By Daniel Reynen Citizen Columnist
Iam a huge fan of coffee. When I wake up, drinking a cup is one of the rituals I go through that helps get me ready for the day. I'm not a purist. I like to add some fat-free cream and Splenda. A few years ago I also started putting a couple of heaping teaspoons of unsweetened cocoa powder in my coffee. That was after research came out that people who ate as little as four grams of cocoa (2.5 teaspoons) a day reduced their risk of a heart attack by 50 percent.
I get to live longer and my coffee now tastes like chocolate. It's a win-win. So when I heard that people have started adding butter to their coffee for health reasons, I was intrigued. I could eat butter and be healthier?
It's called "Bulletproof coffee." But you can't just dump any butter into a cup of coffee for the benefits. The recipe is very specific.
Start with 1 cup (8 oz.) of filtered water. Bring it to a boil. Then put 2¬½ tablespoons of freshly ground beans and the water into a French press. Let the coffee steep for four minutes in the French press.
In a blender, put 2 tablespoons (or "much more") of grass-fed, unsalted butter or ghee, the freshly brewed coffee and 1 teaspoon Bulletproof Upgraded Brain Octane. (The "octane" is a coconut-palm oil blend called MCT, which stands for medium chain triglycerides.) Mix everything together until it turns frothy and is ready to drink.
The claims made are numerous. Supposedly you'll get a jolt of energy, it'll sharpen your mind while it helps you slim down. So let's look into the claims. True or false?
• You'll get a jolt of energy. That's true, but it's not because of anything proprietary in this brand of coffee. Regular coffee has caffeine, a known stimulant. But you can get that jolt from the decaffeinated version as well. The "energy" comes from the calories in butter. In fact, any food that has calories gives you "energy." A calorie is simply a measure of energy.
• It'll sharpen your mind. That's true, but not because of any special ingredients in the the coffee or the special beans. Once again, caffeine is a known stimulant and has been shown to increase mental focus. But if you get the decaffeinated version, the benefit comes from calories.
Your brain uses up to 20 percent of the energy your body produces to function. First thing in the morning you don't have a lot of calories to help your brain work. Drinking coffee with calories in it gives your brain energy to work better. It's the calories, not the special ingredients that'll sharpen your mind. You get the same effect, plus beneficial fiber that'll reduce your risk of heart attack, if you just eat a bowl of oatmeal.
• It's going to help you lose weight. That's false. There are no clinical studies that show drinking coffee with butter or any other ingredient will help you lose weight. Unfortunately, claiming that this product can "help you lose weight" is only unethical, not illegal. Supplement companies can claim their products "enhance" things like weight loss without a shred of evidence.
Drinking coffee with butter and coconut oil is just a way to get you to replace your morning coffee habit with ingredients sold by this company. You might actually gain weight if you do it on a regular basis from the extra calories.
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