Do you take your coffee black or with cream and sugar? How about with butter and coconut oil? A current diet trend blends butter, coconut oil and coffee together in what's referred to as "butter coffee" or "bulletproof coffee." Does a cup of high-fat coffee translate to health benefits as some supporters claim? Katherine Zeratsky, a Mayo Clinic dietitian, has a few words of advice.
Journalists: Broadcast-quality video pkg (0:59) is in the downloads at the end of the post. Please ‘Courtesy: Mayo Clinic News Network.’ Read the script.
“Coffee can be a very rich source of antioxidants in many people’s diets," says Zeratsky. She says a little cream in your cup can add flavor and satisfying creaminess but the bulletproof coffee trend has some holes in it.
“When you add things like butter and coconut oil to your coffee, you’re adding a significant amount of saturated fat and a significant amount of calories.”
Therein lies the problem. A tablespoon or two of butter and coconut oil can instantly take that cup of coffee from 0 calories up to almost 500 calories.
"We worry that those extra calories and the imbalance it might be creating in your diet might not work for you and your long-term health," says Zeratsky.
It’s not just the calories. Butter and coconut oil are primarily a saturated type of fat.
"It is known to raise our cholesterol, thus increasing our risk of heart disease and potentially other cardiovascular-related problems."
Zeratsky offers this advice: "If you want to drink your coffee, that’s great because we know there’s some good antioxidants in there. And it might help you get going with your day. But balance it out with some fruit and maybe a little bit of protein."