Should You Put Butter in Your Coffee?

Your friend swears that his Bulletproof Coffee is the morning beverage you need in your life, but you’re not so sure. Find out the facts behind the drink.

It used to be that your biggest decision about your morning coffee was 2 percent or soy milk. And now there’s a whole contingent of folks drinking their coffee with butter. Tempted to try it? Read this first.

The trend of drinking butter in your coffee is credited to David Asprey, Silicon Valley entrepreneur. Asprey drank tea with yak butter on a trip to Tibet and decided it was so fabulous that he wanted to market it in the U.S., which is exactly what he does with Bulletproof Coffee. Instead of yak butter, Bulletproof Coffee uses a mix of grass-fed butter and coconut oil.

The website for Bulletproof Coffee claims its benefits include:

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  • Suppressed hunger. The claim is that drinking the blend keeps your hunger hormones in check so you feel full longer.
  • Steady, lasting energy. Bulletproof Coffee claims that “the saturated fat in grass-fed butter slows the absorption of caffeine, which gives you even energy for several hours instead of a caffeine spike and crash. No jitters either.”
  • Mental clarity. According to Bulletproof Coffee, the coconut oil “converts to ketones, a type of molecule that your brain uses more efficiently than carbs or sugar.”

While that all sounds exciting enough that you may be googling DIY Bulletproof Coffee right now, hold on a sec. As with all things that sound too good to be true, it is.

First, there’s the fat and calories. One cup of Bulletproof Coffee contains up to 500 calories and around 51 grams of fat — more than 70 percent of which is saturated — the most harmful to our health. Consider that men and women eating a 2,000-calorie diet should have 44 to 78 grams of fat a day and you start to get the picture.

“A heart-healthy diet should be low in saturated fat,” says Jennifer Rose Boozer, DO, clinical assistant professor of family medicine (clinician educator) at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and a family medicine physician at Keck Medicine of USC’s Glendale and Pasadena locations. “Since butter is approximately 50 percent saturated fat, it is a surefire way to exceed your daily limit and put your cardiovascular health at risk. I would definitely not recommend putting butter in your coffee.”

The upside is that there are no carbs in Bulletproof Coffee, which means that your body doesn’t trigger an insulin response that tells the body to store fat. But that effect will stop the second you eat a carb.

As for the benefits of coconut oil, the jury is still out. There are studies that show it may improve weight loss, but there is no conclusive evidence, and the nutrition community remains very divided on its benefits or harms.

For now, you’re better off sticking with that 2 percent milk and passing on the sugar.

Did you know coffee may help you live longer?

If you are in the Los Angeles area and are looking for exceptional care from some of the top physicians in the country, be sure to schedule an appointment by calling (800) USC-CARE (800-872-2273) or by visiting

By Anne Fritz