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Bulletproof Coffee Vs. Breakfast

Bulletproof Coffee Vs. Breakfast
Angelo Coppola

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.

  • NateHiggers

    aint nobody got time to prepeare a meal like that for breakfast.

  • I see your point but to make your comparison more valid it would be better to average numbers for several (10? a dozen?) different real food breakfasts… perhaps closer to what people who drink Bulletproof coffee would eat in lieu of it (i.e. more paleo or “upgraded” paleo). Personally, I don’t think a cup of BP coffee a few times per week is harmful as long as you are covering your nutritional basis with the rest of your meals.

    • Great point. Briefly, if we just substitute the sprouted grain tortilla above for a white or sweet potato and add an egg, the real-food meal would still have fewer calories than the Bulletproof Coffee and far more nutrition.

      I’m not so sure quickly ingesting 50 grams of oil, even a few times a week, is OK — even with the nutritional bases covered. 99.9% of doctors and nutritionists would not recommend this. Also, I played an intriguing clip on the show of Nathan Pritikin describing experiments that showed blood vessel clogging (by direct observation) after drinking cream, saturated fat, and polyunsaturated fat.

      Here’s a link to a playlist of this talk, if you’re interested:
      http://youtu.be/kuvFqKb3k7A?list=PLEHzczjouSWvUhweNUKHH2U-3BihbCj-N

      You can start at 6:30 in Part 1 and the description of the experiment continues into the beginning of Part 2. Note: it starts with hamster experiments, but leads into human experiments for verification.

      • NateHiggers

        dude that stuff is like a million years old and debunked.

      • Thanks for that. Will listen soon, along with the podcast episode 🙂

      • Will

        Speaking of oil, I noticed a lack of cooking oil in the real food breakfast ingredient photo. Did you saute without oil? I’ve been cooking a lot of my vegetables in a bit of water instead of oil recently. Nice way to boost the nutrient density per calorie of the meal, and I can totally bypass the “which cooking oil is best?” conundrum.

        • Hi Will. I sauteed everything in just a bit of vegetable broth this time, but water would have worked fine. I’m currently trying to get nearly all of the fat in my diet from whole foods instead of processed fats and oils.

  • Brian Klein

    This has been a fascinating argument for me. I’ve enjoyed butter coffee quite a bit over the last year, and frankly you are making me question it. Which is why I love what you do. I do have a few discussion points.

    For me, a butter coffee is usually not in lieu of breakfast, but included. Which usually includes a couple eggs, and sautéd veggies of some sort. And maybe a slice of sprouted bread. And I don’t think I’m adding that much more fat than what I would have used when cooking my breakfast like normal. I am cognizant that I am adding fat to the coffee, so I use less for the eggs and veggies. But I tend to make breakfast a protein and fat heavy meal, and my lunch and dinner include more carbs. If I add carbs to breakfast, I usually get hungry much earlier. Your argument against butter coffee likely lies in that he recommendations nothing but a bulletproof coffee. I’m curious what you think about my approach. I may be drinking some oil, but I am also eating it with my breakfast in ratios very similar to what I would have been doing anyway.

    Is there any research done on the people living on the Himalayas drinking yak butter tea? That’s where he got the idea. The main point of “Bulletproof” coffee is that it gives you a relaxed focus. Instead of the wired focus of coffee alone. Or the slightly sluggish focus of a full breakfast and coffee. I can attest that I do feel a nice relaxed focus when I drink it w/o breakfast, and can have a very productive morning, with no energy crashes later in the day.

    You mention that 99.9% of nutritionists would advise against this in the comments. I’m not sure a statement like that sits well with me. We know that many of the recommendations of the USDA, AHA, ADA, ETC are not good recommendations, and that very same statement could be said about their recommendations. Or at least 10 years ago before the paleo movement began picking up steam.

