Has Bulletproof Diet by Dave Asprey been sitting on your reading list? Pick up the key ideas in the book with this quick summary.
Mix some butter into your coffee. No, really.
That is one of the major innovations that come from Asprey’s
In this summary of Bulletproof Diet by Dave Asprey,Bulletproof Diet
– discoveries that make his diet plan one of the most followed healthy lifestyle trends of our time.
The best way to describe the Bulletproof Diet is that it is packed with fat and vegetables, with some proteins and carbohydrates, and very little starch. But following a bulletproof diet is more than food groups. It’s about how our body uses food and how we can boost our performance. It’s knowing why we should eat fats – the right fats – and how fasting can be good for you if you do it right.
This book summary details all this and more. After this summary, you’ll have an understanding about why butter really should go in your coffee and why you should try it out for yourself.
You’ll also learn:
- That some coffees might have molds and toxins
- That grass-fed meat is the best to eat
- how eating more fat can mean quicker thinking
Bulletproof Diet Key Idea #1: Part One
Most of us enjoy our coffee in the morning before beginning our day, but most aren’t away that coffee has antinutrients
: compounds that stop your body from absorbing nutrients. These antinutrients can be in seeds, plants, and beans, and might be harmful to our health.
Usually, most of us are exposed to a low dosage of these antinutrients daily. They are hard to avoid, as they’re in almost everything we eat but are hard to detect and not visible to the naked eye.
Coffee beans are one of the many natural goods that carry this mold toxin. One study of Brazilian coffee beans grown showed over 90 percent of those beans being contaminated with mold before processing. Another study also found that almost half of all brewed coffee contained mold.
In fact, mold is such an issue in the coffee business that countries like South Korea and Japan have executed regulations that prevent any coffee to be sold that shows a high amount of toxins. However, the United States and Canada don’t have this limit set yet, so coffees sold in these countries are more likely to be carrying mold toxins.
This is an issue because exposure to a high level of mold toxins can result in health problems like cardiomyopathy, cancer, hypertension, kidney disease, or brain damage. This means that we should be paying close attention to the coffee we’re buying. When you buy cheap coffee, it’s not just a lower quality bean– it’s also more likely to have these toxins present.
If you’re thinking about switching to decaf – think again! Decaffeinated coffee actually contains more mold because caffeine is an antifungal defense mechanism. It can actually deter mold and other organisms from growing on the bean.
So, to avoid exposure to these mold toxins, buy your coffee from a shop that roasts in house, and try to buy only single-origin coffee instead of a blend of different beans.
Bulletproof Diet Key Idea #2: Part two
All of this talk about mold toxins does not mean you need to give up coffee. In fact, if you make your coffee the right way, it’ll help you become bulletproof
Also, caffeine can have some health benefits: it blocks inflammation, regulates insulin sensitivity, and can help in weight loss. And, you can intensify these benefits if you decide to mix in some unsalted, grass-fed butter into your morning cup.
But why would anyone want
to put butter in their coffee?
Well, you’ll get over three times as more antioxidants out of your coffee if you mix in butter instead of milk. Milk actually has a negative effect on polyphenols
, which is the good antioxidant found in coffee. All that frothy milk in coffee actually makes the antioxidants less likely to be absorbed. Additionally, butter has butyric acid as an ingredient, which lowers inflammation and repairs your gut.
Still skeptical? Well, a study done in a lab on rats found that consuming coffee with a high-fat diet resulted in a decrease in body weight, fat, and liver triglycerides.
You might also want to add fats to your coffee to help reach ketosis
, which is a metabolic state where your body will burn fat for energy rather than sugar.
Most think that reaching ketosis is done by avoiding carbs, but a different method you can use is to add MCT oil, or medium-chain triglyceride oil, to your coffee. This oil comes from coconut or palm oil, with 18 times more medium-chain triglycerides over standard coconut oil. By adding in grass-fed butter and MCT oil, your body will begin to burn fat as an energy source.
This was studied through the author’s experiment with his own diet. A day after eating a sushi dinner with two cups of rice, he found his blood ketone level was only at 0.1. Ketosis is indicated by a ketone level of 0.6.
However, after a cup of bulletproof coffee
, his ketone level was at 0.7 in only 30 minutes. A low-carb diet would take three days to reach this level. MCT oil is so powerful that ketosis can be reached even after eating carbs. Careful though – don’t increase your level too quickly, or it can make you sick.
Bulletproof Diet Key Idea #3: Part three
Being bulletproof also means encouraging the growth of good bacteria in your digestive tract. Your gut biome
, which are the microbes in your intestine, are important to your overall health and can be impacted by your diet.
Studies done with mice have shown great insight into how our human bodies gain and lose weight. Weight isn’t just determined by calories you eat or burn off – weight is also affected by our gut bacteria.
For example, placing gut bacteria from obese mice into thin mice caused them to overeat by ten percent and increase their resistance to insulin. Just like in mice, heavy and thin humans are affected by different gut bacteria.
