MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) is a saturated fatty acid that boasts multiple health benefits. Coconut oil, for example, is a popular source of MCT, along with palm oil and full-fat yogurt. MCT oils are great for many reasons, but one is that they are easy to digest. They travel directly to the liver, where they work to boost the metabolism and provide the body with energy. There is, however, one big misunderstanding about MCT oils. Many people think that as they are saturated fats, MTC oils are bad for you. However, recent research has suggested the opposite. Because of this misunderstanding, those who eat a westernized diet are likely missing MCT oils from their diet. But when it comes to MTC oils, there are indeed health benefits to consider! For example, MCT oil health benefits include the ability to aid in weight loss, protect the heart, improve digestion and more.
MCT Oil Health Benefits
1. Aids In Weight Loss
MCT oil health benefits include the ability to aid in weight loss and weight maintenance. While other oils can be counterproductive in this capacity, MCT oils can actually help you lose weight. Furthermore, they can help you keep it off! Studies have shown that medium-chain triglycerides have a positive influence on metabolism, fat burning and weight reduction. They work to increase energy expenditure and fat burning, which can help improve weight loss. (1)
However, this doesn’t mean you should eat large quantities of MCT oil. Not every study has shown evidence supporting that it medium-chain triglycerides will lead to weight loss, so you definitely don’t want to overdo it. Start with a modest amount. Furthermore, be sure to include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in your weight-loss plan, as well.
2. Improves Energy Levels and Memory
MCT oil health benefits include the ability to naturally improve energy levels. This is due to the fact that studies have shown that MCT oils have an impact on the brain. Your brain is made up of fatty acids, and as such, you need a steady supply in order to feel, act, and think at your best. MCT oil can help you feel more energetic, positive and clearheaded. What’s more, research has shown that the MCTs in coconut oil can help improve severe memory problems, including Alzheimer’s disease.
Furthermore, MCT oil health benefits also include improving gut health. Perhaps this is why it also has such a positive impact on the brain; due to the brain-gut connection. The brain-gut connection explains how our physical health affects our mental health. Have you ever noticed that when you’re eating a balanced diet, you tend to perform better mentally? That is no coincidence! If you eat junk, you’ll feel and act like junk. But if you eat what your body truly needs, you are likely to see an all-around improvement! (2)
3. Protects Heart Health
MCT oil health benefits include the ability to protect the heart from disease, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. Furthermore, the fact that this oil can help prevent obesity means it can also naturally can help lower the risk of heart disease. It can also help prevent the development of metabolic syndrome, which can include hypertension, abdominal obesity and impaired fasting glucose levels. Additionally, as mentioned above, it’s easy to digest and offers an increase in energy. These factors also lend themselves to MCT oil being heart-protective. (3)
4. Improves Digestion and Nutrient Absorption
MCT oil health benefits include the ability to improve digestion and increase nutrient absorption. The oils work to balance the bacteria in the gut and kill viruses that cause digestive issues and contribute to leaky gut syndrome. What’s more, they can help rid of a wide variety of pathogenic viruses and candida, and can help to correct constipation, diarrhea, sour stomach, etc.
MCT oils also help increase the body’s absorption of nutrients like beta-carotene, Vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. If you eat a large variety of plant-based foods but neglect your fats, your body will not be able to absorb the nutrients you’re giving it. You can help your body get the nutrients it needs by adding MCT oils to your already health diet.
5. Provides Antibacterial, Antiviral and Anti-fungal Properties
MCT oil health benefits include powerful antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties. The oils work as natural antibiotics that help balance the gut and kill harmful bacteria. Studies have shown that medium-chain triglycerides offer significant protection from infection.
For example, medium-chain triglycerides have been shown to be effective against the following:
- Streptococcus (causes strep throat, pneumonia, and sinus infections)
- Straphylococcus (causes food poisoning and urinary tract infections)
- Neisseria (causes meningitis, gonorrhea, and pelvic inflammatory diseases)
- Other strains that causes stomach viruses, candida, ulcers, and sexually transmitted diseases
6. Withstands High-Heat Cooking
MCT oil health benefits also extend to cooking. MCT oils are great for use in the kitchen, because they have a high smoke point. To have a “high smoke point” means it won’t oxidize from heat easily and can withstand high temperatures. Many healthy fats, such as extra virgin olive oil and flaxseed oil, are not well-suited for cooking at high temperatures. Moreover, these fats can easily go rancid. Both MCT oil and coconut oil can be used in a variety of dishes without oxidizing. Try using either one in baked goods, stir-fries, or to grill other various food items.
Furthermore, you can use MTC oil to make homemade mayonnaise or salad dressing. You can even add it to smoothies or yogurt, which will help to stabilize your blood sugar while eating these items. Medium-chain triglycerides will help slow down the rate that your body absorbs glucose and fructose.
MCT Oil vs. Coconut Oil
While coconut oil does contain medium-chain triglycerides, MCT oil is a much more concentrated source. MCT oil also contains different types of beneficial MCTs, while coconut oil contains only one type. There are four different kinds of medium-chain triglycerides. It can be difficult to find food sources that contain all four of these types. However, MCT oil, in its concentrated form, has all four types.