The Bulletproof Diet: Why and How You Should Start
Do you struggle with weight loss or inflammatory issues? Do you want to increase your energy and cognitive function while balancing your blood sugar and hormones? The Bulletproof Diet, much like the keto diet, centers around fat loss and muscle maintenance while decreasing inflammation. It’s also designed to balance your blood sugar and hormones.
Researchers have linked sugary, high-carb diets with weight gain, brain fog and inflammatory conditions from depression to diabetes. The Bulletproof Diet is a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet, but also encourages a healthier way of eating that doesn’t involve macro or carb counting.
What Does the Bulletproof Diet Involve?
The Bulletproof Diet is designed to melt body fat, improve focus, and boost your overall performance by limiting your exposure to anti-nutrients, toxins, hormones, and other junk that weakens your body. There is quite a bit of overlap in what foods you eat on paleo, keto and Bulletproof.
On the Bulletproof Diet, you eat fewer carbs, plenty of healthy fats, and more vegetables than you ever thought you could eat, and you won’t experience cravings or brain fog. In addition to veggies, you will be eating the correct types, amounts and ratios of fat for your health.
Yes, Fat Is Good for You
For years, most of us believed that eating fat would make us fat and damage our hearts. But this was faulty thinking, brought about in part by a campaign from the sugar industry back in the 1960s. People ended up following low-fat, high-sugar diets, thinking this was the healthy choice. Instead, they just became unhealthy.
Recently, research has debunked these claims. You need to eat lots of healthy fats to perform at your best—to fuel your brain, keep you full, balance your hormones, and more. Fats are the cornerstone of the Bulletproof Diet, but not all fats are created equal. When you eat quality fats—saturated, monounsaturated and a bit of polyunsaturated fats—you’re doing your mind and your body all kinds of favors. Fat strengthens your brain, keeps the weight off, builds cell membranes and makes hormones, keeps your cells healthy, builds sex hormones like testosterone and estrogen, keeps you happy, makes you feel full longer, enhances nutrient absorption, and is actually good for your heart.
How much fat do you need?
When you’re on the Bulletproof Diet, you want healthy fats to make up between 50 and 70 percent of your total calories each day. Men should get at least 120 to 150 grams of fat (8 to 10 tablespoons) each day. Women should aim for between 90 to 120 grams (6 to 8 tablespoons) per day. Keep in mind that your weight, how much you exercise, your genes, and hunger levels all factor in when determining exactly how much fat is right for you. Sources of good fats include grass-fed beef, high-quality dark chocolate, MCT (medium chain triglycerides) oil and coconut oil, grass-fed butter, avocados, extra-virgin olive oil, and the yolks from pastured eggs.
But isn’t saturated fat bad?
No. Saturated fat is the most stable fat—and a stable fat is the least likely to accelerate aging, cause inflammation in the body, and make weaker cell membranes (which ups the risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer). The best source of saturated fat is grass-fed butter. It’s full of antioxidants, fat-soluble vitamins, and fatty acids like fat-burning conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that strengthens the gut and the brain. So mix it into Bulletproof Coffee, or melt it over steamed vegetables at lunch.
Monounsaturated fat is the second most stable fat and is liquid at room temperature. The most common type of monounsaturated fat is oleic acid—studies have found it boosts longevity and protects the heart. Foods rich in monounsaturated fat include olives, avocados, eggs, almonds and pasture-raised pork.
Polyunsaturated fats are the least stable, and therefore most inflammatory fats. Eating too much could lead to metabolic issues and cancer. However, two of the most important types of fats are polyunsaturated. Omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids are both unstable but are vital to your survival. And your body can’t produce these fats on its own—you have to get them from food. They’re also not created equal: omega-6s cause inflammation in the body, while omega-3s don’t.
The best sources of omega-3 fats are wild salmon, sardines, anchovies, grass-fed beef, leafy greens, and pastured egg yolks. Walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds are also rich in omega-3s, but your body can’t easily absorb fatty acids from plants.
10 Steps to Becoming Bulletproof
Implementing just a few of the Bulletproof Diet principles is enough to notice a difference. You’ll be stronger, sharper, and happier by making even the smallest changes in the right direction. But the more you do, the better you’ll feel.
#1: Eliminate sugar
This step comes first because eliminating sugar makes a massive impact on how you feel. Since sugar is addictive, giving it up makes every step after easier. But you don’t have to forsake your sweet tooth entirely—simply switch to xylitol, stevia, monk fruit, or even raw, unrefined honey (not regular honey!). Be sure to watch out for the many hidden places sugar can lurk, like in juices, sports drinks, sauces and salad dressings.
