Is Bulletproof Coffee Really Good For You
Ive always been passionate about the alchemy of beverages from chocolate milkshakes to frozen daiquiris and the revolution of smoothies. I believe if you put five things in a blender and emerge with a sixth that tastes good and works, it is a form of magic. It is an example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. I could spend an afternoon brewing the right cup of chai. My smoothies are often green and need to be chewed. But until recently, coffee was not a substance that entered the holy realm of blend-ology and it was certainly not on the list of foods I considered healthy.
Growing up in the foothills of Colorado, my main association with coffee was its use as fuel for my Dad to stay awake while driving us to the ski slopes and back each weekend. Bitter, black, and scalding hot. The earlier the morning, the bigger the thermos.
For me, coffee was never a beverage to drink for pleasure, or to concoct with other elements. It was a pure utility to help get from point A to point B. To stretch from 1am to 6am, while finishing a creative project.
Coffee was a pure utility to help get from point A to point B.
In recent years, initially due to some clever marketing by the Bulletproof Coffee company, coffee has entered the realm of our household beverage alchemy, leaving our taste buds curious, our bodies interestingly impacted, and our Vita-Mix stained with the strange after-aroma of coffee beans, butter, and coconut oil.
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- Brew a cup of coffee exactly how you normally would. You can use your favorite brew method and coffee beans with no changes. We recommend medium or dark roast coffee since we find that light roast flavor profiles can unpleasantly clash with the butter.
- Add ½ to 1 tablespoon of butter to your black coffee and pour both into a blender. We recommend starting with ½ tablespoon and increasing the amount of butter slowly as you get used to drinking bulletproof coffee.
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- While the coffee is brewing, preheat your blender jug by putting hot water in it .
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My Experience With Bulletproof Coffee
I decided I had better try it one morning before writing about it. Now, keep in mind I already eat saturated fat and MCT oils in my regular diet, so wasnât expecting any cognitive differences. However, coffee tends to make me jittery, and also affects my sleep. I also find that after a coffee, I have an energy crash a few hours later. Hereâs what I experienced with bulletproof coffee:
- It didnât keep me full for the morning. I had to eat again about 2 hours later.
- It did taste delicious â much like a latte.
- I often get jittery after a regular cup of coffee, and I didnât after bulletproof coffee.
- I slept TERRIBLY that night, even though I drank it as early as 9am in the morning.
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What Is Mct Oil And What Are The Benefits
MCT stands for medium chain triglycerides or medium chain fatty acids. This type of fat is most often derived from coconut oil or palm oil.
MCT oil is colorless, odorless, and stays liquid at room temperature, which makes it perfect for blending into drinks, smoothies, and other recipes. Its great for added energy and a sharper brain! Other benefits of MCT oil include:
- Suppresses hunger
- Can help you lose unwanted fat
- Supports immune health
Your Body Is In Ketosis
If on the ketogenic diet for a substantial amount of time , your body may already be in ketosis and burning fat instead of sugar for energy. When this occurs, its ideal to have our bodies burning the existing fat from fuel versus burning more consumed fat. When ingesting a Bulletproof coffee, youre consuming as much as 25 grams of fat per sitting. While your body will not have an issue digesting the extra fat, it will take away from the possibility of losing fat stored in the body .
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Recipe Ideas For A Special Bulletproof Coffee
A basic bulletproof coffee recipe is what is listed below in the recipe card, but if you are in the mood to upgrade your cup, heres some ideas!
- Peppermint mocha 10-12oz hot coffee + 1 tablespoon of fat + 1 teaspoon cacao powder + 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract or 1 drop of edible grade essential oil + pinch of sea salt
- Maple vanilla 10-12 oz hot coffee + 1 tablespoon of fat + maple syrup to taste + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract + a pinch of sea salt
- Spicy cinnamon 8-12 oz hot coffee + 1 tablespoon of fat + pinch of cayenne pepper + 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon + pinch of sea salt
- White chocolate 8-12 oz hot coffee + 1 tablespoon cacao butter + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract + pinch of sea salt
AND THATS THAT BABES! If you made it all the way to this point of the post, BRAVO. I know it was a long one, but hopefully you learned something and feel empowered to make your own delicious bulletproof coffee. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or a special recipe / combo that you want to share!
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Can I Use Coconut Oil Instead Of Mct Oil In Bulletproof Coffee
Some people, specifically keto dieters may try and swap ingredients, such as putting pure coconut oil, coconut cream, or even sweetener/stevia for additional flavoring in their morning coffee to make it a more convenient or better-tasting butter coffee recipe.
