Now and again, a “health” trend comes around that blows your mind. Sometimes, very occasionally, you learn something new. But mostly, these fads are marketing gimmicks designed to earn as much money for their creators as possible before they burn out.
Butter coffee is an excellent example of this. For many years, there’s been a group of people in the field of nutrition who argue that humans should eat fat and shirk carbohydrates. The first mass iteration of this was the Atkins diet, followed by other dietary regimens, including modern-day Paleo and keto.
The idea here is that carbohydrates spike insulin, which leads to metabolic dysfunction, so we should avoid them. That’s led to the notion that eating as much fat as you like is a good thing, so adding butter to coffee makes sense. Why limit yourself to cream?
The Problem With Butter Coffee
Surprisingly, the problem with coffee isn’t caffeine. As an article on Smart Fitness Results points out, coffee actually makes an excellent pre-workout.
No – the main issue here is the butter itself. And we’re not just talking a single pat, once a week. We’re talking about great globs of the stuff, several times per day.
Let’s start with the idea that carbohydrates are bad because they spike insulin and lead to conditions like diabetes. There’s no doubt that carbs do lead to increased levels of insulin the blood. That shows that the body is working correctly. The pancreas releases insulin to allow glucose to get into cells. Without it, you’d die.
The argument is that the more insulin you have, the worse your health will be – and again, that’s true for the most part. But here’s the kicker: not all carbs are the same. White bread and candy bars are both carbohydrate foods that spike insulin a lot – but oatmeal and beans barely shift the needle. What’s more, if you cut animal foods from the diet, you can reverse conditions like diabetes when you feed carbs in their natural form.
The problem with butter coffee is that it loads the body with saturated fats – a dominant type of fat in dairy foods. These fats then cause inflammation on the lining of the artery walls, which leads to the creation of plaques that cause heart disease and stroke. This information has been around since at least the 1970s, and yet people continue to drink butter coffee as if it is mana from heaven. It is nothing of the sort.
The good news is that there are many healthier drinks out there.
If you love milky coffee, try a plant-milk latte. It tastes pretty much the same as the original dairy variety, especially if a barista makes it for you.
If you want to take your health regime even further, you might want to try green or hibiscus tea. Both of these plants contain potent compounds that improve the way that you feel.
And for those who don’t like warm drinks at all, there’s always water.