Written by Selina

Modified & Updated: 31 May 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith

MCT Coconut butter or coconut oil.

When it comes to healthy eating, fats often get a bad reputation. However, not all fats are bad. While Omega-3 still reigns as one of the healthiest fats, there are more people jumping onto another bandwagon – Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs are a type of fat that is celebrated for their health benefits. This article dives into the world of MCTs, exploring 10 MCT oil nutrition facts you need to know.

Table of Contents

What are MCTs?

Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) are fats found in certain oils and dairy products. Unlike Long Chain Triglycerides (LCTs), our bodies metabolize MCTs differently, leading to a host of potential health benefits. MCTs come from coconut or palm oil.

Four Types of MCTs

There are four types of MCTs: Caproic acid (C6), Caprylic acid (C8), Capric acid (C10), and Lauric acid (C12). Each type presents different health benefits and metabolic characteristics.

Caloric Content

One tablespoon of MCT oil provides approximately 120 calories, all of which are from fats.

Fat Content

A single tablespoon of MCT has about 14 grams of saturated fat. It does not contain trans fat.

No Protein and Carbohydrate

There are no protein and carbohydrate content in MCT oils. That is why many tend to use MCT oil as an alternative to butter when making keto coffee.

Bulletproof coffee, blended with organic butter and MCT coconut oil, paleo, keto, ketogenic drink breakfast.
Image from Adobe Stock

Quick Energy Source

Since they have a shorter chain length, MCTs digest quickly to become energy. This makes MCT oil an excellent energy source, especially for those following a ketogenic diet.

Potential Weight Loss Aid

MCTs have been linked to weight loss. They increase the release of two hormones (peptide YY and leptin) that promote the feeling of fullness. Thus, MCT oil could potentially aid in weight loss by reducing food intake and boosting metabolic rate. That said, it does not mean cutting back on exercise regimes. For longer-lasting and impactful weight loss, you should still engage in physical activities.

Heart Health

MCTs could potentially benefit heart health. Some research suggests that MCTs can help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol.

Brain Health

MCTs can cross the blood-brain barrier and be used as an energy source for the brain. If you are on a low-carbohydrate diet, MCTs convert into ketones, which are a primary fuel source for the brain.

Liquid coconut MCT oil and halved coco-nut on wooden table. Health Benefits of MCT Oil. MCT or medium-chain triglycerides, form of saturated fatty acid.
Image from Adobe Stock

Antimicrobial and Antiviral Properties

Certain MCTs, like lauric acid and caprylic acid, possess antimicrobial and antiviral properties. They can help fight harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

Digestive Tolerance

While MCT oil has many benefits, it can cause digestive issues like diarrhea, vomiting, irritability, and stomach discomfort in some people, particularly when consumed in large amounts. We recommended starting with a small amount and gradually increasing your intake.

Cooking with MCT Oil

MCT oil is stable at high heat, making it suitable for cooking. However, due to its high cost and potential digestive side effects, many people prefer to use it as a supplement, adding it to smoothies, salad dressings, or coffee.

Final Word

MCT oil is a versatile supplement with a range of potential health benefits. However, it’s important to remember that while MCT oil is a powerful tool, it’s not a magic bullet. It should be used as part of a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.

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