Over the years, coffee has proved to have several health benefits. It is rich in antioxidants, which defends the body against the harmful effects of viruses and bacteria.
It also contains chlorogenic acid, which supports better glucose and insulin regulation, decreased blood pressure, and improved cardiovascular function. Coffee in itself is considered by many to be a healthy drink.
Now add butter.
So what are the benefits of adding butter to your coffee? Why should you drink keto butter coffee? And does it really help with increasing your energy? Adding butter to your cup of coffee can help you burn fat, increase your energy, and even control your appetite with the combination of MCTs with caffeine and different types of fat.
Butter in coffee was first introduced in 2009. And has since skyrocketed in popularity for those partaking in intermittent fasting or the keto diet. You might have seen “Keto Coffee: It Works!” reviews during your search for a prolonged keto-friendly boost in the mornings. But does it live up to the hype?
What is Keto?
The ketogenic diet is a strict low-carb, high-fat diet that works to induce ketosis in the body. This diet avoids carbohydrates in order to cut down on glucose-intake, which are the sugars your body naturally seeks to burn first.
The state of ketosis happens when there is not enough glucose to burn. So your body instead begins to burn stored fat and convert it into energy molecules.
This diet has increased in popularity in the past several years because the liver turns fat into ketones, which are the energy molecules that the body uses for fuel. Ketones have been proven to be more efficient than glucose because it provides more energy per unit of oxygen used. It can even protect against a variety of brain diseases.
Ketones also increase poly-unsaturated fatty acids in your body. This reduces the production of violent molecules and inflammatory stress.
In a nutshell, the keto diet allows your body to run less on sugar and more on stored fats. For those who worry about low blood sugar, your blood glucose remains at relatively normal levels thanks to the breakdown of fatty acids and certain amino acids that naturally produce glucose in your body.
Is Coffee Keto Friendly?
If you are on the keto diet right now, you might have wondered: “is black coffee keto?” The short answer is yes. Plain, unsweetened coffee served black is keto-friendly because it has 0g of carbs.
However, when you add milk, you add almost 13g of carbs to it, which you want to avoid. Sugar and coffee sweeteners are also not allowed on the keto diet and don’t benefit your health long-term.
Does that mean you can’t add any flavor to your coffee? Not at all! Though you have to cut out many foods and drinks high in carbs and sugars, there are many delicious alternatives that support keto. And guess what? Keto butter coffee is one of them.
What is Keto Butter Coffee?
Also known as “bulletproof” coffee, by its creator, Dave Asprey, keto butter coffee is a combination of coffee and fats from MCT oil and butter. Its purpose is to provide instant, clean energy for an extended time without requiring you to consume too many carbohydrates or sugars in a heavy breakfast.
“Bulletproof” coffee came about during Asprey’s trip to Tibet. He noticed residents mixing yak milk with their tea and saw that it gave them a boost of energy in the mornings. He was inspired to create his own for an alternative source of energy while keeping it keto-friendly.
This beverage is commonly used in the keto diet and intermittent fasting because it gives you plenty of energy and the calories you need for the morning.
Asprey’s “bulletproof” coffee uses a particular type of bean, an oil containing medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), and unsalted butter. However, making your own keto butter coffee at home is simple. All you need is black coffee, MCT oil or coconut oil, and unsalted butter.
MCTs are fats with a medium-size length. MCT oil gets absorbed directly into the liver instead of being stored as fat. That means it gets broken down quicker than long-chain triglycerides (LCT), which is found in other fatty foods.
They are usually found in coconut and palm oils and are safe to consume. They are also easier to digest than other forms of fat because they do not require certain salts for digestion.
There are different types of MCTs, but the best types of MCT oils are caprylic acid (C8) and capric acid (C10). C8 is the shortest form of MCT and the best for ketogenic energy. C8 produces 4 times more ketones, giving you instant energy and boosting your metabolism. ‘
C10 is the second shortest form of MCT and is often more affordable. It takes longer to turn into ketone energy than C8, but it still gives you a quicker boost compared to other MCTs.
