Whenever I tell people that I put butter in my coffee, I always get strange looks. I get the same set of responses and questions. People tell me I’m weird. They wrinkle their foreheads and give me that disapproving look. “But, it’s actually really good for you”, I proclaim. How is putting butter in my coffee good for me? “Isn’t butter is bad for you?”
Dave Asprey is the creator of what he calls Bulletproof Coffee. According to Asprey, true bulletproof coffee comes from 3 key ingredients: low-toxin coffee beans sold by his company, Bulletproof Executive, combined with a specialized MCT oil called Brain Octane, blended together with butter from grass fed cows.
After Asprey introduced his Bulletproof Coffee to the world, many others have created their own spin on butter coffee, and the trend continues to gain momentum. It’s not just for paleo dieters and cross-fitters anymore. Celebrities like Shailene Woodley, Jeremy Piven, Jimmy Fallon, Dr Oz, and the LA Lakers all put butter in their coffee. So, what is it about this magical combination that makes bulletproof coffee so great, and isn’t butter really bad for you?
Is Butter Bad for You?
Yes butter is bad for you, but at the same time the right kind of butter is good for you. Confused? If you run out and buy the big tub of butter at your local grocery store, then yes, that butter is terrible for you. It will come from cows who were raised in despicable conditions and fed a steady diet of GMOs, antibiotics, and who knows what else. These factory raised cows produce butter that is low in vitamins and trace minerals but high in Omega 6 fatty acids which is inflammatory.
All Butter is Not Created Equally
However, butter that comes from companies like Kerrygold are made from cows that were raised on pasture and fed what nature intended them to eat, grass. Grass-fed cows produce a butter that has a higher omega3 ratio. Omega 3s are well known for the anti-inflammatory properties and their ability to improve mental function. Grass-fed butter is higher in trace minerals, Vitamins A, K2, D, and antioxidants.
Contrary to popular belief, saturated fats in good quality grass-fed butter does not cause heart disease. To learn more about how grass fed butter is better click on the infographic above or check out the Weston A Price foundation.
What is MCT Oil?
Fats, or fatty acids, are classified by their length. Simply enough, fats with short molecular structures are called short-chain while those with long structures are called, you guessed it, long-chain fatty acids. Everyone has heard of short-chain omega 3s. MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides.
As its name suggests, it is a medium-chain fat. It’s a specialized oil made from coconuts and palm oil. A good quality MCT oil is made of specific medium-chain fatty acids that are quickly converted to energy in the body, which means it won’t be stored as body fat. When your body is using fat for energy instead of glucose, then you may begin to burn some of your stored body fat as well.
MCT & Butter in My Coffee Fueled My Weight Loss
If you read, Our Story, then you know I lost nearly 100 pounds. I saw the biggest results once I started drinking Bulletproof coffee. I believe it was the MCT that helped drive that. MCT is also good for the brain, it’s antimicrobial, and can help maintain a healthy gut.
*Caution* 2 things you should be aware of regarding MCT oils. #1) Start slowly with MCTs. They can cause stomach pain and cramping if you have too much too fast, and may even lead to what Dave Asprey loves to call “disaster pants”. Start with no more than 1/2 tbls of MCT and make sure to combine it with other food, like butter, to help avoid any discomfort at first. Slowly increase the amount of MCT in the coffee until you get to 2 tablespoons.
#2) All MCT oils are not created equal. Cheaper brands contain longer MCTs which do not as readily convert to energy and are more likely to end up in fat storage rather than burned for energy. Be sure to find a brand that contains mostly caprylic or capric acid to ensure beneficial results.
I have tried the official Bulletproof MCT, Brain Octane. It worked fine, but not noticeably enough to justify the increase in cost. I do use Bulletproof XCT oil which is a more affordable MCT but still a high quality product. (Note* I have no financial interest in Bulletproof Executive. I just trust that they make a quality product.)
But What About Coffee? Isn’t that Bad for You Too?
You may have heard that coffee is bad for you, and you may also have heard that coffee isgood for you. There has been debate for quite awhile about the health impact of coffee. I am of the belief that coffee is a health food, and research seems to be leaning in favor of moderate coffee consumption (2-5 cups/day). Several studies have concluded that coffee can:
- lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, Type-2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and a variety of cancers
- improve cellular function, brain function, and mental performance
- protect the liver and brain
- aid in fat burning and thus aid in weight loss
Of course, the research is on black coffee. Having 2-5 cups of coffee artificially flavored with your favorite hazelnut creamer or enjoying your favorite sugar filled latte everyday will not have the same effects.
The main component believed to responsible for many of the wonderful benefits is of course the caffeine. Research did not demonstrate the same benefits for decaf drinkers. Coffee also contains potassium, magnesium, pantothetic acid (Vitamin B5), and riboflavin.
It is also the #1 source of antioxidants in the American diet. With all this proven benefits, you can see why some call coffee a superfood.
But What Does it Taste Like?
I started putting butter in my coffee after listening to Dave Asprey on a podcast about 2 years ago. I believe that it helped drive my weight loss, and I continue to drink it for all the benefits outlined above.
It actually taste pretty good. If it didn’t taste good I don’t know that butter coffee would have caught on like it has. It is not oily at all as long as you make it correctly. Basically, you just whip 2 tbls of butter, 2 tbls of MCT, and coffee in a blender.
Bulletproof coffee officially says 1 cup of coffee, but I use 2 cups when blending mine in the morning because it is a little lighter/thinner. You have to use a blender though. Using a spoon to stir in butter will not yield the latte-like consistency and you’ll be stuck with an oily coffee.
Why Do I Put Butter in My Coffee.
Of course I continue to put butter in my coffee because it tastes good, and I want all the neuroprotective, disease-fighting, fat-shedding benefits. The fat from the MCT & the butter helps keep hunger at bay until midday and I can take advantage of all the benefits of intermittent fasting.
However, the main reason I drink it is because I am a Dad. All 3 of my kids wake up with Mom NO LATER than 6:00am. When I roll out of bed at 6:15-6:30, the family is wide awake, and I need something to wake me up fast.
When I add MCT to my coffee, it gives me a quick energy boost and turns my brain on. After I pound my first cup of bulletproof coffee, I’m ready to help Mom finish lunches, and make sure everyone gets to school/work on time.
*Do you put butter in your coffee? Would you consider it?
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(Again* I have no financial interest in Bulletproof Executive. The links to their products are my affiliate Amazon links where I would make a tiny percentage)