Butter Coffee: A cup a day keeps the doctor away

Posted on December 19, 2016
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Butter Coffee (known under a variety of names), is essentially MCT oil, butter and coffee blended together into a frothy, latte like drink. It has become incredibly popular among health minded individuals, and the Paleo community. Since discovering it last winter, I can’t stop extolling it’s virtues. While I know that this isn’t a panacea for everyone (and you should consult your doctor if you have any health issues), for me this concoction has been utterly LIFE CHANGING. Here is my story… 

My Story

My entire life, I’ve had issues with inflammation and allergies. 6 years ago, the problem came to a head when I had to have surgery on my sinuses to remove polyp’s and generally repair things. While this provided short term relief, it wasn’t a fix for the underlying issue, and last year I had to have the surgery again. In spite of the surgery, I still got sinus infections monthly. Even cortisone shots in the area weren’t providing relief. The inflammation and congestion was so bad at one point, it gave me a black eye! I had exhausted my options with surgery, steroids and antibiotics.  My doctor and I agreed it was time to think outside the box, and use my diet as the primary healer.

My sinus infection induced black-eye.

My sinus infection induced black-eye.

I needed to reboot my system in order to get well again. I had heard a lot about the Butter Coffee fad, and started reading up on it. Frankly, my initial reaction was complete revulsion. In spite of my healthy relationship with butter and my lifelong addiction to coffee, I couldn’t see the two pairing well. However, the more I researched, the more it looked like this might be something that could be extremely helpful for me.

What is Butter Coffee?

Butter Coffee has three main ingredients: Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) oil, grass fed butter (or ghee), and coffee. MCT has been lauded as the new “brain fuel”as it provides clean and quick energy. Many people report increased mental acuity, energy, and weight loss from the addition of MCT oil to their diets. It has been shown to be therapeutic for individuals who may suffer from Crohn’s or Celiac disease, and there is even some evidence of antibacterial properties. 

MCT oil certainly has many beneficial properties on its own, so why add butter? To be more specific: grass fed butter. As most Paleo followers know, the difference in fats derived from grass fed versus grain fed animals is huge. Grass fed butter is high in Omega-3’s, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), and beta-carotene (even more than carrots!). It also contains butyrate, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin D, vitamin E, and antioxidants. CLA is the draw for many individuals, as it has been shown to help reduce abdominal fat. However, I was most intrigued by butyrate. Butyrate is a fatty acid shown to be helpful for individuals with gut related issues. It is  also thought to help in fighting auto-immune disorders, and acts as an anti-inflammatory. The magic combination of MCT oil and grass fed butter is supposed to work in tandem to supercharge your metabolism and immune system and help with inflammation. 

The major drawback for this drink is the high fat content. Yes, fat is good for you, but this is quite a lot. For those who are prone to high cholesterol, it may not be the best option. However, my blood work looked good (high end of normal), and I figured I really had nothing to lose from giving this a shot. I decided to try replacing my breakfast in the morning with a large Butter Coffee, and see if I felt any different.

The Effects

The first thing I noticed was that I really did have more energy. I felt awake much faster, stayed energized longer, and didn’t have the same caffeine crash I normally got mid-day. In fact, the prolonged and even energy meant I’d actually started drinking LESS caffeine overall! In spite of adding 500 calories of fat to my day, I also started to shed some pounds. The fat in the morning really kept me full until lunchtime. Without my daily “crash” off of caffeine, I wasn’t going for sugary snacks for quick energy boosts in the afternoon. 

It took about a month of daily Butter Coffee before I saw the improvement with my sinus infection. I was out to dinner with my husband and some friends, when I started to feel like my face was literally going to explode. If you have ever had a sinus infection – you know the feeling. Intense pressure, pain, and the sensation that I’d just inhaled a bottle of Clorox. I excused myself from the table and went to the bathroom to blow my nose. What proceeded was an extremely gross experience I don’t want to describe on the internet.  However afterwards, I could breath. It was as if all the infection had been expelled from my body. No more pressure, no more weird smells, no more pain. It was life changing.

Conclusions

There are many doubters who would find other reasons for my miraculous recovery, but I firmly believe I have Butter Coffee to thank. Since drinking this daily, I have only gotten one sinus infection… and that was after taking a two week vacation without my coffee supplies. I cannot remember another time in my adult life, where I have gone this long without sinus issues.  

Butter Coffee has now become a non-negotiable part of my daily routine. I love how quickly it gets me going in the morning. I definitely feel “brain fog” if I don’t have it. In addition to the increased health and energy, I’ve had significantly less gastric discomfort since introducing this to my diet. I’ve even lost weight since starting to drink this daily, and my cholesterol has gone down! The results I’ve had are influenced by my overall lifestyle and genetic makeup, but if you have been curious about a real life account of one person’s year of drinking butter, this is it.

How to Make it

The directions for butter coffee are pretty simple and easy to follow:

  • 10-24 ounces of coffee;
  • 2 tbsp grass fed butter (or ghee); and
  • 1-2 tbsp MCT oil (start with 1 tbsp, and add more as you get used to it).
  • Combine all ingredients in a blender on high for 2 minutes. Enjoy hot.

Do a quick Google or Amazon search, and you will find a lot of items “required” to make Butter Coffee. You can buy brand name coffee beans, special high-octane oils, and various premixed concoctions. Personally, I chose to keep it simple and affordable.  I’ve tried several types of MCT oil, and the best by FAR has been Viva Labs MCT Oil. I decided to use grass fed butter over ghee to keep my costs under control. Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter has by far been the best. The salted version will also help cut any bitterness in your coffee.

Most articles indicate you should blend your coffee, butter and oil for at least 2 minutes. I don’t notice a difference as long as it is all mixed well, but my husband SWEARS it pays off. If I’m ever feeling up for a change, I’ll throw in some maple syrup, or a bit of unsweetened cocoa. Recently I tried adding Four Sigmatic Mushroom Hot Cacao since my doctor suggested I try to eat more mushrooms. It was delicious – almost like a spicy mocha! Unlike most recipes, Butter Coffee is versatile and easy to improvise with as long as you keep the three basic ingredients, so have fun and experiment! Or, if you are looking for a clear step by step, I’ve pulled together an easy info-graphic to help you out.

Butter Coffee Infographic

 

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