The Science of MCT Oil
For a keto diet, healthy fats are a must and among those, MCT oil falls into a category of its own. A by-product of coconut oil, MCT oil is a concentration of fats that create energy almost instantly for your body and also generate a strong thermogenic effect (burning calories to create heat). Due to this, the oil promises a host of benefits ranging from enhanced weight-loss to better memory to heart-health.
WHAT IS MCT OIL?
MCT is an abbreviation of the oil’s chemical structure – medium chain triglycerides, also called medium chain fatty acids. They’re medium as they have only 6-10 carbon atoms. The oil is made from pure MCTs extracted from whole foods, specifically coconuts and palm oil. There are 4 different types of MCTs –
– Caproic Acid (6 carbons)
– Caprylic Acid (8 carbons)
– Capric Acid (10 carbons)
– Lauric Acid (12 carbons)
HOW IS IT DIFFERENT FROM COCONUT OIL?
The major difference between coconut oil and MCT oil is their MCT content. Coconut oil contains 55% MCTs while MCT oil contains 100% MCTs.
MEDIUM CHAIN FATTY ACIDS VS LONG CHAIN FATTY ACIDS:
Most commercially available oils such as soya, sunflower or canola are long-chain triglyceride oils (LCTs), which have 13 carbons or more. These circulate in your body and accumulate as fat in your cell and artery walls. Due to their size, they require pancreatic enzymes to be broken down and taken to the liver, where they get oxidized and become finally available as energy for the body. Compared to LCT oils, MCT oils are easily digestible, quickly absorbed by the body and metabolized into energy (in the form of ketones) in the liver. They do not require any enzymes to be broken down and are transported directly to the liver, making them the most efficient saturated fats in terms of energy production.
WHY IS MCT OIL GOOD FOR A KETO DIET?
Healthy fats can release ketones (energy molecules) in your body. When the body uses ketones from fat instead of glucose from carbs as energy, it enters into a state of ketosis. MCT oil is the power factor which releases ketones and makes them readily available for your body. As a result, your body can easily achieve ketosis and stay in that state.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF MCT OIL:
1. Helps weight loss
MCT is a form of healthy fat and hence keeps you fuller for longer, helping you avoid that pesky urge to snack. As it gets rapidly used up by your body as energy, it does not get deposited in your fat cells thereby lowering the risk of weight gain. Due to the release of ketones during the fat-burning process, MCT also gives you a metabolic boost and raises your energy, helping you exercise more and keep fit.
As MCT oil suppresses fat deposition, enhances metabolism and improves insulin sensitivity, it helps prevent many lifestyle diseases. It also may help prevent a combination of factors such as unhealthy levels of blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol that increases the risk for diabetes and heart disease.
MCTs are natural antibiotics and can kill certain types of harmful bacteria without affecting the beneficial bacteria. This leads to a better gut environment with an improved defense against harmful bacteria, fungi, and parasites. MCT also helps the gut by increasing absorbability of nutrients.
4. Improves memory
As our brain is made up majorly of fatty acids, we get more energy and have a clearer cognitive function when we supply our bodies with MCT oil. Ketones are able to pass through the blood-brain barrier and serve as fuel for the central nervous system, making MCTs a direct supporter of our brain health. People suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease have shown improvement when given MCT oil in their diet.
5. Easy to take
A typical dosage of MCT oil is 1 tbsp daily. It can be added to salads and smoothies or taken as supplements. Also great to be mixed with protein pre- and post-workout shakes as it is guaranteed to improve both training intensity and recovery.
HOW CAN I USE MCT OIL?
MCT oil can be used for cooking, ONLY when you are cooking at low temperatures or making raw snacks. Because it has a low smoking point, it should never be heated to temperatures above 150-160°C, the oil will oxidize and get broken down. You can alternatively use it to –
– Add it to smoothies and shakes
– Mix it with cacao powder while making a chocolate sauce
– Use it as a salad dressing
– Add it to dips (for vegetables, chips etc)
– Replace olive oil with it while making pesto
– Add it while making bulletproof coffee (check out our Keto Bulletproof Coffee Recipe here!)
Whether you are a child or an adult, a housewife or an athlete, this oil is a healthy choice for anyone and everyone. It is a source of pure, healthy fat which you can safely incorporate into your diet. As a major plus, it is also beneficial for a keto diet!
So start improving your nutrition today by adding MCT oil to your daily routine. Confused about product choices? Try our premium-grade Pure MCT Oil which is
– 100% naturally sourced from premium coconuts
– Has zero palm content
– Rapidly absorbed
– Rich in essential fats
– Ideal for a keto or LCHF diet
– Flavorless and odorless
- Abhisarika Das