one of my goals) but also had to work out like crazy to gain some muscle mass back. Otherwise I couldn’t reach my target weight. More recently I’ve been eating a keto breakfast which keeps me going all day and in the evening having more carbs. This seems to work pretty well as I’m at the weight I’m supposed to be at and don’t need to struggle so much to maintain it now. I don’t wake up super hungry like I used to either. So for now this seems to work and as new data comes to light, make adjustments and go from there.
Figuring that out was what finally made it easy for me to manipulate weight changes. The regime of more fat in the morning allows you to eat more in daytime without getting sluggish from the too many carbs. But I've found potatoes/sweet potato/rice are necessary to gain weight, and they're perfect to have in the evening.

Even when I want to lose weight I keep that formula the same, only I cut the amount of fat and move to a 10AM-7PM eating window. It's really great, feels like a lever that can be adjusted easily.

On keto I tend to break down and binge on carbs eventually, and when having high carbs all day I just end up getting fat and brain fogged, but this is perfect. No emotional eating, no real cravings.
 

Odyssey

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fabric said:
Odyssey said:
For myself, I've found that I'm able to tolerate a higher carb intake as long as I'm intermittently fasting. And by tolerate I mean, not get bloated, retain water, become constipated or gain weight. With intermittent fasting I also sleep better and my bowels function better and it's much more satisfying and easier than trying to remain in ketosis all the time. With intermittent fasting and a higher carb intake I can exercise and not be extremely sore for 3-4 days afterwards. For me, everything just works better with intermittent fasting.
That's something I haven't tried. What type of IF are you doing? Is it a daily type (eat only in an 8 hour window) or one or two days a week where it's 24 hours?
I do one 24 hour fast a week and 2 days where I just have butter coffee or tea in the am and eat a regular dinner at night. However, from what I've read, it's better to skip dinner than skip breakfast. But I find it more lifestyle compatible to just have the hot beverage in the morning and go to work then eat dinner with my peeps.

I forgot to add that intermittent fasting has kept me from having to get up in the middle of the night for a pee. :)
 

Keit

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Odyssey said:
For myself, I've found that I'm able to tolerate a higher carb intake as long as I'm intermittently fasting.
That's what appears to be working for me as well. After being on the ketogenic diet for some time, it became clear that it wasn't ideal for me, and adding more carbs (but no gluten or grains) made it much better. Even sugar in a form of fruits or confiture is ok if I eat it in the evening. But then, overeating carbs also has its toll unless I have days when I mostly fast.

What is also worth noting that my situation is similar to Altair's, where my grandmother died from type one diabetes, and my mother has type two diabetes. In such a case being on the ketogenic diet seems like the most prudent thing to do, and perhaps it is something I should strive to maintain in any case. But according to my periodic blood biochemistry results it does look like eliminating gluten and grains has a significant portion in keeping the situation in check. Also, so far increasing carbs and sugar intake didn't have any particular detrimental effect on the tests, but this is something that would have to be monitored.

Siberia said:
Yes, I also suspect epigenetic factor.
I also wondered about the same when remembered you mentioning the unusually high cholesterol levels in your family, especially among women. I wonder if there is a connection?
 

Altair

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Odyssey said:
However, from what I've read, it's better to skip dinner than skip breakfast.
Yes, it's my experience, too. If I skip breakfast for several days in a row (18 hours fasting), I feel extremely tired and dizzy. Eating breakfast and dinner in the evening (12 hours fasting) works much better for me, so I do it almost every day.
 

Siberia

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Keit said:
Siberia said:
Yes, I also suspect epigenetic factor.
I also wondered about the same when remembered you mentioning the unusually high cholesterol levels in your family, especially among women. I wonder if there is a connection?
I was thinking about my father's family in this case. In his family everyone is like me: no matter what amount of carbs they consume, they never gain extra weight, they are all slim.

In my mother's family, it's different: many women are extra weight and have high cholesterol level.

It seems that I inherited both features: low weight from my father and high cholesterol from my mother.

Anyway, whatever it is, I'm planning to keep as close to keto diet as I can, considering my current limitations.

Edit: grammar
 

SeekinTruth

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Just to add my two cents / put it on the record for consideration, I do intermittent fasting everyday by eating only between about 11:30 AM and at the latest 6 PM. I average 17-17.5 hours of fasting every day. Once in a while, I skip my late breakfast and have dinner earlier, at around 4:30 PM or so for extra fasting. Seems to work well for me. In the past, when dealing with health issues in the acute stage, a total fast for a couple of days worked quite well (water only, or just low calorie liquids for two or three days).

