There’s an element of The Bulletproof Diet you’ve likely heard of; Bulletproof Coffee. Still not familiar? How about putting butter in your coffee? Perhaps that’s ringing a bell.
There is a method to the madness of Dave Asprey, the creator of The Bulletproof Diet. It’s all based on “biohacking”. As a computer hacker, Mr. Asprey set out to hack his own biology, in order to change his lifestyle for the better. The result consists of a food and lifestyle regimen not too far off from the paleo/primal way of life, but with a few interesting additions.
One is the coffee. To explain it, let’s talk fasting for a minute. Dr. Mark Mattson, one of the most recognized neuroscientists in the world, has proven with research (in animals) that intermittent fasting has some pretty incredible benefits on the brain, namely increased BDNF, which stimulates neuron growth. It also stimulates growth factor, controls blood sugar & cholesterol, decreases cancer risk, decreases fat, and increases muscle. So why aren’t we all doing this? Well, because it’s fasting, and I don’t know about you, but I love food! There’s a reason our body tells us it’s hungry (like, you know, not starving), so intermittent fasting can be a challenge.
Here is where the Bulletproof Coffee Latte comes in. This high fat concoction blends MCT oil and butter with coffee (Dave Asprey touts that his brand of coffee, aptly named Bulletproof, is less toxic than your average cup of jo) in order to provide the calories your brain wants to keep it satiated, but your insulin response isn’t affected. Overnight, as you sleep, you’re technically fasting, and this beverage allows you to skip breakfast to keep your body fasting for a longer period of time.
I can’t say I had much success with it. It definitely satiated me for a while, but it didn’t carry me through to lunch time. I must admit, it is delicious, and I did feel brighter cognitively in the morning.
Aside from the coffee, there is some really interesting and thought provoking research included in the Bulletproof Diet. For instance, slender people have a different balance of gut flora than people who are overweight and obese. The book gives tips on how to feed the good bacteria, and starve out the bad (the butter in the Bulletproof Latte has something to do with that).
The chapter on better sleep is an interesting one. It starts off with recommendations on the foods & supplements you should consume in the evening to prime your mind for sleep, but then goes into some funkier tips, like using sleep induction and earthing mats (yes, my inner hippy is intrigued).
The book lays out several different categories of foods that are “bulletproof”, which foods fall into a grey area, and which foods should be completely avoided. There are a few recipes included that are intended to get you through the 2-week protocol that kick-starts the diet.
The Bulletproof Diet strikes me as a bit kitschy, but Dave Asprey has done his research, and can make an argument for anything he recommends in the book. He also clearly states, several times, that the recommendations are based on what he discovered works best for him.
Even if The Bulletproof Diet isn’t for everyone, it’s an interesting read, with valuable information about the biology of the human body, and how food, and fasting affects it.
- The Guardian: Fasting can help protect against brain diseases, scientists say
- NaturalHealth365: Increase brain function with proper fasting techniques
- Wikipedia: Mark Mattson