An Upbuilding Discourse


Research on Being

Doing Ray Peat without Dairy: Some Suggestions

When I first started reading Ray Peat, I was somewhat incredulous at his recommendation to consume so much milk and cheese as well as at his belief that lactose intolerance problems are the result of various hormonal problems as opposed to simply the fact that most people in the world do not have genes for lactase persistence. In any case, even if Ray Peat is correct on all accounts, consuming high amounts of dairy on a healing program when you know it gives you issues sounds like a world of pain. I’ve come up with a few suggestions for those who still want to try Ray Peat’s dairy suggestions without actually consuming dairy.

Why Does Peat Recommend Dairy?

There appear to be three main reasons: dairy has an anti-inflammatory amino acid profile, dairy has pro-thyroid minerals, dairy has a high calcium/phosphorus ratio.

The Calcium/Phosphorus Ratio

There are lots of foods with a high calcium/phosphorus ratio but most of these are vegetables meaning that you’ll have to consume a relatively high volume of them in order to get enough (for 1g of calcium you need about 2-3lbs of collard greens or 19 oranges). You can also get a boost from molasses which has a great ratio and is high in many other minerals including magnesium (look for one low in iron).

Best: Dark leafy greens (especially collard greens, kale), molasses, oranges

Anti-Inflammatory Proteins

I did a look on nutrition data in order to figure out how proteins compared to gelatin in terms of being high in proline, glycine, and alanine as well as which were low in methionine, cystine, and tryptophan. Here is some of what I found:

Low tryptophan: Milk, yogurt, oysters, clams, scallops, cuttlefish, squid

Low cysteine: Milk, yogurt, clams, oysters, snow crabs, cuttlefish

Low methionine: Milk, yogurt, clams, oysters, scallops

High glycine: Pork skin, pork ears, pastrami, crab, cuttlefish, lobster, veal liver, crawfish, scallop

High proline: Laver (seaweed), egg white, casein, beef spleen, tuna, pike, cod, haddock, whitefish, pastrami

High alanine: Ham, beef lungs, shrimp, beef round

Among these proteins, we have a few that are also high in cysteine, tryptophan, or methionine such as egg white (methionine, tryptophan, cystine), tuna (methionine, tryptophan), crustaceans (tryptophan), and dairy (cystine).

Being Pro-Thyroid

There are many pro-thyroid vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, selenium, zinc, copper, and iodine. Many of these are in dairy but they are also abundant in mollusks, crustaceans, liver, egg yolks, and seaweed.

What we can conclude from this is that, as a general rule, mollusks and crustaceans are your best source of protein in terms of amino acid profile and mineral content.

Best: Gelatin, oysters, clams, scallops, squid, octopus, crustaceans, liver, egg yolks, seaweed

To summarize, to get the right calcium/phophorus ratio you should consume dark leafy greens in high volume, oranges, and molasses. To get the right amino acid profile, vitamins, and minerals you should consume gelatin, mollusks, egg yolks, liver, crustaceans, and seaweed.


I forgot to mention the fact that Peat also likes dairy because of the fact that it inhibits iron absorption by its high calcium content. I would suggest that you eat your calcium rich foods together with your proteins for best results (and also with coffee, tea, or cocoa if you like as these also inhibit iron absorption). Egg whites are an interesting case in that they contain phosvitin which helps inhibit iron. It is also interesting to take note of the fact that many of the calcium rich greens (collards, spinach, chard, kale) contain oxalic acid which also inhibits iron absorption. You may also make a homemade calcium supplement by saving the eggshells from hard boiled eggs and grinding them into a fine powder; this powder will be calcium carbonate.

Filed under: calcium, dairy, Diet, Health, Peat, protein, Vitamin A

Some Random Stuff: Keratosis Pilaris and Pectus Excavatum

Tonight for some reason I decided to consider a few random problems that I have to see if anyone has contrived any solutions for them and it seems that things are hopeful.

Keratosis Pilaris

Keratosis pilaris is a skin problem that has to do with some overproduction of keratin I believe. It seems that supplementing vitamin A can reduce and possibly even eliminate this problem. Apparently, vitamin A is implicated in skin health so it makes sense that it would have an effect. In most of the cases I encountered it seemed that cod liver oil was the preferred method of supplementation as it was more bioavailable than the vitamin A in plant sources. So we’ll see what happens when I try this out in the future. I am already taking some vitamin A but it’s in pill form as retinol palmitate which seems to be less effective, however, my KP is not all that bad so maybe it is helping out some.

Pectus Excavatum

Pectus excavatum basically means hollowed out chest and refers to a chest dent that happens from a sunken in sternum. It seems that people do not know what causes it so they default to genetics. It seems, however, that this problem often develops during adolescence when there is some growth happening in that area so I am starting to believe that though genetics may play a role, posture is probably the main factor in its occurrence. After all, in many hunter-gatherer groups, this deformity does not seem to exist at all and they have much better posture than we in the West do. Anyway, it seems that this problem can also be reduced to the point of insignificance for many who have a mild case (like me) by simply improving posture and doing sufficient strength training to add some muscle mass to the chest. I have already begun improving my posture and am finding that the muscolo-skeletal chest pain I used to have has been significantly reduced and that my sternum is cracking less. That is already a good enough reason but if I can also eliminate the appearance of my pectus excavatum that’ll be good as well so we shall see where this goes. Since the start of the year I have also been doing some basic weight training so hopefully that shall also yield some results in time. For those of you with this problem consider this path instead of surgery. If you do a google image search you can see that the difference can be significant indeed.

Filed under: CLO, Getting ripped, Keratosis Pilaris, Pectus Excavatum, Strength training, Vitamin A