    His marketing annoys the heck out of me, and I’m guessing it annoys you as well. It’s hard to trust someone who is good at marketing, especially in today’s environment. That being said, it appears his products are of the highest quality. (Although I agree, they shouldn’t be listed as more bulletproof than all real foods… but then then that wouldn’t be good marketing, would it. And there in lies the rub… Paleo™ be damned!) But I applaud him for his obsession with high quality products. It paves the way for other companies to produce higher quality products as well. Not that I want to give up real food for supplements, but the business of life sets in from time to time, and it’s nice to have high quality processed food available when needed. His example can pave the way for real food processed food. (His supplements mostly are meant to help streamline your mental and athletic performance. More on that next.) If it means I have easier access to better quality, there is a benefit in it for us. (If not the dangerous road of becoming dependent on processed food…)

    RE: Biohacking. He’s worked hard at learning how his biology reacts to all the experiments he has done. It’s very intriguing. But I’m not sure I want to follow in his footsteps on all of his advice, as so much of it simply has not been tried extensively. Seth Roberts was also famous for “biohacking”. We won’t know if it was the biohacking, or something different that lead to his death. But trailblazing this road could be a dangerous one. And if you really look at who he’s trying to appeal to… It isn’t really the average Joe who is happily going along in life but is passionate about real food. His audience is the CEO’s, and CEO wanna be’s. The “serial entrepreneurs” and Internet rock stars. This is dangerous, because he makes it all look so sexy. And a lot of people will take his advice at face value instead of applying it to their life in an intelligent way that works for them.

    But a lot of what he says is really good advice. Get rid of EMF radiation. Meditate. Practice gratitude. Family. Be present. Experiment with life. Eat clean (everyone has their version of clean.) Get good sleep. (Yes, he does mention you only need 5 hours of sleep, but if you dig into his work, he is obsessed about getting the best sleep you can possibly get.) Natural remedies. Buy his supplements and gear. (Oops, that one got in there by accident.) 🙂

    All this to say, we shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. In some ways, this reminds me of Sally Fallon’s review of Robb Wolf’s book. She made many good arguments about places where she felt Robb was wrong. I feel that’s fair, but she did it in such a way that completely discredited Robb, and felt mean spirited. He’s a very bright individual, doing a lot of good in the world, even supporting WAPF and it’s principles all the while she was tearing him down. Dave Asprey is also doing a lot of good in the world. More than the organizations that I mentioned earlier, and more than many other well meaning Internet celebrities. There’s always going to be positive and negatives with people’s approaches to what they recommend. And what I really like about the paleo community is that people challenge each other. This is a fantastic trait to have. But it can lead to situations like I mentioned above. And we probably agree with him more than we do with the standard recommendations of conventional wisdom.

    I applaud you on your fair approach. You are stirring the pot (of coffee) (sorry for the bad pun), but doing it respectfully. If not a bit obsessively. Thanks for making me think twice.

    • Brian, thank you for the detailed and well reasoned response. I chose to leave out Bulletproof Digital, Inc’s marketing practices, but I may address that specifically in the future at some point, since it is such a good example of health advice being peddled like a new toothpaste or iPhone app.

      Regarding your practice of eating food along with your butter coffee, I suspect that is preferable. In the same way that fruit juice is preferable with the fiber, I would think the coconut fat and dairy fat is preferable taken with the rest of their whole food constituents. Of course, when it’s consumed with food, some people will run the risk of weight gain — like any 500-calorie drink has the potential to do.

      It’s interesting how a glass of caffeine water with 12 teaspoons of sugar is easily seen as junk food, but a glass of caffeine water mixed with 12 teaspoons of fat is seen by many of the same people as a health food. Bulletproof.

