Buttery 'Bulletproof' Coffee Might Be Keto-Friendly, But Experts Suggest Alternatives

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Is bulletproof coffee good for you? That’s the question on a lot of keto dieters’ minds nowadays. After all, bulletproof coffee is arguably one of the most famous keto recipes out there. Though it's touted as a delicious and nutritious way to start the day, bulletproof coffee may not be the dream come true we thought it was.

Bulletproof coffee is simply coffee mixed with grass-fed butter (or ghee) and coconut oil (or MCT oil). While this definitely fits into the low-carb, high-fat keto diet, it’s worth keeping in mind that just because something is keto does not necessarily mean it’s healthy. (Remember: Always talk to your doctor before trying any new diet, especially one that’s as restrictive as keto.) The brew gets its rugged name from the bulletproof diet, which is an eating plan that focuses on healthy fats, antioxidant-rich vegetables, and high-quality proteins.

For starters, let’s check out the calorie count for bulletproof coffee. As PopSugar reported, nutrition expert Amanda Meixner explained in a recent Instagram post that one cup of bulletproof coffee has so many calories that it could essentially replace a meal — and that's not exactly a good thing. In the example Meixner provided, a cup of bulletproof coffee with two tablespoons of butter and one tablespoon of coconut oil totaled 345 calories. Compare that to a meal of eggs, avocado, veggies, and low-carb toast — it’s not tough to see which one is likely a better choice for your waistline.

Next, let's look at the actual health content of bulletproof coffee. While grass-fed butter is arguably much better for you than other types of fats, that doesn't mean it’s a good idea to have a (generous) serving of this type of fat every single day. Nutrition researcher Kris Gunnars, BSc, writes for Healthline: “By drinking bulletproof coffee, you are effectively replacing one of three nutritious meals with something that is low in essential nutrients. Yes, grass-fed butter contains some fat-soluble vitamins (A and K2), CLA, and butyrate. It's good stuff. But MCT oil is 100 percent empty calories. It is a refined and processed fat with no essential nutrients.”

While coconut oil does boast some health benefits, it’s worth keeping in mind that a typical serving size for the fat is super-small — just one tablespoon — and it packs more than 100 calories a punch. And as we all know, it is quite possible to have too much of a good thing. It sounds like bulletproof coffee fits the bill. Gunnars adds, “Even though bulletproof coffee may contain small amounts of nutrients, this completely pales in comparison to what you would get from a nutritious breakfast.” 

If you’re still interested in trying bulletproof coffee, it should be fine as an occasional indulgence. But when it comes to treating yourself, go ahead and opt for more delicious sweets, such as some easy keto dessert recipes. Or if you're craving breakfast — or any other filling meal — you're better of turning to a complete keto meal plan. And psst: If you’re still craving coffee after all of that, it’s a good time to remember that the beverage on its own contains zero calories — and tons of health benefits.

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