Today's Paper River Valley Democrat-Gazette Newsletters Public Notices Obits Distribution Locations Digital FAQ Razorback Sports Today's Photos Crime Puzzles

New coffee drink isn't bulletproof

by Helaine Williams | October 9, 2016 at 2:28 a.m.

So I've fallen hard for bulletproof coffee, the breakfast replacement for low-carbohydrate eaters.

What the heck is that, you ask?

At it's defined as "essentially, a hot coffee, plus two tablespoons of butter, plus a tablespoon of MCT oil (medium chain triglyceride oil, which coconut oil is) .... Then you stick it in a blender until it's all emulsified. Then you drink it."

This drink was something I learned about after a dietary change that drove me to hang around face-to-face and online advocates of ketogenic eating. So far I've had some encouraging success with "keto," the nickname for the high fat, moderate protein, very low-carbohydrate lifestyle.

Bulletproof coffee sounded way-out to me when I began low-carbing. Yes, the drink combined two of my loves: coffee, and butter. But together? Really?

Additional ingredients vary. To make mine, I happily fill a 16-ounce coffee-to-go cup with a tablespoon of butter, a tablespoon of coconut oil, 2 tablespoons of heavy cream and 2 tablespoons of sugar-free flavored creamer. Other sources mention throwing in such ingredients as raw organic honey and vanilla extract.

The butter one uses shouldn't be just what one catches on sale at the grocery store. It's supposed to be the more healthful grass-fed type, which bears a cost that's probably equivalent to the gross national product of those tiny aliens in Locker C18 in the movie Men in Black II. I recently bit the bullet and got the grass-fed stuff.

I didn't know until a few days ago, however, that the bulletproof coffee concept was started by some guy named Dave Asprey or that it and the products to make it, including coffee itself, were officially marketed as a diet under the name Bulletproof. Or that a lot of claims were made about bulletproof coffee -- weight loss, increased energy and such. And that, of course, many others have hastened to indignantly debunk the claims.

"Bulletproof Coffee has created a frenzy about helping people lose weight and gain more energy," writes Nathan Mikeska, owner of N8 Wellness & Fitness, in answer to a question on the website of celebrity chef/Restaurant: Impossible TV star Robert Irvine. "But the fact is there are no peer-reviewed studies that corroborate the idea that eating nothing but MCT ... and caffeine in the morning sets you up for burning body fat. ... Between the two tablespoons of butter and one tablespoon of MCT oil in your morning coffee, you are consuming 140 percent of your RDA [recommended daily allowance] for saturated fat before you have taken a single bite of real food."

Oh, the horror. It never fails. As soon as we start to like something food- or drinkwise, here come the experts telling us why it's a bad idea. And there, sitting on our shoulders, are the nutritional angel and devil.

So what if we just continue to make bulletproof-coffee-with-a-small-"b" from our own fixings and drink it in place of a meal as we did when we went to the Big Name Coffee Shop and gulped our breakfast in the form of a coffee drink whose name is long enough for us to have to practice it before ordering? The bulletproof coffee can't be much worse for one's well-being.

My assessment: Anything low-carb keeps the hunger pangs at bay a lot longer than carby foods or drinks or nothing at all. Whether it has boosted my energy, I can't say.

What bulletproof coffee has not done, however, is provide an escape from heartburn. I hoped all that fat would make it all go down in a way that would be much easier on acid reflux. My innards want me to drink the stuff in moderation, just like they wanted me to do nonbulletproof coffee in moderation. So I've resolved to drink it only once or twice a week.

Ah, well. Moderation is good. Moderation is the same thing we all, whatever our health condition or eating lifestyle, would do well to exercise. And it'll be a while before I have to re-buy that doggone expensive butter.

Hot buttered email:

[email protected]

Style on 10/09/2016

Print Headline: New coffee drink isn't bulletproof


Sponsor Content