Is Butter Coffee Really Good For You?


Butterscotch has been one of the most persistent – and frankly bizarre – trends to exist in the mid-section of the Venn diagram of coffee and health. Everything we Americans have learned about healthy eating over the past half century seems to defeat the idea of ​​putting a spoonful of butter in your morning drink; fat is bad, as is traditionally thought, so adding an unnecessary spoonful of it to anything seems counterproductive to healthy eating habits.

Of course, we now have a better understanding of nutrition and know that fat, both in our diet and in our body, is actually do not bad but vital by just about any definition of wholesomeness that is not foolishly confused with “lean”. So what’s the truth about butter coffee? Is it healthy? Unhealthy? Just a vehicle to get cannabis into your cafe? To find out, we’re going to look at the alleged benefits and potential side effects of coffee with butter.

What is “bulletproof” coffee?

Sometimes known as “bulletproof” coffee, buttered coffee began its chimerical rise to American popularity a decade ago. Created by entrepreneur and “lifestyle guru” Dave Asprey, the Bulletproof approach to coffee was originally inspired by yak butter tea, a popular drink in Tibet. Asprey’s brand of beverage additives and “pure coffee” – with its myriad of claims that it contains no “mycotoxins” – is rooted in the “bullet-proof” coffee approach, which is made by mixing coffee (brewed or cold) and butter from grass-fed cows. There is an optional inclusion of medium chain triglyceride, or MCT oil (believed to promote weight loss and provide a good source of energy), as well as coconut oil (rich in MCT oil) and powdered collagen peptides (a type of protein / amino acid believed to promote healthy joints and tendons).

Today, Asprey’s Bulletproof brand is sold in consumer stores nationwide and has been transformed into a line of popular RTD coffee drinks. Asprey stepped down as CEO in late 2019 and the brand, now known as Bulletproof 360, raised $ 13 million in capital in 2020 to expand its operations and product lines.

What are the benefits?

The benefits of bulletproof coffee are many. A cup of buttery coffee in the morning is said to inhibit cravings later in the day; butter rich in fat provides “constant energy and [keeps] you are full for hours. It is also said to increase cognitive function and clarity, thanks to MCT oil, which comes from an “almost immediate increase in brain energy”.

But the alleged biggest benefit is the alleged weight loss catalyst of bulletproof coffee. (And before we go any further, I would like to reiterate once again that weight loss is health, and if we are to be really Honestly, all of those people with washboard abs and 3% body fat, while still conforming to traditional aesthetic notions, are likely to have unhealthy body weight / composition.)

Weight loss can be triggered by ketosis, the primary driver of the ever-popular Keto Weight Loss Program, which is essentially a modern, grass-fed version of the high-fat, low-card Atkin ‘diet’. your parents. (Both Keto and Atkin are weight loss programs, not diets. Your diet is what you eat every day, good, bad, or indifferent.) Ketosis is a metabolic state in which the body lacks carbohydrates, main power, and begins to burn. fat to make ketones, which it can then use as an alternative energy source. If a person is consuming little or no carbohydrates, the idea behind the Keto and Atkin plans is that their body will burn more fat for energy, resulting in overall weight loss from stored fat. in the body.

It is also believed that butter coffee has practical advantages, primarily convenience. Intended to be consumed in the morning, bulletproof coffee is a quick source of lots of calories – in the order of 450 a cup – and replaces a traditional breakfast.

What are the disadvantages ?

Without a doubt, people have lost weight by drinking butter coffee as part of a Keto program. For the record, I’ve had several friends – people in the coffee industry at that – who report receiving some or all of the benefits of Keto, so there is at least some truth to the hype. media. But there are some considerations to take into account when deciding if you want to butter your brew.

Some of the side effects listed on the Bulletproof website include: dehydration, muscle cramps, lack of energy, trouble sleeping, constipation, diarrhea, brain fog, keto rash, and something called the flu. keto.

Beyond these, however, butter coffee is deficient in nutrients. On its own, this isn’t necessarily a problem, but when used as a meal replacement, it effectively cancels out all of the essential nutrients – carbohydrates, protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals – that you would otherwise receive from fruits, vegetables. and whole grains. you would normally consume. Healthline does the simple math showing that if you replace one of your three meals a day with butter coffee, you lose a third of your total nutrient intake.

And butter coffee is high in saturated fat. The American Heart Association suggests that only 5 to 6 percent of a person’s daily calorie intake is from saturated fat – about 13 g, according to Medical News Today – but two tablespoons of grass-fed butter contains 14 g, already above the daily allowance. And while not all saturated fats are created equal (saturated fats like coconut and MCT oils may be healthier than long-chain saturated fats, like those found in olive oil), Saturated fat has been linked to higher cholesterol levels in the blood and an increased risk of heart disease or stroke.

What’s the verdict?

Like most health questions, there isn’t one right answer for everyone when it comes to butter coffee. As a weight loss tool, some have seen positive benefits (although, like Atkin before, those benefits will likely go away once a person reintroduces carbohydrates into their diet). But with its high fat content, butter coffee is said to require the rest of its diet to provide the other essential nutrients the body needs to function. Ultimately, if you are considering incorporating butter coffee into your daily routine, you should see your doctor.

Zac Cadwalader is editor-in-chief of Sprudge Media Network and editor-in-chief based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.

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