Coconut Oil In Coffee? Here Are 7 Reasons To Give It A Try
Coconut oil in coffee, really. Hey, don't knock it until you've tried it although I must admit that I was a skeptic too until I gave this coffee concoction a try, now I can’t get enough. I've always loved anything that has coconut in it, but the idea of infusing my favorite hot beverage and coconut together never crossed my mind until I recently stumbled across a magazine article explaining the benefits of coconut oil in coffee and why I should give it a try.
It’s not just me that has found a new love for this infusion there are many other health conscious coffee lovers that swear by this coconut brew too. Even though adding coconut oil to your coffee seems like a new passing fad, people in Asia and the Pacific Rim have been enjoying the benefits of coconuts for thousands of years.
But it wasn't until around the 1950’s that the western part of the world caught up and coconut oil gained popularity with the masses; it was then found in almost every household. However, it’s only recently that adding coconut oil to coffee has become a “thing”; you should give it a try, at least once!
What Is Coconut Oil Coffee?
Adding fats such as butter, ghee, coconut oil or even eggs to your coffee isn't anything new and has been around for a long time. However, Dave Asprey with his “Bulletproof Coffee” creation is probably the reason why coconut coffee has started to gain popularity in recent years.
Asprey found love and inspiration for his coffee concoction after traveling to Tibet and sampling traditional yak-butter tea drinks. Using traditional recipes as his foundation, he adds butter, his own branded coffee beans, and oil he calls “Brain Octane” which is basically 100% pure coconut oil.
However, you don't need to fall prey to the “Bulletproof Coffee” marketing hype that can often see you spending double or triple on a healthy coffee infusion. In fact, you can reap many of the health benefits simply by adding plain old coconut oil to your coffee.
Forget the grass fed butter and brain exploding octane; coconut oil is all you need. It’s a cheaper and is a more easily accessible option for most who don’t want to buy into the branded product. Plus there's a lot of scientific evidence supporting the benefits of coconut oil in coffee, minus the marketing hype!
[The Good] Benefits Of Coconut Oil In Coffee
1. Fights Infection
Lauric Acid is found in abundance in coconut oil. This fatty acid has antimicrobial effects against many different organisms. Three studies have shown that Lauric Acid has some impressive abilities.
One study showed inhibitory effects on a strain of bacteria called Staphylococcus Aureus which is known to cause serious illness.
A second study found that Lauric Acid could be effective against gram-positive bacteria.
A third study found that the fatty acids in coconut oil can be a useful treatment of fungal infections, more specifically Candida which is quickly becoming resistant to conventional drug therapies.
2. Can Increase Your Metabolism
Coconut oil can be classed as a “thermogenic” food meaning that when you consume it, your body burns more fat due to an increased energy expenditure. Now the effects aren't mind-blowing, but if you only consume 1-2 tablespoon of coconut oil per day, you can expect to burn off an extra 120 calories.
Coffee is also known for is effects on the metabolism. One study showed an increase of around 3-4%, which is a loss of about 80 extra calories. So adding coconut in coffee is a winner if you want to lose a few pounds!
3. Improves Digestion
Both ingredients in the coconut oil coffee infusion will keep your digestive system ticking along nicely. Coconut oil is well known as a natural laxative and helps to lubricate the digestive system.
Caffeine found in coffee is also a natural stimulant that helps to prise open our morning eyes and sets you up on the right foot when you head off to work. Caffeine also helps the muscles, including the muscles found in the large intestine and aids in preventing constipation.
4. Gives You An Energy Boost
It’s not only the caffeine from the coconut oil coffee that gives you an energy boost. Coconut oil contains a large amount of medium chain fatty acids which are converted to energy a lot faster than the longer chain varieties. So when you combine coffee and coconut oil, you’re getting much more of a healthy energy boost that’s guaranteed to prise open the most tired of eyes! Throw that Red Bull in the trash!
5. Helps You Eat Less
Along with the direct calorie-burning powers of coconut oil, it may also aid in stopping you from overeating. Recent studies have shown that by consuming just a little coconut oil can make you feel fuller for longer which in turn helps to reduce snacking in between meals. A small study discovered that those who supplemented with coconut oil ate roughly 250 calories less throughout the day.
Caffeine found in coffee is also known for its appetite suppressing attributes. One study showed that a group of male participants consumed just over 20% fewer calories when ingesting caffeine compared to a control group of participants.
6. Can Boost Brain Function
The combination of coffee and coconut oil is a great beverage to drink before going to work, here's why. Caffeine found in coffee is known as a mental stimulant and helps to increase alertness, coconut also has some impressive effects on the brain too and can even help to treat Alzheimer’s disease.
