Your cup of coffee sucks.
Because haven’t you heard? If it’s not giving you mystically-energizing, cognition-elevating, biology-“hacking,” body “reprogramming,” fat-melting superpowers (and most importantly, if you didn’t pay this guy 20 bucks for a tiny bag of your coffee beans), then well—you’ve got nothing more than a mug full of deadly toxins in your hands.
At least, that’s what the blogger behind the cultishly-weird following of so-called “Bulletproof coffee” will have you believe.
But should you?
What’s Wrong with Bulletproof Coffee
So, first, what the heck are we talking about with this “bulletproof” stuff? What is bulletproof coffee?
You can see the recipe here, but the gist is this: use special brand of coffee that the guy sells at like an 800% markup, add special MCT oil (this is like coconut oil, but higher in medium-chain-triglycerides) which he also hocks with a huge pricetag, then add up to 2/3 of a stick of butter. Yeah, you read that right. And this is all you’re supposed to have for breakfast.
Okay. There are some serious issues here. For one thing, this is a “meal” that’s absurdly high in fat, with no carbohydrate.
Now, obviously, I’m a big fan of high-quality, healthy saturated fats. Especially the healthy fats in grass-fed butter. Obviously. But just because something is healthy, doesn’t mean it should constitute the vast majority of your diet (or of any particular meal for that matter). I don’t think any particular nutrient should make up the vast majority of your diet.
As I hope to have already established, my stance is that healthy eating is about balance. Clearly, this bulletproof guy (I’m sorry, but I’m not going to refer to him as an “executive” of anything) disagrees.
The problem with eating a crazy amount of fat without much of other nutrients, and an abnormally high-fat diet in general, goes beyond the simple principles of a balanced diet. It can actually be quite toxic. That’s because large amounts of fat pull endotoxins from your intestines out into your bloodstream, creating damaging stress to the liver. It’s just another example of why there’s always such thing as, “too much of a good thing.”
Ironically, the whole reason why the bulletproof guy wants you to use his special brand of coffee for this bulletproof coffee recipe stuff, is because it’s low in a substance found in coffee called mycotoxins. Funnily enough, he even uses this study which actually shows that the low levels of mycotoxins present in coffee are not a real concern to health, to reference the supposed danger of the toxins in regular coffee. So that you’ll buy his instead, and drown it in unnatural amounts of saturated fat. Swap out small, harmless levels of mycotoxins, for a big ol’ slew of endotoxemia. Nice.
The next problem, is that this is a lot of liquid to be taking in, without any gluocose or sodium to keep the extracellular fluids balanced. When your fluids become too diluted, this creates a serious stress on the metabolism, which is why I don’t recommend drinking large amounts of water all day long just because you read some article in a magazine that said you should. (My oh-so-controversial advice regarding water is to drink when you’re thirsty. Novel concept, huh?)
But by far the BIGGEST issue I have with the recommendations in the post is that it’s advised to only drink this coffee for your breakfast, with no actual food.
Bad, bad, really bad idea.
Here’s the deal. No matter how much people like the bulletproof guy like to spout off about how they’ve “reprogrammed” themselves to burn fat instead of glucose, and how inferior those “sugar-burners” are, they’re neglecting to acknowledge the fact that all bodies burn both glucose and fat. No special “programing” required. However, denying your body glucose under the delusion that burning purely fat is the healthy way to go, is a recipe for disaster.
“It will keep you satisfied with level energy for 6 hours if you need it. And because I’m having it for breakfast, I’m programming my body to burn fat for energy all day long!” (source)
Oh, cool. So you’re stressing your body out to the point that it uses lipolysis, or the release of free fatty acids in the bloodstream to be used as fuel, which is an adaptive stress response and a biomarker of disease and aging.
And by the way? You’re still getting sugar to burn in there somewhere, pal. Whether you eat it or not.
The person who thinks he’s a superiorly-healthy “fat-burner” by eating 2/3 a stick of butter in one sitting, and denying himself any source of carbohydrate, will still manage to produce and use glucose. Because the body needs it. In fact, if you don’t consume enough glucose, your body will literally start eating itself to get it. It’s called gluconeogenesis, meaning that while your body is releasing adrenaline to mobilize fat to be used as fuel, your adrenals are also releasing cortisol to break down body tissue. Like from your muscles and organs. And then your liver has to convert those proteins into glucose to raise your blood sugar. It’s very taxing, very stressful, and not at all an ideal way to get your glucose.
And it’s bound to happen when you do this:
“Try this just once, with only 2 Tbs of butter, and have nothing else for breakfast. You will experience one of the best mornings of your life, with boundless energy and focus. It’s amazing.” (source)
The only reason you’d end up experiencing “boundless energy” as a result of having nothing more than a big cup of coffee with a half stick of butter in it for breakfast, is because your body would likely be experiencing an acute stress response and an active hyperadrenaline state. If this is all you have for breakfast, expect the stress-promoting effects of denying your body its ideal source of fuel for the energy your body needs to expend during the first half of the day.
Want a better way to do coffee? I have a suggestion.
Better than “Bulletproof” Coffee Recipe
- A mug of organic, fair-trade coffee
- 2 tablespoons grass-fed cream or half-and-half (find local raw dairy here)
- Sweetener to taste—organic cane sugar, honey, maple syrup, molasses, or a mix for a varied flavor
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil (find the highest-quality coconut oil in bulk here) and/or 1 teaspoon grass-fed butter
- 1 tablespoon grass-fed gelatin powder
- A small pinch of real salt
[easyazon-image align=”none” asin=”B002GWFANW” locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/415MWELgWNL._SL160_.jpg” width=”123″][easyazon-image align=”none” asin=”B001L883QS” locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/310YkUj-v5L._SL160_.jpg” width=”118″][easyazon-image align=”none” asin=”B001ELLBJS” locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41EG2M31QAL._SL160_.jpg” width=”140″][easyazon-image align=”none” asin=”B000BD0SDU” locale=”us” height=”145″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21WcnTKPPML._SL160_.jpg” width=”145″]
Simply add the ingredients together and stir. When adding gelatin, if it’s regular red-canister gelatin (the kind that gels—learn all about the differences between types of gelatin here), you will need to add it very slowly, sprinkling in a thin layer, stirring as you go, and repeat, so you don’t get clumps. If you’d like, you can also whip up your coffee with a blender (an immersion blender would be easiest) to give it a nice bit of frothiness on top.
Keep in mind, you don’t have to use these exact amounts—you can use more or less depending on your own unique needs. For example, if you are not used to consuming much saturated fat, your tummy might not appreciate this much at first. Start slowly when introducing foods with high amounts of saturated fat like coconut oil and butter. Cream is generally tolerated a little more easily. And some people simply do not require as much fat as others, so listen to your own body and your own tastes, and adjust accordingly. You also may want to consider the overall nutrient content of whatever food you’re eating it with, to keep it balanced.
Now, here’s the most important part of my recipe—drink your coffee along with some food! Granted, this coffee is at least a much more balanced beverage than the original “bulletproof” coffee, but it ain’t no meal, honey. Eat. The food. Your metabolism will thank you.
Why this is better
Consuming coffee as a part of a balanced meal which provides appropriate sources of energy (carbohydrate), moderate amounts of fat, balancing electrolytes, and protein, is the only way to go. Unless you want to rev up a bunch of stress hormones and and experience the fun symptoms that result, such as peeing every five seconds, wild mood swings, crashing blood sugar, low body temperature, and the eventual burnout from that hormonal high which leads to complete exhaustion and metabolic damage.
You’ll run into problems like these when you don’t consume enough foods which stimulate the metabolism and minimize stress. The most powerfully anti-stress and pro-metabolic nutrients are natural sugars, starches, salt, saturated fat, and certain amino acids such as those found in gelatin. This coffee, combined with a balanced meal or snack, can provide all of that. The bulletproof stuff? Gets you the fat, and neglects everything else. And drowns you in unbalanced, diluted fluid.
To learn more about balancing your food and drinks so that your overall diet is metabolically-supportive instead of destructive, I highly recommend reading a book by my friend and independent health researcher, Matt Stone, called Eat for Heat. It’s a concise and easy-to-follow guide that will help you understand the science behind why all this stuff matters so you can start implementing some simple changes that will make a big difference, fast.
How do you take your coffee?
Are you considering balancing it out with some more metabolism-boosting nutrients? Tell us about it in the comments.
I love this, Emily! Much better recommendations than that whole IF bullcrap.
Thanks Winnie! 😉
Jay August says
Winnie, have you tried IF yet? If not don’t call it BS. It’s one thing having an opinion another just having a guess. I have been doing IF for 12 months now and can tell you without doubt that it works better than balanced meals.