      There are people who claim the same calm, clarity of thought after drinking Coca-Cola that you claim from buttered coffee (my sister-in-law is one of them!). And, a century ago, colas were advertised as a super brain, weightloss food, too.

      http://youtu.be/8zTDbpxT8ZI

      As to the quality of their products…Bulletproof Digital, Inc. is positioning themselves marketing-wise as a premium product vendor for really smart people. Whether they indeed have better products than others, I don’t know. But they sure have done a great job of making people super afraid of mycotoxins and convincing people that “regular” coffee makes them weak.

      http://authoritynutrition.com/the-mycotoxins-in-coffee-myth/

      Yes, much of what Dave Asprey and Bulletproof Digital, Inc. have to say can be considered good advice. The same is true of nearly everyone and every company that positions themselves as a guru or supplier of “upgraded” products.

      I don’t know all of the ins and outs of the Paleo vs. WAPF feud, but having spoken to Sally Fallon Morell and having read Cordain’s accounts…it seems like a case of bad blood mixed with a genuine disagreement about how much fat in the diet ought to be considered ‘ancestral.’ We are seeing a lot of differentiation happening now among high-fat / high-protein / low-carb communities, and it will probably continue in ’15. I’m not sure if my opinions about the Bulletproof Diet & Coffee come across as mean-spirited or not, but I feel like I’m handling them with kid gloves compared to other pieces I’ve done.

      I’m not sure how much I have to add to what I’ve already said on the show…but essentially, many of their ideas are untested, based on cherry-picked data, potentially dangerous, and the main thrust of Bulletproof Digital, Inc’s marketing message is that you’re broken…and ought to be upgraded. Not my kinda company at all, and I would not say they contribute to making the world a better place.
      Finally, I wouldn’t say I’ve been obsessive about stirring the coffee pot. 🙂 I’ve talked about “bulletproof’ twice out of 127 episodes and probably 400+ stories on Latest in Paleo. And now, I’ve written one article about it. By this measure, I’m infatuated with Coca-Cola. Lol.

      You are right, though. I am stirring the pot a bit. And, I want people to know that it’s OK to disagree with people and corporations in the LCHF industry. And especially to question what is becoming the new ‘conventional wisdom’ that unlimited dietary fat health promoting…what if it’s not? Some of these ideas deserve to be re-evaluated with an open mind.

      Thanks again for taking the time to comment. Cheers!

      • Glenn Whitney

        Nice response. Makes sense to me 🙂

      • Brian Klein

        Thank you for the response Angelo. I didn’t mean to make it sound like you were being mean spirited. You are more fair than anyone one I have heard discussing health. Most people get very defensive, and you have a great way of just trying to look at the facts and present them how you see them. And it’s one of the reasons I respect your work so much.

        I brought up the Fallon-Wolf rift because I’ve seen more and more infighting, and it seems like it’s usually unnecessary. For instance I’ve seen Richard Nikoley be more than rude to Jimmy Moore and others (especially those in the LCHF crowd.) Maybe it’s just his schtick, but it’s not very productive. You disagreed with Moore, but weren’t rude about it. My issue is not in the disagreement in particular issues, but people tend to then discredit everything that one person does instead of appreciating the good and critiquing the bad in a constructive way. (Which you excel at.) And my point was to suggest that Asprey has a lot of good to offer, amid drinking oil and his marketing tactics. I stand by that even if you disagree… His podcast brings to light many issues that deal with health that go beyond any of his products. He does plug his products on the podcast, but most of his guests have no affiliation to him, and they are having good thought provoking conversations.

        I guess the only reason I said obsessive was because you had followed your podcast up with a blog post, and you really hadn’t been blogging of late (at least that I’ve seen). I take that back, it’s far from obsessive. I was trying to be cute and I was off base. Although you have been obsessed with Coke. 🙂 (And I’ve loved every bit of it…)

        One issue I’d like to discuss further is your argument that their marketing message is one that assumes humans are broken. I’m not sure I agree, but I would love to hear more of your logic on it. I think their message is learning to understand your biology, and figure out what makes it work optimally. They may sell the tools to help you on your journey. But I feel they are really about people learning what works for them. After all, that’s the message most of paleo is going with. We try and figure out what foods work well for us and what doesn’t. Maybe the difference is he deals in supplements that aren’t real food, and plays with various devices to help “turn on his brain.” Many of his tactics are not evolutionary examples of improving health, but taking advantage of technology to do so. Some dangerous, some not. But they are rooted in leaning about how we operate, and how to optimize the inputs in order to make us perform better. I’m sure you can poke all kind of holes in my arguments, and would like to see it.

