Have you been wondering about MCT oil—what it is, why it’s everywhere, and the best way to use it? You’re not alone.
What is MCT oil?
Found in natural health stores, MCT oil is a product of coconut or palm kernel oil. MCT stands for medium-chain triglyceride. “Triglyceride” is just a fancy word for the most common type of fat in your body. And “medium-chain” describes how long its fatty acid chains are at the molecular level (hi, chemistry!). That medium-chain structure is important, because it allows MCTs to be absorbed by the body more quickly than most of the fats you eat, which are typically long-chain triglycerides (LCTs).
Why should you care?
Researchers have been testing MCT oil’s effects on many areas of human health. Although research is not conclusive, there is growing evidence that MCT oil may help us out in many ways.
MCT oil can support and manage healthy weight in a number of ways, mainly by helping to make us feel fuller faster, despite being lower in calories than LCTs. Our ability to swiftly absorb MCT oil means this supplement bypasses being stored as body fat.
MCT oil is often called a “super fuel.” MCTs’ knack for entering our cells easily without being broken down means they can be turned into fuel more quickly, providing us with boosted energy and endurance when working out.
Blood sugar regulation
MCTs may be helpful for those with type 2 diabetes in managing weight loss (through reduced fat storage and increased fat burning) and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels (through reduced sugar intake).
MCTs can be converted into ketones, an energy source that may have neuroprotective effects. In fact, preliminary studies show MCTs may benefit the cognitive abilities of some people with Alzheimer’s, though much more research is needed. For people on a ketogenic diet (a very low-carb, high-fat diet focused on using ketones as the primary source of energy), MCTs can be especially beneficial. They produce more ketones than LCTs do.
How can you use MCT oil?
Available in both oil and powder form, MCT oil can be added to smoothies, coffee, and salad dressings or used when you’re baking, as shown in our delicious, energy-packed recipe.