I think the whole issue of balanced meals is overdone and this article is a case in point. Just how we would have evolved with balanced meals each day is a mystery to me. The fact is that the human species has evolved to make use of what is available when it’s available and that means having an over consumption of something all the time, whether it’s carbs or fats or protein’s.
Winnie is a naturopathic doctor. She’s not an idiot. Just because you’ve tried something for 12 months without ill effects (yet, and that you know of), doesn’t mean it’s legit.
Have fun continuing to starve yourself into advanced aging and disease. We’ll be eating the food.
I did IF for about 18 months, along with Primal/Paleo for 1 year prior. My diet was absolutely perfect and pristine-super low carb, no grains. What a big fat mistake that was! Now I am trying to recover from weight gain, adrenal burn-out and hypothyroidism. Stupid me. I guess I finally clued in that something was amiss when I started waking up in the morning so cold that I was unable to move. I could not function. I missed so many days of work and got into big trouble because of my escalating sick time. So I bought a thermometer and started checking my morning temps. Can you believe 34.9C? That is what IF did for me. Crap!
Sadly, I’m not at all surprised. So sorry you’re having to go through this difficult recovery! And thank you for sharing.
I got hooked into the BP coffee, and it wasn’t bad, nice and creamy, but doing IF it all went down hill from there. I too am in recovery, a body temp of 34.8, now I am back up to 36.7 and eating the food. I still have my coffee but with cream, and its now suggested having sugar back with so it downs the cortisol release.
Dave does not recommend IF to women. Dave also recommends that men get a high amount of carbs at least once a week, with women at least twice a week, with plenty of calories everyday.
If people have problems, they probably didn’t follow those instructions, though I’m sure they’ll tell everyone they did it perfect.
Eileen Patterson says
Yikes, I am really happy I found this website – I was using IF and BP coffee, with exercise, to rebuild myself from the ill effects of the Hcg diet. Now I am reading this and am glad I learned about it before I ended up waking up cold with too many sick days. Thank you!
I went though what sounds like the same thing (which people seem to disbelieve, since “you can’t gain. Weight if you’re not overeating.”) I would love to talk to you!
Dr. Sara Gottfried is also a doctor and so are other people who have been guests on Asprey’s podcast. Do these people have some vested interest in his company or are they just not the right kind of doctors?
Your right on most of what you said, don’t let anyone, even ‘doctors’ convivnce you what you feel is somehow wrong. bein a doctor means you went to school and proved to your teachers you can read and repeat. Dont get me wrong, its hard work and they deserve those degrees bu it good for somethings not totally great for others. Case in point doctors told me I absolutely didn’t need my gallbladder, I wish then I knew they were wrong. Are you eating your vegetables and maybe some supplements(its clear we can no longer get all we need from food)? High quality proteins and fats( Ie grass fed, pastured)? Feel Good? Awesome your good to go, Congrats by the way on your new found health.
Jessica T says
I hadn’t heard of this bulletproof whatever until this post. So thanks for warning me ahead of time! lol 😉
I love a cup in the morning. I retrained myself to drink coffee AFTER breakfast. I was drinking it before eating and then not eating much for breakfast or just skipping breakfast altogether! I was putting lots of store bought creamer into my coffee as well. After learning about real food I stopped drinking coffee, ate breakfast instead, and then brought the coffee back later. And no more store bought creamers. If I want flavor, I make it from scratch myself.
Much like a poster above me, I don’t drink coffee first thing in the morning. First, I drink water or bone broth to thirst. Depending on a host of factors, that could be 8 oz or a quart (or more, when I was pregnant). After or while drinking my non caffinated fluids, I also have breakfast, a substantial one with plenty of calories to jump start the day. THEN I make my coffee. Generally, I just use heavy cream, because sweeteners, even pure ones, lend an acidic taste to coffee. If I feel really crazy, I also blend in an egg yolk.
Ooh, an egg yolk is a great idea. I put them in smoothies but hadn’t thought to try it in coffee. (Probably because I rarely actually drink coffee…shh…;) )
I take my coffee “latte” style with a big hot cup of raw milk, a shot of espresso, a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of hydrolysed gelatin. It’s delicious and the perfect accompaniment to my egg on sprouted-sourdough-toast breakfast. I tried bulletproof coffee in my low-carb days and all it did was make it unsafe to leave the vicinity of a bathroom for the next two hours. All that MCT oil went straight through me! Ugh.
So funny! This is exactly what my bulletproof coffe evolved to a few weeks ago! I don’t use cream,but I did start adding gelatin and a pinch of salt. I use an immersion blender to froth it up. So good! 🙂
Barb Powers says
Love this article, thank you for saying it all! I pinned you on two of my boards.. People need to know the truth about this boneheadand the damage they could do if they listen to his arrogant less.
Marla Rickloff says
I sincerely think you need to do some more research on ketogenic diets—before being so very negative in your opinions. Ketogenic diets have been used for years in healing epilepsy. And in recent years in healing dementia, and cancer, as well as diabetes. IF and other fasting and very high fat diets have a place in natural healing. I am into real food, moderation etc.—-but I would be very careful about being SO negative in your criticisms of the Bulletproof exec., his coffee, IFing, etc. I think we will find over time, that there is a real place for extremely high fat, ketogenic healing diets. My husband and I have been on a ketogenic diet for the last 18 months and are feeling wonderfully fabulous in our 60’s and we didn’t even have major health issues! And this is after several years of being on a real food, WAPF diet—which was wonderful. Going on a very low carb, ketogenic diet, has taken us to a whole new level. Just a caution.
I have researched this plenty, and epilepsy is about the only condition I can sort of get behind keto with. It has no place being used by reasonably healthy individuals, nor is it appropriate for weight loss. Its potential to cause seriously dangerous health effects and metabolic adaptations is well-established and I find it abhorrently irresponsible for bloggers like Asprey to be promoting it to the general population.
Being an epileptic myself, I have seen drastic improvements in my life since following a high-fat primal/keto diet. So much so that I have not had a single seizure (off-medication) for the past 2.5 years, daily migraines are gone, endless energy, deeper sleeps, etc, etc…
I can’t vouch for the veracity of a high fact diet however there are some accounts of benefits from consuming higher levels of fats such as coconut oil. The links below reference a mix of information, some from anecdotal and others from clinical sources. The final link is a trial currently underway to determine the efficacy of a ketogenic diet. All this to say that there is a lot of interest in this space at the moment.
To be clear, I am VERY pro-saturated fat. (I mean, come on…this is BUTTERbeliever.com, after all.) I absolutely believe there are benefits to a higher-fat diet than mainstream medicine promotes.
I do, however, think that many people in the paleo/WAPF/alternative nutrition world are taking it to the extreme, advocating diets of 50-70% or more calories from fat. That’s excessive, and potentially damaging. Moderation truly is key.
So there is the sweet spot if 30 % (general rec.) is to little and >50 E% fat is to much?? 40-50%? I believe that’s quite typical for “junk food” (But, of cource, quality of carbs and fats matters greatly as well).
I actually don’t disagree with a recommendation of 30%. I’d say that’s probably about right for most adults. My personal recommendation would be to just eat the amount of fat that appeals to you naturally, without stuffing it down your throat (or drinking it) in excessive amounts at the advice of a diet guru. For someone who’s been restricting fat, they might need a period of time of sort of overcompensating (“refeeding”) by eating fat somewhat excessively for a while. But that could still be done by taste preferences—see how much butter and sour cream tastes good to you on a baked potato, etc. As long as you’re not in the mindset that most of your calories should come from fat and are positioning it as a weight-loss “superfood,” you’ll probably eat a range of fat (and other macros) that’s normal and healthy.
Ok, from that I’ve read in this blog it is primarily about real, high quality food, only goodness there for sure.
I’m fascinated by the fact that some people can do so well on quite extreme diets, there one diet can be fundamentally different from another and still show somewhat similar results (at least short term).
And! Some of us DON’T do well at all in spite of doing “everything right” (according to general recommendations). We are usually the ones who end up in some extreme camps (or maybe equally often in drug abuse…).
Then, whatever works, works, we are kind of happy with that and stop listen to conventional wisdom completely… I see a bit of danger in this for sure and definitely in blindfolded sect-following as well. Anyways, health and wellbeing is actually a lot more than food, important to not forget…
“That’s because large amounts of fat pull endotoxins from your intestines out into your bloodstream, creating damaging stress to the liver.”
In the (very small) study you refer to (Erridge 2007) subjects were given butter on TOAST – how can they tell it is the fat causing the endotoxemia and not the carbohydrates or gluten in the toast?
“Because the body needs it. In fact, if you don’t consume enough glucose, your body will literally start eating itself to get it. It’s called gluconeogenesis, meaning that while your body is releasing adrenaline to mobilize fat to be used as fuel, your adrenals are also releasing cortisol to break down body tissue.”