This is ok to do if you choose, but if you want your cup of coffee to be considered bulletproof coffee you need to incorporate the three essential ingredients .
Medium-chain triglycerides are fats that can be found in coconut oil. When comparing the coconut oil and MCT oil, they are different.
An easy way to identify this is MCT oil is a supplement so it contains mostly medium-chain triglycerides whereas coconut oil contains other properties in addition to medium-chain triglycerides.
You may find you are receiving more well rounded nutritional value from the MCT food sources like.
If you would like to incorporate food sources that have MCTs, you should try coconut oil , palm kernel oil or palm oil, and dairy products such as whole milk and butter .
If you are adding coconut oil in your drink for its medium-chain fatty acids benefit, consider using virgin coconut oil as opposed to regular coconut oil.
Virgin coconut oil is made from fresh coconuts and unrefined. It generally comes with higher antioxidant content and a stronger coconut flavor.
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Okay But Will It Help Me Lose Weight
That depends entirely on who you are and what you currently drink and eat for breakfast. Bulletproof coffee could help you lose weight if you use it to replace a daily sugary shortstack, or if you currently don’t eat breakfast at all.
In that case, BPC may provide a sense of fullness that you might not have experienced otherwise. Eating more calories from longer-lasting sources of energy can help you cut back on random grazing later on.
But and this is a big but drinking 100% dietary fat isnt your best bet. Replacing black coffee, tea, or a low-fat latte with a bulletproof blend will add more calories to your total daily intake without much of a difference. In fact, drinking calories instead of chewing them can make you feel more ravenous for your next meal and there are so many better-for-you foods to choose instead!
To that end, I think the real problem with the bulletproof approach is that it encourages going from one extreme to another. Bulletproofs site talks about the “Sad American Diet” as one thats high in refined carbohydrates and added sugar an over-consumed nutrient according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The issue: Since most of us also already over-consume saturated fat in our current eating plans, adding more through beverages is just unnecessary.
What Are The Potential Downsides Of Bulletproof Coffee
One of the main downsides of drinking a bulletproof coffee instead of breakfast is that youre missing out on the opportunity to eat a nutrient-dense meal. Instead, youre consuming a drink thats high in fat, but lacks other valuable nutrients.
The fats included in bulletproof coffee are predominantly high in saturates for example, just 1 tbsp of unsalted butter supplies 12.3g fat, more than half of which are saturates. When combined with the recommended MCT oil, one cup of bulletproof coffee will supply more than your maximum daily reference intake for saturated fat and approximately 242 354kcal per cup .
Its well known that caffeine gives us a boost, and it does this by acting as a trigger on our adrenal glands, the organs which manage our stress response. High intakes of caffeine over an extended period of time may tire the adrenal glands, which will impact our endocrine system and subsequent hormonal balance. Also, some people find that consuming caffeine activates the stress response, and may increase the bodys reaction to perceived stress during normal daily activities, such as in a work environment. Some animal studies have also suggested that the effect of caffeine on our adrenals may be particularly relevant at certain life-stages, such as during puberty.
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Downsides Of Bulletproof Coffee
The American Heart Association recommend people limit the amount of saturated fat in their diet. The organization state that only 5 to 6 percent of calories should come from saturated fat, which is around 13 grams of saturated fat per day.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture , 1 tbsp of unsalted butter contains around 7 g of saturated fatty acids. A bulletproof coffee can contain 2 tbsp of butter. This totals 14 g of saturated fatty acids, which is more than the AHAâs recommended daily allowance.
However, not all saturated fats are the same. Although high in saturated fat, MCTs may be more healthful than long-chain fats.
The idea is to drink bulletproof coffee as an alternative to breakfast. However, replacing a meal with a drink can leave a person short of the nutrients they need each day.
Bulletproof coffee does not contain the right balance of essential nutrients. Coffee, oil, and butter do not contain carbohydrates, protein, fiber, or many of the other vitamins and minerals that a person needs. Choosing a breakfast that includes a balance of nutrients is a more healthful way to start the day.
Owls And Fowls Is Coffee Right For Your Body
The bigger question for some is whether coffee itself works well in your body. According to Dr. Oscar, some metabolic subtypes do really well with coffee, and some dont. In a very basic sense, he divides people into two camps the owls and the fowls.