        Keep re-evaluating these issues. It’s very educational, and we all need someone to ask the tough questions.

        And holy cow, I keep writing. Very interesting topic for me. I’m done now. Thanks for listening!

        • I’ve not listened to Asprey’s podcast in ages, but after quickly perusing the guest list, I’m sure listeners can glean some great info there.

          Bulletproof Digital’s marketing practices would make for an extremely entertaining and instructional topic. So might a full analysis of The Bulletproof Diet and its main claims. However, that would take quite a lot of time and either

          several blog articles, a few podcast episodes, both, or a book — and that would probably be obsessive. 🙂

          I suppose, if one thinks he needs or wants to biohack, then he must go down that path and see where it leads. And this can ultimately be a good thing, whatever the outcome. Of course, read the disclaimers along the way.

          However, I’m unconvinced that offering the advice to drink 438 calories of refined fats daily is benign (that’s 20-25% of many people’s daily energy intake consumed as a processed food).

          By the way, the Yak Butter Tea that Bulletproof Coffee is loosely based on calls for anywhere from 32 to 48 fl. oz. of water with just 3 teaspoons of butter. Bulletproof Digital’s recipe calls for 14 fl. oz. of water with 6 teaspoons of butter + and additional 6 teaspoons of oil — 12 teaspoons total. That’s 4x the fat and less that 1/2 the water. I may be incorrect about this, and not entirely familiar with how much is traditionally consumed, whether it’s taken with food, etc.

          Like I said, so much can be said about this. Hopefully, I’ve said enough to give listeners and readers the sense that I’m highly skeptical of the products and the company, and with the sense that they ought to take a closer look for themselves at a wide range of opinions.

          Here’s a nicely done article called, “How to Create a Fad Diet.” http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/how-to-create-a-fad-diet/ <– worth reading.

          • Brian Klein

            Thanks for the conversation! And for the record, my “Bulletproof” coffee looks more like the Yak Butter Tea recipe. But I’m pretty sure you are correct about his recommendations.

  • Joonyaboy

    Long time listener here, thanks for all you do. I usually agree with most of what you say, but I think you gave the Bulletproof evaluation a bit of a harsh earful.

    I think Mr. Asprey touts his method and ideas as going beyond “optimal living”, hence all the biohacker talk. His ideas are meant to be above and beyond and, in many cases, to push the boundaries of what is possible in a regular diet. If you read more of his material he states that none of his products are necessary for optimal health. We don’t NEED cups to be able to drink water, but it does make it easier.

    I do agree that the marketing is a bit brutal, but if you look past that you will see very sound principles. I agree with you that it is hard to sell a product and convey the truth at the same time, which is why the reader/consumer should take everything with a grain of salt.

    I used to be a Bulletproof coffee drinker. It worked amazing for me but usually gave me too much energy. I crafted my own version which is just decaf coffee with organic coconut cream. Works amazing, I feel great, tons of energy and mental clarity and keeps me going till about 2 or 3pm where I eat a full plate of veggies and grass-fed meat. It’s also an amazing drink for travel or long days when tempting food products can sway the mind.

    Thanks again for the reporting and hopefully the Bulletproof marketing team can in the future separate their products from the Bulletproof diet.

    • Thanks for the comments; I’m always eager to hear from longtime listeners. 🙂
      The problem with hacks that claim to go above and beyond optimal living, is that they inevitably do not work when held up to scientific scrutiny. Or, if there is some slight benefit, there is usually a price to be paid in the long term.

