OH-Blog Logo
Cup of bulletproof coffee with a spoonful of butter resting on top

Sip or Skip? Bulletproof Coffee

Think butter or coconut oil in your coffee is the best new thing? One OhioHealth expert explains why it may just be a passing trend

A cup of coffee that can leave us full and with a day of energy — and promotes weight loss? Sign us up … maybe.

The recipe for bulletproof coffee, created by Dave Asprey, was first posted online in 2009. It calls for low-mold coffee beans, at least two tablespoons of unsalted, grass-fed butter and one to two tablespoons of medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil.

Asprey claims that this frothy cup of coffee can replace breakfast, promote weight loss and provide mental clarity. And according to Asprey’s site, after trying this recipe, “you will experience one of the best mornings of your life, with boundless energy and focus. It’s amazing.”

With those boasted benefits, it’s no wonder we’ve seen this recipe pop up on favorite social media sites! But before we join the bandwagon, we wanted to see what an expert from OhioHealth had to say about the trend. Registered dietitian Jenalee Richner, from the McConnell Heart Health Center, answers a few questions on the topic.

First off, adding fats to your coffee like butter and coconut: passing trend or here to stay?

I think that this will be a passing trend.

What benefits are there to adding butter and/or coconut oil to coffee? Can it really replace breakfast, give you all-day energy, help you lose weight, provide “good” fats, etc.?

I don’t believe there is solid evidence that confirms health benefits to adding butter/coconut oil to coffee. Because fats are digested slower, some suggest that it provides the energy from the caffeine to be sustained for a longer duration and that it can keep them full longer. But this is also replacing a meal that could be providing nourishment.

Is this a trend you recommend trying?

No. I am not against drinking coffee; however, it is important to be mindful of what ingredients are going into your coffee.

For coffee drinkers looking for a healthy creamer option, do you have any recommendations?

Ideally, I would recommend drinking your coffee black. If it is good coffee, the flavor does not need to be masked as much. If you do need cream, I would suggest using milk rather than cream and avoid adding sugar.

According to Richner, bulletproof coffee is a skip. For those looking to increase “good” fats in their diet, Richner recommends increasing consumption of foods that contain omega-3s and unsaturated fats, including nuts/nut butters, seeds, fatty fish, flax seeds, avocado, olive oil and peanuts.

Instead of bulletproof coffee for energy, try some of these foods before, during and after exercise.