Coconut oil has a colonial cousin. What? Yeah, this oil is also a great source of healthy fats and has umpteen uses in cooking and cosmetics industry. But it is slightly more concentrated than coconut oil. It is MCT oil.
What is the full form of MCT?
No guessing here (nothing Greek or Latin here).
MCTs are Medium Chain Triglycerides (of Medium Chain Fatty Acids). Meaning, MCT oil has fatty acids of a certain length (going by the name). It is a translucent and tasteless oil (it’s in a liquid state when kept at room temperature) made up of one or more of medium chain triglycerides.
Coconut oil is a great source of MCTs. About 62 to 65% of the fatty acids in coconut oil are MCTs.
Difference Between Medium Chain Fatty Acids Vs. Long Or Short Chain:
Okay, we go back to the class. Will not hold you much, nor bore you.
All fats are made of carbon and hydrogen but ‘length’ is the point of variance.
While Short Chain fatty acids have 5 or fewer carbons, Medium Chain fatty acids have 6 to 12 carbons and Long Chain have more than 12 carbons.
The Medium Chain Triglycerides are “beneficial fats” because they are easy to digest. These fats are processed in the liver, unlike other food items which are metabolized during the later stages of digestion.
Hope you got this part right? Let’s find out the source points of MCTs.
Sources Of MCTs:
Ah! It’s important to know this. Following are the sources of MCTs –
- MCT oil
- Coconut oil
- Palm oil
- Whole milk
Types Of MCTs:
Based on their carbon length, MCTs can be divided into four groups –
- 6 carbons (C6), caproic acid
- 8 carbons (C8), caprylic acid (6% of coconut oil)
- 10 carbons (C10), capric acid (9% of coconut oil)
- 12 carbons (C12), lauric acid (more than 50% of coconut oil)
The general rule is:
Shorter the carbon chain, more efficiently the MCT will be converted into ketones. And what are ketones? They are an excellent source of energy for our body.
Knowing the benefits of MCT oil will make the whole thing a lot clearer to you.
Benefits Of MCT Oil:
Over to the MCT oil benefits… it is beneficial in several ways:
1. Easy To Digest: The good thing about MCTs is that they don’t need bile salts for digestion. In fact, they can get into the bloodstream directly from the digestive system without being modified like long chain fats.
Since they are easy to absorb as well as use, MCTs are good for those who suffer from digestion problems, absorption of fat or lack a gallbladder in the first place.
Any theory which establishes MCT oil as a quick-digesting fat?
Mark Hyman, M.D., author of Eat Fat, Get Thin calls MCT oil “the secret fat that makes you thin.”
According to Dr. Hyman – MCT oil is a “super fuel” for your cells because it “boosts fat burning and increases mental clarity.”
2. Good Source Of Energy: Since MCTs are processed in the liver, they are absorbed quickly and give energy faster. Luckily, they don’t have to pass through a long-drawn process of getting stored in the body first. They are a perfect source of natural energy. Add MCT oil to your health care regimen and get the extra kick of energy.
Why will we all love MCTs (and therefore MCT oil)?
Because it is not stored in our body as ‘fat’ but burned by our body for ‘energy’.
3. Hormone Supporter: Fats are needed for hormone production in the body. MCT oil is pretty good for those of you struggling with a hormonal imbalance.
4.Boost Gut Health: The MCT oil has many anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties which help in boosting digestive health. They also combat disease-causing bad bacteria.
5.Improves Immunity: Once again, it is the anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties that make MCT oil good for immunity.
Tips To Use MCT Oil In Recipes:
The good thing about MCT oil is that it has no taste or smell. So you can start your intake of it. But watch out for the quantity you are taking. Start with half a teaspoon and work your way up to 1 tablespoon.
Here are some clever ways to get more MCT oil in your diet.
- Make mayonnaise at home in a blender (use MCT oil, an egg yolk, Extra virgin olive oil, lime juice n salt)
- Whisk a salad dressing (what to use for it? MCT oil, raw honey, Dijon mustard, and your favorite herbs)
- To smoothies, shakes or yogurt, add some MCT oil. This stabilizes your blood sugar)
- In baked goodies made at home, use MCT oil instead of coconut oil (lessen 1/3rd coconut oil and substitute it with MCT oil)
Other Ways of Using MCT Oil:
Coconut oil has stiff competition from MCT oil because the latter is equally good for skin and hair. Apart from this, the MCT oil benefits extend to the following beauty purposes:
- Homemade teeth whitening
- Lip balm
- Shaving Cream
- Facial Masks
- Salt scrubs and
- Essential Oil blends
Brands Of MCT Oil:
Where can you get MCT Oil is a question that might be bothering you. It is available at the health food grocers and retailers (maybe hi-end retail chain).
As for the popular brands of best MCT oil – there is the massively popular Onnit MCT Oil, Bulletproof Brain Octane and Left Coast MCT Oil.
There are supplements too in the form of MCT powder. Some of the well-known brands include – Perfect Keto, Keto Kreme. They have the same combination of C8 (Caprylic Acid), C10 (Capric Acid) and C12 (Lauric Acid) as the MCT oil.
Now you know all about the MCT oil. Please consult your dietitian before using it to be on the safe side.
Hope you liked reading about the MCT oil and how it is the oil to watch out for. Tell us if you have used the MCT oil and how it worked wonders for your health in the comments section below.
Images Source: pinterest