Love it, Like it, Hate it: Butter + Butter Alternatives for Intermittent Fasting & “Bulletproof”-Style Coffee

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

We’ve just wrapped up our month-long #NOLAFastFor30 Challenge:  Daily 18-hour “intermittent fasting” with a 6-hour “eating window, ” and coffee frothed with butter is one of the only approved “fasting” beverages that has calories – other calorie-containing drinks, helping to make intermittent fasting sustainable for many.

But if butter in your coffee doesn’t sound appetizing, or you’re looking for plant-based, vegan alternatives, here’s the Skinny on Butter Alternatives for Intermittent Fasting & “Bulletproof”-Style Coffee.

Recap of #NOLAFastFor30 Challenge: 18 hours with without eating, with a 6-hour “eating window” per day.


Potential Benefits:  Improved energy, mental clarity and concentration, as well as better blood sugar and insulin levels. Intermittent fasting is also shown to improve cholesterol, blood pressure, body fat, metabolic rate, and is linked to reduction in risk factors for Alzheimer’s.


For full details including starter toolkit, shopping guide and meal plan, check out #NOLAFastF30 Facebook Group.



Bulletproof Coffee?  Although what Molly recommends for #NOLAFastFor30 coffee drinkers: 1-2 teaspoons coconut oil or butter, blended until frothy & creamy – is similar to Bulletproof coffee, it’s not the same:  Original Bulletproof Coffee recipe contains 8 ounces coffee + two tablespoons grass-fed, unsalted butter + 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil or MCT oil – easily 300-400 calories.

Why Coconut Oil or Butter in Coffee?

  • Zero impact on blood sugar/insulin levels, and therefore maintains a “fasting” state, even though it provides calories. Boosts energy and mental focus.
  • Adds creaminess and richness to coffee without sugars or carb-rich milk
  • Curbs appetite



Butter + Butter Alternatives for Intermittent Fasting & “Bulletproof”-Style Coffee


Coconut Oil

  • Per tablespoon: 120 calories, 14 grams fat, 12 grams plant-based saturated fat, 0 sodium
  • Texture like butter at room temperature; can use cup-for-cup in place of butter


MCT (Medium Chain Triglyceride) Oil

  • Per tablespoon: 120 calories, 14 grams fat, 12 grams plant-based saturated fat, 0 sodium
  • Unlike other types of fats (which are mostly long chain fats), MCTs are rapidly metabolized, meaning they’re more easily burned as energy and less likely to be stored as fat.
  • MCTs have also been shown to increase metabolism slightly, and help us feel fuller, faster.




Real Butter – Grass-Fed, Unsalted – e.g. Kerrygold or Vital Farms

  • Per teaspoon: 33 calories, 3.5 grams fat, 2.3 grams saturated fat, 0 – 30 mg sodium
  • Per tablespoon: 100 calories, 11 grams fat, 7 grams saturated fat, 0 – 90 mg sodium
  • Ingredients: Cream / Sweet Cream


Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spreads & Sticks + Smart Balance Original Spread

  • Per tablespoon: 90 calories, 10 grams fat, 2.5 grams plant-based saturated fat, 90 mg sodium
  • Ingredients include non-GMO vegetable oil blend (canola, palm soybean oil), pea protein, salt…




The following brands recently removed the trans fat from their product, but they’re still anything but natural


Bluebonnet Light Stick Margarine

  • Per tablespoon: 50 calories, 5 grams fat, 1 gram sat fat, 0 trans fat, 80 mg sodium
  • Ingredients include: water, vegetable oil, maltodextrin, preservatives potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, and calcium disodium EDTA, plus natural & artificial flavor…
  • Waxy texture; doesn’t melt well at all


Parkay Stick Margarine

  • Per tablespoon: 80 calories, 9 grams fat, 1.5 grams sat fat, 0 trans fat, 130 mg sodium
  • Ingredients include: vegetable oil blend, preservatives potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate, natural & artificial flavor…
  • Waxy texture; doesn’t melt well at all





Want more from Molly?  Click here to sign up for Nutrition Bites, her weekly e-newsletter with links to her Get the Skinny TV segments here on WGNO, and her weekly column in|The Times-Picayune!   And you can follow Molly on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram:  @MollyKimballRD

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.