You may ask: Is coffee good or bad for you? The answer is both. The health benefits of coffee are numerous but like anything, too much can be bad for you. Take for example the bulletproof coffee trend. By heaping a bunch of butter or oil into your coffee, you may add fat-based calories that keep hunger at bay, but you also deny yourself the vital vitamins and nutrients you’d get by eating a proper breakfast.
Bulletproof coffee is popular among keto dieters and other weight loss groups because it lacks carbohydrates. Without them, your body goes straight to burning fat for energy. Bulletproof coffee may give you quick energy and a feeling of fullness while trying to lose weight but it’s not a long term dietary solution. Let’s unpack the pros and cons further.
The Benefits of Coffee
A study published in the National Library of Medicine concluded that 3-4 cups of regular coffee per day are likely to have more benefits than risks. In moderate doses, coffee can:
- Increase your energy
- Enhance your concentration
- Promote fat burning
- Reduce the risk of disease
Coffee is one of the best sources of health enhancing antioxidants. These antioxidants can protect you against the negative impact of stress and aging. They’ve also been shown to reduce risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
The Risks of Coffee
While coffee has many health benefits – like anything- the benefits can depend on what exactly you’re consuming and how much of it. The truth is, coffee health risks are real. In unhealthy doses, it can cause:
- Rapid heart rates
- Stomach ulcers
- Issues within the digestive system
There’s evidence to support both the negative claims and the positive. Drinking a healthy form of coffee in moderate quantities is your best strategy to keep it from impacting your health negatively.
What is Bulletproof Coffee?
The basic bulletproof coffee recipe combines coffee, coconut oil and/or butter and blends it into a frothy, creamy drink, similar to a full fat latte. Some recipes call for vanilla or other sweet flavors to be added and popular barista chains are happy to oblige with your favorite syrup.
A typical serving is about 250-400 calories. The problem here is fat content without the benefit of vitamins. This trend is not a nutrient-rich meal substitute, and its high saturated fat content could have a negative effect on your blood cholesterol levels. As an occasional treat, bulletproof coffee is mostly harmless. As a regular source of morning energy, it becomes a dangerous cocktail.
If you suffer from anxiety, heart issues, or have trouble sleeping, this beverage can exacerbate existing issues and cause more trouble. There is no real benefit for loading up your coffee with saturated fat and then drinking it as a meal replacement first thing in the morning.
The Best Coffee for Your Health
If you’re going to drink coffee, limit yourself to a small coffee with low-fat milk and limited sugar. The less fats and syrups you add to it, the better it will be for you. Adding butter to your coffee isn’t a good idea. It’s a trend. If you need more fats in your diet, try adding grass-fed butter to vegetables or coconut milk to a curry.
If you’re curious how bad that morning Starbucks really is for you, check out their menu. Starbucks doesn’t have bulletproof coffee on their menu but you can compare it to other blended drinks with heavy cream.
Want to Consult with a Nutritionist?
We answer questions about coffee, breakfast and dieting every day. If you’d like us to evaluate your eating (and drinking habits) and create a diet that optimizes your health and energy, contact Odom today. Our professional nutritionist can give you real meal ideas that match your specific needs and health history.