MCT’s (AKA medium-chain triglycerides) are a form of fatty-acid chains that have recently gained popularity in the health & wellness community for the numerous health benefits that are observed upon their consumption. Found in Coconut oil and other oils, these fatty acid chains function uniquely in the body: Unlike longer & shorter fatty acids, MCT’s are easily absorbed and broken down by the liver, and because they are able to pass through the cell membrane, are essentially ‘cell fuel’ that do not require the energy-demanding enzymatic processing. Imagine if the oil we pumped out of the ground was able to directly fuel our cars without having to go through distillation & refining process to turn it into gasoline? This is exactly how the body treats MCT’s – no processing, no refining. MCT’s can be directly & easily converted into energy for the body to use.
Because the typical western diet often lacks the healthy fats (MCT’s) and instead offers energy in the form of Carbohydrates, the body becomes trained use carbs for energy, which requires more energy and processing. When the body cannot easily process carbohydrate fuel, it stores unprocessed fuel in the form of fat (love handles, stomach, under-arms – oh yeah, that’s where its going). MCT’s on the other hand are easy to process, and can transform the body from using carbs as fuel to using fat as fuel (called Ketosis).
Okay, so MCT’s are great in all, but where can I find them? Coconut oil does contain MCT’s, but in relatively small percentages as they are accompanied by other, less beneficial saturated fats. The best source of MCT’s are in purified MCT oil, which go through a specific purifying process to separate the most beneficial forms of fat. Amazon offers a 32oz. MCT oil supplement for $21.97. The recommended dose of MCT oil is 1-3 tablespoons per day, but it is advised to start with a teaspoon per day to acclimate the digestive system and avoid sour stomach.
Several scientific studies exist that show the benefits of MCT oil for weight management, increasing metabolism, increasing energy and improved cognitive function. A more ketogenic, fat-burning diet can certainly add a pep in your step and with an active lifestyle can certainly help get rid of those love handles. MCT oil may be the perfect supplement to a healthier, fat metabolizing body.