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Latest in Paleo 128: Truth Bomb

January 14, 2015 | 12

On this episode, we dig into a popular recent study that tells us eating whole grains increases life expectancy; we look at whether there is validity to a claim that the Paleo diet erases the benefits of exercise, as explained by Dr. Michael Greger; I recap my 4 1/2 years of eating Paleo, offer a critique of the current direction of Paleo, and I answer a listener’s questions about my current Paleo eating framework. After the Bell, it’s a diet debate between three doctors: low-carb/high-fat, plant-based whole food, and Vegan.

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Bulletproof Coffee Vs. Breakfast

December 30, 2014 | 32

I haven’t written up a blog post in some time, but I wanted to for this topic, since one of my main points is quite visual — and that point is that a real-food breakfast is superior to Bulletproof Coffee. So, yesterday, I decided to take some pictures of what I was preparing for my first meal (at around 11 a.m.), both the ingredients and the final product (delicious, by the way!). I also took a photo of typical ingredients for Bulletproof Coffee.

I then entered all of the ingredients into Nutrition Data, creating custom recipes for my breakfast as well as the Bulletproof Coffee. You can see the nutrition information below for both, and even further down, I compare some of the data side-by-side in a chart.

Bulletproof Coffee

Here are the common ingredients for butter coffee:

Bulletproof Coffee Ingredients

Bulletproof Coffee made with 2 tablespoons each of coconut oil & butter.

Here is the nutrition data for this “meal”:

Bulletproof Coffee Nutrition DataBulletproof Coffee Nutrition

A Real-food Breakfast

Some may not consider the sprouted grain & seed tortilla a “real food” item (a topic for another post). An egg or a sweet potato could easily be substituted here. Here are the ingredients I used:

Sprouted grain & seed tortilla, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, cooked pinto beans, spinach, and homemade pico de gallo.

Sprouted grain & seed tortilla, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, cooked pinto beans, spinach, and homemade pico de gallo.

 

Here’s the final product after sautéing the vegetables and mushrooms in a bit of vegetable broth, toasting the sprouted tortilla, and reheating & mashing the pinto beans:

Breafast-Final

And here’s the nutrition data for this breakfast meal:

Breakfast wrap nutrition info.Breakfast wrap nutrition

Summary

Let’s compare some of the data side-by-side (on mobile devices or smaller screens, Bulletproof data will appear on top for each category):

Type
Bulletproof
Breakfast

Calories
438
260

Fat (g)
50
5

Carbs (g)
0
46

Fiber (g)
0
9.5

Protein (g)
0.7
14.9

Vitamin A
14%
122%

Vitamin C
0%
156%

Vitamin D
0%
3%

Vitamin E
4%
8%

Vitamin K
3%
430%

Choline (mg)
16.1
54

Calcium
1%
16%

Magnesium
3%
34%

Potassium
6%
29%

Sodium
0%
25%

Zinc
1%
16%

Copper
1%
35%

Selenium
0%
13%

Omega 6 : Omega 3
14.2x
0.79x

As you can see, the real-food breakfast packs a solid nutritional punch in just 260 calories. It is nutrient dense and calorie sparse, while the exact opposite is true for Bulletproof Coffee — it is calorie dense and nutritionally sparse.

For those concerned with Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratios, notably the Bulletproof Coffee has 14.2 times as much Omega 6 fat as it does Omega 3s. The real-food breakfast, though, has more Omega 3 fats than it does Omega 6 fats — nearly 1.3 times as much.

You might also notice that according to Nutrition Data, the real-food breakfast:

  • is a good source of fiber and many nutrients
  • carries a low glycemic load
  • is satiating (i.e. it ranks very highly on fullness factor and being nutritious, also just looking at the bulk of the meal is a good indicator that it will literally fill you up. Also, two full portions may be appropriate for some, providing twice the bulk, energy, and nutrition.)
  • promotes weight loss
  • promotes optimum health

On the other hand, the company that tells us we can lose weight without exercise and stay healthy with less than 5 hours of sleep also promotes and sells the high-caffeine, high-fat, high-calorie meal replacement beverage, which it ranks as Bulletproof — the company’s highest ranking for foods.

Let’s assume the best of intentions and suppose there is no conflict of interest with this recommendation. Well, I’ll still choose the real-food breakfast, which I ate in the late morning after 7.5 hours of sleep, a 3-mile walk, and some desk work. Incidentally, according to the Bulletproof Diet, several of the ingredients in the real-food breakfast lean toward the “toxic” side of their food-ranking scale. I’m not concerned. At all.

