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Everything You Need to Know About Bulletproof Coffee

5 May 2021
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Rich, creamy, and filled with healthy fats – these are some of the characteristics of bulletproof coffee, also known as butter coffee.

“Butter coffee?!” Yes. Butter is the main ingredient of this interesting brew which was created by the originator of the Bulletproof Diet, Dave Asprey, an American entrepreneur and author. This high calorie cup of coffee is popular amongst low carb dieters and followers of the ketogenic (Keto) diet.

Read on to find out what bulletproof coffee is about, and how to make it at home.

What is bulletproof coffee?

Bulletproof coffee is a drink consisting of brewed coffee, grass-fed unsalted butter, and medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) coconut oil.

This cult favourite has become a lifestyle statement for coffee lovers that are on a keto diet, which involves consuming only low-carb, high-fat foods. Those on the keto diet must refrain from consuming foods such as bread, pasta, high sugar fruits and starchy vegetables.

However, if you’re on the keto diet, here’s some good news – you don’t have to forgo your daily cup of java. That’s because bulletproof coffee is high in fats and low in carbohydrates. Moreover, it is said to give you an added boost of energy.

With a few extra ingredients, you can turn your coffee into this touted miracle elixir – bulletproof coffee. Some benefits include weight loss, increased energy and improved brain function. Who wouldn’t want those benefits from our favourite brew?

Why add butter and oil to coffee?

a block of butter

Many of us are accustomed to having our coffee with milk or creamer. However, milk and creamer contain large amounts of carbohydrates (from lactose in milk) that do not fit into the keto diet. These carb-infused ingredients may prevent ketosis, which is a metabolic state triggered by a lack of carbs that keto proponents believe speeds up weight loss.

If you can’t do without dairy milk in your coffee, soy milk and nut-based milk such as cashew and almond milk are great alternatives. Read more about their differing characteristics in coffee here.

To mimic a latte without the large serving of lactose, “creamers” such as butter are added to coffee to cut the bitterness of black coffee, along with MCT oil.

These additions of fat to your coffee also promote satiety, or a feeling of being full. As a result, food portions are reduced and may aid in weight loss.

Can I add sugar to bulletproof coffee?

If you like your coffee sweetened, add keto-friendly sugar substitutes such as Erythritol, Stevia and Xylitol. These ingredients will not throw you off the ketogenic state.

You may also like: A Beginner’s Guide to Appreciating Black Coffee

What is MCT oil?

a jar of oil
A good thing about MCT oil is that it has no taste or smell so it will not affect the taste of your coffee if you choose to add it. Photo from Mareefe.

Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil are fats found in foods like coconut oil. It consists of saturated fats that are made up of six to 12 carbon atoms, compared to long-chain triglycerides, which are made up of 13 to 21 carbon atoms.

The chemistry might sound complex, but it’s actually quite simple: shorter chain lengths result in fats being broken down more efficiently for energy rather than being stored as body fat. This makes MCT oil popular amongst people looking to lose weight or boost their endurance during a workout.

Read also: Your Daily Cup of Coffee May Just Make You a Better Athlete

Here’s how to make it

There are many variations to a bulletproof coffee recipe, but here are the basic steps.

  1. Using freshly ground coffee beans, brew 1 cup of coffee.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of a medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil.
  3. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of grass-fed, unsalted butter.
  4. Pulse the mixture in a blender for 20 to 30 seconds, until you get a frothy consistency.

Is it appropriate for me?

Whether bulletproof coffee is for you really depends on your needs and health goals. It is important to do your own research and find what works best for you.

People who are following a keto diet for health reasons may benefit from drinking bulletproof coffee in moderation.