It’s an all new food revolution and it’s coming to your morning routine. Butter – added to freshly brewed black coffee and blended to perfection.
The experts claim some pretty heady results from a morning brew borrowed from Tibet and Ethiopia, but does the evidence stack up?
Let’s take a look…
Where on earth does it come from?
If you’re a keen keto-er you’ve likely heard of this odd combination. But where does it come from?
Head over to Tibet, stagger up and down a few mountains breathing air so thin standing up has you gasping for breath, and chances are, you’ll be more than ready for a refreshing brew. There, the local tipple is a yak’s milk buttered tea – a drink chockablock with saturated fat.
Alternatively, take your cue from the Ethiopians whose coffee culture and ritual is every bit as refined as the Japanese tea ceremony. There, one of the variations on the coffee ritual is to add butter and spices to the brew.
So if butter in coffee is nothing new, why all the fuss now?
Who reinvented it?
American entrepreneur, Dave Asprey discovered the Tibetan pick me up, substituted the tea for coffee, added MCT (Medium chain triglyceride) oil, and created a brand – Bulletproof coffee.
The move was good timing on Asprey’s part because it came just as leading researchers were beginning to question decades old advice that saturated fat is bad for you. Articles in the Huffington Post, Daily Mail and other websites followed and suddenly, the buttered beverage was trending.
But isn’t butter bad?
For the past 40 years, doctors and nutritionists have banged the ‘sat fat is bad’ drum. And it looked like they were right. Studies showed a clear correlation between saturated fat in people’s diets and the likelihood of them going on to develop heart disease. But then researchers discovered something new: in the case of saturated fat, correlation does not equal causation. Simply put, a series of major studies showed that dietary sat fat does not have a marked impact on your likelihood of developing heart disease.
What matters more is maintaining a healthy balance of fats, including both unsaturated and saturated fats from healthy sources. Grass fed unsalted butter is a good source of healthy fat and nutrients like fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
Butter also contains a decent amount of short and medium chain fats which have been linked to improved satiety and increased fat burning.
How do I make it?
You’ll need coffee, butter and a medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) oil, such as coconut oil. Simply brew your usual cup of coffee, add a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of coconut oil, blend and enjoy.
When should I have it?
As a pre-workout supplement or a post workout recovery drink, a buttered coffee isn’t a bad bet, although it won’t contain enough protein to replace your usual whey protein shake. The caffeine in the coffee will, give you a mental edge though.
But though butter’s short and medium-chain triglycerides can be helpful as part of a fat loss diet, always remember that calories are still calories. At over 700 calories per 100g, butter is a potent powersource to be used with care. Definitely one for those on a bulk!
Buttered coffee might well give you the sort of long lasting calorie rich boost you’re looking for. And if taken in moderation, it probably won’t do you any harm. But if you’re not bothered about carbs, you could just as easily spread it on toast and take with a slurp of morning coffee or tea, as part of a British tradition known around the world as…breakfast!