Fact-check: Bulletproof coffee no magic bullet to weight loss

Fact-check: Bulletproof coffee no magic bullet to weight loss

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Bulletproof coffee

While the coffee concoction can kill food cravings and give an instant energy boost, low micronutrients and high amounts of fat can harm people with chronic diseases or cholesterol issues.

If the social media buzz is to be believed, there’s a new elixir for weight loss! Bulletproof coffee, also known as coffee with ghee or butter, is fast catching up among wellness enthusiasts. But is it worth the hype? 

“Bulletproof coffee has become a hot favourite among celebrities, with many of them starting their day with it,” says Gunjan Goela, renowned chef and health coach, based in Delhi, India. “The coffee concoction keeps you full for long as it is high in fat, and serves as a replacement to breakfast. However, individuals with any clinical condition/co-morbidities should be careful before opting for it,” she warns. 

While people across the globe are going gaga over this new weight-loss trend, Gunjan points out that it may backfire because of low micronutrients and high amounts of fat, which can harm people with chronic diseases or cholesterol issues. Studies indicate that keto or low-carb diets that include bulletproof coffee can lead to high cholesterol levels and it should be avoided if high cholesterol is a pre-existing issue.

Nutrition and wellness expert Debjani Gupta from Mumbai, India, agrees. “If you are looking to follow the trend, it’s better to do some research first and, if possible, consult a dietitian or a nutritionist because bulletproof coffee is very low in micronutrients,” she says. 

“Butter coffee is coffee blended with butter and medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil which is only rich in high doses of fat and lacks several other essential nutrients. While this can help you stay energetic throughout the day and suppress hunger, it significantly reduces your total nutrient intake that your body needs for healthy functioning,” notes the expert. 

Interestingly, the history of the coffee-fat combination has been seen in many cultures and communities, including the Sherpas of the Himalayas and the Gurage of Ethiopia who have been drinking butter coffee and butter tea for centuries. Some people living in high altitude regions add butter to their coffee or tea for much-needed energy, as living and working in high altitude areas increases their calorie needs. 

However, it was only when entrepreneur Dave Asprey noticed how butter coffee provided him with more energy for his mind and body that bulletproof coffee became such a global sensation! While the beverage has found huge acceptance among health-conscious people, especially the ones who are weight-watching, following intermittent fasting, and are on a low-carb diet, bulletproof coffee may not be the healthiest option. 

Any diet, irrespective of the part of the day it is consumed, maintains Debjani, should be well-balanced, consisting of the right amounts of protein, carbohydrates, fats, micronutrients and fibre. Having bulletproof coffee instead of breakfast is nowhere close to fulfilling the above criteria of a well-balanced diet. 

“My recommendation, especially for Indian population, where the consumption of oil, ghee and butter is already on higher side, is to stick to a well-balanced and healthy diet, instead of going after such internet-famed poor diet substitutes, with no scientific credibility,” she concludes. 

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