Is It Healthy To Put Fat In Your Coffee? (And My 3 Favorite Fatty Coffee Recipes)

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You are no doubt familiar with the current craze of dumping everything from butter to coconut oil to MCT oil to ghee into what your grandparents would have consumed as a no-frills, plain ol’ cup of coffee.

But there is definitely something to this trendy practice of going beyond black coffee. Don't get me wrong: as I report on in detail in this recent podcast, there are a host of benefits that accompany up to 4-6 or more cups of coffee per day! However, when blended with fats, cognitively enhancing cholesterols found in the mighty coffee bean, including cafestol and kahweol, can cross the blood-brain barrier, increasing the cognitive benefits of the coffee and extending the mental boost to a level beyond that which caffeine can provide. In addition, adding fats to coffee can keep you satiated for long periods of time without the hassle of taking time to prepare and eat complicated meals, can boost ketone production if MCT or coconut oil is used, provide anti-inflammatory, gut-feeding microbiome effects from butyric acid if butter is used, and even provide a slight elevation in metabolic rate due to the thermogenic effect of combining caffeine and MCT oils.

So I am certainly a fan of blending fat into your coffee. But you also can’t consume oodles of saturated fat in large doses without taking some steps to mitigate the potential damage. For example, the long-chain fatty acids found in coconut oil can cause a rise in inflammatory T cells that, if left unchecked, can lead to and exacerbate autoimmune diseases or gut discomfort. The short-chain fatty acids found in vegetables can reverse this damage, so if you do add coconut oil or MCT oil to your coffee, make sure to consume several servings of vegetables throughout the day, especially antioxidant-rich greens, herbs and spices. In other words, don't have fatty coffee for breakfast, sardines and an avocado for lunch, and a ribeye steak for dinner (with perhaps a paltry side serving of vegetables) and expect your cholesterol, inflammation and other biomarkers to respond favorably. A better scenario would be a fatty coffee for breakfast, a giant salad for lunch, and boatloads of roasted vegetables with dinner. You also have to understand that you are often drinking many, many calories in a fatty coffee beverage (more than you'd think – remember: fat is twice as calorically dense as protein or carbohydrates), so it counts as a full meal and isn’t best consumed along with, say, a big plate of bacon and eggs – assuming you care about the size of your waistline. And finally, a cup of high-calorie coffee will definitely take you out of a fasted state if intermittent fasting is your thing, although because it is unlikely to spike glucose or insulin levels, it is one of the better choices for staying “semi-fasted”.


My 3 Favorite Fatty Coffee Recipes

So since without further ado, here are a few of my latest, favorite fatty coffee recipes to get your creative wheels churning: two hot (for those chilly, fall or winter days or when you crave the comfort of a hot brew) and one cold (for a pre- or post-workout pick-me-up or a cognition-enhancing treat on a warm summer day).

Coffee-Cacao Sipper

Prepare yourself for an intense chocolate-sipping experience with a hint of java. In a blender (I pretty much only use a smaller Nutribullet these days for my coffee recipes, as a big countertop blender like a Blendtec or Vitamix is unnecessary, unwieldy and leaves too much of your coffee goodness stuck to the sides of the blender jar), add the following ingredients and blend for one full minute:

-12 to 16 oz hot coffee (of course, I prefer the organic Kion variety)

-2 tbsp organic cacao powder

-1 tbsp coconut butter or coconut manna (warning: both are an ambrosia-like, addictive substance!)

-1 tbsp almond or other nut butter

-1 tsp Ceylon cinnamon (this helps to control blood sugar)

-1 dropperful organic butterscotch toffee or vanilla stevia

-1 scoop collagen (optional, but good for active individuals)

-1 pinch cardamom or rosemary (optional, but blending coffee with these compounds enhances the free radical-scavenging and antioxidant properties of coffee).

Oh, and be careful when you open the lid. This stuff can get a bit fizzy. Just ask my wife, who has – perhaps more than once – been forced to assist me with cleaning a coffee explosion off the kitchen walls.

Crunchy Coffee Frosty

This next one is a bit more like a milkshake-coffee combo with a bit of a superfood crunch ad at the end. Into your blender, add the following ingredients:

-8-12 oz cold coffee

-4 oz full-fat, organic, BPA-free coconut milk or (tastier yet) coconut cream

-2 tbsp organic cacao powder

-1 tsp Ceylon cinnamon

-1 dropperful organic butterscotch toffee or vanilla stevia

Purée until the mixture is smooth, adding water and ice to texture as necessary. After blending, top with or stir in 1) cacao nibs and 2) unsweetened coconut flakes. I'll occasionally even break off a few chunks of a nice, very dark chocolate bar and stir that in instead of the cacao nibs.

Ghee-Coconut-Cacao Coffee

This wonderful morning brew keeps me satiated for hours, and the added cacao offers a nice boost of dopamine too.

