Bulletproof coffee is a high calorie coffee drink intended to replace a carb-heavy breakfast (1).
It consists of 2 cups (470 mL) of coffee, 2 tablespoons (28 grams) of unsalted grass-fed butter, and 1–2 tablespoons (15–30 mL) of medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil mixed in a blender.
It was originally promoted by Dave Asprey, the creator of the Bulletproof Diet. The coffee produced and marketed by Asprey’s company is supposedly free of mycotoxins, which are naturally occurring fungal toxins found in some improperly stored foods (
However, there’s no evidence that this is the case.
Bulletproof coffee has become increasingly popular, especially among paleo and low carb dieters.
Although drinking Bulletproof coffee on occasion is probably harmless, it’s not advisable to make it a routine.
Here are 3 potential downsides of Bulletproof coffee.
Asprey and other promoters recommend that you consume Bulletproof coffee in place of breakfast each morning.
Although Bulletproof coffee provides plenty of fat, which reduces your appetite and provides energy, it’s lacking in several nutrients.
By drinking Bulletproof coffee, you are replacing a nutritious meal with a poor substitute.
While grass-fed butter contains some conjugated linoleic acid, butyrate, and vitamins A and K2, MCT oil is a refined and processed fat with no essential nutrients.
If you eat three meals per day, replacing breakfast with Bulletproof coffee will likely reduce your total nutrient intake by about one-third.
Promoters of Bulletproof coffee recommend that you drink it instead of eating breakfast. However, doing so will significantly reduce the total nutrient load of your diet.
Bulletproof coffee is very high in saturated fat.
While the health effects of saturated fats are controversial, many health professionals believe that high intake is a major risk factor for several diseases and should be avoided (
Nevertheless, most official dietary guidelines and health authorities advise limiting your intake.
While saturated fat can be part of a healthy diet when consumed in reasonable amounts, it may be harmful in massive doses.
If you’re worried about saturated fat or high cholesterol levels, consider limiting your intake of Bulletproof coffee or avoiding it altogether.
Bulletproof coffee is high in saturated fat. Although its health effects are highly controversial and not firmly established, official guidelines still recommend limiting saturated fat intake.
Many studies have been conducted on low carb and ketogenic diets, which are often high in fat and may include Bulletproof coffee.
Most of this research indicates that these diets do not increase your levels of total and LDL (bad) cholesterol — at least on average (
Among other potential benefits, your triglycerides and weight will likely drop, while your HDL (good) cholesterol will likely rise (
However, butter seems to be particularly effective at raising LDL cholesterol levels. One study in 94 British adults showed that eating 50 grams of butter daily for 4 weeks increased LDL cholesterol levels more than consuming an equal amount of coconut oil or olive oil (
Another 8-week study in Swedish men and women with excess weight found that butter increased LDL cholesterol by 13% when compared with whipping cream. The researchers hypothesized that this could have something to do with butter’s fat structure (
For those who have cholesterol problems while on a low carb or ketogenic diet, one of the first things to do is avoid excessive intake of fat (such as butter). This includes Bulletproof coffee.
Butter and ketogenic diets high in saturated fat may increase cholesterol levels and other heart disease risk factors in some people. If you have elevated levels, you may want to consider avoiding Bulletproof coffee.
All things considered, Bulletproof coffee can work for some people — especially those following a ketogenic diet who don’t have elevated cholesterol levels.
If you find that this morning drink improves your well-being and quality of life, it may be worth the decreased nutrient load.
Just to be on the safe side, if you drink Bulletproof coffee regularly, you should have your blood markers measured to make sure you’re not increasing your risk of heart disease and other conditions.
Bulletproof coffee may be healthy for some people, as long as you consume it as part of a balanced diet and don’t have elevated cholesterol levels. It may be especially appealing for those on ketogenic diets.
Bulletproof coffee is a high fat coffee drink intended as a breakfast replacement. It’s popular among people who follow a ketogenic diet.
While it’s filling and energy-boosting, it comes with several potential downsides, including reduced overall nutrient intake, increased cholesterol, and high levels of saturated fat.
Still, Bulletproof coffee may be safe for those who don’t have elevated cholesterol levels, as well as those who follow a low carb or ketogenic diet.
If you’re interested in trying Bulletproof coffee, it may be best to consult a healthcare professional to get your blood markers checked.