There's been a lot of buzz around this recently, and research has been conducted between the links between Ketone Bodies and Alzheimer disease. Ketone bodies can aid in feeding the brain cells which helps to relieve symptoms. The research is still in its early days but looks promising.
What this means for healthy brains is unknown, but if there is a small chance that adding coconut oil to my coffee will keep my brain healthy I'm all for it!
7. Keeps Your Blood Sugar in Check
Your blood sugar is controlled by insulin so to keep our bodies in tip-top shape we want to keep our blood sugar levels stable. If blood sugar levels are constantly spiking and dropping you'll be left with mood swings, food cravings, and loss of energy.
Most of the food we eat has an effect on your insulin release, but coconut oil doesn’t! So by adding coconut oil to your coffee you can help to control your insulin levels and stop any unwanted symptoms. Coconut oil also helps your cells to bind with existing insulin which helps to make the whole process much more efficient. (source)
[The Bad] Coffee With Coconut Oil Controversy
Even though the benefits of coconut oil in coffee are unprecedented, there are a few concerns with regular consumption. However, the scientific community is going back and forth whether coconut oil is the elixir it claims to be, but as it stands at the time of writing the health benefits outweigh the negative in my opinion
I like to show you both sides of the coin so here are a few of the debates when it comes to coconut oil.
1. High In Saturated Fat
It's drummed into us that saturated fat is something we should try to avoid. Having too much saturated fat in your diet can lead to an increase in bad cholesterol in your blood which in turn can lead to heart disease and stroke. (source)
The American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fat consumption to under 13 grams per day (which is about 1 tablespoon of coconut oil). So if your diet includes other sources of saturated fat, you should ideally be limiting your consumption of coconut oil.
As tasty as coconut coffee is I recommend that you don't drink it every day. I typically drink only three a week, when I don't have a big breakfast. The other days I find other inventive ways to add flavor to coffee when I'm not drinking it black!
If you are concerned about the amount of saturated fat in your diet, it's a good idea to have your cholesterol levels measured every six months by your doctor. By doing this you'll have a better understanding if coconut oil in your coffee is causing any problems and then make adjustments to your diet if needed.
2. High In Calories
Let's not forget that coconut oil is FAT so there for it naturally contains calories. As tasty as adding coconut oil into your daily coffee is if you go overboard you WILL gain weight. If you're concerned about your weight add less than a tablespoon of coconut oil to your coffee and keep track of your calories to make sure you're still within your goals.
3. Unhealthy Meal Replacement
Coconut oil in coffee for weight loss isn't going to work, here's why. Many dieters think that by drinking coconut coffee and skipping a good breakfast completely will allow them to lose weight. But, by doing that they are missing out on a lot of much-needed minerals and essential vitamins.
Have your coconut coffee with some scrambled eggs which are packed full of goodness and much needed protein!
Coconut Oil Coffee Recipe
So now you know the good, the bad, and the ugly regarding coconut oil in coffee it's probably time to give this concoction a try. Making coffee with coconut oil is actually pretty easy once you know how.
You'll need a good quality blender (I recommend the Nutri Ninja personal blender) unless you want to have an oily layer floating on top of your coffee, YUK!
- 1 cup of coffee, brewed the way you like it (AeroPress, V60, French Press, or even drip is fine)
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (you can experiment!)
- A sliver of unsalted butter
- Quarter teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Condensed milk
- Raw egg
Make your coffee the way you like it and pour into your blender with a tablespoon of coconut oil (or more to taste). Blend until your coffee with coconut oil lightens in color, about 20 to 30 seconds. At this stage you can drink or add in other ingredients and blend for a further 20 seconds or until thoroughly combined. Super Easy!
Can You Use Any Type Of Coconut Oil In Coffee?
Unfortunately, it's not as simple as going to your local store and buying the first coconut oil you find. Many of the cheap oils will have additives which aren't ideal. I recommend buying only Virgin Coconut oil like this, especially if you're going to be adding it to your coffee. Virgin coconut oil is made from fresh coconut meat, unlike the cheaper varieties which are chemically processed.
Last Words: Adding Coconut Oil In Your Coffee
Coconut oil comes with an abundance of health benefits (and a few negatives) from helping to keep your blood sugar in check to maintaining a healthy weight and even boosting your brainpower there's no reason not to give this coconut coffee infusion a try.
However, I’m a firm believer in consuming everything in moderation, and coconut oil coffee is no exception, it should NOT be drunk like its going out of fashion; three or four cups a week and you'll reap the benefits.
If you love adding processed coffee creamers to your brew try swapping it out for coconut oil. Although it may sound strange, the result is actually highly nutritious and delicious. If you've given coconut oil coffee a try let me know how you got on below in the comments.