Butter Me Up: Does Adding Butter and Oil to Your Coffee Make Sense?

The trend of adding butter and oil to your coffee is relatively new. If you are trying to lose weight, does adding butter and oil to your coffee make sense?

November 12, 2015
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For years, butter and oils were either off-limits or to be consumed in small quantities if you were trying to lose weight. With the shift away from low-fat dieting and toward dieting using real foods, some diets now encourage the use of butter and healthy oils. Along those lines, there are people who advocate adding butter and coconut oil to black coffee as a way to improve your health and enhance your weight loss efforts. But does it make sense?

There are several versions of the coffee and butter recipes. Dave Asprey, who is generally credited for the Bulletproof Coffee trend, indicates you should use their branded coffee, organic grass-fed butter, and organic coconut oil. Other proponents of the butter and oil in coffee are more relaxed about the ingredients and say that choosing a particular brand of coffee, butter, and oil is not necessary.

How’s It Done?

One common recipe for making the coffee is to begin by brewing 8 ounces of strong black coffee. Put the coffee in a blender with 1 tablespoon of organic butter and a tablespoon of coconut oil. Blend until the oils and coffee are mixed and drink promptly. If you don’t have a traditional blender you can use an immersion blender or a hand mixer.

Hint: If you don’t use a blender or mixer you can end up with a pretty gross looking concoction. The oils float in the coffee and look very unappetizing.

Why Is It Recommended?

Proponents of the coffee say the combination of the coffee, butter, and oil give your brain a boost of needed fats, your body sustainable energy, and leave you feeling full for longer.

In case you are skeptical, there could be some scientific backing for such a claim.

Researchers found that an adequate consumption of saturated fats might have a protective effect on heart disease. The study, published in a 2013 issue of the “BMJ” discovered that participants who consumed the least saturated fats, like those found in the coffee recipe, weighed more than participants who consumed more saturated fats.

When your fat intake is appropriate, you will likely feel less hungry. If that doesn’t make sense, think about this. If you eat a plain salad with nothing on it, you are not as full when you are finished as you are when you add some dressing, nuts, avocado, seeds, or other foods relatively high in fats.

How to Use the Coffee for Weight Loss

I’m an advocate of being very careful with the number of calories you get from beverages and this is no exception. Let’s take a look at the caloric impact of this type of coffee on your diet. source: 

Calorie Breakdown of Coffee with Butter and Oil

Coffee, Brewed: 2 calories

1 Tablespoon Butter: 102 Calories

1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil: 121 Calories

Total: 225 Calories

Now, 225 calories is not a lot over the course of a day, but it a lot of calories to drink. If you are keeping your calories at the 1,400 level, that’s 16 percent of your total caloric intake. Sure you are getting some healthy fats but you are also taking in a lot of calories.

If you want to try the coffee, consider half a cup instead of a full cup. You will cut the calories in half and still receive the potential benefits.

Even better, find those healthy fats in organic grass-fed beef, sauté vegetables in the coconut oil, or put a little butter on a slice of 100 percent whole wheat toast.

Drink your coffee black and save calories for foods you eat.

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