Naturally thin people have more bacteroidetes phylum
bacteria. If you want to generate more of these bacteria for yourself, eat foods that contain polyphenols.
They’re in bright vegetables, like peppers and carrots. Also, coffee is the is a rich source of polyphenols, as well as chocolate.
Resistant starches like white rice, sweet potatoes, carrots, and pumpkins can also radically change your gut biome. These are called “resistant” because they are harder to digest. Since our bodies can’t break them down, our body consumes them without raising our insulin levels and without affecting our blood sugar level.
This also means these foods are more intact when they reach the colon. Studies show that bacteria in the colon thrives on these more intact resistant starches, producing a short-chain fatty acid called butyrate
. This fatty acid is fundamental for a healthy gut and brain.
Bulletproof Diet Key Idea #4: Part four
There tends to be a misconception that eating fat will make us gain weight. This is all thanks to a man named Ancel Keys, who, in the 1950s, argued that saturated fat can lead to heart disease. It was revealed that he manipulated his research data in order to prove his theory, but his fallacy is still well believed today.
Here’s a way to think of it: a powerful car needs a high-octane fuel in order to reach max speed, because high-octane fuel has more energy in each gallon. This is the same way your body and brain work. For fuel, we need fats like omega-3s, which we can’t produce on our own. Fat is in our brain, cells, and organs. Without high-quality fat, we can’t function.
Fat is also formed by myelin
, which is used by our nerves to allow electricity to flow efficiently. You will think quicker with the more myelin that you have, as your nerves will be able to transmit messages faster. You’ll also burn fat more efficiently and create healthier cell membranes with the right fats.
So then, what fats are the right fats?
Mary Enig, a nutritionist, developed two methods to understand fat. The first way is to look at the length of the fat molecule. If it’s shorter, then its more rare and and more anti-inflammatory. For this reason, the Bulletproof Diet suggests that we consume more of these short and medium length fats, like the ones found in MCT oil.
The second way to look at fat is to measure its stability. Saturated fats are considered more stable because they oxidize more slowly – there is less space in the fat molecule for oxygen to enter. Oxidation is behind inflammation and aging.
To avoid this, stick with Bulletproof oils and fats such as MCT oil, ghee, cocoa butter, avocado oil, coconut oil, and grass-fed butter.
Bulletproof Diet Key Idea #5: Part five
Just like with fats, proteins can also affect your body in different ways – especially your immune system, muscle gain, and inflammation.
Protein is so important because it helps us keep our muscle mass and sustain bone density. In fact, we need protein so much, that our body has powerful mechanisms stop us from eating too much or too little.
But protein can be complex; people assume all protein is good for you, which saturates the food industry with low-quality proteins like gluten and soy.
When studying nutrients in high- and low-quality meat, meat from a grain-fed animal was so low in omega-3 fats, it didn’t even qualify as a significant dietary source! So, grass-fed, organic meat is the best way to ensure you’re getting the right nutrients. It also has fewer toxins, more omega-3, and trace minerals and vitamins. Look for fat that’s more yellow, which means more nutrients.
Also, you shouldn’t just think that organic meat is just as good as grass-fed meat. Organic grain-fed meat is still better for you than conventional meat, but that meat can still have mold toxins and hormones that can be a factor causing obesity.
Having too much protein can lead to inflammation, as it’s more difficult to digest it than it is carbs or fats. Protein is harder to turn into glucose – the fuel for energy.
This is also why we crave sweet food – our liver needs the glucose to process protein. On the bulletproof diet, proteins include fish with low amounts of mercury (haddock, anchovies, sardines and trout), grass-fed meat, pastured eggs, collagen, and pure whey concentrate.
Bulletproof Diet Key Idea #6: Part six
Becoming bulletproof also means to avoid the foods that can harm your body. This means staying away from kryptonite foods
, such as white sugar or processed meat. They have little nutritional benefit and lead to excess fat and sluggishness.
Processed or chemically altered foods won’t satisfy hunger, and instead actually make you want to eat more. It’s because these foods lack macronutrients
, which are carbs, proteins, or fat. Processed foods taste good because of chemicals – not because of the food itself.
MSG, or Monosodium glutamate,
is the most common additive to processed foods. It was made in Japan during World War Two to improve food taste – even to hide a spoiled taste.
MSG can make cells to send a signal that makes them overexcited. This sends a signal to your brain that your cells need even more energy, triggering a headache, mood swing, or deep craving for more sweet things.
Giving in to this craving for sweets only harms your body more. In fact, sugar triggers the same pleasure center in the brain as cocaine. Too much sugar decreases your dopamine receptors, making it more difficult to feel energy or pleasure when dopamine is actually released. This is the same thing that happens to all addicts!
Most of us understand a “sugar crash,” but can’t explain how it happens. This crash doesn’t just lower focus and energy, but it affects blood sugar, too. Eating sugar raises your blood pressure until the point where your boy needs to pump insulin to release it.
One of the best things you can do now for your health is to end this cycle and eliminate sugar from your diet altogether.
