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MicroSummary: David Asprey is an entrepreneur, investor, and author who lives in Silicon Valley. Before writing his book, Dave was obese, and his doctors said he was at high risk of having a stroke or having a heart attack. He tried various diets. Low-calorie, high-protein, Atkins, and dozens of others. Apparently, nothing worked. Dave then began hacking his own biology, with the goal of finding a way to gain control of his health. In this experiment, he lost over 40 pounds without having to count calories and increased his IQ by 20 points using small performance hacks. He also experimented with sleep hacks, seeking to rest more in less time. He discovered what foods and drinks were good for him, both physically and mentally. The result is a diet with lots of saturated fats, lots of red meat and few fruits. Although it all seems hard to believe, Dave has published the secrets that worked for him in his book, “The Bulletproof Diet.’’
Lose up to a Pound a Day, Reclaim Energy and Focus, Upgrade Your Life
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“The Bulletproof Diet Summary”
Dave Asprey’s eureka moment came one day in 2004 during his breakfast in Tibet while he was trekking the Himalayas and studying meditation. He noticed that the local population was much smaller than him, but could carry twice the weight he could.
While he wore heavy clothes for the cold, the locals wore light shirts.
Asprey tried the Himalayan yak butter and felt fantastic. That moment transformed his life.
When he returned home, he began to mix traditional butter with his tea, but he did not like the taste.
So he replaced the tea with a high-quality coffee and from there came the Bulletproof coffee, one of the pillars of the Asprey diet. The Bulletproof diet is an antitoxin diet that encourages people to find and avoid foods to which they are sensitive.
It also encourages you to have a “Bulletproof” breakfast every day. Bulletproof coffee is a low toxicity coffee with a special butter and coconut oil.
Also, the diet suggests that you eat plenty of vegetables, healthy fats, protein, and carbohydrates in moderation and avoid sugars, sweeteners, processed foods, gluten, corn, and other dairy products other than butter.
Let’s get into more details in the next sessions.
Understand What Harms You in Your Coffee
To truly understand the Bulletproof diet model, you need to understand how your body works.
Dave begins his argument by explaining how coffee can harm us. Although a lot of people adopt the habit of drinking coffee in the morning, most do not know that coffee contains anti-nutrients, that is, substances that prevent your body from absorbing good nutrients.
Most people are exposed to small doses of these antinutrients, especially in coffee. Some of these anti-nutrients, for example, are mold toxins.
They are found in almost everything we eat but are difficult to detect. Coffee beans naturally possess these toxins. A study of Brazilian coffee beans, for example, showed that 90 percent of the beans were contaminated with mold.
Mold toxins can result in serious health problems, including cardiomyopathy, cancer, and even kidney disease.
Even decaffeinated coffees tend to have a high volume of these toxins, so be aware.
One must be very careful about the coffee you consume if you want to have a healthy diet. Never buy coffees from mixed grains and if possible, always use grocery stores that roast their own beans.
Add Coconut Butter and Oil to up Your Coffee
One of the pillars of the Bulletproof diet is caffeine. It brings many benefits to your health by helping in weight loss and regulating your insulin sensitivity.
Dave has discovered a simple secret that contributes to leverage these advantages.
Just add unsalted butter from cows fed grass to the mix. Why? Let’s understand how the butter is made. Cow’s milk is separated from the milk itself and the cream.
The butter is made by stirring this cream until the fats stick together and separate from the whey.
The quality of the butter is determined by its freshness, amount of fat (the more fat, the better the butter) and salt levels. The salt preserves the flavor of the butter and allows it to be stored for longer. However, salt can also be a problem.
While helping to make your butter last longer in your refrigerator, it allows stores to sell you less fresh jars of butter. When the butter is unsalted, the quality problems that could be hidden by the salt disappear.
Why add butter? When you add butter to your coffee, you consume 3x more the antioxidants present in coffee.
Butter also contains butyric acid, which decreases inflammation and improves your digestive capacity.
Dave cites the example of a mouse research that found that coffee combined with a high-fat diet led to a reduction in body weight.
Besides, adding fat to your coffee helps you achieve ketosis, a metabolic state in which your body burns fats instead of carbohydrates for energy.
