|February 28, 2024

The Ultimate Guide to the Bulletproof Diet

By Stephen Sheehan
Reviewed by Emily Gonzalez, ND for Scientific Accuracy

The Ultimate Guide to the Bulletproof Diet

  • The Bulletproof Diet focuses on eliminating sugar and grains, fueling up with quality fats and choosing organic and grass-fed options, when possible.
  • Combining the Bulletproof Diet with intermittent fasting can help ramp up brain and body benefits like sustained energy and improved brain power.
  • Learn more about how to eat Bulletproof, including easy ways to transform simple ingredients into delicious, nourishing dishes.

You may have heard of the Bulletproof Diet before, but we’re here to give you the full rundown on what it actually entails. From its potential health benefits to how it works in collaboration with intermittent fasting, we’ll dive into the science behind this ketogenic style of eating.

Most importantly, you’ll learn about the 10 core principles of the diet, which should empower and inspire you to make necessary changes to get on track. Need some guidance on how to get started with the Bulletproof Diet? We’re here to support you on every step of your journey.

Benefits of the Bulletproof Diet

Women working out at home on a yoga mat

What you eat affects everything, from your digestion to your concentration to your ability to mobilize fat. Regularly consuming carbohydrates (especially sugar) doesn’t put us in an ideal position for sustained energy, focus or optimal fat burning.

Luckily, the Bulletproof Diet does the exact opposite.

By eating minimal carbs and using quality fats for fuel, your body will enter ketosis—a metabolic state that can provide several benefits, including more energy and less cravings. Keeping your insulin levels low will allow you to reap fat-burning rewards. Plus, ketones are an excellent source of sustained energy for your brain.

That doesn’t mean carbs are completely non-existent on the Bulletproof Diet. Actually, it’s a variation of cyclical keto that allows you to strategically incorporate carbs to refill depleted glycogen stores. Ultimately, you can reap the rewards of being keto while still retaining the flexibility to adjust your macronutrient balance depending on your activities.

Intermittent fasting and the Bulletproof Diet

Woman drinking bottle of water after workout.

Besides changing what you eat, changing when you eat can have a major impact, too. Rather than consuming calories throughout the day over the course of several meals, reducing your eating window can be a powerful tool that complements the Bulletproof Diet.

How so? Intermittent fasting (IF) helps your body enter ketosis faster, and by breaking your fast with keto-friendly foods, you can take advantage of both the fat-burning and cognitive benefits. Experiment with different types of fasting protocols to find the right fit. You may be satisfied with one meal a day (OMAD), or you may prefer to have a few smaller meals during your eating window.

Translation: There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to fasting, so find what works best for you and your schedule.

How to follow the Bulletproof Diet

middle aged woman with great hair enjoying a cup of coffee

The Bulletproof Diet can be broken down into 10 basic principles—all of which support your ability to unlock your limitless potential. In addition to eliminating certain foods, the diet involves stocking your fridge and pantry with high-quality ingredients that’ll deliver the nutrients you need to thrive.

If you’re ready to put yourself on a well-formulated nutritional path, here’s how to follow the Bulletproof Diet…

1. Eliminate sugar

The first step to eating Bulletproof? Cut ties with all forms of refined sugar. Although it tastes sweet, your body and brain don’t exactly benefit from its presence.

Going overboard on sugar can lead to energy crashes and minor mood swings.[1][2] However, that doesn’t mean you can’t satisfy your sweet tooth on the Bulletproof Diet. Alternative sweeteners like erythritol, monk fruit and stevia make low-glycemic baking a breeze. You can also use them to create sweet treats that don’t require an oven.

Related: The Effects of Sugar on the Brain (Trust Us, It’s Not Pretty)

2. Fuel up with quality fats

Eggs made with Bulletproof Grass-Fed Ghee

If you think of your body as a car engine, then you need to fill your tank with quality fats. Switching your primary fuel source from carbs to fats will provide sustained energy to power you through your day, help you feel fuller longer and keep your insulin levels stable.[3]

When it comes to fueling up, MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides) are a staple of the Bulletproof Diet. MCT oil is a quality fat that can help increase ketone production and provide your brain with energy. Foods like avocados and whole eggs (don’t fear the yolk!) are also great ways to get in quality fats.

