Thanks to a robust celebrity following, a growing chorus of supporters, and a new book, the Bulletproof Diet is poised to become the first big diet of 2015. Get ready to hear a lot about it.
Invented by technology entrepreneur David Asprey, the Bulletproof craze began with a unique coffee drink that combines special low-mold coffee beans, unsalted butter from grass-fed cows, and a coconut oil extract that's high in medium-chain triglycerides (an easily digestible fat). The benefits include increased clarity, energy and a decrease in food cravings, according to the claims.
“You will have no interest in food for four to six hours,” Asprey recently told People magazine. “It makes your brain work better because you are not distracted every time you see a cookie lying around. You don’t even think about food.”
Can a cup of joe with some added ingredients really do all that? Some very influential people seem to think so. For over a year now, Bulletproof Coffee has been praised by everyone from Silicon Valley execs to athletes and celebrities. Some, like actor Brandon Routh, have even committed to carrying around the necessary beans, oil, butter and tools necessary to make it all come together. “My energy levels are through the roof compared to what they used to be,” Routh told the NY Times.
And then there's this ringing endorsement from actress/natural foods advocate Shailene Woodley:
All of this is to say that Bulletproof Coffee is having its moment — and it's about to get bigger. Asprey's new book "The Bulletproof Diet," released earlier this month, is already sitting high on bestseller lists. But is the food regimen — which advocates a diet high in saturated fats and vegetables, low in gluten and sugar, and devoid of grains and legumes — all that healthy for you?
In a piece over on Vox titled "The Bulletproof Diet is everything wrong with eating in America," author Julia Belluz spoke with several nutritionists to better understand Avery's claims. While they agree that eating more vegetables and cutting down on sugar is a good thing, the extreme nature of the diet will likely equal short-term gains, and not the sustained lifestyle change so many people are looking for.
"While it may be true that folks who go on low-carb diets lose a little more weight in the short run, it’s also true that these dieters have a very hard time adhering to them," writes Belluz. Critics also point out that Asprey's up-selling in the book for consumers to buy his specific brand of "Bulletproof" products should be treated as a red flag.
While I've not tried the Bulletproof Diet, I do like the lengths to which it implores people to think about where their food comes from, as well as the emphasis on vegetables. While I agree that the extreme nature of it will likely cause most people to fall off the wagon, there's hopefully some good nutrition education that will be carried forward.
Looking ahead, Asprey is moving forward on plans to grow his Bulletproof empire, starting with his first stand-alone shop and cafe in Santa Monica early next year.
Have you tried Bulletproof Coffee or the new diet? Let us know below. Also, for anyone curious, check out how MNN's own Robin Shreeves fared after replacing her regular morning coffee with the Bulletproof version for one week.
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