      Also, it can be rather difficult to look beyond the marketing. For example, in this document https://www.bulletproofexec.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/BPDRMrast-06112014.55436.pdf — should one conclude that Bulletproof Digital, Inc. actually has the research to back up ranking Bulletproof Upgraded CollaGelatin as being a superior protein source compared to pastured duck? Or that Bulletproof Upgraded Chocolate Powder or VanillaMax is better for one’s health than cinnamon or garlic? Is it real, or is it marketing? This poses a huge credibility problem.

      I’m sure there are variants of Bulletproof Digital’s coffee beverage (like yours) that are better than the official recipe. I noted in another comment that the original Yak Butter Tea recipes all seem to call for about 3 teaspoons of fat in about 32 to 48 ounces of water. Personally, I opt not to drink calories, except for very rarely.

      • lonelymoa

        Memories of yak butter tea. I think the recipe in the Khumbu in 1980 was a big handful of tea, salt and whatever rancid butter was lying about, all boiled together for whatever length of time. I found it wonderful, especially in the context of walking solo with ice axe and crampons across icy passes in those magnificent mountains. Wonderful people up there.

        • In that context, I would have eagerly drunk it up myself. That sounds like an amazing experience.

  • Hi Angelo,

    Long time listener here as well. Thank you so much for this, finally something I can pass along to the people I know that still insist on this nonsense. Bulletproof coffee? Talk about empty calories!

    Please do tell more about those tortillas! I’ve been eating kind of regularly some sort of crispy bread (chestnut flour or buckwheat) and sometimes indulge in the ocasional sourdough bread slice – with no ill effects – but still sort of afraid of regular gluten exposure (event tough I’m not celiac and most of the times too much cauliflower, for instance, causes way more havoc than that slice of bread). How are your thoughts on wheat and gluten changing?

    • Like our Paleolithic and Neolithic hunter-gatherers, I no longer completely eliminate grains from my diet. I suspect the further back we go, the less of a staple food grains were, but that grains were eaten as much 50,000 years ago or more in small quantities. So the ancestral clues point to some whole grain consumption *and* the scientific evidence points to whole grain consumption being beneficial for health as well.

      The sprouted grain tortilla in this article has about 150 calories, which would amount to far less than 10% of my total calorie intake for the day. I don’t mean to over-emphasize calories, even though they keep coming up in this discussion. But if we’re going to talk about nutrient-density, we have to talk about calories (nutrients per calorie). And if we’re going to talk about staple versus non-staple foods, we have to talk about percentage of energy intake (calories in an item / overall calories). It isn’t *about* the calories, tho — just to clarify that point.

      OK, now the fun part. I really like those tortillas. You can learn more about them here: http://www.foodforlife.com/product/tortillas/ezekiel-49-sprouted-whole-grain-tortillas

      Check out the ingredients. On occasions when I eat a slice of bread, I also choose this company’s sprouted grain product. I would offer a link to their products on Amazon, but they are currently overpriced (or the shipping is ridiculous). We get ours at Trader Joe’s.

      Recent research on whether “gluten sensitivity” is real encouraged me to experiment with it again after all but swearing it off. It turns out sourdough upsets my stomach (which is what I used in previous experiments), but other types of bread / wheat don’t. I also have a severe mold allergy that I’ve had since I was a toddler. Penicillin made from mold (like it was when I was a kid) even put me into anaphylactic shock and in the ER. As an adult, blue cheese is the food that brings me the most pain and discomfort (that I’m aware of anyway). So, my thoughts on wheat line up with my thoughts on grain…small quantities work for me and also match up with the ancestral clues & scientific evidence. And it’s worth noting I have no autoimmune conditions or underlying metabolic disorders or risk factors — so others’ mileage may vary with this line of thinking.

  • lonelymoa

    I love butter in my coffee. Butter is all from pastured animals here.

