Living a healthy life is not as easy as some people would have us believe. A select few individuals will preach about the fact that ALL you have to do get more exercise and eat healthier and whilst on paper that is absolutely true, in reality things are a whole lot more complicated. One of the main issues is that eating the right foods, and drinking the right beverages at the right times is extremely complicated and one can very easily find oneself overwhelmed as there are so many different aspects to cover. Healthy eating and drinking is far from simple, with some people telling you to eat certain foods whilst others will tell you to do the exact opposite. For years upon years we’ve been led to believe that fat was the devil incarnate, and that all fat is bad for us when in reality healthy fats have been proven to be incredibly healthy and beneficial for us. One fantastic source of healthy fat is MCT Oil (Medium Chain Tri-glyceride) and it is this very oil we’ll be covering here.
What is MCT oil?
MCT oil is made up of fatty acids with a medium chain, as opposed to long-chain fatty acids and short-chain fatty acids. This is basically their chemical structure. You see, all forms of fat are made up of individual strings of hydrogen and carbon. If a fat is considered short-chain, it will have less than 6 carbons, and if it is long-chain, DHA for example, it will have between 13 and 21 carbons. MCT’s are right in the middle and have between 6 and 12. MCT oil is primarily comprised of capric fatty acids, caproic acid, and caprylic acid. MCT oil these days is most commonly found in coconut oil, though it is found in a variety of other sources as well. As we consume food, any calories which we haven’t used up will be converted into triglycerides by the body and stored in the fat cells to be used as a source of energy at a later date. MCTs are metabolised far more efficiently and faster than LCTs, so they can get to work much quicker than normal.
What are the main benefits of MCT oil?
These days, MCT oil is very much in fashion and is quickly proving to be one of the most popular health-boosting products on the market, particularly when found in organic coconut oil. There are numerous health benefits associated with the oil, including:
It promotes weight loss
It may sound a little bizarre to some of you, using fat to burn fat but in reality MCT oil has proven a very effective weight-loss tool indeed. The body metabolises it much quicker and will therefore use it as a primary source of energy right away. As MCTs provide an almost instant increase in energy, much more is used at once, so less will be stored in the fat cells to be used at a later date. This in turn will increase the metabolism so more calories will be burnt in the future, even in a rested state.
It promotes general health and well-being
Another benefit of MCT oil is the fact that as a whole, it promotes general health and well-being. Studies have revealed that MCT oil is able to improve brain health and brain function, and can help to prevent degenerate diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia later in life. It can also help to treat conditions such as cystic fibrosis and epilepsy. Another benefit is that it helps boost immunity and can therefore help protect against, and prevent a whole variety of different illnesses and diseases.
Healthy weight gain
Sometimes when people struggle with their weight, it isn’t fat loss they’re looking to achieve, it’s weight gain. MCT oil is ideal for underweight individuals as it can be added to beverages and food sources to increase the calorie content and provide sustained and gradual weight gain over time.
They increase athletic performance
As the MCTs found in MCT oil are absorbed and metabolised so much quicker, they provide a near instant increase in energy levels which can help to improve athletic performance. Rather than “carb loading” the night before an endurance race, many long-distance athletes instead include plenty of MCT oil is their pre-race meals to increase their energy levels. The more energy they have, the more efficient their bodies will become.
How is MCT oil used?
There are many different ways of using MCT oil, with some people choosing to combine the oil with fresh coffee for the ultimate energy boost first thing in a morning or before an early morning workout perhaps. Others combine the oil with a little butter and a sachet of instant soup which is even easier to be absorbed by the body as it is in liquid form. Others will add a spoonful or two of the oil to a smoothie or protein shake. Finally, the oil can be used for cooking and can be used in place of vegetable oils and other unhealthy oils, or simply used as a simple salad dressing base perhaps.
Whole food sources of MCT oil?
MCT oil is now available in supplement form but it is also contained within, and derived from, various whole food sources as well. These include:
- Coconut oil
- Palm kernel oil
- Natural yoghur
So there you have it. No, MCT oil is not a miracle weigh loss supplement, nor is it a miracle life-preserving supplement either, but it is most definitely an incredibly healthy and beneficial oil and arguably one of the healthiest forms of fat currently available. It has been proven to promote and assist with weight loss, it promotes general health and well-being, it provides a near instant increase in energy, and it is versatile and can be used in a number of different ways. Fat in this form is most definitely your friend so make sure you include MCT oil or MCT sources in your daily diet and you’ll soon be reaping the benefits.
MCT Oil Recipes
The most common and popular way of consuming MCT oil is using a method called Bulletproof Coffee, popularized by Bulletproof Executive. Personally, I don’t like coffee. So Bulletproof coffee isn’t for me. But I found a excellent alternative to get my MCT oil needs. There’s 2 ways to do this, starting with:
As the name suggests, it’s a “miso soup” version of Bulletproof Coffee. To make it is quite simple.
- 1 sachet instant miso.
- Approx. 5 grams butter (With a 100 gram block, work out roughly 10 even portions length-wise, then halve them to get 5 gram).
- 1+ tbsp MCT oil (depends on preference and tolerance, as high dosages can send people running for the bathroom, but 1tbsp is a good starting point).
Add all ingredients to a mug and stir well, simple!
MCT Miso alone is quite a delicious alternative to coffee if you’re only interested in getting MCT oil into your system. However, my recent and more personalized version is…
MCT Lava Cup
This is my spicy, “meal” version of MCT Miso and it looks like a cup full of lava.
- Same as MCT Miso but with added…
- 1 tbsp Lao Gan Ma chilli oil chicken flavour (or you favourite chilli oil, but personally I’ve never found anything as tasty as this one).
- 3 crushed Chinese “vegetarian protein sticks” – essentially just dried tofu sticks, but they soak in the flavour of the lava cup and turn it from a soup into a filling, high protein (but still higher fat) meal.
Same as MCT Miso but crushing the protein sticks before adding to the soup.
Note: You can of course experiment with adding your own flavour, toppings or additional nutrient supplements but remember to avoid anything high carb. Due to the carb offset MCT provides you can get away with a small amount of carbohydrate in this meal, but I would highly recommend going for carbs that are nutrient dense such as vegetables. I’d love to hear what people come up with, so if you’ve created a masterpiece, please let me know in the comments below!
There’s also no harm in simply filling a tablespoon with MCT oil and consuming it straight. Due to the molecular structure of medium chain triglycerides, MCT oil takes a more “watery” texture than typical oils and has a sweet, nutty flavour.