The Secret Ingredient More People Are Adding to Their Coffee

Updated: Mar. 15, 2021

Fans swear it helps them lose weight.

Lots of coffee cups on white backgroundAfrica Studio/Shutterstock

When asked for your morning coffee order, you’ve probably only had to decide whether you like it black, or with milk and sweetener. But now there’s a new coffee additive in town—and fans of the popular keto diet are claiming it can help them lose weight. So, what are they putting in their coffee, exactly? Keto dieters are requesting coffee filled with butter and coconut oil instead of milk, the Wall Street Journal reports. You can find ready-to-drink butter coffee additives in coffee shops and on grocery shelves.

But how can butter, which has long been demonized for its artery-clogging saturated fat, help people lose weight? Adherents of the high-fat, low-carb keto diet say that the fat in butter and oil helps them feel satiated. Here are 15 things you need to know before going on the keto diet.

The concept dates back a few years to when Silicon Valley entrepreneur Dave Asprey drank tea with yak butter in Tibet, then came back to the United States and launched a company called Bulletproof. The company now has a line of coffees, energy bars, and supplements built on the concept. “People who have Bulletproof Coffee for breakfast don’t care for food until after lunch,” Asprey told the Wall Street Journal.

Nutrition experts are wary: “This is not the breakfast of champions,” Joan Salge Blake a clinical associate professor of nutrition at Boston University told the New York Times. She compares the trend to other fad plans like the grapefruit diet. “Whether it has long-term effects on weight management remains to be seen.”

Still, there are some supporters in the medical community for drinking butter and oil in your coffee. Mark Hyman, the director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, says the coffee contains medium chain triglyceride oil or MCT oil, which can help people feel fuller (like other fats). The body may break down these fats more quickly, as well, he says, making them less likely to get stored as fat on the body. If you’re looking to try it, check out the best MCT oils recommended by experts.

Does the idea of butter in your coffee still make you queasy? Try Hot Ginger coffee instead. See that recipe in action below: