How to use MCT oil to activate your brain and body
Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) oil is growing in popularity due to the rise in popularity of the Keto diet and the ease of adding odourless and tasteless fat into your diet. You may be wondering, what is MCT oil, how you can add it to your diet and how can it benefit you?
Before you add the MCT oil to your shopping cart, it’s important to learn more about the product, so it can become an invaluable part of your daily routine.
Understanding MCT oil
All fats are composed of a chain of fatty acids that link together with glycerol. The fatty acid chains can vary in length, and are identified as long-chain triglycerides, medium-chain triglycerides or short-chain triglycerides. Each of these types of triglycerides has its own characteristics e.g. they can be either solid or liquid at room temperature. Scientists have researched the functions, classification and characteristics of these fatty acids to understand how they can affect our health.
Structure of a triglyceride and saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Image credit: European Food Information Council (EUFIC)
We are going to focus on MCT. Animal and human studies have shown that we quickly digest MCT, which leads to greater energy expenditure. In animal studies, it has been shown that increase energy use with MCT compared to long-chain triglycerides (LCT) leads to less body weight gain and decreased size of fat tissue. Interestingly, both animal and human trials have suggested that MCT has a more satiating effect compared to LCT’s. Therefore, MCT oil may help you feel fuller for longer in comparison to LCT’s sources, e.g. soybean or safflower oil.
When we consume MCT oil, it is absorbed quickly by the body through the portal vein (blood) and transported to the liver to be oxidised (‘digested’). Due to the speed of this process, it means that our bodies can utilise this fat for energy.
The oxidation of fatty acids is the first step of ketogenesis, creating ketones for energy expenditure. It has been thought that the brain can only use glucose for energy, but it has been proven that ketones can cross the blood-brain barrier and provide energy to brain cells.
MCT is sourced from coconut oil which contains 4 different MCTs, C6, C8, C10 and C12. True MCT contains two of these favourable MCT’s, 60% of C8 (caprylic acid) and 40% of C10 (capric acid) which is clean, light and flavourless. The other two MCT’s are undesirable as C6 (caproic acid) has an offensive smell and taste and C12 (lauric acid) converts more slowly due to its longer fatty acids tails.
The Benefits of Fats for Fuel
Over the years, fat has been demonised and popular diets have seen individuals decreasing their fat intake, which can have a negative impact on our health. It’s important to add a source of fat to every meal to reap it’s benefits.
Add a portion of healthy fat because it:
- Decreases sugar cravings and energy crashes as you are left feeling fuller for longer.
- Slows down the digestion of carbohydrates which helps to avoid elevated insulin levels.
- Can improve brain health by offering a nourishing and sustainable source of fuel for the brain, which in turn may play a role in helping reduce Alzheimer’s disease.
- Individuals can go for extended periods of time without eating, which helps improve metabolism, increases lifespan, and aids with weight loss.
- MCT oil offers support to the gut, improving digestion, helping rebalance gut microflora, encouraging better nutrient absorption, and in the process improving mood and mindset.
- High-quality MCT oil like our True MCT oil contains antioxidant properties. This reduces oxidative damage in the body, which can be caused by an overconsumption of processed foods and trans-fats.
- MCT oil has antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties, offering a big boost to the immune system and helping protect vital organs within the body such as the heart.
If you want to have more energy, help improve your brain function and mental clarity, as well as know you are improving your overall health from the inside out, it’s time to incorporate MCT oil into your daily routine.
How to use True MCT oil
True MCT oil is incredibly versatile as it’s liquid at room temperature, clean, light and flavourless. It has a high smoke point, so you can bake with it. These characteristics make True MCT oil fantastic to use in your everyday recipes.
- Add to your coffee, tea, hot chocolate or matcha for extra energy.
- Great with smoothies and juices as it’s neutral tasting.
- Quick and easy for dressings and sauces.
- Use in a simple granola recipe.