Also, as far as being kicked out of ketosis, it not that easy for me to be kicked out once I became adapted. I haven't been kicked out since, but I was very strict for a long time. I estimate that I can go up to about 60-65 grams of net carbs and not be kicked out (and don't feel too bad as long as it's not longer than a few days) - and as much protein as I can eat (around 100-110 grams net dry weight) without being kicked out or any problem really. But I still restrict protein most of the time around the year to only what's necessary for the activity level and turnover. Also, I don't think that even for heavy activity/intense exercise, protein above that amount has any benefits - though I don't usually get to that kind of activity intensity anyway. FWIW.
 

Voyageur

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SeekinTruth said:
Just to add my two cents / put it on the record for consideration, I do intermittent fasting everyday by eating only between about 11:30 AM and at the latest 6 PM. I average 17-17.5 hours of fasting every day. Once in a while, I skip my late breakfast and have dinner earlier, at around 4:30 PM or so for extra fasting. Seems to work well for me. In the past, when dealing with health issues in the acute stage, a total fast for a couple of days worked quite well (water only, or just low calorie liquids for two or three days).
I've in no way been able to maintain Ketosis, and that's a problem, this jumping around. As for fasting, pretty much maintain a 16 - 17 hour gap each day too, and it seems very natural for me to do this. Was also considering working up to the 2/5 day fasting regime, yet have not pushed myself in this regard.

Concerning wheat, and can't remember where this was read (I'm thinking Joseph Campbell for some reason), was a discussion on the wheat of Egypt in the historical past whereby each little valley or growing community's micro sites had its own genetic strain. Thus in a whole country there was literally hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands of varieties, and this would be similar in some other places on the globe - that genetic diversity is all mostly lost now, its been replaced by the conglomerates with toxic strains as a deliver system for their pesticides. At the same time though, there are the records of the bones of historical agricultural consumption versus the bones in paleo diet times with remarkable youthful difference in the latter, and that seems to be a big marker.
 

Chu

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nicklebleu said:
And maybe it is really related to digestion rather than gluten itself.
I think that is probably the key. Some people seem to have a healthy microbiota, and whatever they eat is fine for them. Not that they might not be doing some damage that will affect them later, but they may live on junk food and thrive, while for others, the smallest amount of wheat can trigger an immediate autoimmune reaction. So, whatever heals the intestinal flora should be the priority, I think, and we are all different in that respect as well.
 

Keyhole

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So I've been doing some more research into Dr Ray Peat's work. It is encouraging to see that his view of cell physiology is based on the work of Dr Gilbert Ling, Alert Sczent-Georgi, Gerald Pollack and Mae-Wan Ho. He was one of the first people to actually make the case for biological semiconduction from the 1960s-onwards. Not only does he not adhere to the reductionist dogma about the "sodium-potassium pump" or "cell membrane receptor", but also presents a framework for seeing the organism as a coherent whole where structure and function are interdependent on every level, and embraces the electrical nature of the system.

Some of the concepts are hard to get my head around, since they are so antithetical to most of what I think I understand about human nutrition. There are some major "elephants in the room" though, such as Carbon Dioxide. This is generally referred to as "metabolic waste product". According to Peat, this is the opposite of truth and CO2 is one of the most important factors for maintaining an energy state. Similarly, Peat explains that serotonin, prolactin, and growth hormone are actually stress hormones which disrupt proper energy metabolism - again, almost the exact opposite of what 99% of experts claim.

Below is a short presentation at the Ancestral Health Symposium 2016 by PhD nutritional biochemist Kyle Mamounis. Kyle originally began studying his PhD to prove that fat metabolism was the most healthy metabolic state to be in. After being on a zero-carb diet for quite a while, he began seeing some issues, and then came across Dr Peat's work. In short, he presents some of the basic premises of why glucose metabolism and high carbohydrate diets are generally less stressful than ketosis, and more suited to long-term states.


https://youtu.be/nGv4JZB2yws

Here is another interview with Kyle, explaining some of the long-term detrimental effects of lipid metabolism. According to Kyle, tor those individuals who experience immediate problems when introducing sugar back into the diet, the issues are likely due to sluggish oxidative metabolism induced by long-term low carbohydrate/depleted states.

Link: _http://www.generativeenergy.com/main/episode29


I have had direct experience of this issue... although after a couple of day, things improved and sugar no longer causes any bloating/sluggishness and provides a lot of energy, especially in its pure form like in fruit juice. Just FWIW, I am not recommending anyone else do this and this is just a personal experiment.
 
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