How else are people who are overweight supposed to lose fat, if not by using it as fuel?
For the record, Dave Asprey, who invented the recipe of bulletproof coffee, suggests taking salt with water first thing in the morning, and adding collagen to the coffee for those who want to gain muscle.
As mentioned above, there is a lot of evidence for the benefits of ketogenic diets (weightloss, muscle gain, epilepsy, cancer etc) – there is not one diet that is perfect for everybody. Dave Asprey and other people in the paleo community have spoken extensively about the problems with a ketogenic diet, especially for women. A more nuanced approach on your site would be appropriate.
There is a pretty good conversation regarding this article taking place here… http://forum.bulletproofexec.com/index.php?/topic/4204-a-not-so-friendly-article-about-bulletproof-coffee/
LOL! Thanks for the tip. The Cult of Asprey never ceases to amaze me.
Paul Newcomb says
Well…do you have any rebuttals to the points they’ve made? All I’m seeing here in the comments so far are attempts at witty one-liners that don’t really address anything in particular.
Waste of time. I’ve presented basic facts of human physiology of which the dietary extremists love nothing more than to rebuke with their pseudo-science and plug their ears screaming “lalalala!” to any reasonable scientific evidence to the contrary.
Tom Nikkola says
Hmm. I happened upon your site and read this as a first post. Incredibly disappointing. Your take on electrolytes, glucose, or what you think you know of Dave Asprey or the science behind what he recommends is way out of line. Great site name, but from what I’ve seen, very disappointing content.
James Moi says
This op-ed piece is just yet another bold indicator that the realm of objective and fair journalism is a dying creature in our modern world. The bias that you have against Dave Asprey is evident, in-your-face, and personal from the very beginning. Your anger and condescending tone wrecks whatever point you may or may not make in this piece, and it makes you look like a sixth grader who is writing the teacher to tell that a fellow student said a bad word. Honestly, this piece is sad and it didn’t have to be that way.
What’s even more sad is that at the end, after criticizing and insulting Dave, insulting anyone who believes that Dave has something positive to say or a good product to offer – you essentially recommend Bulletproof Coffee with junk additives and sweeteners in it.
I also notice how simply because Dave offers coffee beans for sale that he’s sourced to be low in toxins, you act as if Dave says those are the only beans one can buy and is selling snake oil. If you took the time to read what Dave says, he says that one needs to “source low toxin coffee beans.” He doesn’t say one MUST buy his beans, as if his beans are the only beans known to man to work for this recipe. You are deliberately misleading readers into thinking that Dave is preaching that ONLY his coffee beans will work and Bulletproof Coffee isn’t Bulletproof Coffee if one uses their own sourced low toxin beans. All Dave does is offer his beans since he’s done the leg work on the source and the process. If anyone wants to do the leg work themselves to save a few bucks, then go right ahead and what one may find. And you act as if Dave is raping people on the cost of his “tiny bag” of beans, yet I note that you fail mention that Starbuck’s or other high end brands (Barnie’s, Peet’s) beans are around the same price (give or take a couple of bucks) as Dave’s for the same size bag, and frankly, for inferior tasting coffee beans.
I’d simply say to you: If you want to write a critical piece, then fine – step up to the plate, take your swing and see where the ball lands. But please, don’t expect the world to respect your criticism when your personal hatred and animus towards an individual or group of individuals overshadows the objectivity of the data and position you’re trying to represent.
Wow. Someone is SUPER attached to his diet guru.
He makes a fair point though, no?
I’m not really a fan of Asprey, but it’s hard to disagree that closing this article with an only slightly modified recipe of his Bulletproof Coffee after scrutinizing him the way you did is questionable. I’m sure your motives — like Asprey’s — aren’t black-or-white, and that this isn’t just an article to capitalise on the attention Bulletproof Coffee is receiving to drive traffic to your site (it has useful information — eating alongside it, for instance), but at least acknowledge the benefits of the original recipe.
Substituting cream for butter and adding sugar (which Asprey does in fact suggest, if you are so inclined), is hardly the recipe revolution that the gusto of your criticism suggests, and it seems unnecessary to take such a polarizing stance when the recipe is basically the same.
Anyway, the advocacy of balance is a refreshing change from Asprey and the like. Nice site.
This wasn’t a mature response. He made valid points that you failed to address and attempt to invalidate with an accusation of fanboyism. While people sometimes do go to bat for their ideological team, there’s no reason to see all criticism as baseless attacks. This is the first article I’ve read on this site and, while I agree with the content of the blog, your tone and reaction to criticism leave me with an overall bad impression.
I’m not in the business of meeting others’ standards of “maturity,” nor wasting my time arguing with dietary extremists, nor pleasing everyone who reads my writing.
This piece is what it is. There is some rhetoric, and a lot of ‘there’s only one way to do things and here it is’, but most blogs have that going on.
I’ve been more-or-less following a 40-20-40 diet (p/c/f) for several years now and have kept over 50 lbs. off for over five of those. So I tend to agree with ideas about balance, I suppose.
However equating IF to ‘starving’ is just ridiculous.
Not eating for 12 hours = STARVATION.
^First world problems.
Common sense paleo since 2006, when I used
the program to help me get healthy. Started using
what is now bulletproof coffee during my intermittent fasting
protocol I used to get ready for Marine OCS’s physical
beating. Survived without it during 10 weeks, but performance
dipped. Ever since, if able, I haven’t started a day without it.
Premature aging or whatever side effects you have mentioned
may happen- they have not with me. My lifetime of
limit-crushing tomfoolery has hasn’t been adversely
affected by my diet. Neither his nor your program is a
one-size fits all plan.
Uh, I don’t have a “program.”
I was interested in reading your site but was put off by the ad hominem attacks of Dave Asprey and the inherent sarcasm in your responses to the commentators.
Perhaps you might want to learn from other bloggers in the paleo/primal world who carry out their blogging work with respect – like Mark Sisson for example. He was my first contact with paleo and remains the most respectable, even though I enjoy Dave’s work and others (Matt Stone, Robb Wolf). You’ll build a bigger community of readers by doing that.
I don’t aspire to be like Mark Sisson and I’m not in any way “paleo.” The regular readers and followers of this site are wonderful and we all get along just fine. But, thanks anyway.
“Blending a tablespoon or so of high-quality, unsalted, organic butter into your morning coffee or tea is unlikely to do you any harm, and is a worthwhile experiment for the sake of both taste and health if you are inclined to try it.”
I’m with Dr. Weil on that. It’s only harmful if you’re starving yourself of all other nutrients while sucking down 2/3 of a stick of butter at the advice of an internet guru.
I believe he says UP to 2/3 stick of butter, but start with 2tbsp. you shouldn’t misquote someone to further your case against them, it makes you appear petty and fuels the fire of those who disagree with you.
What are you thoughts on supplementing with MCT oil? Maybe taking it before breakfast or something? I have a hard time with the taste of coconut oil, although I use it for all my skin care products. Thanks.
I’d just go with refined coconut oil then. It won’t have the coconut flavor. I think MCT oil is probably overhyped.
Toni Sicola says
You could also try Palm Oil, which has a really similar (if not the same) nutritional profile as coconut oil and doesn’t really have much taste. I like the Nutiva brand. It’s bright orange, but it works well in the coffee. 🙂
Ben Greenfield says
Here’s the whole study you reference: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/86/5/1286.long
The high-fat meal that produced “endotoxemia” was 900 kcal, consisting of a cup of tea and 3 slices of toast spread with a total of 50 g butter.
So, right off the bat you have the introduction of wheat, which is going to aggravate leaky gut, along with 50g of butter (most bulletproof coffee recipes use 5-20g of butter). I suspect the butter was NOT organic, grass-fed butter either. 😉
Finally, your “alternative” recipe of sugar, cream and lactose sugars is NOT going to do anyone any fat burning favors when it comes to keeping the body in a fasted or ketotic state, if that is the goal (which is indeed the case in many “Bulletproofers”).
In all honesty, I’ve been going through the Bulletproof diet and I find it to be VERY effective.
I have nothing against the author but seems to dismiss it too easily. Have a wonderful day everyone.
The abstract for the study that you referenced that you claim asserts that high-fat diets “can actually be quite toxic” makes no mention of the type of fat nor exactly what percentage of the meal was fat nor what the remaining percentage of the meal contained.
If you look at some of the other studies, include some of the ones linked on the same page as the one you reference, you’ll see how much of a problem mycotoxins could be: “our preliminary results suggest, therefore, that regular coffee consumption may contribute to exposure of humans to OA.” In these studies there’s some evidence that roasting reduces levels, but the results are “heterogeneous”, and the reduction still seems to put levels in the same range as that which would be disallowed (5mcg/kg) in the EU.