#2: Replace sugar with the right fats
Replacing sugary foods with healthy fats like grass-fed butter, ghee, Brain Octane Oil, avocado, cocoa butter, and olive oil. These all reduce cravings and give you more energy. Avoid bad fats like corn, soy, and canola oil, and unstable polyunsaturated fats like walnut, flax, and peanut oil.
#3: Switch to grass-fed meat and wild caught seafood
The Bulletproof Diet aims to keep toxins low, so the quality of your food really matters. Choose pastured, grass-fed meat like beef, lamb, and bison. Pastured eggs, pork, chicken, turkey, and duck also make good clean sources of protein. Eat significant amounts of fish and other seafood, but make sure your fish is wild—not farmed.
#4: Remove grains and gluten
Wheat is a particularly important grain to avoid because of the many negative effects of gluten, a protein found in wheat and other grains. This category also includes corn, oats, barley, and other cereal grains.
#5: Eliminate synthetic additives, colorings and flavorings
Your food should be made of food. Avoid ingredients like aspartame, MSG, dyes, and artificial flavorings. Even “natural flavor” on the ingredient label is questionable. Know what you’re eating.
#6: Eliminate legumes
Peanuts, beans, and lentils cause inflammation, especially if you’re sensitive to them. If you must have beans, soak, sprout (or ferment), and cook them yourself.
#7: Remove all processed, homogenized and pasteurized dairy
Most dairy products contain casein and lactose, two compounds that cause inflammation and digestive distress in many people. Grass-fed butter has much lower levels of casein and lactose because of the churning process, which removes the buttermilk from the butterfat. Most people feel a lot better removing milk, cheese, and other dairy products entirely, but if you want to keep some dairy products, opt for full-fat, raw dairy from grass-fed cows.
#8: Switch to organic fruits and vegetables
Avoiding insecticides and herbicides goes a long way to helping you feel better. Some plants have higher levels of residues than others—you can find a full updated list from the Environmental Working Group.
#9: Cook your food gently, if at all
Smoking, frying, and grilling damages the proteins in your meat, changes its chemical composition, and produces carcinogens on the surface. Cook your food slow and low, at or under about 320°F—and do not use a microwave. Here’s a great downloadable guide to the best and worst cooking methods.
#10: Limit fruit consumption to 1-2 servings per day
Start thinking of fruits and vegetables as being in totally separate categories. The difference is that fruits contain a sugar called fructose that is actually very harmful to the body. To get the polyphenols and nutrients from fruits without a fructose surge, choose low-fructose fruits like berries and lemons over higher-sugar fruits like watermelon and apples.
#11: Bonus tip!
Enjoy eating your food.
An Easy Way to Get Started—Bulletproof Coffee!
Bulletproof coffee ingredients take advantage of the most powerful medium chain fatty acids and the rarest parts of coconut oil. Ditch the carb-heavy breakfast. Start your day with fat for fuel. You’ll be sharp and alert straight through until lunch.
Why drink it?
- Suppressed hunger. Brain Octane Oil balances ghrelin and CCK, your hunger hormones, keeping you full until lunch.
- Steady lasting energy. The saturated fat in grass-fed butter slows the absorption of caffeine, which gives you even energy for several hours instead of a caffeine spike and crash. No jitters, either.
- Mental clarity. Brain Octane rapidly converts to ketones, a type of molecule that your brain uses more efficiently than carbs or sugar. Pair ketones with the slowly releasing caffeine and you’ll literally feel your brain turning on.
How to make it:
- It all starts with the beans. Brew 1 cup (8-12 ounces) of coffee using filtered water with 2½ heaping tablespoons of ground Bulletproof Coffee Beans. Use a French press for ease of use and to preserve beneficial coffee oils that paper filters keep out.
- Add 1 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons of Brain Octane Oil. Keep in mind that this stuff is powerful. Start with 1 teaspoon per cup and work your way up to 1-2 tablespoons over several days.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of grass-fed, unsalted butter or 1-2 teaspoons of grass-fed ghee (for those who can’t tolerate dairy). Yes, you read that right—it says butter or ghee. Don’t worry. This mixture makes the creamiest, most delicious cup of coffee you’ve ever had. Oh, and make sure your butter is unsalted. Salty coffee is gross.
- Mix it all in a blender for 20-30 seconds until it looks like a foamy latte.
- Enjoy. Seriously. You will love it.
Have you tried the Bulletproof Diet? Let us know how it worked for you!