While many people try to achieve ketosis by avoiding carbohydrates (such as the Atkins diet), a simpler way is to add MCT (coconut oil or palm oil) to the coffee.
MCT Oil allows the body to reach ketosis even after consumption of carbohydrates.
Understanding the Effects of Toxins in Your Intestines
There is a universe of living organisms in our digestive system, and they do a great job for our health.
Our gut influences our happiness, our skin, and even immunological issues. For your bowel to work, the most important thing is to be careful about your diet.
The microbes in the gut, also called the intestinal biome need to be taken care of.
Recent research has provided a better understanding of how your body gains and loses weight. Weight is not necessarily determined by the number of calories you consume or burn but also by those little critters that live in your body.
For example, bacteria from obese rats, when inserted into lean mice, cause them to eat more and be more resistant to insulin, causing them to gain weight.
Naturally thin people have more bacteria from the edges of bacteroidetes.
It is necessary to consume foods containing polyphenols to generate more of these bacteria. They are found in strong-colored vegetables such as peppers and carrots.
Coffee is the richest source of polyphenols and chocolate foods are also rich in polyphenols.
To ensure the increase of lean bacteria, you should eat more sturdy starches such as white rice and starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, green banana flour, ground banana flour, potatoes, and carrots.
Starches like these can change your intestinal biome and program you for weight loss. These starches take longer to be digested, so you can consume them without changing your insulin levels.
Insulin works as if it were a key that opens the cells of our bodies so that the sugars can be used to generate energy.
If sugar can’t get into your cells, it accumulates in your blood, which can cause discomfort and long-term complications.
Because resistant starches cannot be digested, they are still intact when they reach the colon, and good colon bacteria thrive on them and produce a short-chain fatty acid called butyrate when digested.
Butyrate is vital for a healthy bowel and brain, and that’s another reason why butter is important in the Bulletproof diet.
Understanding the Role of Fat
It is also important to understand that fat is not necessarily a bad thing, contrary to what health professionals in recent decades have led us to believe.
You need to learn the reasons why you should ingest fat, the types of right and wrong fats, and also the importance of fasting for the body.
In the 1950s, Ancel Keys in a survey said that saturated fat caused serious cardiovascular disease and from there came the myth that fat is bad for the heart.
It was later revealed that he manipulated the data of his research to prove that his theory was correct, but this myth spread and was assimilated by the masses.
To explain the role of fat, Dave uses the analogy of a race car. A high-performance car needs high octane fuel to achieve its maximum performance because it stores more energy per liter than lower octane fuels.
The body and its brain work the same way, it takes high-quality fats and energy to achieve maximum performance.
Your body needs fats like Omega-3, which your body cannot produce alone. The fat is in our brains and in all our cells and organs constituting, even the myelin sheath, a part of our neurons that allows the electricity to flow through them constantly.
If the myelin sheath is fine, your nerves and thoughts flow faster, and your body burns fat more efficiently.
Therefore, it is important to focus on the right types of fats. To find out the right fats, you need to examine the length of a fat molecule.
The longer the molecule, the healthier it is. On the other hand, short fats tend to be toxic and harm to our body.
The Bulletproof Diet suggests that you eat medium or long chain fats such as MCT oil, derived from coconut or palm.
Another important point to know what the right fats are is to understand how stable a fat is. More stable fats such as saturated fats are oxidized by our body more slowly because they are less likely to be destabilized by oxygen.
Oxidation is one of the main culprits for inflammations we have and also for our aging and therefore fats with lower oxidation potential tend to be much healthier.
Moderate Proteins and Focus on Quality
Protein plays an essential role in gaining muscle mass and keeping our bones healthy.
But not all proteins are healthy and processed foods are filled with low-quality proteins, for example.
Dave cites studies which prove that animal meats based on grains and feedstuffs tend to have poor nutritional quality and recommend consuming organic meat.
Organic meat, from grazing animals, has more nutrients such as antioxidants, omega-3s, trace minerals and vitamins, and far fewer toxins than conventional meats. When it comes to meats, the ideal fat is more yellowish and not white.
This color shows that that fat is richer in nutrients and has more carotenoids, the nutrients that give it that characteristic yellow.