    Like Brian, it is generally an addition to a three egg omelette with plenty of vegetables and meat. Two or three times a week, that meal breaks a 16-18 hr fast, though. My cup of version of BPC bridges the gap.

    • Two or 3 times a week, modified recipe, taken with some food, breaking a 16-18 hour fast sounds a heck of a lot better than BPC daily, to me. 🙂

      I doubt the average BPC drinker does this, though. What the average Western Joe needs is to reduce calorie intake, including fat — not to put 430 additional calories into their morning beverage.

      I’m still not a fan of the reductionist logic behind BPC. Is the best part of the coconut really the medium chain triglycerides? Or is it the whole coconut eaten together in it’s natural package? Isolating and partitioning single components of food is the hallmark of the processed food and supplement industries. I just don’t care for that line of thinking, but more importantly, it also generally fails scientific scrutiny when these isolates are examined in studies.

      Food for thought…

      • lonelymoa

        Actually, I am keen to add his brain proof mcat oil when and if it ever shows up in NZ. I’ll take Caveman Doctor’s advice about the quality (taste) of the BP coffee. Kiwi roasted coffee is as good as in Italy.

        If there is a problem with a little extra fat in my coffee, I am in serious trouble!

  • Christine

    I found your take on bulletproof diet surprising and interesting. Thanks for sharing! Personally, I see the bulletproof inforgraphic as a tool for navigating modern food choices. Information about the toxic effects of different foods on the body is so hard to compile and I think Dave has done a great job. I can make informed decisions for myself, fairly robust and able to tolerate a variety of whole foods, as well as for my son, who, like Dave, is the canary in the coal mine. If the food carries some toxic aspect, he will drop like a fly! Using bulletproof principles, we can see a path back to health for him.

    I always considered grass fed butter as a valuable source of fat and vitamins… Along the same lines as pastured lard and tallow. If imagine our ancestors also valued using animal fats… Do you disagree?

    • I see what you’re saying about the BP Infographic. I’ll just say it loses credibility with me as a tool when it places a bunch of processed-food at the top of the list, and those processed food items also happen to be the products of the company putting together the tool.

      The “toxic effects” of various foods on the body is more of a marketing strategy for diet companies than it is based in reality. Consider this article: http://nautil.us/issue/15/turbulence/fruits-and-vegetables-are-trying-to-kill-you

      Also, consider the research on hormesis. And further, please consider that super centenarians in “blue zones” and “longevity villages” all tend to eat a very high proportion of plant matter in their diets, some of which are considered “toxic” according to some diets.

      For example, one commonality they all share is high legume consumption. Furthermore, nearly all scientific research regarding legume consumption correlates this with lower rates of disease and mortality. Sure, we can use reductionist science to demonstrate the presence of what we label as “antinutrients” and “toxins”…but that tells us nothing about what actually happens in the body.

      I do imagine that our ancestors valued animal fats, but I don’t think they valued them with a reductionist mind-set that would have singled out the fat. They were animists. It is more likely that they would have said, “the animal has provided us with its strength.” They didn’t think of food in terms of fat, carbs, protein, and the million other ways we’ve pigeon-holed the components of whole foods.

      I also suspect that many of our ancestors, who had access to the most pristine land on Earth ate a mostly plant-based diet, because plants are so abundant and offer a huge variety of nutrients, including fats. Check out the nutrition profile of the Mongongo Nut: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongongo

      Of course, their diets depended greatly on what was locally available, their own customs, etc. just as more modern indigenous people’s diets vary quite a bit. For me, my diet started off 4 years ago as mostly animal-based and it has evolved toward becoming more plant-based, not too unlike the Tarahumara or Kitavans.

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  • Wanted to chime in here as well with a bit of a different take. I agree with what you are saying and prefer to eat whole meals as well when I do choose to eat breakfast. However I use bulletproof coffee mainly as a fuel source as I’m a long distance trail runner…in addition to my running I also sprinkle in cycling, Olympic lifting and a little bit of CrossFit. Typically my workouts are somewhere between early and mid morning, and in the case of typical Sunday long trail runs it’s early, early, early morning.

