WHY YOU SHOULD INCLUDE MCT OIL IN YOUR DIET
7 min read
Why you should add MCT oil to your diet
Improving your diet is one choice at a time – and MCT oils are a perfect example: big wins off of small changes! Today we’re looking at what MCT oils are, where you can get them from, and what benefits they’re going to offer you. Let’s talk about fats, what they’re for, and why MCT oils are the best fats that you’re still missing out on…
What makes a great fat?
Dietary fats don’t get the love that they deserve. Even now, we’re still treating them like ‘eating fats makes you fat’ when the science has clearly shown that’s not true. Fats are just one more place in your diet where you can make great – or not-so-great – choices. Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) are an example of a fantastic choice for your dietary fats – but why? What makes a great dietary fat – and why should you care?
Roles of fats in the body
First, remember that fats are a high-energy, slow-burning fuel source for the body. They’re the long-term way of storing energy that kicks in after your body’s carb stores (glycogen) are burnt up or saved for super-high-intensity exercise.
In that role, fats have a longer timeline in the body, and you store more of them. While we’ve all had times carrying extra unwanted fat, it’s actually a wonderful mechanism for storing energy to use later.
Dietary fats are also a part of our normal hormonal health, where they’re used to make up these signalling compounds. Hormones are how our body regulates itself and they rely on fats in a major way with key hormones – like testosterone, oestrogen, and insulin all being fat-dependent.
Role of fats in your diet
Fats do a lot of things in the body, and that’s why they do a lot of things in your diet…
In the diet, we break fats down into 3 groups: • Saturated • Mono unsaturated • Poly unsaturated Saturated fats have had a bad name for a long time because it was cool to scaremonger about them in the 1960s. Newer science has shown us that, just like everything else in nutrition, it’s not that simple and some saturated fats are better than others – and MCTs stand at the top of the pile. In the diet, fats are important because they provide long-term energy and slow down digestion, they regulate hormonal health and provide essential materials, and they are essential for absorbing fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, and K). This is why no diet should ever be fat-free and you should select your fat sources for quality. The best quality fats have a few things in common: they’re good for your cholesterol, they help you metabolise all kinds of fats, and they support hormonal health. MCT oils are a great example…
What are MCT oils?
MCT oil is a specific formulation of medium chain triglycerides in a format that you can use straight away. It’s a distilled version of the high-quality saturated fats found in things like coconut oil and rich in Caprylic acid.
1. MCTs are the fastest fats
This is a fatty acid with a very quick absorption time, due to the structure and size, being closer to the absorptive speed of glucose than normal, long-chain fats. They usually (or mostly) skip the liver and go straight to muscles, too, providing a direct energy boost. This makes MCT oil one of the fastest-acting dietary fat sources – which is going to be key when we look at the health and performance benefits. Fortunately, that size and structure also make MCTs more versatile than other fats. They play well with liquid-solubility and it even makes them more easily moved around within your body in the bloodstream.
2. MCTs are great for your gut
MCTs are also gut-friendly, where MCT oil doesn’t produce the same bile-response as longer-chain fats. This reduces the digestive burden and the potential digestive challenges you might get from other types of long-chain saturates from animal foods. This is great when you’re looking to get better results from a high-fat diet without the risks of things like constipation, bloating, or stomach-ache. MCTs are great for digestion and could be the perfect choice if you’ve had bad experiences with lower-quality fats in the past.
3. The Ketone Powers of MCTs
The final superpower of MCTs is that they’re ketone powerhouses. MCTs have the highest rate of ketone body turnover of any dietary fat, which helps your body metabolise other fats (both dietary and bodyfat), making them a great place to start using fats as fuel. Obviously, that’s a huge deal for high-fat diets, but we can all benefit from improving the efficiency of our metabolism and burning more fats for energy. Simply put, MCT oils are fats that help you burn fats as fuel. Combined with their rapid uptake and digestive comfort, it’s clear that MCTs aren’t going to be the same as other fats. MCTs are getting popular because they’re doing things that, only a few decades ago, people didn’t expect from dietary fats. They fill a small niche in your diet that makes them perfect for supporting better health and function, all while being enjoyable to use, comfortable in the gut, and packed with health benefits.
