I’m super excited to be sharing a guest post “Fat Is Back: Why Putting More Fat In Your Diet Is The Key To Good Health” from my friend, Dave Asprey (aka The Bulletproof Executive) and genius behind the Bulletproof Coffee revolution and author of one of my favorite new books The Bulletproof Diet! Oh and check out the amazing recipe sneak peak: Lose a Pound a Day With Shockingly Rich Chocolate Truffle Pudding I just shared!!
For decades, we were told that fat is the enemy to good health. So-called diet experts told us that if we wanted to lose weight, have more energy, and avoid heart disease, we needed to stop eating fat. Turns out, the experts were all wrong. New scientific research has shown that not only are fats less dangerous than we thought, they might actually be the most important part of a good diet. As data keeps coming in to prove this point, fat is making a major comeback in the diet and health communities.
The misguided war against fat
In the 1950s a scientist named Ancel Keys rocked the world of nutrition by claiming, with some pretty convincing research, that saturated fat caused heart disease. The low-fat diet craze immediately stormed the scene. The problem is we later learned Keys threw out data that didn’t fit his model. The science didn’t support his theory at all.
Food chemists immediately began concocting low-fat foods and to remove the fat from foods, they had to replace it with something else. Sugar and/or corn syrup was pumped into most low-fat “diet” foods. Not only are these low-fat foods actually terrible for you because they lack nutrients but they also taste like cardboard and make your brain believe a famine is coming.
The benefits of fat
Fat is the most important macronutrient, and on the Bulletproof Diet, 50-70% of your daily calories should come from the right kinds of fats. This is not a license to eat whatever kinds of fat you find! There are some “bad” fats that really will make you fat, but eating significant amounts of the right types of fat will not. In fact, when you eat more healthy fats, your body becomes better equipped to naturally turn it into energy. When you teach your body to burn fat for energy it becomes a higher performance machine, complete with a kind of energy that’s normally unavailable.
Our cells, organs, and brains are all made of fat and need high quality fat to function optimally. Fat is also the basis for the lining of your nerves, called myelin, which allows electricity to flow efficiently. When you have more myelin you literally think faster.
The right kinds of fat
So what are the “right” kinds of fat? There are two basic ways to measure fats. The first is to look at how long a fat molecule is. As a general rule for edible fats, the shorter the fat, the more rare and anti-inflammatory it is. This is why the Bulletproof Diet ensures that you get adequate amounts of the harder to find short and medium chain fats which include the butyric acid found in butter and several types of Medium Chain Triglycerides found in coconut oil.
The second way to understand your fat is to see how stable it is. Oxygen is vital for life, but it also drives very strong chemical reactions like rusting or oxidizing, and also is responsible for damaging fats. The most stable fats are saturated, followed by monounsaturated fats while unsaturated fats are the least stable. The Bulletproof diet teaches you exactly what to eat so you get more good fats and fewer unhealthy, unstable fats.
The best way to eat more fat – butter in your coffee
One of the most unusual yet effective recommendations of the Bulletproof Diet is adding butter to your coffee. By taking coffee with fat, you temporarily suppress all gut bacteria and then provide food for the “thin people” bacteria so they can proliferate. This is something I can actually see in my own gut panels and in Bulletproof Dieters’ uBiome results when they share them with me. They have above average amounts of bacteriodetes, the bacteria associated with being lean, and fewer of the firmicutes class, associated with being obese. You should have some of both for optimal health, but changing the ratio really impacts your energy level and ability to regulate your own weight.
It’s also important to blend the butter into your coffee rather than stirring it because blending the butter breaks it up into something called micelles, which allows your body to use fat for energy. Your bile produces micelles, too, but the more of them you have, the more fat your body can use. This means blending butter into your coffee assists your body in using fat as a source of energy. If you peel back the wrapper on a stick of butter and eat it like a Snickers bar alongside a cup of coffee, the results are not the same. I should know – I’ve tried it!
It’s time we ended the war against fats. If you really want to stay healthy and live longer, the secret is to eat more not less fat. As more people learn about the health benefits of eating fat, expect this new diet trend to continue its ongoing comeback.
Dave Asprey is a Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur who spent 15 years and $300,000 to hack his own biology, losing 100 pounds, upgrading his IQ, and lowering his biological age. He runs the No. 1-ranked iTunes health podcast and The Bulletproof Executive blog about using biohacking to increase human performance — and he invented Bulletproof Coffee.
You can find more about biohacking, the art of changing your environment and your biology so you perform better in his new book The Bulletproof Diet, and also on The Bulletproof Executive website, Facebook and Twitter.