Butter is not only shrugging off its unhealthy status in recent years, many are turning to it as a veritable health food.

Some coffee drinkers, like Dan Gunn in Victoria, B.C., are even putting down the cream and picking up the butter knife for their morning brew.

"Anybody I've given a cup of coffee to, they say, 'That's amazing,'" he said. "Whenever I'm making it, people ask me to make more of it."

Coffee

Some coffee drinkers are choosing butter over cream for their morning brew. (dongga BS via Photopin)

There are similar coffee-drinking practices in parts of central Asia, where tea is often blended with butter, salt and pepper.

In Singapore, coffee beans are sometimes sauteed in butter, margarine or lard before being ground and brewed.

In terms of flavour, butter is not entirely out of place in a cup of coffee. Lightly roasted, nutty coffee beans aren't far off in flavour from many foods that we normally eat with butter.

But what Gunn is doing isn't necessarily about the flavour. He's among a growing group of health-food advocates devoted to "butter coffee."

Dave Asprey is the CEO of a company called Bulletproof. Among products dubbed "aging formula," "brain octane oil" and "collagen protein," he sells coffee that, according to his website, is free of "performance-robbing toxins."

He advocates the addition of butter made from milk from grass-fed cows, and he markets the idea as a dietary lifestyle.

Marketing buzzwords aside, Gunn said buttered coffee is filling, and that drinking a cup in the morning allows him to avoid constant snacking in between meals.

"At the end of the day, I haven't felt hungry since I started doing this … like I've never had a hunger pang. Two weeks ago, I'd get up and eat my yogurt and granola and berries and by 10 o'clock I'd be ready for lunch," he explained.

"Since I started doing this, I haven't had that feeling at all."

That's partly why buttered coffee is being touted as everything from a nutrition supplement to a weight-loss aid.

Whether the marketing bears any truth, buttered coffee is proof of one thing  butter is back, and it's gaining acceptance among a segment of the population that had eschewed it for decades in favour of products with lower saturated fats.