Bulletproof Coffee and keto are synonymous and many people incorporate BPC into their keto diet. But, what does a Bulletproof coffee do and is it a good idea?
The traditional Bulletproof Coffee from Dave Asprey is made with these ingredients:
- Filtered water
- 2 ½ tablespoons Bulletproof Coffee Beans
- 1 teaspoon to 2 tablespoon Brain Octane Oil
- 1-2 tablespoons grass-fed butter, or 1-2 teaspoons grass-fed ghee
Did you notice Dave Asprey doesn’t add cream to the Bulletproof Coffee (BPC)? The ingredients he uses are just fats.
Why drink Bulletproof coffee?
Dave Asprey, the creator of Bulletproof coffee, was introduced to something similar on a trip in the Tibetan Mountains. He was intrigued by the effect the drink had on his brain. The Brain Octane Oil, he now uses, is what we know as MCT Oil. You can buy MCT oil at Dischem or online. MCT Oil is a pre-curser to ketones, and it’s not metabolised like other (longer chain) fats. When we consume MCT Oil, the liver readily converts it into ketones.
Should you drink Bulletproof coffee?
Personally, I am not a huge fan of BPC. It doesn’t mean that BPC isn’t good for you or that drinking it isn’t a good idea.
I prefer to eat my calories instead of drinking 150-300 calories, which is typical calories in a Bulletproof coffee. Secondly, I don’t particularly like MCT Oil and find I am very sensitive to it. It raises my metabolism too much and makes me nauseous. If you don’t particularly like MCT oil either, you can experiment MCT Oil powder instead. This brand from Mojo Me is very nice but there are other or newer brands available as well.
If you’re doing keto, I encourage you to experiment with MCT oil, at least initially. MCT oil has a lot of benefits like Dr Berg explains in this video; The 15 Benefits of MCT Oil.
Is drinking MCT Oil a good idea?
Whether you want to incorporate Bulletproof coffee or MCT oil into your diet depends on your situation or goal. As I said, you have to experiment with it.
My average calories in a day are about 1400-1500 calories. The original recipe Bulletproof coffee recipe has 460 calories in. That’s a third of my calories in liquid form. When I started keto, and experimented with BPC, I adapted the recipe to have a little fewer calories than the traditional one from Dave Asprey and I reduced the MCT oil to only 1 teaspoon. (to avoid disaster pants). Nowadays, instead of having MCT oil or a BPC, I have Exogenous Ketone or BHB Ketones.
Exogenous ketones have the same effect as Bulletproof coffee or the MCT oil in it, so I prefer it.
To summarise. I prefer not to drink BPC because the MCT oil makes me feel nauseous and the high calories of the BPC is a bolus of fat calories whereas I could be eating something more nutrient-dense in a meal.
As I mentioned earlier, if you are interested in keto, you should experiment with Bulletproof coffee and decide for yourself. MCT oil does have tremendous benefits, but just be aware of the potential downsides of drinking Bulletproof coffee.
CAN I HAVE MILK IN MY COFFEE?
Unfortunately, milk is not keto-friendly
Milk is not keto; cream is. You cannot drink milk in your coffee because milk has a high amount of carbs in it. Milk also has an insulin response and causes inflammation.
When we are doing keto, we want to add fats to our day and consume as little as possible carbs.
Now, take a look at the nutritional facts labels of milk and cream below. Take note the serving size is 2 oz or about 60ml. Some people prefer just a dash of milk to colour their coffee, but most people drink their coffee quite “milky” (a lot of milk). As you can see from the labels below, the carb content of 60ml of milk is 2.7 grams. That’s if you have one cup of coffee. Let’s say you have three cups of coffee for the day. That’s 8.1 grams of your 20 grams of carbs in liquid form. Compare that to cream for example. Three cups of coffee with 60ml of cream is only 3.3 grams of carbs.
So, which cream is best to use on Keto?
The three types of cream from Woolies are the best to use as an illustration.
are some creams we have available in our stores that most of us will chose while on keto. Here in Johannesburg, we have local diary suppliers such as Doughlasdale, and Gauteng Dairy. Clover and Parmalat are two others that quickly come to mind.
Let’s look at the differences in fat content of each type.
Heavy cream is also referred to as heavy whipping cream or like this one here from Woolies is called Double Thick Cream.
Heavy cream has upward of 40 per cent milk fat, and it is the richest cream readily available. It also has a 0% Insulin index with only 1 gram of carbs per 100ml, which is zero if you’re adding a tablespoon to your coffee.
What is the Insulin Score? Insulin Score gives a percentage score for how strongly a food may stimulate insulin secretion, as secreting too much insulin is the hallmark of many unhealthy foods, like those containing added sugar and flour. This score matters most to people who are most affected by hyperinsulinemia, like diabetics. It helps planning meals that stimulate a low-normal rise in insulin all the while being truly nourishing.
Whipping cream usually contains upwards of approximately 30 -35 per cent milk fat. This one from Woolies is Whipping cream with 38,5g of milk fat. The one from Doughlasdale contains 34g of fat and falls in the same class as whipping cream.
Pouring cream contains the least amount of fat. In this case, it is the one from Woolworths coming in at 18,5g per 100ml.
Let’s look at the carb content of the three different types of cream
Heavy cream, because it contains more fat, will have fewer carbs.
Whipping cream instantly jumps to 3,3g of carbs per 100ml as the fat content drops. Whipping cream here is 3,3g and Doughlasdale at 3,1g per 100ml. Pouring cream has the most amount of carbs, which is a whopping 5g of carbs per 100ml.
Take a look at the table I’ve created comparing the fat, protein and carbs in each of the ones here.
Hopefully this post sheds some light on the subject to help you make an informed decision. Whether you decide to drink an original form of BPC with butter and MCT Oil, or perhaps add pouring cream or heavy whipping cream you need to consider your goal. If you have Insulin Resistance or Type II Diabetes, you may want to steer clear of milk in your coffee.
Just keep in mind, heavy cream contains the highest amount of fat, which is all good, but it can quickly start adding up your total daily calorie intake. If you are a heavy coffee drinker, say 3-4 cups a day with 20-30g of heavy cream, it can easily be 300 calories for the day.