Nowadays more and more people are realizing that healthy fats are a crucial part of a healthy diet and a well functioning body. One type of healthy fat that has grown in popularity in recent years is MCT-oil. MCT fats are more easily broken down by the body compared to other fats and helps you increase energy, improve mental performance and focus, reduce hunger and cravings, increase fat burn and stabilize the blood sugar. Everyone from pro athletes, biohackers, health junkies to celebrities and top performers around the world are praising these healthy fats for their many health and performance benefits.
MCT-oil and MCT-powder are also staples in the pantry of anyone following the popular Ketogenic diet, a low carb high fat diet, where you replace carbs with healthy fats from whole foods to get the bosy in a fat burning state called ketosis.
But you don't have to be on a low carb high fat diet to experience the many benefits of MCT-oil. The truth is that everyone has a LOT to win by adding MCT oil to your diet.
WHAT IS MCT?
But first, let just make sure that everybody knows what MCT actually is. All fats consist of chains of carbon molecules connected to hydrogen atoms. MCT stands for Medium Chain Triglycerides which is not more complicated than fatty acids with medium length (medium number of carbons). MCT fats are mainly found in coconut or palm oil but due to the controversy of using palm the most respected brands use MCT's from coconut. Smaller amounts of MCT can also be found in cheese, milk, butter and breast milk.
When it comes to fat, there are short-chain fats with 6 carbons or less. Medium-chain fats contain between 6 and 12 carbons, and long-chained fats have 13 to 21 carbons. Because of their shorter length MCT's are broken down more easily in the body compared to long chain fats and that's also the reason to many of it's health benefits. The most effective MCT for instant energy is the MCT with 8 carbons, because it's more easily broken down by the body.
WHAT IS THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF MCT's?
OK, so let's get to the good stuff here. The main reason why MCT is so special is that when it enters the bosy it is instantly converted to ketones by the liver. Ketones are little bundles of energy that can pass the blood brain barrier which makes it a powerful fuel for your brain and body, improving your energy levels and mental performance. It helps dissolve brain fog and leave space for clear thoughts (1).
Many people use MCT-oil is because it can be used as an instant source of energy while keeping the blood sugar stable. This means you don't experience the following crash in energy you normally get from carbohydrate rich foods.
Some of the health benefits of MCT's are similar to the benefits of coconut oil but because coconut oil only contain a partial amount of Medium Chain Triglycerides, using pure MCT-oil in it's concentrated form is much more effective. Coconut oil only contain about 6% of the most effective MCT with 8 carbons (C8 MCT) and to get the proper amount of MCT from coconut oil you would have to eat a lot of unnecessary calories.
Following is a summary of the main science-backed benefits you can get from adding MCT-oil to your diet:
- Increased energy levels and improved athletic performance and endurance (2, 10)
- Improves mental clarity and focus (1,6).
- Improved cognitive and neurological function (brain health) (1,6).
- Appetite reduction and weight loss (3, 4)
- Keep your blood sugar stable (5)
- Improved mitochondrial function and there of reduced risk for diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular heart disease (7, 11)
- Speeds up transition into ketosis (7,8)
- Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties promoting a healthy gut bacteria (7,9)
HOW DO I USE MCT?
The easiest way to consume MCT-oil is by adding a spoon (10g) of MCT-powder in your morning coffee, making a so called Bulletproof Coffee, to get instant energy and focus. Or add it in your afternoon coffee or protein shake before hitting the gym, to boost your workout and increase your endurance.
MCT-powder has the same effects as MCT-oil but using the powder version instead of pure MCT-oil is easier on your stomach and more convenient to mix in drinks.
MCT Oil benefits - Healthline
MCT Oil health benefits - Dr. Mercola
Written by Camilla Henriksen