Bulletproof Coffee: A Boost To Start Your Day?

As far as trends go, ‘bulletproof’ coffee seems to be all the rage as a breakfast replacement, in the same way that some nutritionists sing the praises of beginning your day’s journey with a green juice. The bulletproof coffee comprises coffee, unsalted butter (grass-fed) and an MCT oil such as coconut oil. Two tablespoons of the latter two ingredients plus two cups of coffee are mixed in a blender and consumed as a powerful, energizing, fat-burning fuel to start the day.

Given what we know about the benefits of MCT oils and that saturated fats such as unsalted butter have received unfair coverage as all blankly being bad and that coffee is just plain great, what’s not to love, right? A lot, it seems.

The bulletproof coffee is full of nutritional holes

Assuming that you consume this coffee in the morning as a breakfast replacement as intended, does it match up to the nutrient gain from an egg in 5-10g coconut oil and an apple? Eggs on their own, of course, are protein-rich nutrient warriors. Each egg contains 7g of high-quality protein, 5g of fat, 1.6g of saturated fat and iron, minerals, vitamins, and carotenoids. Each egg contains only 75 calories in total,  plus powerful disease-fighting nutrients such as lutein and zeaxanthin.

The egg-and-apple breakfast contains 429 calories, broken down as follows:

  • Over 50% of the recommended daily allowance for or Vitamins B12, B2, Vitamin B5, Selenium and Phosphorus
  • Over 10% of the recommended daily allowance for every nutrient except Vitamin B3 (Niacin), magnesium and manganese
  • 25 grams of protein
  • 5 grams of fiber
  • 27 grams of net carbs.

The bulletproof coffee, on the other hand, contains not only more calories – 441 to be exact – but is nutritionally empty:

  • 51 grams of fat (80% saturated)
  • 1 gram of protein
  • 0 grams of fiber
  • Less than 10% of the recommended daily allowance for every nutrient except Vitamins A, B2, and B5 (which range from 22% to 28% of the RDA, almost half the values in the egg-and-apple breakfast).

The bulletproof coffee could dramatically increase your cholesterol levels

Studies have linked the keto diet, into which the bulletproof coffee fits snugly, with decreased waistline measurement, lowered levels of bad cholesterol and an increase in metabolic rate. These measurables though did not take into account the effects of a so-called bulletproof coffee. Although there are no studies as yet isolating the impact of this coffee, strong anecdotal evidence suggests that advanced markers for high cholesterol such as ApoB and LDL indicated a worrying trend of cholesterol actually spiking on the back of bulletproof coffee consumption.

The amount of increased saturated fat specifically included in the bulletproof coffee is cause for concern

Scientific studies have shown that the MCTs in saturated fats distinguish them from their long-chain triglyceride cousins, as they can be utilized for energy much quicker and are therefore not stored as fat in the body. This is based on moderate amounts of saturated fat though. Keto is a high-fat nutritional plan, so it is arguably the case that the four tablespoons of extra butter and fat being absorbed tip allowable saturated fat levels into the realm of excess, which is bound to have effects opposite to what is intended on the ketogenic diet.