First things first: for those who might not already be familiar with it (seriously, where have you been?), bulletproof coffee is made by adding butter (preferably from grass-fed cows) and medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) to a cup of fresh black coffee. The proud inventor behind this hacked coffee is Dave Aspry, a former Silicon Valley IT-executive, who felt inspired by a tea he had in Nepal, which was infused with yak butter.
It is already well known that coffee has quite a few health benefits: it has a preventative effect against heart disease and certain cancers, protects the liver, and also makes us more alert, to name but a few. But, does bulletproof coffee offer the same benefits?
Fans of this buttery coffee claim all kinds of benefits – improved mental focus, reduced cravings, and weight loss. Asprey say he feels more energized and experiences clearer thinking after drinking a cup of bulletproof coffee. Unfortunately, besides its loyal supporters, you won’t find many health experts and medical scientists endorsing its consumption.
The biggest issue they have, is the extremely high calorie content – more than 400 calories in a single cup! One cup of bulletproof coffee gets two tablespoons butter and two tablespoons MCT oil. Together, they supply you with more than 40g of saturated fat. Thus, this adds a lot of unnecessary fats and calories to your diet, without providing any additional nutrients.
They’re not sold on the MCT oil either. In 2015, a scientific review concluded that, although medium-chain triglycerides are better for weight-loss than long-chain fats (i.e. it is relative), there is simply not enough research to establish whether MCT is actually safe to drink on a daily basis.
The primary idea behind bulletproof coffee is that you drink it instead of eating breakfast. But drinking coffee, oil, and butter, provides you with nothing more than fats and calories (and perhaps some polyphenols from the coffee) – no carbohydrates, no protein, and most importantly, no fiber!
In the end, you are much better off consuming these calories in the form of a hearty breakfast. Let’s face it, butter tastes much better on freshly baked bread than in your coffee! Here’s a question: do you really want to consume a quarter of your allowed daily calories in only one cup of coffee? We don’t think so.