Is Adding Butter to Your Coffee Actually Good For You?Posted by Amanda Atchison on May 6, 2015 Blog | Recipes | | No comments
The Bulletproof coffee trend promises more energy, better focus, and improved health—but does it work?
Forget the cream and sugar. Adding a pat of butter to your morning coffee can help you kick your day into overdrive—at least, according to advocates of the Bulletproof Coffee trend.
Bulletproof Coffee, which is basically just a cup of black coffee with grass-fed butter and medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) oil mixed in, was designed by Dave Asprey, owner of Bulletproof Executive, to “supercharge your brain function and create effortless fat loss with no cravings.” Now, Paleo dieters and grass-fed butter fanatics alike are adding the butter-and-oil combo to their javas. Matt Lauer has even taste-tested a steaming-hot mug of butter coffee on The TODAY Show.
“Bulletproof Coffee is a great way to get healthy fats first thing in the morning,” says Kerry Bajaj, a Be Well Health Coach at Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in New York City. Starting the day with healthy fats provides energy, is good for cognitive function, and supports your hormonal system.”
Butter from grass-fed cows supplies a ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids that’s far healthier than what comes from conventionally raised livestock (it’s actually similar to the healthy-fat breakdown of fatty fish). Meanwhile, MCTs are a unique form of fat that require less energy and enzymes to be digested when compared to another type of fat known as long-chain triglycerides, says Bajaj.
“There is some evidence that regular consumption of MCTs can induce very mild fat loss over time,” says Christopher Ochner, Ph.D., research associate at The New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospitals. “MCTs may also help regulate cholesterol levels, but the types of coconut oils and things from which people typically try to get MCTs often contain dangerous amounts of trans and saturated fats,” says Ocher, who notes that 1 tablespoon of grass-fed butter and 1 tablespoon of MCT oil adds up to more than 100 percent of your recommended daily allowance of saturated fat.
“It’s an extra 200-300 calories, so it has to replace some food or another caloric beverage,” he says. “Otherwise, you would gain an extra 20 to 30 pounds each year by having a cup per day.”
If buttered coffee isn’t your thing (trust us, it’s an acquired taste!), you can still get plenty of benefits from MCT oil, says Bajaj. Try drinking your coffee black alongside a scrambled egg cooked in MCT or coconut oil, which is naturally rich in MCTs. You can also add them to your favorite smoothies. Just remember to stick with the all-natural (i.e., trans fat-free) varieties, says Ochner.
The bottom line: If you’re trying to cut calories or saturated fat, Bulletproof probably isn’t the brew for you. But it does have a whole lot more health benefits than many of the other blended whipped cream-on-top coffee monstrosities you could be sipping.
How to Make Bulletproof Coffee:
1. Boil 1 cup filtered water.
2. Use the water to brew strong black coffee from 2 1/2 heaping Tbsp of freshly ground coffee beans.
3. Add 1 tsp MCT oil (you can work up to 1 to 2 Tbsp over several days).
4. Add 1 Tbsp grass-fed unsalted butter or ghee (you can work up to 2 or more Tbsp over several days).
5. Mix in a blender for at least 20 seconds, until it’s creamy and no oil sits on the surface.