I’ve been drinking Bulletproof coffee for 2 years. I haven’t eaten anything for breakfast for 2 years. Only this coffee. No sugar, no sweeteners. My first meal is in the afternoon because after this coffee I don’t feel hungry. I feel great. I feel healthy. I lost my weight. So who is right?
Oh you lost weight? Yeah starving yourself will tend to do that.
🙂 I ate 4 oz of butter in coffee every day. 2 avocados every day. Approx. one pound of meat almost every day. 6 raw egg yolks almost every day. Vegetables everyday. No sugar, no bread, no sodas. It was more than 3000 calories every day. I think it’s not starving.
Did you actually count those calories? Skipping an entire meal and then cramming 3k cals in the rest of the day would be pretty difficult to do.
Ive being drinking BP coffee for more then a year now. Im in the best shape of my life. I Have never feel this focus and energized before. I dont follow a diet. I just drink bulletproof coffee in the morning and eat just like i use to. usually 3 meals a day and some snack when i feel like and im deff not starving myself; still my body fat is 6.5%. im a boxer and a yogi and i have improved sooo much since bulletproof coffee. I will try your recipe tho. I just dont think that bulletproof coffee is bad for you at all! I think that people need to know their bodies and implant physical activities on the daily basis in order to have a healthy life style and relax about this whole diet thing!
Ps: I usually buy low toxin coffee and mct oil from amazon cause its cheaper.
Eileen Patterson says
What other coffees out there are also proven to be “low toxin” or “low mycotoxin”, aside from Bulletproof?
By blogging and researching these topics Im sure you know that its not THAT difficult to eat 3000 calories in a day especially when you eat a high fat diet. Meat, avocados…did the person eat nuts? All those add up. I wouldnt even call having bulletproof coffee for breakfast “skipping a meal” either. Its a big dose of fat that does keep you full. And who says he has to be “cramming” the calories? Do you know how long his days are? He could be up for awhile. Honestly tho, why do you seem so bitter??? This guy acknowledges the benefits of pastured animals, raw milk, no processed foods…couldnt you point that out first then say where you do disagree with his beliefs? I understand that you think you and your regular readers get along just fine, I get that…but no part of you would like to expand and reach other readers?? Is that in no way part of the reason of having a blog is to share your knowledge with people and try to help people? I strongly believe that not one thing works for everyone. Your “balanced” way of eating, might be imbalanced to someone else. All I am saying and others who have commented, is it would be easier to read your future posts or anything from you for that matter, if we felt you actually cared to share and learn information instead of trying to force your opinion down someone elses throat like you’re accusing Asprey of doing. Honestly you’ve completely turned me off from reading anything from you anymore and its a shame because I love learning but the negative undertone in your writing is terrible and doesnt seem to be very constructive. Hopefully you’ll learn something from this instead of being stubborn.
No. I have precisely zero interest in reaching all the whiney low-carb zealots who are flocking to this post to spread their gospel and berate my character.
I get emails, messages, and comments every single day from people who are thankful for the information and help I’ve provided. People who are immeasurably grateful to have been freed from the mindset of these various extreme diets and are now able to follow a reasonable, moderate approach to healthy eating. They are why I do what I do. I write and share things. Most people find them beneficial. I’m doing my job.
Anne Santostefano says
This just proves the principals I was talking about earlier work. Atkins was so criticized, yet he was the pioneer who set the foundation for all this current information that is touted as new. It proves that it’s the chemistry of food more than the calories. Good for you Marcin. 🙂
Gina A. says
The only thing Atkins was really a “pioneer” in was admitting the fact that his diet, and all others, tends to shut down thyroid function by way of hindering the conversion of T4 to T3 in the liver. People tend to overlook that little gem.
Yikes, what did Dave Asprey ever do to you? There may be some good info here but the snarkiness is very off-putting.
So, I can’t criticize Asprey without having any personal experience with him, but you’re free to chastise me and my personality based off of reading a blog post? Thanks.
You can criticize Asprey’s theories all you want, but the way you do it is childish. And no, I do not belong to the “cult of Asprey.” I subscribed to your newsletter because I like to read about nutrition from lots of different standpoints, but your writings and the way you interact with people is just so unpleasant, I won’t be sticking around (not that you will care or notice one way or the other, but I’m clearly not the only one to be rubbed the wrong way, not so much by what you say, but how you say it).
I found your site after
Bulletproof Coffee was recommended by a neurologist who just appeared on PBS special about gluten free diets. After perusing Asprey’s website I thought it would be a good idea to seek out some alternative views. I am not a fan of Asprey’s and I haven’t tried his recipes for “greatness” but I must tell you that your extreme defensiveness is very off putting.
Although it is wonderful that you “…get emails, messages, and comments every single day from people who are thankful for the information and help I’ve provided,” you might have many more grateful readers if you responded to your critics points rationally instead of calling them names. Although you may not change the views of the zealots, you will certainly gain more respect from new readers like myself.
Anne Santostefano says
Your body does not need glucose for fuel. What little it does require can be supplied from vegetables or fruits. It is the most ready fuel, and if deprived of it, your body can, will and does burn fat for fuel. As one with much experience with Atkins method, I can tell you my body functions, feels and looks it’s best when i am following that program. Fats are a healthy and necessary part of the diet, despite what all the low fat gurus push at everyone. There is much scientific evidence to support that cholesterol, which is a necessary substance in the body, does not cause clogged arteries, inflammation does. And most people, would benefit from low carb eating, and from adding lemon juice, and or, Sodium Bicarbonate to create an alkaline PH in the body. This avoids inflammation. Do I think this particular coffee with butter is a great idea, not every day, but I think it’s fine when it’s all you feel like having, but I am more concerned with the acid it would produce, than the fat. And I agree with as some have said, your attitude in responses is a bit negative and argumentative in undertone.
I drink a cup of Organo Gold “King of Coffee” (this is a low-caffeine coffee that contains organic ganoderma spores… it’s excellent!!) with a tablespoon of raw butter and a teaspoon of organic brown sugar or honey. I usually eat some sort of egg/meat combo and I often throw some avocado in the mix for a very satisfying breakfast!
Love your site for the most part (here comes the “but”), buttttttt I think you are a little off base here. I don’t know where you get the 2/3 of a stick of butter idea. As I understand it a cup of BP coffee has a TBL or two of grass-fed butter and a TBL of MCT or coconut oil, not even close to that much butter. Anyway, I have used a paleo-style of eating to lose and keep off 30 lbs. I find when I over-add carbs back into my body, especially in the form or grains and sugars that my weight starts to creep back up. anyway, I have added occasional BP coffee to my routine, especialy when I am pressed for time and when I feel I am over-consuming calories lately. I have seen very good results as far as hunger being at bay and with my level of awakeness/lack of foggy brain. I think it is worth a try for most people, though I don’t have an opinion as far as every day consumption.
Anyway, it’s your site and you are most certainly entitled to your opinion. Keep doing what you are doing. It is up to us, the readers to decide what is best for us in the long run, and there’s nothing wrong with good discussion.
I can not take credit for this, but it is good information.
Not a bad written article. The author demonstrates skill in persuasive writing, and is able to write technically without losing the mainstream audience. If the sources are accurate, this argument makes a lot of sense. Let us look into this:
The first section of the article talks about the net gain of toxins and cites two PubMed references:
High fat meals result in endotoxins:
“Regular” coffee contains no significant mycotoxins:
The first article maybe difficult to reconcile (and careful with your dogma here–keep an open mind.) Where do endotoxins come from? Ever have a herx reaction? Most endotoxins are derived from dead bacteria. The outer cellular membrane release a lipopolysaccharide called lipid-a.
Is that what they were measuring for in the first article? Unfortunately, this is a binding molecule and is hard to test for, so they tested for reduced plasma endotoxin neutralization capacity. In other words, they are measuring for IgG, IgA, IgM, apoprotein A, and apoprotein B. (Just an aside, only apoprotiein B is actually correlative to entotoxin removal, but I will save that for later.) Here are the questions that we must ask: does an increase in these neutralizing proteins mean that you have been exposed to endotoxins? Are there other substances that will raise these protein levels? Dave has worked really hard to design a whey protein that raises many of these proteins. Does that mean that Upgraded Whey “pull[s] endotoxins from your intestines out into your bloodstream?”
The second citation was published in 1980. We did not have a clear understanding of mycotoxins back in 1980, nor accurate ways of testing for them. Anyone care to post some modern links to mycotoxins in coffee?
The next paragraph is a hydration issue, which is simple electorate balance. If you are following the Bulletproof diet and have issues here, you are not paying attention.
The author’s “biggest issue” is that we are not eating a meal with our coffee. Are we at risk here? Our cells are devouring themselves!
