What You Need to Know About the Bulletproof Coffee Craze

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(Photo: iStock)

When it comes to health and wellness, you don’t have to sell us too hard on things promised to make us look and feel better than ever — hence our obsession with coconut oil, zoats and aloe water, just to name a few.

But every now and then a new health trend is blasted onto our radars and we aren’t totally sure what to make of it. Exhibit A: casually popping a chunk of butter into our morning cup of Joe.

As strange and counter-productive as it may sound, people are now ditching the cream and sugar and instead opting for a pad of butter to complement their daily cup of caffeine. That's right! Adding butter to your coffee is a trendy new thing and has been credited with a variety of health benefits, including aiding in weight loss and improved brain function.

Why people are doing it
Called "Bulletproof Coffee" in the health and diet world, the popular drink is made by blending a cup of black coffee with one to two tablespoons of unsalted, grass-fed butter and, sometimes, one to two tablespoons of MCT oil — or medium-chain triglyceride oil. MCT oil is a type of easily ingested fat that reportedly aids in heart health, obesity prevention and brain health.

With a blend that makes your coffee more frothy with a silky taste, everyone from Silicon Valley executives to professional athletes to celebrities have publicly expressed their love for this unique drink. The reason people are hopping on board the "butter train" is because this concoction has been said to suppress hunger, promote weight loss and improve overall energy and performance. In fact, the man behind the idea, tech entrepreneur Dave Asprey claims drinking this blend every morning helped him shed 100-plus pounds, get more sleep and boost his brain power.

Are there really health benefits to drinking it?
The answer is actually pretty complicated. While nutritionists and doctors agree adding more healthy fats to our diets is good for us, drinking an additional 300-400 calories every morning can add up quickly.

It’s a known fact that coffee in moderation does have significant health benefits. Medical News Today offers research suggesting black coffee can help with everything from preventing diabetes to lowering your risk of several types of cancers. And since healthy fats like coconut oil, avocado and grass-fed butter help you feel full longer, they aid in getting you over that mid-morning hump and safely into lunchtime without all that workplace snacking. Grass-fed butter in particular contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin K, which is an added bonus. However, if you’re adding several hundred calories to your diet without increasing your activity level or work out regime, you might be doing more harm than good when it comes to your waistline.

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On the contrary, most believers cite a significant energy boost from sipping their butter-filled beverage — and without the dreaded crash so many of us experience several hours later.

But if you’re always on the go and have trouble eating breakfast, adding butter to your coffee could be a quick and easy alternative to replace a breakfast meal altogether, providing your body with essential fats and calories you need to function optimally all-day.