Announcing: The Free Bulletproof Food Detective iPhone App!
By: Dave Asprey
July 17, 2013
Check out the brand new free iPhone app that helps you identify the hidden food sensitivities that make you weak. Hidden food sensitivities are like kryptonite – they cause chronic inflammation, make you tired and moody, and sabotage your fat loss. The free Bulletproof® Food Detective™ app uses your phone’s onboard sensor to get data about what your body does after you eat, so you can identify and eliminate problem foods in order to perform to your maximum potential.
This app is a brazen attempt to use biohacking technologies in an iphone app meant for everyone’s benefit.
After years of knowing that heart rate data is useful for detecting food sensitivity data, but not having a convenient way to use it in the real world, it’s exciting to work with SweetWater Health™ to make this type of technology convenient and accurate enough to use. The alternative is a lab test, which costs a lot of money and involves needles.
You can use this app to decide if it’s worth your time to get a full blood allergy test, or you can use it to help you know what foods to avoid without any lab test at all. I recommend you get a blood test for food allergies unless you feel awesome all the time without fail.
This is an example of how powerful it can be to gather and analyze data from your own body and use it to upgrade yourself. The Food Detective app isn’t meant to be used all the time. Just use it when you’re testing new foods to see how it helps you zoom in on your unrealized food sensitivities.
This app is free because everyone performs better when they are more aware of what is going on in their bodies. You don’t have to eat the Bulletproof® Diet or drink Bulletproof® Coffee in order to use this app to feel better. Whether you are a biohacker or just concerned about your health, Food Detective™ helps you in your quest for optimal performance and a healthier life. Try it out, see if it works for you, and let me know what you think!
The Quest to Bring You This Technology
When I first started down the path of biohacking and upgrading myself, I was fascinated to learn of Dr. Arthur F. Coca’s research that shows how the heart rate raises, by at least sixteen beats per minute, after you eat foods you are sensitive to.1 As profound as this research is, I found it wildly inconvenient to continuously measure my heart rate, gather the data, and analyze it to help me discover which foods were inflammatory vs. which ones just weren’t for ME. Of course this specific quest was before I fully developed an understanding for the larger relationship between common inflammatory foods and biochemistry in the majority of all people. It is one thing to know your sensitivities and another to know about inflammatory foods in general. More often than not they go hand in hand.
Then, in 2009, I was CTO of a company that makes heart rate monitor wristbands. I became interested in using wristband technology to gather data on food sensitivities, but soon realized that there was no real mechanism for doing that in a watch.
When I started working as an advisor to SweetWater Health™, a heart rate variability monitoring software company, I jumped on the opportunity to partner with them to create the Food Detective app. I was amazed to see how accessible and user-friendly they made the technology I have been dreaming about for years.
How the Food Detective Test Works & Why Eliminating Hidden Food Sensitivities Can Make You Think, Feel, and Look Better
My experience as a biohacker who used to weigh 300 pounds and really struggled with food cravings, is that every single person has a set of things in their environment or their food that makes them weak, and most people don’t know what most of them are. The Bulletproof® Food Detective app offers a food sensitivity test, using methodology developed by Dr. Coca, to help you identify what is causing the weakness. If you are sensitive to certain foods, you may not experience symptoms right away, though your body reacts by elevating your heart rate for up to 1 ½ hours after eating an offending food.
Food sensitivities are a reaction from the immune system or a result of the body’s lack of proper enzymes to digest foods. When the body reacts to a food, it sends out inflammatory proteins and cortisol, which create low-level chronic inflammation. This type of chronic inflammation may impair digestion, cause sore joints, headaches, and brain fog. Inflammation also triggers weight gain because it affects a specific part of the brain (the hypothalamus), causing it to become insulin and leptin resistant. Decreasing inflammation is critical to any effective fat loss protocol, including the Bulletproof Diet. Unfortunately, a person with low-level inflammation often does not connect the symptoms with the foods, or may not even be aware of them.
This is where easy-to-use self-tracking tools like the Food Detective app come in handy. You can use the app to measure your pulse first thing in the morning to get a resting heart rate as a base to compare to. Then, before eating a meal, you record what is on your plate and perform a quick pulse test again. After the meal, the app will prompt you to measure your heart rate three times, every 30 minutes after the meal. Once testing is complete, the app determines if the meal triggered a food sensitivity, indicated by a red “X” or if not you will see a green checkmark.
While people can also use one of the affordable heart rate monitors compatible with the app, the camera sensor is a convenient way for people to adopt the food sensitivity test into their everyday life. Using the camera sensor merely requires holding the tip of your index over the iPhone camera lens and flash. No needles. No blood.
I used technology similar to this years ago, but it was too much work to take my own pulse using a little finger attachment, writing it all down, and analyzing the information. This app makes this process really simple and recordable.
Stress and HRV Training Features for High Performers Are in Full-Featured Version of the App
If you want to get a bit nerdy and serious about your performance, you can also get an amazingly full-featured version of the app that works with a compatible chest strap to measure and track your heart rate variability (HRV), the variation in the time between heartbeats, all day long. HRV is a great way measure of a person’s stress level and this app is able to tell you when you are “unconsciously” getting stressed or moving into a fight or flight response throughout the day. In fact, users can see their HRV in real time, giving them the ability to take action to manage stress during a 5-minute breathing and relaxing session. Doing these sessions can help you return to a more relaxed, higher performing state, even in demanding business environments.
This application does not compete with my friends at Heart Math who make the Inner Balance sensor, which you use to train your HRV for short periods, not track it all day. The two HRV apps actually work well together to train your nervous system for optimal performance.
In competitive sports, studies show HRV to be an effective metric to detect overtraining. The full-featured app measures HRV for training, recovery, and provides an objective measure of your body’s response to each workout. The athlete simply does a 3-minute HRV session each morning to determine a result that recommends, “train as usual”, “low exertion day” or “rest day” based on the athlete’s baseline trend.
The app even allows users to upload their data to a secure database in the cloud so they can access their data on a compatible Bulletproof website. Users sign in securely to see a calendar of their sessions, color-coded by average stress level, session tags, and session summaries.
For overall food allergy testing, the Bulletproof recommendation, if you can afford it, is still to get a blood test that looks at your antigens (IGE and IGG). These two tests will help you map out which foods on the test you’re sensitive or allergic to. However, if you eat out at a restaurant or eat mystery processed foods on occasion, that weren’t on the blood test, the Bulletproof Food Detective app will let you know if you have sensitivities to them.
So again, you don’t have to use this app all the time. Use it for a few days in a row to help you zoom in on your kryptonite.
Food Detective is available for free so you can try it out, see if it works for you, and let me know what you think!