Where is cortisol? Why is this putting stress on our adrenals? Someone is misinformed here. Cortisol can stimulate gluconeogenisis, but according to our current information on this metabolic pathway, it is not needed. Now, if you are hypoglycemic, then you will have a problem. Keep your blood sugar stable and you will be fine.
I think that autophagy is a good thing. It is great for the P450 detoxification pathway.
“And by the way? You’re still getting sugar to burn in there somewhere, pal. Whether you eat it or not.”
Yes, and you are still going to burn fat and produce ketone bodies whether your eat fat or not.
Anyone read to the bottom where she gives her recipe for the “better than Bulletproof coffee?” It is basically Bulletproof coffee except cream instead of butter, coconut oil instead of MCT, fructose instead of stevia, and salt. So, it is basically Bulletproof coffee with extra toxins and inflammatory sugars.
In conclusion, the author is not debating the use of Bulletproof coffee at all, rather questions the effectiveness of Bulletproof intermittent fasting. I know plenty of people on the forums who eat the Bulletproof diet and choose not to do Bulletproof intermittent fasting–which is fine. Do what works for you and do not be so dogmatic. Keep challenging everything. Do not let anyone tell you what to put in your body (especially me!) Research and evaluate.
Excellent info Mark!! I totally agree that everyone really need to do their own research and listen to own YOUR bodies. There are just too many wanna be nutritionists and know it all professionals (including MDs and PhDs) out there giving out all kinds of conflicting information. Don’t get caught in the hype and research. ^_^ It’s for your own health after all.
Howard Lee Harkness says
It’s already been observed by other commenters that your bias against Dave Asprey steps beyond the bounds of good sense. You lied about the “800%” among other things.
So your sugar-sweetened coffee is somehow “balanced?”
Give me a break.
Oh, and BTW, Dave’s coffee really is different, and in a good way. And not 800% more expensive than even the cheapest crap coffee sold under the house-brand labels at the grocery stores.
And yes, MCT oil is better than just coconut oil, although I use both. And pastured butter is better than the cheap crap.
2/3rd of a stick is probably a bit much to start. If you aren’t fat-adapted (I am), it will cause “disaster pants.”
Go ahead and be skeptical. Be critical, even. But ge your facts straight. When you lie about things like that, it pretty much shoots your credibility to shit.
My GOD you people are obnoxious.
It was a joke.
FFS, this is not a medical journal. It’s a blog.
carol palinkas says
seriously, dude, YOU ARE MISSING THE POINT. CARBOHYDRATES? REALLY?
I have never heard of you or your blog before now but I wish I had. I have never had such a laugh reading all these comments. Good for you, I say. Get a life people and some balance in it at that. I LOVE your responses and the way you don’t rise to the bait. Keep up the good work. What works for one doesn’t work for another and I know there are many of us that don’t buy into the bulletproof coffee hype. I follow a low carb diet but I HATE the elitist type attitude from many of the bloggers and if you dare to say even the ski tightest thing “out of turn” you have a barrage of fury. I for one will now happily subscribe to your blog. Thanks again for posting.
Um, I can go out and play two hours and more of (doubles with men) tennis, take a strenuous hike or any number of other activities on a cup of coffee with nothing in it but cream, coconut oil, and butter for a total of about 4 tablespoons. I’m not interested in adding anything to that, least of all sugar, natural or otherwise. I avoid sugar as much as possible My body runs fine without more carbs than are in this, which isn’t many, because it can burn fat. Since my body no longer depends on carbs for energy, this fits the bill fine. I eat other food later, when I get hungry, about lunch time, usually.
Balance is over rated. So is sugar. We flat out don’t need it and any sugar, natural or otherwise, that is not part of a whole food, is not good for us and can be detrimental. We don’t need carbs at all, but I do eat a few low glycemic carbs over the course of the day. This has worked for me for a long time and my health and energy levels are better than fine. Please don’t knock something unless you have some actual science to back it up. You don’t want to drink BPC, that’s fine. But there’s no reason to tell other people not to drink it.
Read a human physiology textbook.
Dave calls himself an “executive” because he is one.. his “real” job is VP of Security at Trend Micro, a fairly substantial internet security firm. As for the price of Upgraded Coffee, have you looked at any other decent coffee lately? His coffee is priced competitively with the other good organic coffees that I’ve seen in grocery stores. Your tone suggests an underlying personal bias, so I doubt any specific points brought up would change your mind. Do expect that people will call you out on your outlandish exaggerations though, even if made in jest. I’m fine if you don’t like Dave’s brand of coffee.. more for the rest of us!
So the VP of an internet security firm is who you rely on for health information? Or just overpriced coffee beans?
LOL that was a hilarious response
When looking back into history and even what Dave says, he did not invent putting butter in your coffee, he was given it on a trip and loved how he felt on it. It has been around for so long in parts of the world, Dave just made it popular in the US.
Also, Tibetan Monks are known for having butter tea and lots of it, as well as known from fasting till dinner or eating small meals to big throughout the day.
I can see how this diet can be dangerous when you do not pair it with vitamins and supplements, just like the vegan diet as well as others, but over all the foods he suggests seem to feel those of a healthy life.
I have been drinking bulletproof coffee for three weeks now and my memory and cognition have never been better in my entire life. I like the idea of cream instead of butter though, will definitely try that. I personally can not have any sort of sugar in the morning. if I do, I get to enjoy a mind numbing crash about ten minutes later. no thanks. no sugar=a great day. not sure about the science behind it, but bp coffee has fixed my digestive problems, made me happier, and given me hope for a better life. if you can handle the sugar, this version might work though.
I originally found and shared this article yesterday when you re-shared it, as someone who occasionally enjoys bulletproof coffee but doesn’t drink it every day. I never bought into the whole “you need to buy these expensive beans” or “use this MCT oil,” I just used regular coffee, grass fed butter, and coconut oil. I enjoyed reading your article, and the explanations you provided, to an extent. But then someone pointed out to me how you were responding in the comments from others (which I didn’t originally notice). I have to say, when I came back and read through, I was really appalled. I understand there is free speech, and all of that, but I have been following your blog for some time now, and a lot of people look to you as a role model in the “food and nutrition” world. I have never seen any other food blogger behave this way. If you don’t like the guy who started the BP diet, or don’t like ketogenic diets, that’s one thing, but some of your comments to people who were honestly just trying to make conversation, ask questions, or make a counter-point to your article, were just blatantly rude, and disrespectful. You went so far as to say “I’m not in the business of meeting others’ standards of “maturity,”…” Really?
I just have to say for someone who has posted so much helpful and valuable information, behaving like this is just so disappointing. I am sure your response to me will be something about not caring what my opinion is of you, but I’ve lost a lot of respect for someone who I previously thought really provided a helpful resource to people.
I am not saying it is your job to battle it out with all of the food and diet extremists out there, I know there are tons of them who will argue all day long. But it made me really debate whether I should post a comment here, because of whether or not I would get a disrespectful response. It’s just very, very upsetting to me, as a long-time fan.
You can say I’m overreacting, but I immensely value the resources provided to me by the online community of food bloggers, the conversations that are started, questions asked, and information that they lead me to discover. So when I find that one of the bloggers I’ve enjoyed following behaves in this way, I guess it’s just a complete disappointment. I don’t even care about the coffee.
Which comments were “honestly just trying to make conversation, ask questions, or make a counter-point to your article” that you felt I reacted to in a way which is “blatantly rude and disrespectful?”
The one who likened me to a “sixth grader?” The one who called me a “liar?” Or “snarky?” Or the one who called me a “F*CKING C*NT,” “stupid g*ddamned b*tch,” or a “f*cking retard?”
You didn’t see those last ones, which were moderated, obviously. I just thought I’d give you an idea of what kind of treatment *I* am receiving behind the scenes.
I can understand having that kind of a reaction to comments as vile as those. But since you’re moderating those awful comments, all the rest of us see is the strong reaction to comments that ARE “honestly just trying to make conversation, ask questions, or make a counter-point” to your blog post. You’ve made it very, very clear that you don’t care; I just thought I’d point out how it looks from this side.
I’m one of those horrible low-carbers who happens to love the occasional cup of coffee with butter & coconut oil, and I NEVER eat carbs with my breakfast, but I could give a rat’s patootie what anybody else does. If it works for you to add sugar, cream & gelatin to your coffee and you like it with a big ol’ bowl of oatmeal and fruit, more power to ya.
I don’t condone any of the behavior you mentioned above. But yours has been right in line with some of that, minus the offensive language. When people are asking questions or challenging your theory, rather than responding in a professional manner, you’re simply being rude and condescending. To the one reader, calling the commenters all “obnoxious” because they are disagreeing with what you posted? I’m sorry, but that is rude. Of course some people are obnoxious if they are responding to you inappropriately by saying some of those things you posted above, that’s not right. But to call us obnoxious just because we post a point that opposes yours, is not right.