MCT Oil Benefits
Healthy Saturated Fat Source
We already said that saturated fats are not bad for you. The quality and quantity make a huge difference and you’ll not find higher-quality saturated fats than medium chain triglycerides. They’re profoundly healthy in the exact place most people worry about fats: cholesterol. While low-quality saturates can be bad for your cholesterol, MCTs aren’t. They reduce the risks associated with “very low density lipoproteins” – the ‘bad’ cholesterol in your system – and reduce overall risk to your heart and arteries. These are a huge deal because higher-fat diets can put these blood fats at risk. MCTs are great for improving cholesterol density, reducing overall risk, and improving membrane health to reduce the risk of things like arterial plaque. One of the keys to the healthiness of MCT, however, is how it affects your metabolism of other fats…
As the greatest producer of ketones among all fats, MCTs are directly related to boosting your fat metabolism. Not only are they easy to metabolise themselves, but they help you burn up other fats as fuel, too. This makes MCTs a must-have if you’re looking to improve your metabolism, especially if you’re eating more fats and want to boost performance. They help you get the best out of all of your dietary fats and – if you’re on a low-carb or keto diet – they’re absolutely key to squeezing the most out of your diet. By improving fat metabolism, they directly improve your abilities in endurance exercise. These longer-duration workouts rely more closely on energy from fats, which makes MCTs’ metabolic benefits turn into longer, better workouts and a reduction in fatigue. The end result is that MCTs leave you burning more fat as fuel, improving overall energy reserves for endurance exercise, and may even reduce your post-exercise soreness and recovery demands. This all adds up to better workouts and better results.
Improves Lactate Clearance
When you use more fats and less carbs, your body gets better at saving carbs for later – when they’re really needed to fuel high-intensity exercise. Whatever diet you’re on, the increased contribution of MCTs and fats to energy helps bolster this reserve. Triglyceride uptake (which is stronger in women and weaker in men) can really help support energy levels for both sexes and even reduces the metabolic after-effects of exercise. Lactic and pyruvic acids build up in the muscles after exercise – primarily as a result of glycogen-intense exercise. But when you’re burning up less glycogen and using more fats, you’re actually reducing that recovery burden at a metabolic level. MCTs also indirectly contribute to the bicarbonate buffering that keeps muscles healthy and reduces the soreness and muscular damage seen after exercise. They let you exercise hard and recover faster – the best ways to get better!
Pre- and Post Workout MCTs
One of the best things about the speed of MCTs’ absorption into your body is that you can use them around workouts. They don’t sit as heavily in the stomach, they’re fast-absorbing, and they fuel your muscles directly to give you better performance by burning fats for energy. On the other side of a workout, too, post workout MCTs help rapidly improve blood triglyceride levels. This is one of those overlooked areas where replenishing stores from diet and bodyfat is key to returning to that high-energy state that helps you recover and grow after a workout.
Anti-catabolic in calorie deficit people – potential anti-catabolic function
One of the cool functions of MCTs that nobody is talking about is that they help preserve muscle while losing weight. This is a huge factor for sports performance: it’s good to be lighter as long as you can get – or stay – strong. That’s the best way to improve your power-to-weight ratio, which makes you better at just about everything! MCT intake during a calorie deficit diet reduces muscle breakdown for energy by directly fuelling muscles. This is a huge factor in changing how your body prioritises tissues to break down for energy during a diet – MCTs both improve muscle energy and fat metabolism, making them the perfect addition to a weight loss diet without performance-loss.
