Oh Ngo You Didn’t: Bulletproof Coffee

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How much coffee do you drink each day? I definitely need one in the morning (especially Mondays). I don’t know what it is, but drinking a hot beverage just feels like the right way to ease into my workday.

I recently heard about people drinking coffee with butter in it. Yup! Butter. It’s called “bulletproof” coffee. Simply put, bullet-proof coffee = “low toxin” coffee beans + water + 2 tbsp of grass-fed butter + 1-2 tbsp MCT oil. It’s popular among Paleo followers who opt for coconut oil and avoid the butter. The claims are that it (1) increases satiety and (2) supports weight-loss due to the addition of MCT, medium-chain triglycerides.

The difference between LCT & MCT

We’re all familiar with LCT (long-chain triglycerides) which we more commonly know as saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats in butter, olive oil, canola oil, etc. MCT have shorter chains of carbons and are commonly found in higher amounts in tropical oils like palm or coconut oil.

The tentative findings from dozens of studies on MCT:

  1. It may bypass the normal pathway by being absorbed through the portal system (avoiding normal fat metabolism and deposition).
  2. It may increase one’s energy expenditure and satiety.
  3. It may help with weight-loss as a part of a balance diet
  4. It may/may not help athletic performance by maximizing glycogen maintenance (which can be helpful during exercise).

More research needs to be completed to verify these claims conclusively because results have varied. So, before you jump on the bulletproof coffee train, here’s my take on it:

2 tbsp of butter + 2 tbsp of MCT oil is going pack a big caloric punch (~400 cals) to your coffee. Beverages or liquid forms of calories are the easiest to over-consume, so consider moderating the amount of “extras” you add to your coffee (between cream, milk, sugar, butter, or MCT oil) if you’re working on weight management. Swapping out LCT for MCT oil may be helpful as described above, but adding MCT oil on top of LCT sources makes absolute no sense even if the butter is grass-fed. Yes, let’s eat excess calories (esp for cal-dense sources of fat) to lose weight. No.

Ultimately, I don’t see adding coconut oil to coffee as anything wrong or game-changing. I’ll just stick to my milk and light sugar.

Happy drinking,

Thomas Ngo RD
The More You Ngo

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