Fat is the New Sugar So Put it in Your Tea

You’ve heard of Bullet Proof coffee, haven’t you?

Touted as the ticket to weight loss and improved mental focus, an article published recently[1] on Livestrong.com had a bit of a bone to pick with it.

With statements including “BP coffee is a big cup of fat” which “may not lead up to its promises” that “could distract you from healthy eating habits”, the final takeaway provided by the author was to “avoid the diet hype and meanwhile, feel free to keep drinking your regular coffee in moderation, of course. You might not be bulletproof. But fit, healthy, lean and strong? You bet”.

While some valid points are made, I tend to disagree with that overall message.

I first learned about Dave Asprey and his coffee a few years ago when I was on the BP podcast.

I liked what the whole brand was about, so when I read the piece on Livestrong, it piqued my interest.

Dave Asprey[2], author of the New York Times bestselling book of the same name, created and trademarked Bullet Proof Coffee which is “a drink made of coffee blended together with grass-fed unsalted butter and ‘brain octane oil’, which contains the most valuable MCT in coconut oil, C8, from the heart of the coconut”, as he explains on his site[3].

If it’s sounding odd, take a moment to think about it.

What exactly sounds strange to you?

If you’re someone who’s used to putting some form of dairy in their morning cup of joe, it’s not really that far off the mark, aside from the fact that you may be one of the millions of people who are still under the impression that skim milk is the way to go.

Forget about your position on dairy or no dairy, Paleo or primal for a moment and let’s consider fat.

The right types of fat aren’t what will make us fat.

Sugar will do that, though.

A cup, one serving, of nonfat milk has 12 grams of sugar, obviously no fat and 86 calories, while a tablespoon, one serving, of unsalted, grass fed butter has no sugar, 11.5 grams of fat and just a touch over a hundred calories[4].

So if your typical go-to each and every morning is a nonfat latte with splenda, although you may feel you’re doing the right thing because the total calories are low, the opposite is actually true.

First of all, you’re not doing yourself any favors by eating fake sugar instead of the real deal.

In fact, studies have shown that people who used artificial sweeteners were twice as likely to develop diabetes as well as higher fasting insulin levels than those who didn’t[5]!

But even if you’re not adding in the aspartame or sucralose, and you’re straying away from butter due to fear of fat, you’re still not going down the right path.

Let me pause and mention that I’m certainly not on a mission to try to get people to start eating butter per se, as dairy isn’t part of a real paleo diet[6]; rather, just to point out that if you are, in fact, opting to consume dairy, you’re far better off choosing the full fat options (as well as making sure it’s organic, local and grass fed).

By going with a higher percentage of calories in your diet from fat, and again, it’s not just about eating butter, but eating a combination of fats such as coconut oil, avocadoes, olive oil as well as the fats we get in our wild fish and grass fed meats, we set ourselves up to become better fat burners.

In other words, when we train our bodies to use fat as its primary fuel source, rather than functioning on a carbohydrate roller coaster[7], we allow ourselves to be better fat-burning machines.

That’s right; eating more fat and less sugar is the way to go in terms of weight loss and many other health benefits even if weight loss isn’t one of your personal goals.

Ok, so back to the Bullet Proof coffee.

Turns out it’s actually not some new trendy drink; butter tea likely became a staple of the Tibetan diet soon after tea was introduced to the country during China’s Tang dynasty (618-907 AD). Butter tea may be an important part of cold, high-altitude diets. Above 10,000 feet, the human body loses water roughly as it would at sea level, making the risk of dehydration high. The addition of salt to this tea helps Tibetans (and non-natives) stay hydrated in the cold Himalayan Mountains[8].

The tea, made with yak butter, according to an article on NPR[9], may have been one of the inspirations of BP Coffee in the first place.

So yay or nay on the whole BP idea?

My personal recommendation is yay…with a twist.

As someone who truly believes in a real paleo approach, I concocted my own version of a blended coffee (or tea) using coconut butter, along with MCT oil.

Sometimes, I’ll top it off with some nutmeg or a dash of cinnamon.

I got over my fear of eating fat years ago and that, combined with the eating approach and more recently, some intermittent fasting I’ve been following myself and teaching others about for years, has proven successful for many people in terms of reaching their weight loss goals.

In addition, becoming better suited to rely on fat is instrumental not only for those very executives who want to be bullet proof, but also for athletes racing at even the highest level in sport.

It would be one thing if the message would be to add a heap of butter to your coffee and have it with a bagel or bowl of oatmeal or stack of pancakes; doing so would only be eating a cup of fat.

But by replacing all those refined carbs with a range of types of fats, we further ourselves down the path to fat adaptation, a lean body, a clear mind and a long list of health benefits.

And at this time of year, when so many are trying to balance enjoying the holidays versus ‘being on a diet’, what better time to start enjoying the fat?

Curious about my dairy free version?

Check out a recent recipe I wrote for The Paleo Diet’s Official Blog for Holiday Spiced Coconut Tea.




[1] “Is Hacking Your Coffee a Bad Idea? | LIVESTRONG.COM.” LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2015

[2] “Dave Asprey, Founder and CEO of Bulletproof.” Bulletproof. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2015.

[3] Recipe: How To Make Bulletproof Coffee.” Bulletproof. N.p., 10 Nov. 2010. Web. 01 Dec. 2015

[4] USDA Nutrient Database National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 2. USDA, n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2015

[5] “Insulin, Weight Gain and Artificial Sweeteners.” LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 04 Aug. 2015. Web. 01 Dec. 2015.

[6] “Questions about Milk | The Paleo Diet | Dr. Loren Cordain.” The Paleo Diet. N.p., 29 Mar. 2012. Web. 01 Dec. 2015

[7] “Low Carb Diets | Art and Science of Low Carb.” Art and Science of Low Carb. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2015

[8] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butter_tea

[9] “Tea Tuesdays: Butter Up That Tea, Tibetan-Style.” NPR. NPR, n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2015