Ray Peat

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Ray Peat, Quack
Potentially edible!
Food woo
Icon food.svg
Fabulous food!
Delectable diets!
Bodacious bods!
Unsaturated fats cause aging, clotting, inflammation, cancer, and weight gain.
—Ray Peat (without providing any scientific evidence)[1]

Ray Peat (1936–2022)[2] was an American conspiracy theorist,[3] quack, and cholesterol denialist[4] who promoted pseudoscientific views about nutrition. His most bizarre claim was that essential polyunsaturated fatty acidsWikipedia (omega-3 and omega-6) are harmful to human health and should be reduced in the diet to the lowest amount possible.[5] Peat insanely argued that a tablespoon of sucrose in honey can cure animals and emergency patients with fatal injuries, but was unaware that honey only contains between 0.8-5% sucrose.[6] He made many other ridiculous claims such as avocados causing cancer.[7] Peat's dietary views have been embraced by parts of the far-right,[8] notably Bronze Age Pervert.[9]

In 2022, about 8 months before his death, much to the dismay of his followers, Peat contradicted his own dietary advice and admitted that he was eating oatmeal and putting oat bran on his food.[10]


Working through the articles on Peat’s website is like doing an ultramarathon through quicksand. Actually, the ultramarathon would be preferable to reading Peat’s solid text block word salads with outdated research and lots of scientific mumbo jumbo. The vast majority of the citations Peat uses to back up his claims are rat and cell studies, and most are extremely outdated (many from the 1960’s).
—Dietitian Abby Langer on Ray Peat's pseudoscience.[11]

Peat held a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Oregon, but had absolutely no training in nutrition, yet used to spend much of his time writing ridiculous essays about the health effects of different foods on his website.[12] None of his ideas on nutrition were published in peer review. Peat argued against the scientific consensus by claiming that foods high in sugar and saturated fat are not harmful in excess. He has been cited as encouraging people to eat ice cream and Mexican Coca-Cola.[13]

Coconut oil[edit]

Peat argued that coconut oil is a health food because it contains saturated fat, whilst all seed and vegetable oils are "toxic" because they contain polyunsaturated fat.[1][14] However, the high saturated fatty acids in coconut oil significantly increase LDL-c. According to a review of clinical trials "coconut oil should not be viewed as healthy oil for cardiovascular disease risk reduction, and limiting coconut oil consumption because of its high saturated fat content is warranted."[15] In his essays, Peat did not cite any reviews of clinical trials and based most of his research on animal studies.

Nuts and seeds[edit]

Peat argued that nuts and seeds are toxic to humans because they contain high amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids and plant chemicals which protect themselves from predators.[16][17][18] Peat said there is only one exception, the macadamia nut because it is higher in saturated fat.[16] Despite what Peat believed, there is strong evidence from clinical trials and epidemiological studies that consumption of nuts and seeds (which are good sources of polyunsaturated fatty acids) improves the lipid profile and lowers the risk of atrial fibrillation, cardiovascular disease and stroke.[19][20][21][22][23] A 2022 review noted that "there is a substantial amount of evidence that supports that consuming nuts will have a positive impact on primary and secondary prevention of CVD".[24]

Polyunsaturated fatty acids[edit]

On his website, Peat embarrassed himself by trying to dispute the fact that polyunsaturated fats are essential fatty acids and argued they are "toxic" and cause atherosclerosis.[5][25] He was notorious for cherry-picking animal studies (mostly mice and rats), whilst ignoring all clinical research.[5][26] The opposite to what Peat claimed is true. For example, clinical trials have shown that polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6) improve blood lipids and reduce incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD).[27][28][29][30][31] Similar to James DiNicolantonio and other conspiracy theorists, Peat promoted the false idea that linoleic acid from vegetable oils is toxic to health.[1] In reality, clinical trials have shown that by lowering the intake of dietary saturated fat in the diet and and replacing it with polyunsaturated vegetable oil it can reduce CVD to around 30%.[27]

Peat claimed that the more polyunsaturated fat consumed in the diet the higher incidence of cancer there will be. Like all of his health claims, he failed to back this up with scientific evidence.[32] Few clinical trials have been done but epidemiological studies have found that marine omega-3 PUFA consumption is associated with a lower breast cancer risk and a lower mortality in patients with ovarian cancer.[33][34][35]

Coca Cola[edit]

Peat defended Mexican Coca-Cola because it contains cane sugar rather than the high-fructose corn syrup of American Coca-Cola but there is no evidence that he consumed it personally.[6][36] On his website, Peat said that Coca-Cola can be used to relieve hypoglycemia symptoms (this is one of the few things he got correct).[37]

Orange juice[edit]

Peat was a big fan of orange juice which he said is "anti-estrogenic".[38] He also claimed that orange juice is good because it raises people's cholesterol.[39] There is not any evidence in the medical literature that shows orange juice consumption raises cholesterol. Studies have found the opposite, as it lows LDL-c and total cholesterol.[40][41] A 2022 review of clinical trials found that orange juice significantly reduces circulating total cholesterol levels.[42] Everything Peat said about foods should be fact-checked because in most cases he was entirely wrong in what he had claimed.


Peat argued that sucrose is a great therapeutic agent and could cure many diseases, including fatally injured animals and human patients in emergency wards. He said that there are stories of dying dogs, ducks, sheep and emergency patients who were fed a tablespoon of honey and all their symptoms miraculously disappeared.[6] He said that this convinced him that in an "emergency of any sort" a big dose of sucrose is "very important". Peat was unaware that honey only contains between 0.8-5% sucrose.[43][44]


Peat claimed that avocados are carcinogenic because they contain a lot of unsaturated fat.[7] Like all the other nonsense he spouted, he failed to back up this ridiculous claim with any scientific evidence.


Peat said that beef and lamb are the best meats to eat because they are high in saturated fat and that chicken, pork and turkey should be avoided because they are high in unsaturated fat.[45] He said he consumed chicken if the fat was trimmed off (see below).

Macular degeneration[edit]

Polyunsaturated fats which accumulate in the brain and retina damage mitochondria.
—Ray Peat, nutcase.[46]

Peat who had bad eyesight and wore glasses for decades of his life claimed without providing any evidence that consuming polyunsaturated fatty acids in foods damages the retina and causes cataracts and macular degeneration.[46][47] The opposite is true as there is high-quality evidence that DHA and EPA reduce the risk of early to late macular degeneration.[48]

High levels of DHA are present in the retina, specifically in the disk membranes of the outer segments of photoreceptor cells.[49] DHA is the most abundant omega-3 fatty acid in the brain and the retina, representing about 97% and 93% of omega-3 fatty acids.[50] There is not any evidence in the medical literature that consuming polyunsaturated fatty acids such as DHA in foods or supplements causes cataracts or oxidative damage to the retina.[51]

Peat was wrong about polyunsaturated fats damaging the mitochondria. A 2017 review concluded "a great body of evidences obtained from experimental studies shows the promising role of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on mitochondrial function and dynamics".[52]

Brain size[edit]

Peat claimed that polyunsaturated fats can reduce brain size at birth.[53] There is no evidence for this in the medical literature. Lower PUFA concentrations in fetal life are associated with less brain volume in childhood.[54]


Diabetes is just one of the "terminal" diseases that can be caused by the polyunsaturated vegetable oils.
—Ray Peat, talking out of his arse.[55]

Contrary to what Peat claimed, there is no reliable evidence in the medical literature that polyunsaturated fats in vegetable oils cause diabetes.[56] A recent review of clinical trials found that PUFA has no effect on diabetes or glucose metabolism.[57] Another review suggested that plant-derived polyunsaturated fatty acids offer a "protective effect of total PUFA or omega-6 PUFA on diabetes risk in non-diabetic populations".[58]


Peat argued that tobacco lowers incidence of Alzheimer’s disease.

People who take aspirin, drink coffee, and use tobacco, have a much lower incidence of Alzheimer’s disease than people who don’t use those things.
—Ray Peat getting his facts wrong.[59]

There is strong evidence that smoking increases Alzheimer’s disease and dementia risk.[60][61][62] Overall, systematic reviews have estimated that smoking increases risk of dementia by 30% and Alzheimer's disease by 40% respectively.[60][63][64][65] This is another case of Peat having no idea what he was talking about.

The Ray Peat diet[edit]

Ray Peat said that the soluble fiber in oats caused cancer. I am noticing Ray Peat contradicts himself on many of his positions. One day he says something and the next day he changes his mind.
—A pissed off Ray Peat follower noticing Peat's dietary contradictions after he added oatmeal to his diet.[66]

Ray Peat said that he normally ate kale or chicken soup everyday (with all the fat trimmed off) and would also drink up to a gallon of milk.[67] He would eat a one large egg a day, fried in butter. He also drank 1 pint of orange juice and once a week would eat liver and oysters.[67] His diet also included ice cream and a large amount of coconut oil.[14] That was it. Peat's diet was extremely bland and restricted. He said he did not eat grains, legumes, nuts or seeds. However, Peat later confessed to eating oatmeal and oat bran.[10] This has confused and pissed off some of his fanatical followers.[68]

Because his diet was restricted, his followers have created large lists of foods that you can eat on the "Ray Peat diet", however, there is no evidence that Peat actually ate these foods. For example, a Ray Peat diet list has bananas and many other fruits on it but there is no evidence he consumed these.[69]

Ray Peat Forum[edit]

