Coffee and… Butter?

Coffee with butter

Now that you’ve read Confused About Coffee?, you’re aware that coffee is one of my loves. I can’t wait to fill you in on my favorite coffee add-in (although the title of this post pretty much gives it away). On the Low Carb Cruise, I was introduced to the amazingly delicious and nutritious coffee with BUTTER, or as the expert himself Dave Asprey calls it, “Bulletproof Coffee.” It didn’t take long for it to make its way into my regular routine and become a favorite addition to my morning cup o’ Joe.

Adding butter to coffee has become popular as more and more people are making the connections between greater focus and brain power along with fewer cravings when they drink it. (Not to mention it’s pretty tasty too.) The reason why the typical person feels BETTER when they add butter to their coffee is because our low-fat diets aren’t doing us ANY good since they are LACKING in the fat that our brains and bodies so vitally need. The media of course is totally exploiting this revelation and calling it a “weight loss fad” and “craze” — understandably so, because it’s diametrically opposed to our nation’s “normal” way of thinking that has led to our obesity epidemic. (And in my opinion if it differs from what we have always thought, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Unbrainwash yourself from conventional wisdom!) We live in a culture that has fat-phobia and of COURSE anyone who thinks fat makes us fat is going to think any amount of butter is a bad thing. (If you think fat is bad, then check out my post entitled, The Big Fat Lie… Fat is essential for our brains, metabolism and cells.) Adding butter to coffee sounds crazy, but when you take a step back and think about it, what’s so crazy about it!? When we look at the biochemistry of how macronutrients are metabolized in the body, it doesn’t seem crazy at all. Science actually shows that it’s the carbohydrates, NOT fat, that turn into sugar in the bloodstream and lead to weight gain when not being utilized for energy. We know that healthy fat supports cognitive function and metabolism by slowing the assimilation of carbohydrates in the blood stream, and thus lessening their damaging effect.

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 7.54.40 AMThe media is also quick to point out that a cup of coffee and butter can contain 300-some calories. This is true. Nevertheless, it doesn’t concern me because IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT THE CALORIES! (This is my face when asked about the calories in buttered coffee on this TV segment and this one.) Metabolism is about hormones, blood sugar balance, and the quality of food — NOT just the quantity, therefore the healthy fat found in butter is important for our brain and waistline, regardless of the number of calories.

So, I know it seems a little crazy at first, but is there really that big a difference in putting butter in your coffee vs. cream? Butter is basically a semi solid form of cream (minus the skim milk). Cream is lower in fat than butter and since we all know fat is good for us then this is yet another reason why butter is SO great.

When I’m at home I love making my own version of Bulletproof Coffee by blending together coffee (I make a pot of this first) with Kerrygold butter and chocolate Dynamic Fruits & Greens to get some extra antioxidants in too. Sometimes I’ll also add some of the Upgraded Vanilla powder too. This in combination with the chocolate Dynamic Fruits & Greens makes for a vanilla mocha latte flavored coffee drink. It’s incredible. Also, if I’m feeling like I need an extra punch of energy, I’ll then even add in a tablespoon of Dave’s MCT oil (this is six times more potent than coconut oil; a great healthy fat and more brain power!).

Another way I enjoy butter in my coffee is in situations where I want to resist dessert, such as at weddings or parties. I’m not saying to never eat wedding cake (even I’m guilty!), but what I AM saying is you can learn to train yourself to be satisfied by fats instead of carbs. Because coffee frequently goes hand in hand with dessert, I think adding butter to it is a good option as a replacement. (And no, I don’t always carry Kerrygold butter with me; I just make sure it’s real butter that I’m adding to my coffee and settle with this.) Even though it’s not perfect, I still think it’s a better option than dessert.

Now, for a short Q & A on Butter in Coffee (using your questions from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram):

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 7.56.12 AM1. Why doesn’t it taste very good? BLEND IT! It is seriously so much better when blended compared to just stirring it in with a spoon. I would also tell you to make sure you’re using quality butter. Using cheap butter or a butter substitute makes a world of a difference. It definitely tastes better when it’s made with unsalted, grass-fed butter. The Kerrygold brand I mentioned produces excellent high quality butter and can be bought in bulk at places like Sam’s Club and Costco. And make sure it’s unsalted! Unless you’re one of those salted caramel latte fans, then you might like it salted, but I definitely don’t. :)

2. How much butter should I add? I usually add 2 Tablespoons of butter to my coffee, or for instance, when I was at a wedding dinner I added 4 of these pats of butter (they are each 1/2 T). (Of course, these are not my first choice for butter, but since it’s not always available, I’m okay with working with what is [although, sometimes I DO bring my own butter! A lot of us did this on the Low Carb Cruise. Did you know that butter doesn't have to be refrigerated?])

3. What do you order at a coffee shop? When I’m at a coffee shop, I usually order coffee and ask for the heavy whipping cream. (They keep it stored in the little refrigerator behind the counter because most customers are content with the half and half that is at the DIY bar next to the skim milk and sugar.) Or, feel free to bring your own butter and add it to the coffee yourself. Just remember that stirring doesn’t quite give it the same effect as blending, which is optimal.

I hope I’ve opened your mind to the taste and health benefits of adding butter to your morning coffee. Now, venture out and give it a try and let me know: What are YOUR thoughts on butter in coffee?

*this is where I purchase my coffee beans.