If you think better at night and move slower in the morning, youre an owl. Most owls tend to start the day more alkaline and get more acidic as the day goes on. Owls tend to do better with coffee, and the coffee can help that alkaline acid dynamic work better. Fowls on the other hand, are early risers. They tend not to do as well with coffee simply because their body doesnt need the engine boost. Fowls may find they do better with something milder like a green tea.
While some naturopaths contend that coffee is an anti-adrenal, Dr. Oscar doesnt see coffee as a major drain on our adrenals, but rather that our craving for coffee may be a symptom, revealing to us that our energy stores or adrenals are in fact exhausted.
People say having twenty cups of coffee a day is bad for you. Whats a more interesting question is, whats going on in your life to have you need 20 cups of coffee? If you get a headache coming off coffee for a few days you have to ask yourself, why is that?
Whats going on in your life to have you need 20 cups of coffee?
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The Known Health Drawbacks Of Regularly Drinking Bulletproof Coffee
If you’re now enamored with the idea of bulletproof coffee, there are definitely a few facts you should be aware of before mixing up your first cup. For one thing, it contains a lot of saturated fat. A cup with just one tablespoon each of the MCT oil and grass-fed butter contains a whopping 22 grams of the stuff . Keep in mind that the American Heart Association recommends that the average person not consume more than 13 grams of saturated fat per day. Not only that, but some studies have found a link between eating butter and increased cholesterol . Then there are the calories. Just those two fats alone will crank up the calories of your coffee from essentially zero to anywhere between 250 and 500 calories. Drinking all these calories first thing in the morning can cause some people to feel less satiated and then even hungrier later in the day .
Finally, Healthline points out the issue of the minimal nutrients present in this high-fat breakfast substitute. Simply consuming fats for a meal means you’re missing out on other nutrients your body needs to function. Good Housekeeping recommends healthier breakfast alternatives to bulletproof coffee using those same healthy fats, suggesting you cook some eggs, fish, or veggies with a cup of coffee on the side, sans butter. They say a high-fiber, protein-heavy breakfast is likely a much healthier choice than a bulletproof coffee first thing in the morning.
Healthiest Ways To Drink Coffee
There are still ways to enjoy coffee and boosts of energy without all the added saturated fats. Unlike bulletproof coffee, there is actually a mound of research and evidence that supports coffee’s health benefits.
Drinking coffee has been associated with improved heart health, and it may even lower overall mortality, Mayo Clinic states. But that’s not all: Coffee may even protect brain health. An October 2018 study published in Frontiers in Neuroscience concluded that various compounds found in coffee contributed to neuroprotection, potentially even reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease.
The healthiest way to drink coffee is to drink it black, without any added sugars or creams, as it contains no fat and virtually no calories. However, if you want to avoid the biting acidity of black coffee, you can add any type of milk like milk, almond milk, fat-free milk or coconut milk into your coffee for a tasty and healthy cup of joe. This way, you can enjoy a creamier cup of coffee without all the saturated fats in bulletproof coffee.
Finally, choose your well-balanced diet outside of coffee wisely. If the ketogenic diet works for you, then you can find your energy through healthy fats like avocados and proteins like lean, organic meats. But you can also try one of the most effective and scientifically backed diets out there: the Mediterranean diet.
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Whats A Safe Ota Level
Researchers arent sure what a safe dose of OTA would be.
Opinion 1: 1.5 nanogram per kilogram of body weight per day according to the Virtually Safe Dose discussed by the French researchers.
Opinion 2: 5 ng/kg/day according to the European Commission and the FDA.
Opinion 3: 14.3 ng/kg/day according to a joint committee of the Food and Agriculture Organization and World Health Organization .
OK, so Im 86 kg . Lets put that into real terms.
Opinion 1: Id have to consume 5-27 cups of coffee a day to exceed the safety limits.
Opinion 2: Id have to drink 17-91 cups a day to exceed the safety limits.
Opinion 3: Over 250 cups a day. Sonnyboy, fetch me mah coffee hose!
Well, it seems that Im in no danger regardless.
As Ive mentioned, mycotoxins appear in other foods too. OTA occurs in small amounts in:
A mixed diet containing reasonable amounts of all of these foods, in conjunction with a modest coffee intake probably wont push me past the safe OTA consumption limit. Thats right, even if I get a little crazy with Mr. Peanut or the California Raisins.
- youre concerned about optimizing perfecting your intake
- youre still worried about OTA and mycotoxins
- you have a very low risk tolerance
- youre willing to spend twice as much for the same amount of coffee
then something supposedly low in mycotoxins, such as Upgraded Coffee, might make you feel more comfortable.