There has been a lot of hype recently about MCTs (medium chain triglyceride) and their many health benefits. I've even heard them described as a "weight loss miracle”. First of all, anything that claims to be a "miracle" or sounds too good to be true probably is, especially when it comes to weight loss. But while it may not melt all your fat off overnight, MCTs do have some significant health benefits.
Here’s what you need to know:
All oils contain long, medium or short chain fatty acids (or all three). There are four types of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) - Caproic Acid, Caprylic Acid, Capric Acid and Lauric Acid, all of which are known for their amazing health benefits. Coconut oil is the richest, all-natural source of medium chain triglycerides (50%!) and is the ONLY source that has ALL FOUR MCTs.
MCT oil however, usually contains just the three capra fatty acids, and NOT the lauric acid which is considered the most beneficial and is only found in coconut. MCT oil is sometimes marketed as "liquid coconut oil", but don't be fooled - lauric acid is what makes coconut oil solid at cool temperatures, so in order for MCT oil to stay liquid when refrigerated, the lauric acid must be removed. Silly humans, always thinking we can improve on nature...
Benefits of MCTs:
- They increase the amount of energy you use, and can contribute to fat loss. They also help you feel more satisfied, so you may be less likely to overeat.
- They go right from your digestive tract to the liver and provide a fast source of energy.
- People who eat coconut oil have a lower incidence of heart disease.
- Lauric and caprylic acids are antimicrobial and can keep bacteria, fungus (candida) and viruses in check.
- MCTs may improve the symptoms of brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Add some organic coconut oil to your morning smoothie for a natural energy boost or use it for sautéing vegetables. Either way it's delicious and since it has a high smoke point, it is ideal for med-high heat cooking.
What is most important to understand is that there is no “magic pill.” True health and ideal body composition can be achieved by addressing the root cause of food behaviors and symptoms and healing the body with healthy nutrition, fitness and lifestyle habits. And remember, the closer a food is to it's natural state, the healthier it is for you.