-1 tablespoon organic ghee (optional, and you can always simply double up on the coconut options below)

-1 tablespoon coconut butter or coconut manna

-1 dropperful organic stevia (I prefer Omica Organics vanilla or butterscotch toffee flavor)

-8 ounces hot coffee (I occasionally use two packets of Four Sigmatic Chaga as an alternative to coffee)

-2 tablespoons cacao tea (I recommend the MiCacao brand)

Blend for 60-90 seconds.

Now don't get me wrong: there's nothing wrong with a big black cup o' joe, but occasionally it's fun to spin the brain's dials with inventive deliciousness.

OK, your turn! What are your favorite inventive coffee recipes? Leave them below, along with any questions you have, and I'll read through all the recipes and try a few of the ones that look the best. Finally, you can click here to save up to 16% off Kion Organic Coffee which, based on the third-party independent laboratory tests I talk about here, is the purest, most-antioxidant rich coffee that exists, bar none. Enjoy!

Ask Ben a Podcast Question




32 thoughts on “Is It Healthy To Put Fat In Your Coffee? (And My 3 Favorite Fatty Coffee Recipes)

  1. Karine says:

    One of my favorites is cacao butter (1 big chunk) with MCT oil (1 tbsp.), coconut cream, collagen, and cinnamon. Sometimes I will add either wild orange or peppermint oil from DoTerra for that added “umph”. NomNom

  2. Manuela says:

    P.S. Just discovered my favorite – ORANGE coffee – by mistake last month:
    add 1-2 drops of Wild Orange essential oil (doTerra). Oh my… !!

  3. Manuela says:

    Hey Ben, love your work!!

    So I’ve been doing IF & cyclical keto for about 1&1/2 year – that works great – BUT since I usually have my coffee (cream, coconut oil, & collagen) on an empty stomach I have noticed that it tends to give me acid reflux problems, despite the fact I don’t have low acid, h-pylori, or any other digestive problems.

    I eliminated the fat in coffee for a bit – it didn’t change. I eliminated coffee for a while – reflux went away. S**t!

    What’s your take on the low-acid vs high-acid levels as far as acid reflux is concerned?

    It’d be really great to have a podcast on the various theories concerning GERD.

    Much appreciation!

    1. One thing you can try is brewing your coffee using a paper filter… It will filter out some of the chlorogenic acid which is one of the main antioxidants in coffee, but is often associated with increased heartburn. So it's a bit of a give and take, but could be a way to help you enjoy coffee and get all of the other great antioxidants and health benefits. Good resource to check out: https://goo.gl/2HmkDL

      1. Try a french press / cold coffee press. Ive never heard of anyone getting acid reflux / heartburn from drinking cold pressed coffee

  4. Jeremi says:

    Welp, I need to up my coffee game here…thanks for the recipes, Ben!

    My recipe is simple and practical for my life. In a ceramic thermos, I put:

    – 1 tbsp grass-fed butter
    – 1 tbsp brain octane from BP
    – 12oz of coffee
    – Cinnamon
    – 1 scoop of vanilla collagen protein
    – Shake it all up, then enjoy

  5. Dave says:

    12 oz coffee
    1 tbsp ghee
    1 tbsp collagen protein
    1 tsp almond butter
    Pinch of pink Himalayan salt
    Dash of Ceylon cinnamon
    Liquid organic stevia to taste
    A few drops of vanilla extract

    Mix well with an immersion blender

  6. matt says:

    This is what I rock in my later morning coffee!
    https://levelupsuperfoods.com/

  7. anne says:

    Thanks Ben.
    Will the coffee enema release more stored toxins since the liver gets more activated? I am asking, since I am nursing.
    Another one: we have a portafilter espresso machine, how many espressos per 1 Liter enema?
    Great show, greetings from Germany,
    Anne

  8. Liza says:

    I was listening to a podcast of a scientist that said fat can not penetrate an adult brain. Basically once we are adults our brains don’t need or can’t been use fat. Does this mean all this fatty coffee trend is a placebo effect? If fat doesn’t even reach our brains and is unnecessary why bother with all the extra calories?

  9. Chris in Portland says:

    Stainless steel coffee cone
    Organic coffee, 90% decaf, 10% caff
    Collagen scoop
    Ghee, about 1 Tbsp.
    Coconut oil, about 1 tsp.
    Place collagen & fats into a large serving mug, pour over into my serving mug 1/2 way and then finish the pour over into a stainless travel mug, then immersion blend the mug with fat and pour in the rest of the coffee. Minimal cleanup, simple and delicious. The key to this is finding an awesome decaf, which isn’t very easy. Mine is a local one from Portland.

    I tried the MCT, but it messes with my stomach.

    Cheers,
    Chris

  10. Terrance James says:

    Wow great read, I love my coffee, this article has similar notions from World Health Org I found scary and insightful https://fatburningsciences.wordpress.com/2018/12/10/over-39-of-adults-suffer-from-obesity-worldwide-according-to-world-health-organisation/

  11. Siegfried says:

    2 cups organic coffee
    1 raw egg
    1 tbsp cacao powder
    1 tbsp ghee
    hazelnut stevia

    use an immersion blender to mix

  12. Darren says:

    I always put fat on when I have significant amounts of saturated fat.

