MCT oil is a new buzzword in the health and wellness space. But what exactly is it, and how can you use it? MCTs are short-chain fatty acids, a type of saturated fat that exists in various food sources and is metabolised differently than other fats. Because MCTs are not stored as body fat and are used for energy immediately, they have been linked to weight loss and improved heart health.
MCTs are short for medium-chain triglycerides. Most people only get MCTs in small amounts from foods like coconut oil and palm kernel oil. Coconut oil is about 50 per cent MCTs, while palm kernel oil comes in at around 30 per cent.
MCT oils are extracted from these sources using fractionation, or "fractional distillation." The liquid is heated until it turns into vapour (which makes up steam), then cooled so that it condenses into liquid form and drips out of the system as purified oil.
What is MCT oil?
Medium-chain triglycerides (MTCs) are the fat types in oil, including coconut oil or palm oil. Recent research suggests MCT oil has health benefits ranging from increased calorie consumption to reduced weight gain. More people are using MCT oils for their health benefits, which is partly due to the increase in ketogenic diets as well as the growing interest in the benefits of coconut oil for health reasons. Nutrients differ from fats in diets. Healthy fats are classified as monounsaturated or polyunsaturated.
MCT oil contains fewer calories per serving than coconut oil's ability
Unlike coconut oil, which contains less than half the MCT content of MCT oil and a significantly lower percentage of lauric acid, MCT oil is highly concentrated. It means that you'll get more health benefits from coconut oil than MCT oils for comparable calories. Suppose you want to reduce your calorie intake or lose weight without feeling hungry all day. This might be an essential point for you to consider when deciding which type of cooking fat or cooking medium should go into your kitchen pantry next time.
MCT oil may help you lose weight
- MCTs are a good source of energy, so they can help you feel full.
- The fat in MCTs is absorbed in the intestine and sent directly to your liver, which converts them into ketone bodies (a substance that can be used as fuel by your muscles or brain).
- An MCT oil supplement may help keep cravings under control if you're following a weight loss plan that requires you to avoid carbs.
There haven't been many studies on the effects of MCT oil on weight loss, but there have been some positive results. For example: In one study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers found that people who consumed coconut oil daily lost more abdominal fat and body weight than those who didn't consume any coconut products at all for 12 weeks.
The effects of MCT oil on weight loss are likely to vary by individual.
- If you are overweight, MCT oil may help you lose weight.
- If you are healthy, MCT oil may not help you lose weight.
MCT oil may increase exercise endurance
MCTs can be used as a quick energy source so that they can help you power through a workout. They also help your body recover from exercise and build muscles.
- MCTs can be used for energy during exercise. In one study, athletes who consumed MCT oil before and during exercise had improved performance compared to those who ate carbohydrates or placebos instead of MCTs (10).
- MCTs may improve recovery from exercise. Another study found that people who consumed an MCT supplement after exercising could regain their strength faster than those who took other supplements.
- MCTs may help build muscles. In several studies on rats and humans, researchers found that participants who took coconut oil supplements gained less fat than those who didn't take anything.
To learn more about improving your sports performance, see our information page here.
To reap the benefits, start with a small amount daily and gradually increase to 1–2 tablespoons per day over a few weeks.
Taking MCT oil for the first time can be intimidating, especially when you're not sure how much is too much. To avoid unpleasant side effects, it's best to start with a small amount daily and gradually increase over a few weeks. Start by taking 1–2 tablespoons daily and increase by one tablespoon increments every few days until you find what works best for you.
- Avoid exceeding six tablespoons per day
- Do not take more than 30 days at a time
In summary, MCT oil is an excellent addition to your diet if you're looking for a way to lose weight, increase exercise endurance, or boost brain function. It has many other potential benefits but can also cause gastrointestinal distress and other problems if taken in large doses or too quickly. As always, with any new supplement, make sure that you consult your doctor before trying it out!
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