The original “bulletproof” coffee uses Brain Octane oil, which is considered the perfect keto MCT oil. It contains 100% C8, which is the most ketogenic fatty acid in coconuts. However, many people use coconut oil for MCTs instead because of its lower price and convenience.
MCT Oil vs. Coconut Oil
Though coconut oil does contain the right MCTs for a keto-friendly coffee, its main component is lauric acid, which makes up around 50% of coconut oil. Lauric acid, or C12, does not create energy the same way C8 and C10 do. But it still contains some antimicrobial benefits, which reduces your risk of contracting certain diseases.
Though it has a reputation as an unhealthy ingredient, butter is rich in nutrients. It contains beneficial compounds like butyrate, which improves digestion, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a type of fat that may have cancer-fighting properties. CLA has also been used as a popular weight loss supplement.
Butter has also been linked to a reduced risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart problems because of its high-fat content if consumed in moderation. It adds a rich texture and acts as a great alternative to heavy whipping cream, sugar, and artificial sweeteners in coffee.
Best Butter for Keto
What kind of butter for keto is the best? While this beverage doesn’t necessarily specify a specific type of butter, unsalted, grass-fed butter is highly recommended for its improved consistency and nutritional properties.
The fresh grass increases the amount of unsaturated fat content, giving the butter a pleasant firmness. It is also loaded with Vitamin K2 and omega 3 fatty acids that you won’t find in other non-grass-fed dairy products.
Why Should I Drink It?
Drinking butter might sound gross to some, but there are numerous health benefits in adding it to your coffee.
Some research studies have also shown that the omega-3 fatty acids found in grass-fed butter seem to help control appetite in healthy individuals. This allows you to eat less and burn more while on this diet. Many have found that it increases their metabolism but still leaves them feeling full.
However, keto butter coffee is not a miracle drink to lose weight on its own. It proves most effective when combined with healthy eating and exercise.
Replacement for Heavy Cream
Butter can be an excellent alternative to heavy cream for coffee. Heavy whipping cream in coffee is used to cut through the bitterness and create a pleasant, smooth texture. It is often an alternative sweetener for coffee drinkers on the keto diet.
Butter and heavy cream are very closely related. Butter is just a semisolid form of cream; however, coffee with heavy cream does not contain as much fat. Butter is generally 80% milkfat, while cream is only 30-55% milkfat.
Butter in coffee is a great replacement for heavy whipping cream coffee if you are looking for higher fat content. However, you can always add heavy cream in coffee alongside butter to give your drink a silkier texture.
Does It Taste Good?
A keto-friendly drink wouldn’t mean much if it didn’t taste good!
Keto butter coffee is naturally rich and creamy, thanks to the mixture of oil and fats. It smooths out the coffee’s bitterness and doesn’t require you to add any sweeteners or syrups. It does have a more oily taste, which can be unappealing at first. But once you adjust to the new texture, it is a delicious coffee experience.
Myths vs. Facts
There are many claims made about keto butter coffee, such as it improves mental clarity, reduces hunger, and boosts energy. Eating high amounts of saturated fat doesn’t sound like a good thing, but what does the research say?
No studies have directly examined the health benefits and risks of keto butter coffee. However, current research helps us make assumptions about it.
Since MCTs are converted into ketones by the liver, it has been said to improve brain health.
Ketones are a key energy source for brain cells and have been shown in research to benefit some neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
However, there is no evidence that MCTs enhance mental clarity. Instead, several studies show caffeine to be the proponent of alertness and focus, not butter coffee itself.
There have been claims that keto coffee helps you lose weight by making you eat less and slowing your appetite.
The large amounts of fat in this beverage does slow digestion and increase feelings of fullness. In particular, MCTs promote that feeling of fullness more than other high-fat foods such as oils, nuts, and meat.
However, no research proves simply adding MCTs to your diet without making other changes to your eating habits will promote weight loss.
The purpose of “bulletproof” coffee was for consistent longer-lasting energy, and there is some truth to that.
However, it is not the mixture itself that is responsible for the energy boost, but the MCT oil.