Additionally, Grass-fed butter and Bulletproof Grass Fed-Ghee are ultra-versatile fat sources that can be used for everything from searing meats to roasting veggies. Plus, you can obtain quality fats from protein sources like beef, lamb and salmon.

Related: Break Your Fast With Quality Fats: Fuel Up With These 20 Recipes

3. Switch to grass-fed meat and wild-caught seafood

We all need protein. What we don’t need is to obtain it from low-quality sources. But between antibiotics and unsanitary living conditions, cows raised in feedlots don’t measure up to their grass-fed counterparts.

Eating Bulletproof entails making the switch to high-quality, grass-fed beef, which has a healthier balance of fatty acids than grain-fed.[4]

Seafood enthusiasts should also make the upgrade from farm-raised to wild-caught options. Environmental contaminants in farmed fish make them potentially harmful.[5] On the other hand, some wild-caught fish provide valuable omega-3 fatty acids and do not come with the same contamination concerns.

Related: Spoiler Alert: Despite Popular Opinion, Plant-Based Salmon Isn’t the Solution

4. Eliminate synthetic additives, colorings and flavorings

The Bulletproof Diet is all about keeping it real. Eliminating foods that have additives, preservatives and other synthetic substances is a must if you want to put your body in the best position to thrive.

Focus on fueling up with nourishing foods that don’t come with a long list of hard-to-pronounce ingredients and fake substances. Be mindful of every ingredient—even foods that seem “healthy” on the surface may contain ones that can still be questionable.

5. Steer clear of beans and legumes

While fiber is important for maintaining a healthy gut, don’t look to legumes or beans for support. Both contain anti-nutrients (phytates, oxalates and lectins) that make them poor fits for the Bulletproof Diet.

It might be tough to bid adieu to beans and legumes, but you can turn to other sources to obtain protein and fiber. Ultimately, your body will thank you for steering clear of anti-nutrients and finding other ways to get protein and fiber in your diet.

6. Be selective with dairy

Preparing iced latte with cream.

Many dairy products contain casein and lactose—two compounds that can contribute to gastrointestinal (GI) distress. As such, the Bulletproof Diet takes a selective approach with this potentially problematic food group.

If you can tolerate dairy, stick to full-fat, raw dairy products from grass-fed cows. If dairy gives you trouble, go for alternatives that won’t lead you to feel bloated and uncomfortable. Swap out regular milk for a coconut-based version so you can easily create smoothies and other recipes with zero dairy-related worries.

7. Say goodbye to grains and gluten

Going gluten- and grain-free is a sound way to take care of your gut health. The Bulletproof Diet tries to keep digestive issues at bay by removing gluten and grains from the equation. This includes corn, oats, barley and wheat—all of which are carb-heavy and contain anti-nutrients that can interfere with the absorption of nutrients.

Another reason to stay away from grains and gluten? They can contribute to inflammation in the body, including initiating a pro-inflammatory immune response.[6] Eliminating them from your diet and making gluten- and grain-free versions of your favorite dishes is how you stay Bulletproof.

Related: The Complete Bulletproof Guide to Gluten and Grains

8. Switch to organic fruits and vegetables

Woman holding strawberries in her hands.

Just because you eat fruits and vegetables doesn’t mean you’re doing your body good. After all, the majority of non-organic produce sold in the United States contains residues of potentially harmful chemical pesticides. In fact, the Environmental Working Group puts that figure at nearly 70%![7]

Instead of taking a chance with your fruits and veggies, choose organic options so you can consume them with confidence. Take a trip to your local farmers market to find fresh, pesticide-free produce. Not only will this benefit you, but it will also support the hard-working farmers in your community.

In addition, the Bulletproof Diet goes one step further by paying attention to anti-nutrients in plants that may not benefit your body, including phytates, lectins and oxalates. And while some people can handle nightshades like tomatoes and onions, that category of plants can be problematic for others.