The Ray Peat Forum is a crazy forum for alt-righters, crackpots and science-haters who promote all kinds of irrational conspiracy theories about nutrition. They have a thread about this RationalWiki article but not one user has been able to refute any of the evidence on it.[70]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Unsaturated Vegetable Oils: Toxic. raypeat.com.
  2. Obituary: Ray Peat (December 2022) IM-1776.
  3. Danny Roddy (January 22, 2021). "#47: The Power Elite | Vaccines | Hair Loss | UFOs | Surviving The Great Reset with Ray Peat, PhD". YouTube.
  4. Cholesterol, longevity, intelligence, and health. raypeat.com.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Unsaturated fatty acids: Nutritionally essential, or toxic?. raypeat.com.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Ray Peat's Defense of Mexican Coke (Sucrose, Coca Leaf, Caffeine)
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Vegetables". raypeat.com.
  8. The Emerging Raw Food Movement and the ‘Great Reset’
  9. Bronze Age Pervert on Twitter. Archived.
  10. 10.0 10.1 03.23.22 Peat Ray
  11. Ray Peat Carrot Salad: Can It Fix Your Hormones?
  12. About Ray Peat. raypeat.com
  13. RIP Ray Peat: Death of Diet Pioneer 86 Sees Fanbase Pay Tribute
  14. 14.0 14.1 Coconut Oil. raypeat.com.
  15. Neelakantan, Nithya; Seah, Jowy Yi Hoong; van Dam, Rob M. (2020-03-10). "The effect of coconut oil consumption on cardiovascular risk factors: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Clinical Trials". Circulation 141 (10): 803–814. doiWikipedia:10.1161/circulationaha.119.043052. ISSN 0009-7322. PMID 31928080. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 Ray Peat on nuts, macadamia
  17. Ray Peat on eating seeds, tomato seeds, toxic effect of seeds
  18. Ray Peat on sprouted grains, toxic effects of seeds
  19. Nuts and seeds consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and their risk factors: a systematic review and meta-analysis
  20. Nuts and Cardiovascular Disease Outcomes: A Review of the Evidence and Future Directions
  21. Consumption of Nuts and Seeds and Health Outcomes Including Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes and Metabolic Disease, Cancer, and Mortality: An Umbrella Review
  22. Nut Consumption in Relation to Cardiovascular Disease Incidence and Mortality Among Patients With Diabetes Mellitus
  23. Walnut consumption and health outcomes with public health relevance-a systematic review of cohort studies and randomized controlled trials published from 2017 to present
  24. Nuts and Cardiovascular Disease Outcomes: A Review of the Evidence and Future Directions
  25. Ray Peat on PUFA link to atherosclerosis
  26. Oils in context
  27. 27.0 27.1 Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease: A Presidential Advisory From the American Heart Association
  28. Effects of ω-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids on Coronary Atherosclerosis and Inflammation: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
  29. Effect of omega-3 fatty acids on cardiovascular outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analysis
  30. Reduction in saturated fat intake for cardiovascular disease
  31. Beneficial Outcomes of Omega-6 and Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids on Human Health: An Update for 2021
  32. Ray Peat on more PUFA in the diet more cancer research
  33. Intake of fish and marine n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and risk of breast cancer: meta-analysis of data from 21 independent prospective cohort studies
  34. Dietary Intake of N-3 and N-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Risk of Cancer: Meta-Analysis of Data from 32 Studies
  35. Dietary fish and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids intake and cancer survival: A systematic review and meta-analysis
  36. Ray Peat on Mexican coke, HCFS.
  37. Eclampsia
  38. Ray Peat on orange juice being anti-estrogenic
  39. Ray Peat on how to increase cholesterol
  40. Long-term orange juice consumption is associated with low LDL-cholesterol and apolipoprotein B in normal and moderately hypercholesterolemic subjects
  41. Orange juice decreases low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic subjects and improves lipid transfer to high-density lipoprotein in normal and hypercholesterolemic subjects
  42. Effects of orange juice intake on cardiovascular risk factors: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials
  43. What sugars is honey made up of?
  44. Physical and chemical screening of honey samples available in the Saudi market: An important aspect in the authentication process and quality assessment
  45. Ray Peat on the best meat to eat
  46. 46.0 46.1 Aging Eyes, Infant Eyes, and Excitable Tissues
  47. Ray Peat Quotes. Twitter.
  48. What did we learn in 35 years of research on nutrition and supplements for age-related macular degeneration: a systematic review
  49. Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on Eye Health: Summary
  50. Docosahexaenoic Acid
  51. The Eye, Oxidative Damage and Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids
  52. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and mitochondria, back to the future
  53. Ray Peat Quotes. Twitter.
  54. Maternal polyunsaturated fatty acids during pregnancy and offspring brain development in childhood
  55. Ray Peat Quotes. Twitter.
  56. Intake of dietary fats and fatty acids and the incidence of type 2 diabetes: A systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective observational studies
  57. Omega-3, omega-6, and total dietary polyunsaturated fat for prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials
  58. Plant-derived polyunsaturated fatty acids and markers of glucose metabolism and insulin resistance: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled feeding trials
  59. Ray Peat Quotes. Twitter.
  60. 60.0 60.1 Smoking harms the brain, raises dementia risk – but not if you quit
  61. Smoking and Dementia
  62. Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission
  63. Smoking Is Associated with an Increased Risk of Dementia: A Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies with Investigation of Potential Effect Modifiers
  64. Smoking and dementia
  65. All you need to know about smoking and dementia
  66. Ray Peat Interview
  67. 67.0 67.1 Ray Peat on what he normally eats
  68. Ray Peat Interview
  69. Ray Peat Sample Diet
  70. Ray Peat labeled ´quack for white supremacists