If you are going to run a blog, being so sensitive, thin-skinned, and responding like this to your readers makes us feel like it’s your way, or no way. If that is how it is, then point taken.
Again, I am just sharing my disappointment, because before this entire exchange I really did think you were an intelligent woman with a lot of information to offer. But in my opinion, character is everything. Letting people on the internet get to you in this manner simply because they don’t agree with you?
Again, I know you obviously don’t value the opinion of people who aren’t your “regular” readers/posters (I am a regular reader, but either way). Why not share the information you have in a more pleasant light rather than create arguments and chastise people?
I’m “sensitive” and “thin-skinned?” I think you’re seriously misinterpreting quite a lot here.
The guy I called “obnoxious” took five paragraphs to accuse me of “lying” by making a casual and obvious exaggeration in jest. He was also one of many, many people flocking to this post all at once from various groups and forums of low-carbers and Asprey followers banding together to come at me. That’s obnoxious. Disagreement is one thing, but coming on here to do nothing more than insult my intelligence, credibility, and character without contributing anything more to the discussion is something else entirely.
Who’s “chastising” whom here?
You’re speaking about me as though I’m some sort of bully—when I’m simply responding to people who are coming onto my site to insult me and my work. I don’t go around picking fights with people. The way I respond to those who do nothing other than insult me or dismiss my information without any credible information of their own, is dismiss them right back. I value expressed opinions which are deserving of respect. I don’t waste my time by engaging in a “pleasant light” with people who clearly are not going to accept anything I have to say, and are only coming here to antagonize and belittle me.
Is it “rude” to shove someone off of you when they spit in your face? Go back and read the comments, and show me where I was the one “creating arguments.” That’s way off-base.
I’m sensing quite a lot of judgement from you. I’m sorry, but I’m no Pollyanna. If it’s so unforgivably “rude” in your book, for me to manage my time, my work, my site, and my readership in this way when I’m being attacked, then I don’t think we’re going to see eye-to-eye here.
i noticed that you haven’t bothered replying to several (quite a few) comments that consisted of respectful questions that seemed to be attempting to take the conversation deeper. you also seem to ignore when people call you out on the “start with 2 tbsp of butter” vs “2/3 of a stick of butter” issue. can you please address these?
No kidding. I haven’t tried any of this stuff and remain very skeptical, but it seems like the handful of people trying to have an honest debate are being drowned out by two sides screaming at one another.
I often put coconut manna and butter in my coffee, but never thought about the gelatin. Going to try this!
I’d be interested to know if you have any specific responses to Mark’s comment above.(http://butterbeliever.com/better-than-bulletproof-coffee/#comment-136560)
You’ve raised some troubling concerns, and I don’t have the time or expertise to wade through the science myself to resolve the conflict between what you say and what he says, so I’d really appreciate your thoughts on that.
(I’m going to refrain from engaging with the ad-hominem attacks around either you or the Bulletproof community.)
It seems people aren’t taking note of the fact that everyone is different and one diet plan may work wonders for one person and make another obese(it’s an over exaggeration but you get the point), why must you argue about it? Use what works for you, recommend it for others with similar bodies to you and go on about your day. No one answer will be the correct one. The person running this site is doing people a favor by offering up alternatives, and Asprey and his like are doing others a favor.
OP is comedy gold! moar!!!
Woooooow. I happened on this site after doing some research on digestive enzymes. I saw the words “bulletproof coffee” and, as any coffee lover would be, became instantly interested. I read Dr. Weil’s article and became more interested. Then, after attempting to follow this conversation, I lost all interest. This kind of treatment of one another made me lose my appetite all together. My deepest sympathies to those who are more interested in what they are putting in their mouth than what comes out. Jump all over this comment if you wish, but I will not be revisiting this site.
I will get the butter email updates and that is good enough for me. I believe that I must research things for myself and am directly responsible for the state of my health. I don’t even fully trust what my MD tells me anymore.
My point is, why bother eating healthy food but allow my spirit to stay in turmoil and bitterness? Do people not realize that their spiritual health is ultimately the most important issue? Seven years as a hospice RN taught me that the health of someone’s spirit was the best indicator of how their life would end, no matter what food they ate or what drugs they took.
It makes sense then that a person’s spiritual health would directly indicate how their life is, well, lived.
Peace out people, please…
From your own cited study:
“Finally, although the present study shows that circulating endotoxin increases after a high-fat meal, but not after smoking or no meal, which dietary components in particular contribute to this process, and their exact roles, remain to be established.”
Correlation is not causation. It certainly appears that you had your mind set and sought a resource to back up your beliefs rather than approach this from a subjective point of view. Personally, I think it would have been cool if you had tried it and offered up your experiences.
The only other thing I’ll address is the price of his coffee: If you go to any specialty coffee roaster you will be paying as much, if not more for a 12oz bag of coffee beans. It’s not unreasonable for what he offers, however I choose to buy my beans from a local roaster as I know them and know where they get their beans from and can talk to the roaster directly. There is quite a bit of snakeoil surrounding the Bulletproof stuff, but there is also some really stuff as well.
haha, that last sentence was meant to read “really *good* stuff as well”. Shucks, didn’t have my BP coffee this morning and look what I go and do;)
Even after I was “fat adapted,” bulletproof coffee made me not feel right. It wasn’t anything drastic, just an all-over unhealthy feeling and heaviness in my abdomen. I started messing about with the recipe and eventually came up with more or less the same recipe you posted above. I use coconut palm sugar which doesn’t spike my blood sugar (yes, I’ve tested it), unpasteurized cream (from grassfed cows I know and a farmer I trust), expeller-pressed coconut oil, Great Lakes gelatin and a pinch of Himalayan sea salt. I do pay a little extra for my coffee beans, they are low-temp roasted which is supposed to increase the antioxidants, but I use them because they don’t create an acid stomach like most of the coffees I have tried.
I’m still glad I tried the BP coffee, if only to lead me to where I am now.
Butterbeliever, I recently heard about bulletproof coffee and was thinking about trying it until I read your blog. I wanted to thank you for posting this and steering me away from it. I am so sorry that you have been subjected to a rash of outburts being called names and such. You obviously hit a nerve with someone…lol. I’m not sure that you are really the one that is acting childish. The negative responses to your blog speak volumes to me….something that REALLY works will speak for itself and not need to be defended in such a manor by causing harm to another. Maybe the bulletproof diet has made them all lose their minds…and respect for fellow humanity and freedom of speech. Keep on blogging!
The defensiveness of Dave Aspreys followers is so amusing. Rather like creationists debating Richard Dawkin’s.
Butterbeliever, could you please share your criticism with Dave Asprey through his website, and let me know on the feedback he gives you, he is a very intelligent man in my opinion and im sure he will be objective and look deeply into what you have to say. Thanks
Also Butterbeliever what is your opinion on daves products like em waves etc, basically all bio hacking heart montitors and stuff like that is it all bullshit?
This is basically my breakfast every morning! I mix the gelatin with the cream in the bottom of my cup and brew my coffee over it (I have a Keurig). I mix it with a fork and have no problems with lumps and it’s pretty fast.
It’s like a latte- and so nice and filling, too!
I’ve been enjoying your blog which I discovered recently and have enjoyed but I can’t understand why you would attack someone from behind your computer screen?
Why not reach out to Dave to discuss? Clearly you have invaluable information and I’ve gained a lot from listening to Dave Asprey’s podcasts – he invites people on to his show all the time that he does not agree with but see’s them as people with differing opinions BUT that could add value to people’s lives.
Sara Smith says
I stumbled onto the Bulletproof website about a year ago, and decided to try the Bulletproof style coffee. Being an incurable experimenter, I tried it first with 3 Tbsp of butter. That was before he found his oil. But seemed too heavy for me. I added a bit of cream instead, and maybe a spoonful of coconut oil.
But, it was much more satisfying, and, as a massage therapist, I could do 2 massages on the one cup of coffee (after salt, water, vitamins, too) and would take me to lunch without feeling starved, as in my formerly overly cereal-ized life. My brain seems much clearer & memory better as well!
Sometimes I had time for some eggs & bacon & a little fruit, after the coffee. Sometimes now. It definitely has given me more over all energy & better quality of life.
It’s amazing what passion, what indignation, what wrath can be called down on others who do not share our views, when we are absolutely convinced of it’s rightness.
So, let’s just have some respectful discussions, as the hospice nurse says…it’s not what’s in your coffee, it’s what’s in your heart.
Play around, tweak the recipe and see what makes your morning sing! Peace & Love!
I would like to get some input regarding butter that is not salted.