MCT Oil and Cognition
Mental performance is a result of the things we eat, as well as do. Proper nutrition drives mental performance by providing the environment and fuels necessary for your brain to work at its best. MCT oils can support this process – especially on a ketogenic diet. Improving fat-metabolism – and specifically ketone levels – helps transition your brain from carb-dominant energy sources and improves the sustainability and consistency of mental energy levels. This get you off of the sever ups and downs of carb-dependent energy and its short-term energy changes. MCTs are also great for supporting mental performance during keto ‘flu’, in older people, and in those with some degenerative brain diseases (like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s). These mental benefits are applicable to all of us – it’s never a bad time to have healthier brain-fuel, and MCTs are the best saturated fats for mental performance.
How to get MCT oil into your diet – and life
The reason we sell our high-quality, super-pure Adonis MCT oil is because MCTs are hard to get from diet alone.
They’re a relatively rare form of fat for most foods and even super-high-quality dairy like cheese and yoghurt will only provide a small amount of MCTs – especially compared to their overall calorie content. There are a few other sources you can consider:
• Milk (cow and goat) • Coconut oil MCT oil is obviously a great way to get MCTs into your diet. Specifically, Caprylic acid, which does most of the ‘heavy lifting’ in MCTs. You could go with coconut oil, but the distribution of fats is ‘messier’ with lower purity and less MCT per gram than a pure MCT. This is one of the reasons why distilled MCT oil is a great addition to your diet – it’s hard to get otherwise and definitely not at optimal levels. Supplementing MCT oil a little every day, from a pure source, is the best way to make sure you’re getting what you need. Our MCT oil is super pure and comes with additional vanilla flavouring, which compliments the creamy texture and highly-soluble MCTs perfectly.
How to add MCT oil to your diet
The only limitation to MCT oils is that they’re not great for cooking with. The smoke point is 320-degrees F (160 C) which means you’re not going to fry with them.
Fortunately, MCTs are versatile and our vanilla flavoured C8 oil is a perfect companion for all kinds of MCT habits! Here are 5 simple ways to get MCT oils into your diet without cooking in it!
1. Just shot it
If you’re into health and performance, simply shot your MCT oil. It’s a delicious, mild flavour with a nice texture and definitely nicer than most protein shakes. MCTs are fast-absorbing so you can throw them down before or after a workout to boost energy levels without upsetting your stomach. The vanilla flavour really does help.
2. Hot drinks;
better than butter We’ve all seen the bulletproof coffees with butter in. MCTs are like that but better; they are more soluble, better for you, and they don’t leave a greasy layer on top of your coffee. Tea and coffee are both good places to add a splash of MCT oil where it pairs perfectly with compounds like caffeine and theanine to support body-and-mind performance together. Again, this is a perfect place to add C8 because of the mild, delicious vanilla flavour.
3. Smoothies and shakes
Because of the solubility, you can add MCT oil to your favourite smoothie or shake without ruining the flavour or texture. Protein shakes and smoothies benefit from the fats to provide better digestion, improve metabolism of other fats, and even support the uptake of key amino acids from proteins. If you’re using a higher-fat milk, especially, MCTs are a perfect pairing.
Oatmeal is a great choice for MCTs where the combination of starches, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and MCTs is a perfect start to the day. What’s even more important is that this is a perfect example of how to cook with MCTs: low, slow, and with additional fats from milk, for example.
5. MCT butter
If you’re looking to bake with MCTs, you should start by making compound butter, which will stabilise the MCTs for cooking. This is a combination of butter and MCT oil, where you can use high-quality grass-fed butter to get more Omega-3s along with your MCTs. Because of the fat-metabolism benefits, this can be a great choice – but should still be used in lower-heat baking. Lower and slower are the key for MCTs.
MCTs are a great way to upgrade your fat choices and the science on what they can do to benefit your life is only growing over time. These amazing little fats are a great tool to improve your whole diet from health to digestion to performance. Changes like these – adding a powerful fat-metabolism, endurance-boosting, muscle-sparing choice a little each day – is how you turn up your results. MCTs are a perfect place to start whether you’re on a ketogenic diet or just looking to improve your fat metabolism and squeeze the very most out of your diet!