Written by: Drew Canole
We’ve been talking about the benefits of coconut oil for a long time and maybe you’re confused about all the new hype about MCT oil. Today, I want to clear up any confusion and give you the best evidence-based info on MCT oil and all its benefits!
What Are Medium-Chain Triglycerides?
Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) are a type of fatty acid. Fatty acids are made up of carbon and hydrogen and are either long, medium, or short. Long chain fatty acids have 13-21 carbon, medium has between 6 and 12 carbon, short have fewer than 6 carbon.
MCTs are easy for the body to digest, break down and use as ENERGY. Think of it like this: long chain fatty acids are like whole pieces of fruit and medium chain fatty acids are like smoothies. A whole piece of fruit takes a lot of chewing to get down while a smoothie you can just swallow without much effort.
Where Can You Find MCTs?
MCTs can be found in several whole foods. Here are the best sources along with their percentage of MCTs compared to other fats:
- Coconut oil: 15%
- Palm kernel oil: 7.9%
- Cheese: 7.3%
- Butter: 6.8%
- Milk: 6.9%
- Yogurt: 6.6%
Some companies claim that coconut oil contains 50% or more MCT oil, but this is due to the lauric acid content, which comprises around 50% of coconut oil’s fat content. Whether or not lauric acid acts as a TRUE MCT in the body is controversial. The 15% I mentioned above is the Caprylic Acid and Capric Acid (both definite MCTs) found in coconut oil.
You can buy pure MCT oil in concentrated form. I would recommend always looking for MCT oil that is sourced from organic coconut oil, as the palm oil industry is responsible for major deforestation in large rainforests.
We’ve added MCT oil to our brand new Organifi Complete Protein. Check out the details below!
What Are The Benefits Of MCTs?
Due to their unique structure, MCTs have many impressive health benefits!
Easy To Digest
MCTs enter the bloodstream more quickly than other fats because they don’t need bile salts to be digested and they can enter without modification by the digestive system.
Because they don’t strain the digestive tract, they are a good choice for people who suffer from digestive issues, fat absorption problems or for those who have had their gallbladder removed.
May Help With Healthy Weight Loss And/Or Maintenance
Some studies have found that MCTs have a positive effect on fat burning, weight loss and prevention of long-term weight gain. Healthy fats, contrary to popular belief, do not cause weight gain, but actually help to prevent it. Healthy fats are vital for proper brain function, good sleep, energy, weight management and a strong immune system.
Good Energy Source
MCTs are unique in the fact that they do not require energy to be absorbed, stored or utilized! This makes them a perfect, fast-acting energy boost that can last for several hours. Because MCTs are processed in the liver by way of the hepatic portal system, they are absorbed quickly into the bloodstream without much hassle.
Recent research published in The Journal Of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods found that MCTs can help in the prevention of metabolic syndrome, which is responsible for conditions like hypertension, impaired fasting glucose levels, abdominal obesity and other similar conditions that are hard on the heart.
Healthy fats - like MCTs - are absolutely vital for proper brain function. A study published in 2014 found that the MCTs in coconut oil not only helped with memory problems, but even improved symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Your gut is the center to your health and wellbeing. MCTs not only give the digestive system a break, but also help to balance gut bacteria and fight off invaders because of their antiviral and antibacterial properties.
Healthy fat consumption is also vital to good nutrient absorption. In order to absorb certain fat-soluble vitamins in whole foods, you need to also consume healthy fats. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you’re not just what you eat, you’re what you absorb!
Because MCTs have a positive effect on both your brain and your gut, MCTs may also help to improve mood and overall feelings of clarity and wellbeing.
Better Immune System Function
As mentioned above, MCTs have antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. These help to fend off the bad guys while also strengthening the good guys. Studies have found that MCTs are more effective than long-chain fatty acids at protecting the body from infection.
Can Be Used In High Temperature Cooking
Did you know that a lot of commonly used cooking oils actually go rancid when cooked at high temperatures? That is why it is so important to use oils that can tolerate high heat when you are in the kitchen! Coconut oil and MCT oil can both withstand high heat without oxidizing. Another oil I love is avocado oil!
3 Ways To Use MCT Oil
MCT oil is tasteless so you can use it in a wide variety of ways!
Add 1 tsp of MCT oil to your favorite energy-boosting or pre-workout smoothie. If it is your first time using MCT oil, start with ½ tsp to see how your body reacts. Because MCT oil is used so quickly by the body, you may experience digestive disturbances if you try too much too fast.
Morning Madness Energy Shake Recipe
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup pineapple
- 1 tsp MCT oil
- 1 handful spinach
- 1/2 cup gluten-free oats (omit if following a grain-free lifestyle)
- 1 tbsp pumpkin seed protein
- 1 - 1 1/2 cups water
Instructions: Add all ingredients to a high power blender and blend to perfection. Enjoy immediately.
#2. Replace Other Oils
You can use MCT oil in the place of coconut oil in cooking or in the place of olive oil when making dressings.
#3. Baking Substitute
Making a dairy-free treat? You can use MCT oil in the place of butter or chocolate!
#4. Organifi Complete Protein
ORGANIFI COMPLETE PROTEIN is our very own VEGAN, GLUTEN FREE protein powder that doubles as a meal replacement when used as directed. Every morsel of each ingredient is 100% USDA Certified Organic. Each scoop is stuffed with 20 grams of antioxidant-rich plant protein. There’s no whey, casein, or even dairy. There are no animal products at all, no nuts and definitely NO allergens.
Organifi Complete Protein was made with your concerns in mind. So now, you never have to worry about inflammation, bloating, or stomach issues that most other protein drinks cause. You care about your health. You care about your family’s health. There’s no other protein drink with organic ingredients as supreme as Organifi Complete Protein.
Have you used MCT oil before? What has your experience been like? Comment below!
About The Author
Drew Canole is a rockstar in the world of fitness, nutrition and mindset, with a huge heart for others and doing his part to transform the world, one person at a time.
As the founder and CEO of Fitlife.TV, he is committed to sharing educational, inspirational and entertaining videos and articles about health, fitness, healing and longevity. He is also a best selling author and the founder of Organifi, an organic, incredibly delicious greens powder, chock-full of superfoods to make juicing easy no matter your busy schedule.