Would this work instead of having salt in the morning and still get the benefits from it or does it have to be some himalayan salt that is blessed by monks in a djungle :P?
Also what carbohydrate source would you recommend to add to the coffee that is not sugar/fructose.
I meant some input regarding butter that IS salted, sorry ^^
Moderation is the key. You are not going to find the magic bullet to fix anything. Proper diet, Proper exercies…..and get adjusted figure it out …wink
Drinking water when you’re thirsty is actually bad for you. When you realize you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. And it’s not glucogenesis that your body will go into, it’s ketoacidosis. It uses fats to burn to use as fuel, not break down glucose or protein. Breaking down proteins/muscles usually happen when you’re in a state of starvation.
Your ‘drink water when thirsty’ really bothers me.
please explain in further detail,if you don’t mind.why, is it bad for u wait till your thirsty?what,specific damage does it do?i am leaning toward your way of thinking over butter believers.but i would like to learn more on the subject of hydration.what type of water is best for absorption? every time i try to i a little a head of the game and drink water just to stay hydrated (as opposed to waiting till i am thirsty),i end up making twice as many trips to the bathroom and peeing it all out!and interrupting my sleep.does anyone know of any links that i can go to for accurate info on this topic?
Mary K. says
Jeeze, I dont get why people are getting their panties in such a twist about this article. This isn’t the NY Times or Sophomore journalism class! Butter Believer has an opinion and is expressing it on her blog, she can be harsh, it’s her house! Dont like it? – get out!
The difference between Butter Believer and Bulletproof Coffee is that Butter Believer is not trying to sell a product. People are FINALLY starting to get informed about nutrition and their health and I feel like Bulletproof is just trying to capitalize on that at a time when people are really impressionable. I am sorry anyone who actually believes it’s right to pay nearly $20 for a bag of coffee with a $30 side order of snake oil just cannot be thinking clearly. No matter how smart or eloquent this Dave fellow is, Bulletproof is a brand and nothing more…
I made Bulletproof-style coffee once. I put 24 ounces of coffee, one stick of grass-fed butter and 1/4 cup of coconut oil. My husband and I split it. It was delicious. And yes, I had boundless energy for hours. Then, something unexpected happened. I started to experience extreme anxiety. The kind where your heart is thumping out of your chest and you feel death is around the corner. Then, my vision became blurry and light hurt my eyes. My stomach felt as if the lining was on fire. My whole body hurt.
I was 100% certain my side effects were from the coffee. Just to be sure though, I tried it again a week later. Same song and dance.
Bulletproof-style coffee? Never again. That stuff is killer.
That’s a common reaction to ingesting more coconut oil than your body is used to, whether you eat it raw or in coffee or use it to fry up eggs.
Hi, I have recently started drinking my own version of no coffee. I use 1teaspoon butter(cream makes me burp) and a splash of MCT oil with plain ol’ coffee. I do eat it with a breakfast of bacon and onions and veggies. When I can’t eat breakfast ( due to work schedule) I do at least add the gelatin.
I agree that bullet proof coffee has kind of a cult, overzealous following. It’s all about balance and finding what works for your body. For me it’s no grains( except occasional rice) and butter in my coffee. Thanks for the post.
Joe Fathead says
The so called study that you linked to showing that a high fat meal is toxic is one of the worst examples of evidence I’ve ever seen against high fat eating.
It was a study that lasted 4 hours and used 12 men. Wow, let me go find 12 of my keto buddies and test their BP and heart rate for 4 hours so I can “prove” that keto eating is healthy. Better yet let me find 12 people I can give some cigarettes to and measure if there are any ill effects after 4 hours to “prove” that cigarettes are in fact fine.
If you want to convince people don’t cherry pick crappy articles and link to it with provocative text. You know most people don’t read studies anyway and they’ll take your word on it.
And just to continue this rant how about a meta-analysis consisting of close to 350,00 people showing no link between saturated fat and CHD. That is statistically significant (http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2010/01/13/ajcn.2009.27725.abstract).
Do you seriously, honestly think that I’m trying to portray saturated fat as being unhealthy, or linked to CHD? Or that I’m “against high-fat eating?” That’s what you got out of reading this post?
I have to ask. Did you notice the name of this blog?
Phew! I made it through the comments! I, like many others, found your page when looking for info on BP Coffee. I didn’t realize he was linked to IF and suggesting ONLY the coffee for breakfast. I lost 30lbs doing the Dukan Diet In order to transition back to “normal” eating, so I can’t support drinking only coffee for breakfast. My husband said he would try BP Coffee before his weight training sessions, though…
Wow, you really laid into that exec blogger! If you were simply contesting his scientific claims, I’d question why the name calling is necessary. 🙂 Surely your scientific evidence makes a strong enough case without the excessive negativity and condescension. From reading some of your other posts, I know you mean well! You might try letting your compassionate spirit shine through in your writing. It’d make your message more palatable for the more gentle souls–like myself–who tend to be put off by such hostility. 😉
I appreciate the info you share here, Butterbeliever! Will be trying coffee with coconut in the morning.
Wow, a lot of heated responses! I guess some people have blurred the lines between journalism and blogging.
Anyway, just wanted to thank you for a different response to the whole Bulletproof mania that is going around the nutrition circles. I live in Italy and have been unable to order this magical coffee, but I have also been a little weary for the same reasons you mentioned. I thought I was the only one confused by these amazingly educated Dr.s and nutritionists singing its praises. But I guess we all fall victim to fads sometimes. I fell for the vegetarian thing for a bit, but it didn’t last long because I felt so awful! (a fellow skinny hoping to gain a few pounds…and just read your post on that, which was great, too!) So, BRAVA for getting out there to give your take on the Bulletproof craze and provide a reasonable and more well-balanced fatty coffee.
I agree with a lot of whats being said here. If you propose a problem, and your solution to fix that problem is buy the stuff you put out, you’re obviously trying to make some coin. The liver does convert fat into ketone bodies for energy to be used in the heart, lungs and brain. This also plays a role in strengthening neurons because cholesterol is very important for neural electrical conductivity. Cholesterol is found in high amounts in the brain and the central nervous system because of this. The direct result allows you to build neural networks much quicker and your body’s reaction timing is sped up (reflexes). But the liver itself still needs glycogen to do such a thing, which is why it will break down muscle glycogen for such an action. So essentially you’re burning both at the same time but losing muscle mass because of the lack of glycogen you supply yourself. The way I like to prevent this is (at least what I think might do the trick, but I’m no expert) is to eat my carbs late at night as my last meal before bed (about 2 hours or so). This way there should be enough glycogen left in my body upon waking to perform it’s intended action. I’ll also take BCAA’s at some point to prevent MPB. The only reason I would shy away from glucose in the coffee is to avoid spiking the shit out of my insulin. I started IF because of Man 2.0, but I incorporated the coffee because Asprey. I will never purchase his coffee ever again because of the testing done by caveman coffee. Although not officially stated, Joe Rogan mentioned that Tait Fletcher (Caveman Coffee) tested random batches of bulletproof beans, starbucks beans and his own. The result being that bp beans were higher in mycotoxins than all 3. Very suspect since Asprey claims his beans to be free of all mycotoxins and literally shits on starbucks with his words. Furthermore, his last appearance on JRE (also his last ever) he said that testing coffee for mycotoxins is ridiculously expensive. This is obviously bullshit and he just wants his beans to remain superior. The testing is actually extremely cheap. And on a completely different topic, I downloaded an ebook that he promoted himself that essentially puts the bp diet to shame. It’s called the nutritional grail and it’s an awesome book. Why would he promote something that goes against his diet principles? It makes absolutely no sense. He’s obviously not in a state of high performance because he would have thought of this way ahead. And I was obviously not in a state of high performance because I fell for his bullshit. So all in all, I really don’t know what to make of this because I have experienced fat loss on a different level and I’ve also gained 25 lbs of muscle drinking the so called BulletProof coffee while on an IF schedule and only eating after I work out. I now by beans from a local roaster here in southern Ontario and I experience the same benefits. I may start using honey to how things work out. Thanks for the read and I hope you take my experience into account!
Randal G. says
I never saw this article before but have already started with the same type recipe. Except, I do not put in the butter. I add on tablespoon of MTC oil, one tablespoon of olive oil and about one to two tablespoons of a coffee creamer. In addition, I add a tablespoon of brown rice protein and a tablespoon of pea protein. For breakfast I might have an avocado, walnuts, almonds or some other healthy equivalent. Does anyone have any thoughts on my recipe and breakfast?
After breakfast I go workout (cardio, weight machines, jujitsu on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursday mornings, and krav maga Wednesday and Thursday evenings. and then do the usual daily things.
Throughout the day I try and eat protein and vegetables. Lots of water. In the afternoon (about 3 or 4) I may have another coffee (same as morning but no oils).
