What is bulletproof coffee?

QUOTE #1 Just because a little bit of something is healthy, it doesn’t mean that a whole ton of it is healthier, or even safe. This brings us to the topic at hand… a huge trend called Bulletproof coffee.

If you don’t know what this is, then it is a recipe for a coffee drink that replaces breakfast:

2 cups of coffee.
2 tablespoons (at least) of grass-fed, unsalted butter.
1-2 tablespoons of medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) coconut oil.
All mixed in a blender.

Bulletproof coffee has become so popular that people all over the world have either heard about it or tried it. This includes several people I know in real life, people that are not in any way involved in the paleo or low-carb communities. For the record, I’m a big fan of grass-fed butter, saturated fat and coffee… separately… in “normal” amounts. I’ve written about all of them before and include them in my diet, every day.

However… I do not think it is a good idea to consume unnaturally large doses of them. Some is good, even downright healthy, but too much could very well be a problem. Although I’m sure bulletproof coffee is tasty and can boost energy levels (especially for someone on a ketogenic diet), I do think there are some genuine concerns that should be noted…. But I digress… here are 3 reasons why I think bulletproof coffee is a bad idea.

1. You Are Displacing a Highly Nutritious Meal With Something That is Low in Essential Nutrients …

Now let’s take a look at bulletproof coffee – 2 cups of coffee, 2 tablespoons of MCT oil, 2 tablespoons of butter:

1 gram of protein.
0 grams of fiber.
Under 10% of the RDA for every nutrient except Vitamin A, Vitamin B2 and Vitamin B5 (which range from 22-28% of the RDA).
Bulletproof coffee supplies 441 calories with 0 grams of carbs and 51 grams of fat (80% of which are saturated).

2. Saturated Fat is Good… But Humans Did NOT Evolve Eating Such Massive Amounts…

3. There Have Been Some Case Reports of Dramatically Elevated Cholesterol Due to Bulletproof Coffee… [1]

QUOTE #2: “For those on a ketogenic diet, the fat requirement is necessary to provide fuel for the brain and body as the body has been trained to burn fat for fuel, rather than traditional carbohydrates,” Tuck said. Ketones act as the primary fuel source on ketogenic diets or during states of starvation, when glucose (broken down from dietary carbohydrate) is not available. Drinking bulletproof coffee could then be beneficial for energy as it elevates ketone levels in the blood. “Some people claim improved brain function, mental alertness and energy after consuming the drink — however, this could simply be due to the caffeine and fat which can be found readily as part of any healthy diet.” [2]

QUOTE #3: Among Bulletproof coffee’s listed benefits: It triggers weight loss by way of ketosis, a metabolic state triggered by a lack of carbs that kicks fat-burning into overdrive; it kills pesky cravings; and it boosts cognitive function, mainlining a shining dose of mental clarity into your foggy morning skull. Maybe it would even fold my laundry.

Most of all, though, Bulletproof coffee is intended to be efficient, an easy way for the biohacking crowd to slurp down fats and calories (460 of them!) without so much as sniffing a processed carbohydrate. Why eat a muffin that goes straight to your muffin top, the thinking goes, when you could drink down the metabolic equivalent of supercharged battery acid every morning?

… A few days after the experiment concluded, I asked Dr. Ochner why I was still hungry after drinking down hundreds of calories worth of saturated fat every morning. “Well, that’s not actually surprising,” he says. “The people making these claims know there’s a lot of evidence that drinks and shakes don’t really make people feel full. Even if you drink a big Coke with your meal or whatever, and that could be 400 calories or more, it doesn’t really make a huge dent in people’s appetite. It’s the same concept.”

… I’ll still drink a cup of Bulletproof coffee from time to time. But the truth is, I’d much rather eat breakfast. [3]

NOTE (my commentary)

Bulletproof coffee seems rather foolish. Magical thinking about what to eat rather than about fasting.

STRATEGY: Not for me.

What gets my attention?
Do I understand the need or problem?
Do I understand the potential solution?
Do I understand how to apply that strategy?
What questions do I have for the experts? What might be the answers?
Who needs to hear this?
What do I do next?


SOURCE – Footnotes:
[1] 3 Reasons Why Bulletproof Coffee is a Bad Idea by Kris Gunnars, BSc, at https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/3-reasons-why-bulletproof-coffee-is-a-bad-idea#section1

[2] Is Bulletproof Coffee Good For You? by Juliette Steen at  https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/11/26/is-bulletproof-coffee-good-for-you_a_23286795/

[3] What It’s Like To Drink Bulletproof Coffee Every Morning For Two Weeks
A fortnight with Silicon Valley’s fuel du jour. Could it make our writer faster, smarter, and more productive? by Chris Gayomali at  https://www.fastcompany.com/3034539/what-its-like-to-drink-bulletproof-coffee-every-morning-for-two-weeks

THE PHOTO by Marco Verch entitled “Bulletproof Coffee with MCT Oil and Butter” is from https://www.flickr.com/photos/30478819@N08/33771873084, courtesy of the Flickr.com Creative Commons License.

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Please review the page How and Why We Use Quotes.

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