9. Stick to certain cooking methods

The cooking method you choose can affect the quality of the food, especially when it comes to meat proteins. You want to retain the most nutrients possible, which makes deep frying and other high-heat cooking methods poor options.

What’s the best way to cook your food? Lightly grill, slow cook or use a sous vide for meats. Veggies should be steamed al dente, or you can give them more flavor and texture by sautéing in Grass-Fed Ghee to crispy perfection. You have the ultimate control over how you handle ingredients, so use cooking methods that preserve their nutritional integrity while still yielding tasty results.

10. Use supplements for support

Lineup of various Bulletproof supplements on a tiled counter

Even if you’re eating organic produce, grass-fed meats and plenty of quality fats, you may not have all the building blocks and nutritional support you need. Every body is different. That’s where supplements step in.

No. 1 on the list is collagen protein. We need it to build healthy bones, joints, muscles, skin and hair, yet most people don’t get enough in their diet. Your supplement regimen could also include Bulletproof Vitamins A+D+K Gummies to fill in micronutrient gaps and sleep products to support quality rest. Plus, turn to stress relief supplements like Bulletproof Zen Mode and Bulletproof Stress Relief Collagen Protein to tap into adaptogens; there are plenty of science-backed ways to bolster the Bulletproof Diet.

You can build a supplement stack designed for specific need states, from energy to detox support, or use products like Bulletproof Turmeric Gummies and Bulletproof Curcumin Max on a daily basis to support a healthy inflammation response.†

Related: What are Adaptogens? 11 Natural Herbs to Help Keep You Balanced

Bulletproof Diet recipes

A bottle of MCT oil and a measuring cup with salad dressing and a whisk inside

Ready to flex those culinary skills? From a simple way to upgrade your coffee to savory dinner options to feed the family, here are some go-to Bulletproof Diet recipes you should have in your repertoire.

1. Bulletproof Coffee

Our signature recipe combines clean, toxin-tested coffee with Grass-Fed Ghee and Bulletproof Brain Octane C8 MCT Oil. That powerful one-two punch turns an ordinary cup of joe into one that directly supports sustained energy and ketone production.†

2. Pasture-Raised Egg Bites

A plate of pasture-raised egg bites

Perfect for meal prepping, these protein-packed egg bites are particularly convenient if you need easy access to protein and quality fats on the go.

3. Keto Coconut Flour Pancakes

These yummy pancakes contain significantly fewer carbs than your standard pancake recipe, thanks to subbing in coconut flour for traditional flour.

4. No-Bean Keto Chili

A bowl of keto chili

This beanless chili is easy to make and incredibly tasty. Plus, you can prepare it ahead of time and have a hearty lunch or dinner ready to go.

5. Keto Buffalo Chicken Casserole

This twist on buffalo chicken casserole offers a family-friendly portion packed with protein and bold flavors.

6. Keto Thai Red Beef Curry

Bowl of beef curry with cilantro

This Thai curry features tender, juicy chunks of beef simmering in a slightly spicy sauce. Serve it with cauliflower rice as a grain-free accompaniment.

7. Dairy-Free Keto Lemon Fat Bombs

When it comes to snack options, these lemon fat bombs are dairy-free and contain three forms of coconut—a flavorful source of quality fats—along with the zing of fresh lemon.

8. Creamy Coconut Ice Cream

A fresh batch of Bulletproof coconut ice cream with a scooper

Our low-carb ice cream is free of all the refined sugar and additives you find in pints at the grocery store. Clean, whole ingredients make this dessert option a more nutritious choice.

The bottom line: The Bulletproof Diet is a science-backed way to set both your brain and body up for success. Changing your primary fuel source from carbs to fats will allow you to enjoy the benefits of ketosis, and incorporating intermittent fasting can make the process more efficient. Wave goodbye to processed foods and sugar, embrace organic produce, grass-fed meats and quality fats like avocados and Brain Octane C8 MCT Oil and you’ll be on track to reaping the rewards of eating Bulletproof.

Which foods should you stock up on and which ones should you avoid? The Bulletproof Diet Roadmap features a simple color-coded system that takes away all the guesswork.

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