Bulletproof coffee has been purported to have many health and diet benefits, but it may be all hype.
What is Bulletproof Coffee?
Bulletproof Coffee is a version of coffee with “Upgraded black coffee” mixed with “grass-fed butter and Brain Octane oil”. Brain Octane oil is a medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil. Dave Asprey is the creator of the recipe. His claims are that the drink “boosts cognitive performance and weight loss”. Asprey also advertises that his own IQ score increased by over 20 points. The weight loss is accomplished through ketosis. Further, Asprey believes that regular coffee contains mycotoxins, and he sells “Upgraded beans” that are supposed to have undergone a process to reduce these mycotoxins. In reality, regular coffee production is “good at removing mycotoxins” and there is “no evidence that…mycotoxins make you sluggish”, according to Dr. David Bach.1
How to Prepare Bulletproof Coffee
To make this coffee, it requires “low-toxin beans (like Bulletproof Coffee), brewed by “using a metal filter”. In addition, 1-2 tablespoons of “unsalted grass-fed butter” and 1-2 tablespoons of XCT or Brain Octane oil are used. After the coffee is brewed, a blender has to be pre-heated with boiling water. The boiling water is removed from the blender, and then the coffee, butter, and oil are blended until there is frothy foam on top.2
Is it Healthy?
Replacing a meal with Bulletproof Coffee has some benefits in that it could “kill the appetite for many hours” and “provide plenty of energy by elevating ketone levels”. There are downsides to meal replacement with this coffee. It contains less nutrients than a typical meal. In addition, too much saturated fat is not considered healthy. Bulletproof Coffee may also elevate cholesterol.3 Asprey’s claim that “70% of all coffee beans were laced in vitality-sapping mycotoxins” is false. Regular coffee producers use “wet processing”, washing the beans in running water before drying and fermenting, leaving negligible mycotoxin levels. Not all people who use Bulletproof Coffee experience a feeling of fullness or satiation. Additionally, the coffee is expensive, and the process to make it is time-consuming. Nutritionist Christopher Ochner noted that the effect of medium-chain triglycerides on regulating cholesterol and weight loss is “very, very small”.4 A case study showed that this coffee “promoted hyperlipidemia in a healthy active patient”. In addition, a double-blind study recently showed that the “calorie surplus from saturated fat…increases a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes”. Participants in that study had a “lower insulin response” and “more fat stored in the liver and around the intestines”. Replacing a meal with Bulletproof Coffee means that lost nutrients will have to be made up later, and this may increase total calories consumed, leading to a potential weight gain.5
Learn about the Paleo diet.