So you’re eating nothing but fat, protein, and caffeine for breakfast, and then you go do a fairly intense workout? I’d say that’s not the smartest idea. You need carbs. No wonder you feel the need for a cup of coffee in the afternoon!
Hi ButterBeliever, I like your take on bulletproof coffee. I often drink bulletproof coffee but it’s not for reasons you might typically hear. Here’s a more unique view on the subject. http://www.chinabiohacker.com/blog/how-to-make-shanghai-bulletproof-coffee
I keep making all these mistakes! When I drink coffee the way you have listed, I add blackstrap molasses and some minerals also- I cannot eat! I take my FCLO after and eat a couple slices of orange but that is about all I can handle in the morning. And its usually 10 am by the time I get to my coffee. I am working out early and I am just not hungry until after lunch. I’m thinking I’ve seriously gotten some things out of whack and now I’m concerned, lol…I have noticed if I don’t do the coffee with coconut oil in the morning I wake up starving at like 2 in the morning.
I actually trek up the Himalayans every morning to drink my coffee. The Buddhists are real cool dudes. Real peaceful. They don’t mind when I crossfit with wagon axles and boulders for barbells. For protein, I get real extreme and eat raw goats- alive. For inspiration, I’ll eat their adrenal glands. Talk about Spirit World.
Seriously though. Looks like this site is a party. Who knew?
Interested in all things nutrition and exercise. It’s all information. Use what works.
Adrien Vocos says
I agree the prices are high, for bulletproof coffee. I have read some of the information on Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof site. He lists 10 supplements that address some of the concerns you have pointed out in his diet. He gives his history (has only one functioning kidney) and gives research on those supplements and how they address some of the challenges of his diet. a moderate amount of monosaturated fat is good, it keeps you full and helps with vitamin absorption and storage. Any extreme is not good. There are alot of opinions on food. Look at the cultures with longest and healthiest outcomes.
Just my opinion. My name or email address may not be sold.
Of course a moderate amount of a key nutrient is a good thing. (Did you mean saturated, rather than monounsaturated? Because the large amounts of butter and MCT oil that he recommends are largely saturated.)
I think it’s very extreme to drink over 500 calories of fat in a sitting. 100% in agreement with you that “any extreme is not good.”
I’m a daily drinker of bulletproof coffee and have had very positive results (fast weight loss and more energy). In terms of cost, I’m happy to pay extra for what I experience with it. However, I’m also open to trying different variations of coffee with butter. I might just try the butterbeliever recipe – I never thought of putting salt in coffee so this would be interesting.
tim jordan says
tried this for three months personally. that is I put kelly grass fed butter in my coffee about 2 tablespoons a day and blended it with my vitamix. After three months they did my blood work and the doc took me off lipitor and said my cholesterol was excellent where before it had been terrible.
There’s nothing wrong with eating 2 tablespoons of butter a day. Especially if that amount of saturated fat replaced foods with concentrated amounts of polyunsaturated fats, I wouldn’t doubt that your lipid profile would improve.
It’s the whole, eating-as-much-saturated-fat-as-humanly-possible, and not-eating-actual-meals thing that I don’t support.
Denise Petty says
Hi, I am new to your site, and I thoroughly enjoyed this post. I, too, am a believer in balance (not, per se, the “balanced meal” referred to in an above post). Anything in excess is not only not good for you, according to the Bible, its a sin. I had a pastor that said he used to smoke. We kids were all aghast. Then he explained, the Bible doesn’t say anywhere you can’t smoke, the commandments tell you not to do anything in excess. Like telling someone they look like crap in a dress. You can take honesty too far. Not that you have to lie, you just don’t need to say anything at all. I am leaning toward a more “clean” diet and living, simply because I think we are waaaaay in excess in the amount of artificial garbage we use. But I have been eating sensibly, and normally, balanced, and losing weight. For the first time in a long time. Sorry for the long post, but had to get my two cents in, lol.
“I have been eating sensibly, and normally, balanced, and losing weight.”
It really is as simple as that! Balance is always best, I think. Thanks for your comment.
Thank you for writing this. I’ve been considering trying bulletproof coffee, have been doing some research, and your article is the first one I’ve found that’s strongly against the idea, and you have science! I was really, really glad I found this article.
That said, I do wish you’d engaged with the comments that respectfully disagreed with you, especially those that mentioned weaknesses in the studies you cited. Obviously you’ve had to deal with plenty of trolls as well, and I’m sorry they’ve been harassing you and I applaud you for not tolerating their nonsense. But there were some commenters who were sincerely trying to start a respectful discussion, and it seems like they were ignored.
As I said, you’re the first author I’ve seen take serious issue with this (and I’ve been on other science blogs, all of the articles I’m referencing aren’t associated with the “bulletproof executive” and aren’t interested in selling anything). The reason I was so excited to finally find your article was because I thought I’d be getting reasoned debate between scientifically-literate people on both sides of the argument… but I can’t find that here, because so far you’re the only scientifically literate blogger I’ve found that’s vehemently opposed to this, and you’re not responding to any of those who disagreed with you with respect, and who also demonstrated a knowledge of science.
Even so, I really am glad I found your article, thank you again, and I really am sorry you had to put up with so much hate.
Could someone please tell me the purpose of the gelatin? Is it just to make it a bit thicker, or is there a health benefit? I know the article mentions amino-acids, but I am unfamiliar with the identity or quantities.
Wooow just tried my first coffee with coco oil and grassfed butter. The eggs I ate with it were salty and gelatin powder seems not available where I live.
Anyway it’s amazing :D. After downing the fatty cocktail, my cognitive skills are through the roof lol! This will become my regular drink.
Thank you Emily for the information you put up here in your humorous writing sense something 😛 Not in the least boring to read.
Michelle Rife says
I like Bulletproof coffee but agree with you on many points. First off I do not drink it by itself for breakfast, I eat food with it. Second, I don’t think you need to buy this guy’s brand of coffee or MCT oil and really you could just use regular coconut oil. Although I did try both and like them. The decaf is about the best flavored decaf out there and the price is comparable to other very high quality organic coffees on the market. You can get MCT oil at least $5 cheaper on Amazon from companies like “NOW.” I bought the MCT oil because it is tasteless and my husband is not a massive fan of coconut flavor. I’m following the Eat Fat, Lose Fat plan right now and just replace the 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil I would eat before breakfast anyway with the tbsp of MCT oil in Bulletproof coffee. To think that drinking this stuff is going to be some magical cure all is just silly so I agree with you there as well. I’ve tried doing the same thing with Numi chocolate pur-eh tea and that is yummy as well! Cheers!
Love the coffee recipe. I’ve tried bulletproof (not the actual brands, just sourcing my own high quality ingredients) and I like it, but I think the addition of gelatin is awesome. I do find, however the rest of the post to be a little over zealous. What about the large volume of research on intermittent fasting and calorie restriction? These are ancient practices that not only promote longevity but also increase health, working on similar pathways to antioxidants, fasting and CR up regulate the expression of Genes responsible for increasing lifespan and vitality. I’d be interested in your take on how this research fits into your views on diet and nutrition. Thanks!
Jose Luis Nieto says
What do you think about ketosis, is it a good thing to seek for?
Usually don’t leave comments but this was such a great place to do just that.
Anyway random observations ~
I really enjoy bulletproof coffee, but I just use organic coffee coconut oil and grassfed butter. I think what he sells is definitely something that he is trying to make a fairly large amount of money off of, can’t blame him for that but I also wouldn’t buy it.
Secondly it helps me because I usually don’t eat breakfast anyway, I know it is bad but the coffee is one way for me to feel better and save some time. Note that Paul Chek advocated putting butter in coffee long before Dave Aspey did, check out his second video on espresso making for proof. He does it to make the coffee more of an energy source. Coconut oil is just plain good for you. (I think?)
Lastly as far as the fighting is concerned, I don’t know what to say but I want to say something. What works for you may not work for someone else, it isn’t a big deal. However it is clear a lot of people love bulletproof coffee, and anything that divides people so fiercely never has a simple solution.
Clearly rough feelings exist on both sides about the things being said, and I believe most of that stems from the way (like a lot of new things) Dave has decided to market this particular drink as some sort of cure-all Godsend instead of what it is….
Anyway my 2 cents, god bless!
Can I blend coconut oil, collagen, grass fed butter w/ almond milk & dates? 🙂 I always have breakfast with it such as eggs or millet porridge. Thanks!
Tommy Heitz says
I have no tolerance or respect for anyone giving such advice as to add sugar and/or artificial sweetener to food. That’s not balanced, its foolish. You’re too pathetic to control your desires for unhealthy food (though artificial sweetener isn’t even a food, its poison) that you need to write up this BS in order to create a fan club to cheer you on.