Bulletproof Coffee: Benefits & Side-effects

05Dec

Butter coffee or bulletproof coffee, a perfect breakfast option to start your day when you are on a ketogenic diet or following intermittent fasting. It is made by adding saturated fats and MCT oil. This keto coffee was originally curated by an American entrepreneur – Dave Asprey. It was invented with the intent of replacing a heavy carbohydrate meal with a high fat diet so as to negate the ill effects of carb rich meals on the body. It has become notably famous among many keto and fasting lovers but today we are here to discuss the potential uses of this high fat beverage and the right procedure of its making, so that most of its benefits can be reaped.

How to make bulletproof coffee?

  • Cooking time – 5 minutes
  • Servings – 1 cup
  • Ingredients
  • Freshly grounded coffee – 2 ½ tsp
  • Grass-fed butter/home churned butter/ghee– 1-2 tsp
  • MCT oil/ coconut oil – 1-2 tsp
  • Hot Water

Steps to Make Bulletproof Coffee

  1. Brew coffee using 2 ½ tsp coffee.
  2. Add 1 tsp of grass-fed butter or ghee in a blender jar. You may increase the quantity to 2 tsp after a few days.
  3. In the same jar add 1 tsp MCT oil or coconut oil. Increase the quantity to 2 tsp after a few days.
  4. Now add the brewed coffee.
  5. Blend all the ingredients, until it gives the texture of a creamy latte.

Potential benefits of bulletproof coffee

Benefits of bulletproof coffee as a part of your intermittent fasting meal plan

  • Improves cognition – Bulletproof coffee is similar to black coffee in increasing attention and cognition as it has caffeine in it. But being a butter coffee, it provides 250 Kcal in a single shot, which is roughly equal to the calories provided by a light breakfast. Thus, being rich in saturated fats (fats take longer transition time in stomach), this bulletproof coffee provides satiety for a much longer duration i.e., around 3 hours. Until 3 hours of drinking this coffee, you will not feel hungry and can easily focus on your work, if you are on an intermittent fasting of the type of one meal a day (OMAD).
  • Weight loss – As bulletproof coffee is rich in saturated fats and MCT oil, that’s why it is good in satiating your hunger for long hours and its fats help you to fuel your day. It provides 250 Kcal in a single shot, which is roughly equal to the calories provided by a light breakfast. Hence, this coffee becomes a perfect breakfast option if you are on a strict intermittent fasting.
  • A Good Prebiotic – Butter coffee promotes the formation of butyric acid which was otherwise formed in your gut by the gut bacteria by feeding on the fibre obtained if you were eating carbohydrates or if you were not fasting and eating your normal carb meals. Since butyric acid is important for good gut functioning so not having enough meals in a day will impact your gut flora negatively as they are not getting enough prebiotic foods for their functioning. Thus, butter coffee substitutes this function of carb rich meals to some extent.
  • Absorption of fat-soluble vitamins – It is advised to take 8-9 soaked and peeled almonds and 1 soaked and peeled walnut along with your bulletproof coffee, because vitamins A, D, E and K, found in almonds and walnut are fat soluble vitamins and this coffee is rich in saturated fats, so this will help in maximum absorption of these vitamins.
  • Improves body fat composition – Bulletproof coffee is a source of conjugated fats like conjugated linoleic acid, which lowers bad cholesterol, lowers the risk for atherosclerosis and prevents cancer causing factors.
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Benefits of bulletproof coffee as a part of your ketogenic meal plan

  • Prevents cancer caused due to obesity – Since obese people rely solely on a carb rich meal, if follow a high fat and low carb diet and start their day with a cup of bulletproof coffee, can inhibit the cancer-causing factors.
    High blood insulin levels due to high carb meals make body cells use glucose as a source of energy which prompts mutations in the genes and our cells start functioning as cancerous cells. But if we replace the fuel of these cells with ketones (formed by fat breakdown) instead of glucose (from carbohydrate breakdown), as done in a ketogenic diet, then we can surely inhibit the expression of cancer-causing factors.
  • Lowers the risk of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) – The major CVD risk factors are levels of small and dense LDL (sLDL), ratio of apolipoprotein A and apolipoprotein B1, ratio of total cholesterol and HDL. The levels of all these biomarkers remain in control if one follows a high fat and low carb diet, instead of a high carb diet. Starting your day with a cup of bulletproof coffee and remaining on a fast for the rest of the 4 hours, improves the levels of all of these biomarkers of CVD.
  • Lowers blood pressure – Bulletproof coffee if drunk as a breakfast option in a ketogenic diet meal plan, maintains the levels of all the above stated biomarkers of CVD at a desired level. This reduces the inflammation in the heart’s vessels and thus helps in managing blood pressure at a normal level.

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Side-effects of Bulletproof Coffee

  • Other nutrients ignored – One of the potential side-effects of drinking bulletproof coffee as a breakfast option for a long time, will deprive you of most of the essential micro and macronutrients. A high fat does not contain a mix of various nutrients, as is found in a carbohydrate-based meal.
  • High in saturates – 2 tbsp of fat amounts to around 20 g fat – 12 g from unsalted butter and the rest from the MCT oil or coconut oil. This fat intake, also from a single meal of a ketogenic meal plan is very much higher as compared to the daily recommended fat intakes. So this type of high fat diet gives benefits till it is followed with caution and that too for a few weeks only because sustaining a high fat diet for a long time is not feasible and the person will start getting deprived of various other water soluble vitamins and other minerals.
  • Provokes unwanted stress response – Drinking coffee, gives us a boost by activating our adrenals and making them release adrenaline, which due to high doses of coffee per cup of bulletproof coffee, leads to an extended stress response. This is harmful, if taken regularly for quite a long period.
    Our brain becomes habitual of perceiving even normal work situations as stress situations and starts releasing adrenaline to cope up with such situations. This lands our body’s hormonal balance in an unbalanced condition.

Conclusion

Bulletproof coffee is a perfect ally of intermittent fasting and ketogenic meal plan but its sole incorporation in a high carbohydrate diet is not beneficial as the body already has abundant glucose to burn as fuel. So, this will make the extra 20 g fat of your bulletproof coffee, to be stored as fat and glycogen in the liver. This will only worsen the symptoms.

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