Bulletproof Diet Key Idea #7: Part seven
You can’t fear hunger to become bulletproof. Fasting can be very helpful if it’s done in a healthy way.
There are a few strategies for fasting effectively. Traditionally, intermittent fasting
meant to eat all your food during a shorter timeframe during the day, typically all within six to eight hours. Recently, it’s become more popular, and with good reason: intermittent fasting can help increase fat loss, avoid cancer, and build muscles.
, which is a form of intermittent fasting, is also proven to support the prevention chronic diseases, reduce triglycerides, and improve markers such as LDL cholesterol
. The downside of this type of fasting is that it entails skipping breakfast and to abstain from all eating until after 2:00 p.m., which can be tough for someone who has to work.
The Bulletproof Diet author sought another way to fast and developed the Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting. In this method, you begin in the morning with a bulletproof coffee and don’t eat again until the afternoon.
How does this work? The fats in bulletproof coffee are satiating. They also triple the effect of a physiological mechanism called mammalian target of rapamycin
(mTOR), which escalates protein synthesis in muscles and helps them to expand.
As we’ve mentioned, the Bulletproof Coffee diet also triggers ketosis, even if you’ve eaten carbs the day prior. On ketones you have better focus and higher energy, due to steady levels of blood sugar.
If you want to add to your morning coffee with butter, the best idea is a combination of protein and fat, such as poached eggs or smoked salmon and avocado. Combining fat and protein stops food cravings by providing your body with energy break proteins down into essential amino acids.
Bulletproof Diet Key Idea #8: Part eight
Having a bulletproof lifestyle isn’t all about your diet, of course. It’s also important to include exercise although not all exercise is the right kind.
For example, being good at sports doesn’t necessarily mean someone is healthy. Some athletes can drop after marathons! Extreme cardio for extended periods of time can actually strain the heart and damage muscles. However, tame cardio such as walking or bike riding don’t provide enough challenge to be the most effective forms.
When done right, exercise can be immensely beneficial. Exercise truly should be succinct, intense, purposeful, and safe. This is the best way to maximizing the benefits of exercise.
Weight training can be one of the best forms of exercise, if staying under 20 minutes, and performing the actions until muscle fatigue. For example, try the seated row or chest press nonstop until exhaustion, instead of reps. With more muscle comes less fatigue, disease, and toxins.
Instead of just running or cycling, try high-intensity interval training
instead: run as fast as you can for half a minute, then rest for a minute. Repeat this for an intense, effective 15-minute workout.
High-intensity training will also cause your body to produce the anti-aging hormone HGH, which keeps your body looking young. This hormone is best produced under intense interval training.
However, doing more exercise isn’t always better for you, either. Over-exercising can also be harmful. You must give your body time to recover and rebuild muscle after exercising. It’s good to rest at least two days after an intense interval workout or weightlifting sessions – four to seven days is recommended.
Last, if you have less experience with free weights, use machines first, because you risk less injury while still being able to push yourself to fatigue.
Bulletproof Diet Key Idea #9: Part nine
In addition to eating and exercising, sleep is the last important factor to becoming bulletproof. Getting good sleep improves your ability for cognitive tasks by 50 percent!
Sleep can also improve skin quality, optimize insulin secretion, advances athletic performance, and promotes healthy cell division.
You don’t need incredibly long night of sleep either to reap the benefits. Studies reveal that healthy adults need around six and a half hours of sleep a night.
Sleep is crucial to the Bulletproof Diet because of the link between sleep and what we eat. When your healthy and bulletproof, you’ll find you can sleep less and still feel all the benefits of a good night’s rest.
If you want to improve the quality of your sleep, eat fat at dinner. Try animal fat or put olive or coconut oil on your food. Fat is fuel for your mind and body, so you’ll have a stable stream of energy to satisfy late night cravings.
Also try having your fish oil or krill oil at night for the omega-3 fatty acids. Studies show that fish oil can helps create serotonin
, the neurotransmitter that stimulates feelings of happiness and reduces stress hormones that interfere sleep. Also, eating a tablespoon of raw honey can also help your sleep quality.
Bulletproof Diet Key Idea #10: In Summary
The key message:
The Bulletproof Diet is more than losing weight. It’s about increasing energy and focus as well. If you eat the right fats and proteins, perform high-intensity workouts, fast intermittently and sleep well, your body and mind will feel good, and you’ll look good, too!
Actionable advice: Get yourself ready for sleep each night.
For the best sleep, avoid bright lights, violent movies, and exercise two hours before bed. Have the right mental state before bed, and you’ll get more rest.
What to read more? Try The Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teicholz
If you still don’t like the idea of butter in coffee, or not convinced you should eat fat, journalist Nina Teichholz can erase your doubt. She challenges the idea that saturated fat is bad for your and digs into how this idea took shape in America, revealing it for what it is: an untruthful diet trend.
So if you want to think more about fat – including what a Kenyan tribe can teach you about lowering blood pressure – look for the book summary for The Big Fat Surprise
by Nina Teichholz.