Finally, I’ll add a few points for you to consider:

  • There are no studies that indicate the daily (or less frequent) drinking of 4 tablespoons of fat as a meal replacement is beneficial to long-term health. If you know of any please pass them along. The only diet I’m aware of that advocates something similar is the Shangri-la Diet created by the late Seth Roberts. Whether this practice is especially taxing on the cardiovascular system remains a very valid question. Roberts died in 2014 at the age of 61. According to Wikipedia, “occlusive coronary artery disease and cardiomegaly contributed to his death.” Bulletproof Coffee is not only inferior to real food, but it absolutely may pose a risk to long-term health.
  • Do you really wish to drink calories in a greasy beverage or would you rather eat calories in a wide variety of nutrient dense foods? Which do you think your body is better equipped for?
  • There is no known ancestral example for drinking large amounts of oil on a regular basis. Even the Inuit’s practice of eating Pemmican or dipping food into seal fat is not similar. In addition to lacking a natural example for us to draw information from, there is also no scientific research on Bulletproof Coffee.
  • Bulletproof Coffee almost certainly increases LDL & HDL cholesterol and triglycerides in most individuals. See this case study: http://www.medpagetoday.com/MeetingCoverage/AACE/45810  (video and story, link opens in new tab). Note: this person’s Triglyceride-to-HDL ratio also moved in a worse direction, but was still within what is considered the normal range.
  • For people on a ketogenic diet to treat various medical conditions, this beverage might be helpful. However, a nutrient-dense ketogenic approach is still likely preferable for long-term health and longevity. Coconut meat, for example, is approximately 80% fat and it contains far more nutrition and fiber than coconut oil.

Further Reading:

To hear more of my thoughts on Bulletproof Coffee and the practice of drinking large amounts of fat regularly, check out Latest in Paleo Episode 111: Mystery Solved and more recently (and thoroughly) Episode 127: Bite the Bullet.

Latest in Paleo 127: Bite the Bullet

December 24, 2014 | 3

On this week’s show we cover some contentious topics including the recently released Bulletproof Diet; the archaeological view of Paleo diets; and weight gain. We discuss the continuing evolution of my diet as my weight drops into the 160s. Also, we take a brief look at a new Paleo TV show in Australia. The Moment of Paleo is my best sales pitch juxtaposed against high octane brains and upgraded marketing. After the Bell, it’s Denise Minger who says Paleo can learn from the Vegans.

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Latest in Paleo 126: Tamiflu Season

December 8, 2014 | 1

On this episode of Latest in Paleo, we discuss a new study indicating that the Mediterranean Diet leads to a longer life, a couple of new food industry products, a raw milk study, flu season, and a new study about campfires. The Moment of Paleo segment is about taking a “sensitive” approach to food. And After the Bell features a TEDx talk about sleep.

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Latest in Paleo 125: Can’t Fool Nature

November 22, 2014 |

On today’s show: Healthy low-carb diets: fact or fiction? What is the Paleo-Vegan diet? Can supplements assist with memory improvement and Alzheimer’s prevention? Why are the Maasai being handed an eviction slip? We also talk a bit about the late physicist Richard Feynman. In the Moment of Paleo segment, does nudging the world in a better direction matter? And After the Bell, we close with a TED talk about the psychology of positive thinking.

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Latest in Paleo 124: Mismatch Theory

November 9, 2014 |

On Episode 124 we cover the latest research on brain games and how working irregular shifts affects cognitive ability. Also, what exactly is a healthy gut microbiome? What happens when you use hand sanitizer and then handle cash register receipts? Plus, we discuss why the WHO is blaming pharmaceutical companies for the latest ebola outbreak. Then, in the Moment of Paleo segment, we further the discussion on mismatches. And, in the After the Bell segment, Donnie Vincent talks about what hunting means to him.

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Latest in Paleo 123: Two Degrees

October 26, 2014 |

This week’s news stories: Soda linked to rapid aging; Green coffee study made famous by Dr. Oz has been retracted; we’ll talk about sleep for teenagers, camping, and hunter-gatherers; a new study suggests hunter-gatherers were smarter than we previously thought. Also: self-sufficiency, Babies, what we might learn from one airline disaster, and Michael Pollan After the Bell.

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Latest in Paleo 122: Hairy Pigs, Blue Blockers, and Animism, Oh My!

October 15, 2014 |

On today’s show we have a rewilding update; we discuss recent media coverage of the Paleo lifestyle (pro and con); a study indicates that artificial sweeteners can disrupt the microbiome and lead to metabolic disorders; we cover Mark Bittman’s thoughts on home cooking; and also an interesting idea about how fire has made us who we are…and it’s not just cooking. The Moment of Paleo segment is titled Animism and Generalities. And After the Bell, it’s a TED talk called The Surprising Science of Happiness.

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