Disclosure: One or more of the links posted on this page is an affiliate link. Please know, however, I wouldn’t recommend a product that I don’t personally use or believe in. :)

BulletProof Coffee

  • http://thefitink.com/ Roland Denzel

    I have it periodically. It’s got a distinctive taste, so it’s nice for a change of pace.

    I also blend coffee with coconut cream, which tastes totally different, but is REALLY good. You really have to find a very thick coconut milk or cream, because most or thin and watery.

  • guest2

    Full-fatted dairy products are superior. I agree.

  • http://dietitiancassie.com/ Dietitian Cassie

    I agree, Meg! It’s tastier and butter is so much more portable and doesn’t expire as quickly as cream does. Cheers to Kerrygold! :)

    • Allison Bol

      Thanks for the post on coffee with butter Cassie! I have made this a few times and think it is delicious! I have a question about how often you drink this? Do you have food with it? Or do you just stick with the coffee, as the fat does make it really filling. I’m trying to become un-brainwashed, but I think I still worry I may be having too much fat if I drink this coffee more than 2-3 times a week. What are your thoughts?

      Thanks much!

      Allison

      • http://dietitiancassie.com/ Dietitian Cassie

        Great thoughts and questions, Allison. I’m so glad that you’re in love with butter in coffee, just like I am :) Do NOT be worried about having it too often! Daily is just fine. You are right when you mention still being in the brainwashed mindset :) Keep reminding yourself that fat SUPPORTS metabolism, which is why it’s perfectly fine to have it daily! Now, as for what you should eat with it, if anything at all: My answer is: everyone is so different, but in general, I recommend having a Protein, Fat and Carbohydrate (PFC!) at all meals and snacks. So, how does the butter in coffee fit into this? Usually, I just count it as extra, bonus fat. :) Some people will use it as a breakfast replacement, but some of my clients find that when they don’t have carbs, they don’t have quite the energy and depending on your goals (for my clients, weight loss is a typical goal) PROTEIN can be essential (it’s metabolism boosting too)! And remember, your goal is to keep your metabolism revved up and if you’re not getting enough of what your body needs then your body will conserve energy instead of your metabolism working efficiently! Contact me if you have any specific questions :) http://www.dietitiancassie.com/contactdc/

  • http://dietitiancassie.com/ Dietitian Cassie

    Full Fat for the WIN! :)

  • Annette Menard-Iwane

    I make my own version of this every morning and it keeps me feeling great and satisfied for about 6 hours. I add MCT oil, coconut oil, grass fed ghee, and also some hemp seeds to make it even creamier, and I blend it all together in my Vitamix.

  • http://dietitiancassie.com/ Dietitian Cassie

    Thanks for the blog love! Nuts are also an excellent healthy fat, like butter. And it can be beneficial to wait for some time after your meal before consuming coffee (the amount of time varies from study to study) to promote nutrient absorption.

  • Daniël

    Kerry Gold is also available at Kowalski’s, at least the one on Grand Avenue in St. Paul. They carry both Kerry Gold butter products, but also Cheese products, too.

  • http://dietitiancassie.com/ Dietitian Cassie

    The benefits provided to the brain by healthy fat and exercise are both beneficial, but very different…

  • Marty Roddy

    Holy Moley and I just drink black coffee….

    https://twitter.com/martyroddy I may get some butter at Farmers market and give it a try.

  • Kathleen Holland

    Just checked out Costco. No Kerrygold butter

  • 2much Butter!

    2 tablespoons? 1 seems excessive.

  • http://dietitiancassie.com/ Dietitian Cassie

    I think that sounds great but I also wouldn’t recommend having it by itself. I promote having a balance of PFC (protein, fat and carbohydrates) throughout the day (every 3-4 hours for most people) to promote stable blood sugar levels all day (and night) long.

  • Peggy

    I don’t get jittery from bulletproof coffee, which is the biggest reason I have never gotten into plain coffee. It’s just a nice wakefulness.

  • Marie Shanahan

    What a good idea. Just tried it this morning and LOVED it!! It’s 5:11am on Sunday morning and I’m watching the sun rise, votive candles twinkling and sipping a cup of butter coffee. :) I don’t think I’d add anything but, instead, “steep” some chopped, pecans. That would be incredible!!!

  • Maddie La Squirelle

    @DietitianCassie:disqus thank you for this article! I am a coffee lover myself but I have the jitters and a stomach ache after drinking coffee alone, will the butter get rid of those issues? Also, is a no carb (only meats/eggs and veggies) diet good in the long run or is it bad? Do we need some carbs? I am on the paleo diet but a friend of mine said I should be on the no carb diet because of my fibromyalgia. I don’t want to take the leap unless I get expert advice.

  • Maggie

    Is having a cup of bulletproof coffee and a slice of egg bake too big of a breakfast? Would it be better to space them out a couple hours? I know everyone is different, but I have read on some sites that eating with your bulletproof coffee negates its effects. Thanks Cassie!

    • http://dietitiancassie.com/ Dietitian Cassie

      Hi Maggie! I don’t think that’s too big a breakfast at all, but like you said, it’s individualized and depends on your goals. I wouldn’t necessarily space them out a couple hours, because I believe eating all 3 macronutrients (Protein, Fat and Carbs… PFC!) together provides the greatest benefit. I know everyone has a different idea about this, but those are my thoughts! :)