Let’s start off with a quick explanation of what MCT oils are. MCT stands for “Medium-chain triglyceride”. These oils contain two or three fatty acids that have an aliphatic tail of between six and twelve carbon atoms.
MCT oils are man-made saturated fatty acids. They’re made in labs by combining those medium-chain triglycerides we spoke about earlier. The MCTs that are usually combined are those from coconut oil and palm oil. Medium-chain carbon molecules can be digested faster, and they can be used as a source of clean energy for your body; without any of the nasty refined sugars and carbs that are in most of the food we eat today.
The saturated fats in MCT oils isn’t bad for you. Saturated fats have a bad reputation, but by eating more of the type of fat that is found in MCT oils, you can actually help your body by using it as a fuel, rather than other types of energy; such as the energy you get from carbs and sugar.
Benefits of MCT oils
We’ll start with the obvious one: Promoting weight loss. This is perhaps the most popular use of MCT oils, particularly for individuals on specialised diets such as the keto diet. MCT oils have been shown to increase the release of two hormones in your body that make you feel full. It’s an appetite suppresser, helping you eat less without even realising it. Studies have shown that taking two tablespoons of MCT oil with your breakfast reduced the amount you may feel you needed to eat for lunch (in comparison with individuals in the same study using coconut oil instead).
MCT oils have approximately 10% less calories in them than long-chain triglycerides, such as olive oil or avocado. Already, that makes MCT healthier than two foods promoted for their health benefits.
If you’re looking for a source of instant energy and fuel, then this fast-digesting oil is the solution you need. MCT oils promote using fat as energy in your body, rather than less healthy energy sources.
Risks of MCT oils
Common side effects of MCT oils aren’t serious. The most common are symptoms such as stomach cramping and nausea; but these can usually be solved by starting with small doses of MCT oils and building your tolerance.
The only other risk involved in using MCT oils would be if you were allergic. This is another good reason to start with just one teaspoon and upping your dose each day by half a spoon.
How to use MCT oils
MCT oils are usually added to foods and drinks instead of being taken by themselves. This is because some people can be a bit sensitive to the oils and may have some stomach issues resulting in several trips to the bathroom. It’s best to start using MCT oils in small doses and up that dose as time goes on.
The maximum recommended dose for MCT oils is four tablespoons a day. You can use it in salad dressings, add it to smoothies, add it to your coffee in the morning, or even take it by itself. MCT oils have a low smoke point and shouldn’t be cooked.