Understanding The Properties of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs)
Medium chain triglycerides, also known as MCT, are comprised of 6 to 12 carbon atoms. That’s why they’re known as medium chain. The long chain triglycerides have 13 to 18 carbon atoms.
MCTs have become very popular over the past few years because of the popularity of the keto diet. Since the keto diet is a fat-based diet, those who adopt it need to get 70 to 75 percent of their calories in the form of fat.
Coconut oil is one of the foods recommended for this diet. Since it’s rich in lauric acid, it aids in weight loss and has many beneficial health properties. However, it also has extra strains of fat that are unnecessary for weight loss.
Because of this downside, several companies have created MCT oil that only has the medium chain triglycerides the body needs to burn fat – and you don’t need to deal with any of the extra fats that you’d get if you were to consume coconut oil.
Palm oil and coconut oil contain medium chain triglycerides. So, when purchasing your oil, it would be a good idea to see where your MCTs are derived from. There are several other benefits that can be derived from MCT’s such as increased metabolism, appetite suppression, speeding up ketosis and acting as an antioxidant.
The most common types of MCT found in coconut oil are lauric acid, caprylic acid and capric acid. Depending on the manufacturer, the MCT oil you buy will probably contain all these acids.
Caprylic acid and capric acid, generally don’t have a very pleasant taste. The MCT oil you purchase may taste fine, but if the taste is strong, you can mix it with your coffee and you won’t know the difference.
These fats are great for improving your gut health and will give you a quick boost of energy. If you mixed some in your pre-workout drinks, you’ll really have an edge and be able to give your best effort during your training.
Since these fats are rapidly absorbed by the body, as compared to the long chain triglycerides, they are great as a quick ‘pick me up’ energy booster. Initially, it’s best to consume 1 teaspoon of MCT oil every day.
Over a few weeks, you can build up to 1 tablespoon a day. You can keep building up until you reach 4 tablespoons a day. 1 to 4 tbsp of MCT oil a day is just fine and will be ideal if you’re on the keto diet and need to meet your fat macros.
There’s often debate as to whether one should just stick to coconut oil which is generally cheaper than MCT oil. This will come down to your budget and personal preferences. About 60 percent of coconut oil is comprised of MCT, but when taking MCT oil, you know that 100% of it is MCT. So, there is a difference, but it all depends on you and your goals.
There are many manufacturers of MCT oil because this is a booming industry. So, you can bet that many people will be trying to make a quick buck by passing off diluted lauric acid as MCT oil.
Do your research and find a reputable manufacturer that guarantees only the best ingredients are used and that 100% of the MCT oil or powder are medium chain triglycerides and not diluted coconut oil.
Exercise due diligence, purchase wisely, and make MCT oil a part of your daily diet. It has many health benefits which will serve you well in the long run.