Proteins are essential, but we cannot abuse them. They cause inflammation in our digestive system because of its difficulty of being processed by the body.
On a Bulletproof diet, the best proteins come from organic grass animals, fish, lamb and organic eggs.
Avoid nutritionally garbage processed foods and sugars in general because they tend to be villains in our diet, making us less alert, heavier and weaker.
Also, this type of food does not satisfy our hunger as a high-quality meal. The real flavor of them is derived from artificial substances that harm our health.
This kind of artificial flavoring gives us mood swings, headaches, and migraines, and we constantly need to eat more sweets, which are the fastest and easiest energy (despite its low quality) to our body.
The more sugar you consume, the more your blood sugar level increases and your body is stimulated to release more insulin to balance the situation.
Avoid sugar at all costs. It is one of the biggest villains in any diet.
Fasting Helps Your Concentration
It may seem counterintuitive, but fasting is an excellent tool for stimulating concentration and metabolism.
If done right, a fast can bring great gains to your health.
Asprey suggests that you make short fasts, consuming all the foods of the day between 6 and 8 hours and then only feeding again on the next day. Another way is to fast on alternate days.
Both help prevent chronic diseases and increase muscle mass.
Asprey suggests a simplistic and easy-to-follow fasting model based on a bulletproof cup of coffee in the morning and the next meal only in the afternoon as the coffee fat is satiating and allows protein synthesis in the muscles to occur.
The Bulletproof Diet helps you achieve ketosis even though you have consumed carbohydrates the day before.
And when your body is operating with ketones, you get a greater focus, more concentration, and more energy, because your blood sugar level stabilizes during ketosis.
Complement Adopting of Training
In addition to a healthy diet, constant exercise is essential to ensure that your health is getting better and better. But a myth broken by Asprey is that a person is not healthy just because he practices sports, contrary to popular belief.
Extreme cardiovascular exercises actually put a lot of pressure on the heart and can wear down our muscles.
On the other hand, lighter walks and exercises do lead us to a pace that is efficient for burning calories.
For Dave, exercises should be short, intense, not very frequent, safe and always with a goal.
He recommends bodybuilding sessions as long as you keep each session lasting less than twenty minutes.
It is necessary to repeat the series until failure, that is when your muscles can no longer do that repetition.
In addition to bodybuilding, Dave recommends high-intensity workouts, called HIIT (High-Intensity Interval raining).
They are based on short, high-performance exercises, such as running at high speed for half a minute and resting for another.
Ideally, you should repeat this type of sequence for less than 20 minutes every time. The HIT workout helps your body produce the anti-aging hormone HGH.
It is important to keep in mind that overtraining can harm, it takes long intervals for your body to recover and it takes between 2 and 4 days between one of these workouts and another.
Sleep Better with Bulletproof
To increase your IQ, your productivity, and your performance, you need to be up to speed on your sleep.
A good sleep is good for the mind, its focus and its physical recovery.
To improve your sleep, it is best to consume quality fats at night, whether, in butter, MCT oil or other nutrients, after all, fat is a long-lasting fuel for your mind and body and ingesting these fats before Sleeping gives you an energy source that lasts all night long.
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“The Bulletproof Diet” QuotesWhen mice are exposed to toxin from Aspergillus, a genus of toxic molds common in food and moldy buildings, VIP levels drop.15 It’s likely that humans experience a drop in VIP when exposed to toxic molds as well. Click To Tweet An inflamed brain is an unhappy, low-performance brain that will make you act like a jerk even when you don’t want to. Click To Tweet Looking and feeling sick, tired, fat, or weak is not an option, and you were not meant to be that way. Click To Tweet The best thing you can do to live a long time is to eat the highest-quality food. Click To Tweet That’s right—plants did not evolve for us to eat them; they evolved complex defense systems to keep us from eating them! Click To Tweet
Avoid sugars, consume most of your calories through healthy fats, eliminate grains and processed foods, and you’ll have bullet-proof health.
Start your day with a coffee with butter and coconut oil, intermittent fasts and high-intensity exercise every 2 days.
All this combined will help you have better health, increase your focus, your ability to sleep, your productivity, and lose weight.
12min tip: You should consult your nutritionist before starting a diet like this, okay?