Skip the creamer with coffee tomorrow morning and try a different kind of dairy product: butter.
Not just any type of butter though. We’re talking about adding one tablespoon of grass-fed unsalted butter, then whipping it up into a frothy latte-like beverage. Why? Because apparently everybody’s doing it. Drinking butter coffee is one of the latest java trends by a certain niche of coffee lovers and dieters, the most common of which follow the Paleo diet.
According to Allison Nichols, a holistic health and nutrition counselor and founder of Frisky Lemon Nutrition, the type of butter added matters.
“It’s not just any butter in your coffee, it’s that high quality grass-fed butter that has the most nutrients,” Nichols told Boston.com.
“I would encourage people to use the highest quality products they can afford,” she said. “I see it as a supplement to a healthy lifestyle that based on high quality fats and on getting fat soluble vitamins.”
Butter coffee is also delicious, Nichols added.
“It doesn’t change the taste of the coffee, it just cuts out the bitterness of the coffee like cream does,” she said.
Local coffee shops—even high-end ones—don’t honor that “spoon of butter” request, but that doesn’t mean you can’t BYO‘B’.
However, some diet experts warn coffee drinkers to be cautious about the nutritional claims.
“I’m not aware of any evidence showing that grassfed butter is more nutritious,” said Keith Ayoob, pediatric nutritionist and dietician at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
“There’s no difference. All butter is cream with the water taken out.”
Some drinkers are even going so far as making the coffee Bulletproof. The Bulletproof brand was created in 2010 by Dave Asprey, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who helped butter coffee grow in popularity in the US. Asprey “learned about the power of butter” while hiking in Tibet. While there, he was served yak butter tea and learned about its purported nutritional value.
Unlike regular coffee that can leave you hungry a few hours later, butter coffee apparently leaves you feeling full longer, Asprey told FOX News.
However, Asprey’s Bulletproof coffee takes it a step further. His branded recipe calls for adding medium chain triglycerides —or MCT—oil to get additional nutritional benefits, he says. Asprey sells the MCT oil on his website.
Some studies suggest that MCTs help with food digestion and as a way to decrease body fat and increase lean muscle mass, but the findings have been conflicting. However, there’s no scientific proof that adding MCT oil or butter to coffee will provide these benefits.
According to Ayoob, Bulletproof coffee recipe is not as nutritious as the claims may suggest. Butter is high in calories and the recipe suggests the drink is an added 200 calories.
“Yet the claim is that it’s helping with weight loss,” he said. “You’re better off spending those calories in a different way.”
Ayoob suggested using milk powder, which offers calcium and protein not provided with butter.
Butter is also high in cholesterol and saturated fat so should be consumed in moderation. Also, coffee is an added breakfast item, not a meal replacement, which some people have claimed to do with butter coffee.
“At breakfast time, you need protein,” said Ayoob. “I’d rather see someone get 200 calories of protein rather than this drink.”
“If you like the taste, that’s fine. Just make sure you have the calories to spare,” he said.Lara can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Lara on Twitter: @BostonLara