What Is Bulletproof Coffee and Is It Good for You?
If you like butter and oil in your coffee, give it a try
It’s no longer enough to just order a plain coffee with cream and sugar, as nowadays the options are endless, from alternative milks and sweeteners, to different blends and brewing styles. Bulletproof coffee might just be the next coffee order you’re destined to try. The difference between bulletproof coffee and regular coffee is huge. While the coffee you’re used to might have a bit of cream or sugar added to it, the standard bulletproof coffee recipe, created by Dave Asprey, includes coffee beans, at least two tablespoons of unsalted, grass-fed butter, and one to two tablespoons of medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil, which boasts healthy fats to supposedly promote weight loss, satiation, and brain health.
The reviews, however, are mixed. Some people vouch for starting the day with a cup of bulletproof, as it may help regulate weight loss and lower cholesterol, as explained by Christopher Ochner, Ph.D., research associate at The New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospitals in an interview with Women's Health. Others, however, find it to be excessive in fat and calories (it adds about 200 to 500 calories to your daily coffee order as well as a heaping of saturated fats, due to the butter and typical coconut oil).
Ashlea Braun, a dietician at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, has her concerns, explaining that individuals who choose to follow a low-carb diet might be more inclined to a lifestyle of higher fat content, anyway.
“The drink is creamy and low in carbohydrates; however, the ingredients make it very high in fat and calories (about 450 calories a cup, while plain black coffee only has about two calories per cup),” Braun says. “Overall, this drink is going to be way too high in calories and will likely lead to weight gain. You’d be better off drinking black coffee or something like an unsweetened latte or cappuccino (which is made with milk) and getting some calcium, which the bulletproof coffee won’t offer,” Braun recommends. And although some claim that drinking bulletproof coffee makes them full for a longer period of time, that’s only because the amount of calories in one cup basically equals one meal.
Braun is also skeptical about the causation of the benefits of bulletproof coffee as well. “Some claim the drink can give them more energy. However, that’s most likely the effects of the coffee itself, as there is nothing magical about mixing the ingredients together,” Braun says. “Some opt to add coconut oil, as many tout the benefits of its main source of fat, lauric acid, but there is not much evidence that this fat does any good. Plus, coconut oil is about 90 percent saturated fat, so you shouldn’t be overdoing it anyway.”
So should you try bulletproof coffee? That’s up to you, but if you find yourself craving butter and oil in your coffee, give it a try.