    Had my 23andme dna checked and I’m MCAD carrier, APOE 4/3 and MTHFR hetero. Been told to minimise saturates. What are your thoughts on this?

    Does dna override saturates or am I doing something wrong?

    I take methyl folate/B12 btw.

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Darren–did you have someone to help you interpret the raw data from 23and me? I have looked at my raw data chromosomes but need a helping hand for all the interpretations. Appreciate any help

      1. Darren Pyefinch says:

        Hi Sarah, yeah I used Geneticlifehacks (Debbie Moon). She’s cool.

  13. Brittany Abbey says:

    I like the four sigmatic dark roast with chaga and lions mane mushrooms, califia pumpkin spice creamer with salted caramel mct powder, cinnamon, pure c8 oil, a teaspoon of vanilla ghee, some cordyceps powder, pine pollen if I’m sore from working out and collagen if Ive already worked out or if I have been fasting intermittently too much and need to ignite my metabolism a bit. Have you ever done this, fasted intermittently too much to a point you feel you’ve lowered your metabolism? What are your thoughts on fasted training vs taking some BCAAs? Also if I’m sweetening I use monk fruit not stevia anymore I heard that the monks used to think the fruit made them smarter have you heard anything to this effect? Merry Christmas 🎄😊I’m going to do my gratitude journal I got from you now🙌🏻🙏🏻💗

    1. That's a heck of a concoction… I train in a fasted state regularly with EAAs, not BCAAs: GetKion.com/aminos … BCAAs essentially are only burnt as fuel w/o anabolic effect. With EAAs you get both. Great podcast with Dr Minkhoff going into it more: https://goo.gl/S1Jn3s

  14. Aja Barto says:

    Great stuff as always Ben! I know you discuss proponents of the coconut like MCT oil and coconut oil, but what about coconut milk (most specifically this brand: https://www.amazon.com/100-Coconut-Milk-6-pack-Ar…

    Same benefits and detriments (of the long chain fatty acids)?

    1. I like the Native Forest Organic coconut milk: https://goo.gl/9V8gXU

  15. Eric says:

    Watch out the nutribullet blender for hot liquids. I’ve had it crack and explode on me more than once. It’s made entirely of plastic which not only adds bisphenol compounds (BPA free is often a sign of BPS which is more toxic), but adds micro particles of plastic to the food, especially with hot food.

    I found a good plastic-free blender called the tribest. It’s pricy but perfect for hot liquids, such as coffee. If someone finds other good plastic-free blender, please reply.

    https://www.amazon.ca/Tribest-PBG-5050-Personal-B…

    1. Bob says:

      A basic Oster blender from Costco or Target still has a glass blender jar and works great for these coffee recipes. They’re usually around $30. The only issue is the cheap plastic thing that holds the blender blades onto the jar will crack after a few months, so buy a couple of them on Amazon so you’re prepared.

    2. RoJo says:

      A submersion blender/hand held stick blender is a game changer for ease and cleanup and space.

  16. Harold Bonacquist says:

    I have my breakfast coffee black, with eggs scrambled in butter. Won’t that accomplish the same thing?

    1. John Teske says:

      Nope, in order to be cool and trendy the butter has to go directly into the coffee, and try not to get too much on the beard.

    2. John Teske says:

      In all seriousness, it has to be pure fat, and not only pure fat, but a type of fat that works well with the caffeine and cholesterols within the beans to effectively cross the blood-brain barrier and enhance cognitive function.

  17. Keith says:

    what about some of the research coming out in regards to stevia being bad for different hormone production. I can’t remember the exact information right now, and what I do remember I’d prorbably bastardize, but just curious what your thoughts were on that Ben. Love what you do and you’re a constant inspiration, just asking cause I love stevia

  18. Jeff says:

    I too have had to clean up my fair share of mess from a steam pressurized coffee bullet…. TIP for get all your of your added goodness keep a 1/4 – 1/2 cup of coffee a side… then after you have poured out your beverage use the small amount of hot coffee to retrieve the residue of added ingredients off the side walls of your blender or bullet

    1. Brittany Abbey says:

      You are a genius thank you 😊

  19. David says:

    My dairy-dominant variation adds ghee and mct to coffee and cocoa powder along with cinnamin and vanilla, and then with the blender running, several egg yolks at the end. I don’t use sweetener unless I’ve thrown in BHB salts which also call for a bit of almond extract. Velvety like a custard sauce and holds me until about 4 PM. (I start the day with black coffee and kettlebellls and make this concoction around 8-9 AM).

  20. Mickey Ørn Alberten says:

    Would be nice to see you touch upon a favorable food composition in terms of common fat sources and their omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids in the wake of a day to migate pro-inflammatory effects.

  21. Ivo says:

    Fun article.

    Didn’t know about the gut-feeding microbiome effects from butyric acid with butter. Thx!

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