What you need to know: MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides, a fat naturally found in coconut and palm oil. MCT oil has become quite popular for its addition to Bulletproof coffee, a coffee drink made with butter and MCT oil that was developed by health expert Dave Asprey (have you read his post on living #thatbulletprooflife?). MCTs have an unusual chemical structure that allows the body to digest the fats easily, turning them into fuel rather than stored fat. Most fats are digested in the intestine and transported by the blood, but MCTs are absorbed intact and transported to the liver. It is here where they are used directly for energy, telling the body to burn fat. They are becoming an important part of sport nutrition and an integral food of both the Paleo and ketogenic diets.
Why you should try it: MCTs are more easily and rapidly digested than other types of fats. They require fewer enzymes to be released by the digestive organs and less bile to be released by the gallbladder for breakdown and absorption. MCTs are processed very quickly and are believed to stimulate fat burning, metabolism and energy production. Some studies have found that eating MCTs on a regular basis produces improvements in body composition (ratio of fat to lean tissue) and enhances athletic performance. A study also suggests that MCTs improve insulin sensitivity, aid weight loss in those with diabetes and might theoretically be helpful for those who have trouble digesting fatty foods.
Let’s get together: MCT oil can be purchased as a liquid supplement or obtained from eating both palm and coconut oil. Containing a high smoke point, all forms of MCT oil are good to cook or bake with, offering a healthier substitute to oils with lower smoke points such as olive oil. MCT oil, whether sourced from palm or coconut oil or its supplement form, makes a great salad dressing, or can add an extra frothy and filling element to smoothies or coffee and tea drinks.