According to one research study examining metabolism, MCT becomes an instant energy source because it is quickly broken down by your liver and absorbed by your body in the form of ketones. With ketones, you don’t have to worry about a mid-afternoon blood sugar crash.
Further Health Benefits of Butter in Coffee
Still not convinced?
If you have a difficult time believing in the health benefits of including butter in your morning coffee, you’re probably not the only one.
However, research has supported the idea that adding butter and oil to your beverage can enhance your health. And if you’re on the keto diet, you’re most likely wanting any tasty food and drinks that can help you burn body fat without losing the calories you need every day.
Here are some other health benefits to consider with butter coffee:
There are a few different ways that butter in coffee can help you lose weight. Healthy fats from the MCT oil and grass-fed butter can help you feel full in the morning, even if you eat a small breakfast.
According to one study, MCT oil can help you burn body fat as fuel, which will help you lose weight. It may also trigger the release of a hormone called leptin, which reduces your appetite.
The caffeine in coffee can also help you achieve your weight-loss goals. Research shows that caffeine can help break down fat cells and even boost your metabolism by 3-11%. This helps you burn calories and fat even when you are stationary.
Though keto coffee is high in saturated fat, it contains essential nutrients, such as Vitamin A. A fat-soluble nutrient, Vitamin A promotes healthy skin complexion, a stronger immune system, and clearer vision. It also contains small amounts of calcium, vitamins K and E, and several B vitamins.
Downsides of Butter Coffee
Because of its health benefits, many people use keto butter coffee as a replacement for their breakfast. However, it is not a balanced way to start the morning.
This beverage is full of calories from fat. When you use it to replace a nutritious breakfast, you miss out on other essential nutrients like fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Which can only be acquired through grains, fruits, and vegetables.
The high amount of fat that is in keto butter coffee can also cause stomach discomfort and other gastrointestinal issues, such as bloating and diarrhea. Especially if you are not used to consuming high amounts of fat.
Butter in coffee also contains a lot of cholesterol. This can be problematic for those who struggle with maintaining a healthy blood cholesterol level.
Quick Recipe for Keto Coffee
If you’re making this beverage at home from scratch, it is recommended you use a blender to emulsify the fats. It is difficult–though not entirely impossible–to thoroughly mix the water and oil by hand if you try crafting butter coffee without a blender.
If there is oil from the butter lingering on the top, that is a sign it needs more mixing. It can be more time-consuming than brewing regular coffee, but if it’s not fully blended together, it won’t taste right! An immersion blender is recommended for easier cleanup, but any kind of blender will do.
If you don’t have time to craft it yourself, you can find instant keto coffee with no additives on Amazon.
Here are four simple steps to crafting the best-tasting butter coffee:
- Brew 2 cups of coffee using your preferred method. When your drink is ready, pour it into a blender or large container.
- Cut 2 tablespoons of grass-fed butter and add it to the container.
- Add 2 tablespoons of MCT or coconut oil to the mix. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract for taste and 1 tablespoon of heavy cream.
- Blend the mixture together until the coffee looks frothy. If you’re using an immersion blender, it will take about 45-60 seconds to get that frothy cap. Make sure all of the fat is emulsified into the coffee.
This recipe makes 2 servings of keto butter coffee. If you’re looking to just make one cup for yourself, cut the number of ingredients in half, or save the second cup for later!
Here’s another quick butter coffee recipe which you can try.
Butter Coffee Nutrition Facts
An 8-oz cup of butter coffee with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and unsalted butter each contains:
- Calories: 445
- Carbs: 0g
- Total Fat: 50g
- Protein: 0g
- Fiber: 0g
- Sodium: 9%
- Vitamin A: 20%
Keto butter coffee has various health benefits and can taste fantastic if appropriately made. It can help you lose weight by converting stored body fat into efficient energy molecules. And make you feel fuller, leading you to eat less.
Using grass-fed butter will give you a boost of nutrients, while MCTs can increase your energy and stamina and even protect against cognitive diseases.
This beverage cannot replace a nutritious, balanced breakfast. However, if you do drink this coffee as a meal alternative, make sure you balance it out with other sources of fiber, protein, and vitamins throughout the day.