MCTs will not only help you to reduce weight, they will also help you to reduce abdominal fat and inflammation and decreasing metabolic syndrome whilst improving cognitive function, leaky gut and hormones. They are a type of fatty acid that is derived from coconut oil. Consider MCT oil as a super fuel for your cells, because it boosts fat burning and increases mental clarity.
Medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs, are saturated fats with special properties. These properties enable the MCTs to be digested easily, and quickly converted into energy. In essence, they are fats that behave more like carbohydrates. MCTs, unlike long chain triglycerides, go right to the liver from the bloodstream. In this process, they can get shuttled into your cells’ power plant, called the mitochondria, to be used for fuel or to burn. Because of this efficiency, it means more energy for you—and better fat-burning ability.
- They digest easily and don’t get stored as fat
- They help your body cheat its way into ketosis and become fat-adapted
- They burn your own fat by creating ketones and increasing metabolic rate
- They boost energy and brain power
- They boost your metabolism
- They produce a thermogenic effect
- They’re burned by the body as fuel (instead of being stored as fat)
- They keep you full, control appetite and eliminate cravings
- They help heal the gut by removing harmful micro-organisms and optimise good bacteria growth in your gut
- They are anti fungal, antiviral and antibacterial
- They actually improve your cholesterol
- They help balance hormones
A recent study (NCBI) shows that the replacement of long chain triglycerides with MCTs in a diet induces reductions in body weight and composition due to their ability to enter the liver directly which quickly and naturally converts fats into ketones – readily used by our body rather than being stored as fat and encourage the body to continue to burn body fat for energy. After 8 weeks, the study showed MCTs help you burn about 460 extra calories a day for men and about 190 extra calories for women (sorry, ladies!), all while experiencing a 15% drop in triglycerides and LDL (the bad) cholesterol. And all these benefits occurred despite the fact that MCTs are a saturated fat.
Add MCT oil to your salad dressings, smoothies, coffee (hello Bulletproof coffee!), cook or marinade with it or consume as a supplement. 1-3 tablespoons daily is all you need – 1 tablespoon is about 88 calories. Add into your diet gradually because if you’re not used to MCTs it can give you diarrhoea and nausea, a common side effect which will subside within days.
MCT oil is a fat burning oil – it’s that little nudge to help you drop those last 10 to 15 stubborn kilos that just won’t go away.
Cholesterol & MCTs
What most people don’t know is that 90% of our cholesterol is produced by your liver which is needed to make bile, hormones and vitamin D. Consuming too much fat doesn’t necessarily increase your cholesterol, however the type of fat you consume is hugely important. The body can only use HDL (good fats) and not LDL (junk fat), thus LDL cholesterol usually ends up as a sticky plaque clogging your arteries (hello heart disease and stroke!). The arteries become narrowed and blood flow and oxygen to the heart is slowed or blocked which can eventually cause a heart attack. The saturated fat in MCT oil vs saturated fat found in a cheeseburger is not the same and studies consistently show that MCT oil increases the production of good cholesterol thus have a positive effect the risk of heart disease.
NOTE: Omega 6 fats, Olive oil and Coconut oil are NOT the same. Be sure to but MCT oil specifically containing 90-100% MCTs. Coconut oil has only 62% MCTs.
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By Kinga Czekalski
BODYIQ Founder, Nutritionist & IFBB Figure Champion
‘You are how you Eat+Move+Emote+Live!’