Why Adding Butter to Your Coffee Could Help You Lose Weight
It may sound strange—and downright disgusting—but wellness experts are singing the praises of this buttery beverage.
If you’re looking for ways to make your coffee habit healthier, stirring in a blob of butter might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But according to many loyal enthusiasts, this surprising trick can work wonders for your health—and even whittle your waistline.
Behold: Bulletproof coffee, the trendy weight loss drink that is sweeping the Internet. The recipe calls for two cups of high-quality, single-origin coffee, at least two tablespoons of unsalted grass-fed butter, and one to two tablespoons of MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) oil, a concentrated extract of a type of fat found in palm and coconut oils. Stir it all together, and voilà! Breakfast is served. (Yes, this does count as a full meal—and here’s why you should never drink plain coffee on an empty stomach.)
It’s easy to see why there’s so much buzz about this buttery beverage. According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, MCTs are metabolized quickly, making them an effective weight-loss tool. Plus, grass-fed butter contains high levels of omega-3s, whose anti-inflammatory properties can improve gut health, brain function, and energy levels, though not everyone loves the idea. For example, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends you limit your saturated fat intake to around 13 grams a day; bulletproof coffee has more than 27 grams—more than twice a full day’s worth. Getting too much saturated fat could raise your cholesterol and risk of heart disease, the AHA points out. And just so you know, a cuppa will cost you 360 calories.
Despite the potential downside, some health experts tout the benefits of this trendy trick. “Bulletproof coffee is a combination of specific healthy fats such as medium-chain triglycerides, which are known to improve fat burning by converting into ketones, and high-quality coffee beans, which are free from mold toxins. The presence of ketones can suppress ghrelin, the hunger hormone, while also keeping the body in a fasted state. In short, one can drink Bulletproof coffee during intermittent fasting and stay ‘fasted’ because it does not produce insulin,” says Michelle Shapiro, RD.
Nonetheless, java drinkers should approach this with caution: The potential for this new addition to your morning cup of joe could backfire. Bulletproof coffee adds a great deal of high-fat calories. If the rest of your day doesn’t balance the fatty start, you may consume too many calories for the day. In other words, don’t toss out your other healthy eating habits quite yet—especially if you’re trying to lose weight.
If you are looking to try it, check out the best MCT oils recommended by experts.
- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: “Weight-loss Diet That Includes Consumption of Medium-chain Triacylglycerol Oil Leads to a Greater Rate of Weight and Fat Mass Loss Than Does Olive Oil.”
- International Journal of Molecular Sciences: “Impact of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on the Gut Microbiota.”
- National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: “Omega-3 Fatty Acids.”
- Nutrition Journal: “A Review of Fatty Acid Profiles and Antioxidant Content in Grass-fed and Grain-fed Beef.”
- American Heart Association: "Saturated Fat."