    Anyway, I don’t like to have much, if any, solid food in my stomach when I start out on a long run or during a rigorous workout so the BPC gives me a bit of fuel, satiates me and keeps me going for a few extra hours. I can typically go out for a 3 hour of shorter run without taking in any additional fuel without any ill effects.

    • I haven’t thoroughly looked into this yet, but I believe it warrants investigating: what is the effect of ingesting a relatively high quantity of refined lipids on blood flow and heart health? The research on very low fat diets for preventing and even reversing heart disease shouldn’t be totally ignored or dismissed.

      So, while BPC may provide fuel (an instant, quickly absorbed nearly 500 calories)…is it healthy? The answer is likely not black and white. For instance, maybe it is generally OK for healthy people up into their 30s and 40s, but beyond that — maybe not?

      At the very least, we should recognize that it’s a very novel way for a human being to fuel up; there are no long-term studies; and it is nearly 500 calories of processed, refined foods which I wouldn’t think fits well into a “real-food diet.”

      Using it once a week sounds a lot better than using it daily, as is encouraged, and I like the idea of using foods strategically. But, using it pre-strenuous endurance work would concern me a bit, personally.

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  • Christopher Rice

    we’ve been making this for breakfast. it “feels” great!–lots of energy and satisfaction… we feel nourished.

    • Glad to hear it, Christopher! I eat a variation of this at least a few times a week, and I find that it definitely does the trick. I hope to start posting recipes soon, since a lot of people have been asking what I eat. Cheers!

      • Néstor Enrique Sánchez

        Great, I can’t wait to see some recipes Angelo.

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  • Marty Kendall

    Hey Angelo. I’m a big fan. I do think nutrition needs to be balanced with insulin load, particularly for people who don’t have optimal blood sugar levels. As you’ve talked about a reduced carb load can be helpful for some people in the early stages of gaining health and losing weight. This post got me thinking. Here’s my response – https://optimisingnutrition.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/the-most-nutritious-diabetic-friendly-meals/

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  • Don in Arkansas

    I’m with you, Angelo. While I don’t avoid fats and think coconut oil and butter are great fats to use in your diet, why screw up a perfectly good cuppa joe by putting fat in it? Some eggs and bacon cooked in either, accompanied by a cup of hot, strong, black french roast coffee contain all I need to keep me going for 8-10 hours.

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  • Daniel

    Bulletproof coffee is not a meal, it’s a drink what you pop in after your breakfast, or whenever you feel you could have a little more energy. Using as meal replacement is silly, but Tibetians also don’t use it to replace meals. I personally don’t drink coffee (there is no way to explain that it’s healthy), but I do like butter in my puer tea. I have to agree with you that the marketing of bulletproof is ridiculous, just like in case of any other product which is trying to sell. But… I am a bit disappointed that you are citing a page which is trying to discredit paleo diet in favour of your daily grains. Also disappointing to see those carb junkie paleo people who cannot let their starches and sugars go and trying to promote their “resistant starches” and (adding back) ancient grains, and would come up with anything to validate those. I get it… willpower is not given free. But how far are we coming from ancestral health then? Right, paleolithic man was freezing his potato, and then warming it up to create his resistant starch his gut was praying for… come on. Don’t you see, this is the same what the bulletproof coffee is about? It’s culture, not reason. It’s about creating a biased habit which then we verify with whatever studies or articles. Just like how David found a reason to stick with his coffee he couldn’t put down. That’s what everyone does. I love this and that, so let’s find a research what says paleolithic man ate it, or find some tribe in the jungle who does similar. The truth is that except for the very few no one actually has any idea what works and what doesn’t. We all trying this and that. Just don’t call it paleo when you add back starches and grains. Call it something else please.

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