Ever noticed that coconut oil is taking the world by storm? Got dry and frizzy hair? Coconut oil! Dry skin? Coconut oil! Choose this *insert brand here* shampoo because it contains COCONUT OIL! Yes, coconut oil is everywhere. It’s like a magic medicine that will cure your every woe.
But how and where did coconut oil actually gained its popularity? This is because coconut oil contains healthy and natural fats that can make your skin baby soft and your hair shine like silk. Not only that, but it can also turn bad cholesterol into good ones as well. But it doesn’t stop there; coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) too. But what is this MCT oil about? Is it healthy? What benefits does it bring to our body? Let’s find out!
- MCT oil is a result of combining medium-chain triglycerides of both coconut and palm oil. And yes, that means the oil itself is purely man-made. Now a question comes into mind: “Why not use coconut or palm oil instead?” The reason behind this is that plain palm and coconut oil contain longer-chain triglycerides. Meaning that it is unhealthy compared to medium-chained triglycerides. But does it really matter?
- To answer that question: Yes, it does matter. The lengths of the two represent how many carbon molecules are attached. So if that is the case, why is “medium” better than “long”? MCTS contains 6 to 8 carbon molecules, meaning it can be digested more quickly and fills your body the energy it needs without the unnecessary stuff. LCTs, on the other hand, contains 10 to 12 carbon molecules which take longer to metabolize and will be stored as fat in the process.
- You probably know by now that saturated fat is unhealthy. However, that isn’t the case at all when it comes to MCT oil. This is because MCT oil contains saturated fat. And the more you consume this quick-digesting fat; the body will quickly absorb and metabolize it as fuel compared to LCT fats that are mainly found in beef, palm, and coconut oil.
The Health Benefits of MCT Oil
- One of the benefits MCT oil has is its ability to help you lose weight. That’s why lots of people are choosing MCT oil over olive oil. MCT oil provides a quicker burn rate, thus turning your body into a fat burning machine while giving your metabolism a boost up at the same time.
- Research is also conducted whether MCT oil could be used as a medication for people suffering from certain GI conditions. And it turns out that the length of such fatty-acid chains is related to the digestion and absorption within the GI tract. People who have the condition cannot digest longer chains which is why they lack the essential nutrients they need. But the surprising fact about MCT is that they are able to digest and metabolize this faster compared to LCTs.
Consuming MCT Oil
- MCT oil is clear and flavorless liquid that can be directly consumed without heating. It emits lesser smoke compared to flaxseed, wheat, germ, and walnut oil. With that said, you cannot use MCT oil for cooking purposes.
- Instead, you can add plain oil to smoothies, salad dressings, and even coffee. Serving sizes range from a half tablespoon and up to 3 tablespoons. Keep in mind that you must only eat MCT oil depending on how your digestive system responds. You should also know that MCT oil is filled with lots of calories. In fact, only 1 tablespoon of MCT oil contains 100 calories which is quite huge in numbers.
Where to Get MCT Oil
- You can get MCT oil at supermarkets and drugstores near you. They come in oil or powder form with a price ranging from $14 to $30. However, experts said that these oils that you can purchase outside doesn’t actually contain 100% MCT oil. In reality, you can only get natural 100% MCT Oil at private places, and it will cost you about $200 or more. That’s why reading the label is a must so you won’t be fooled by the manufacturer’s clever marketing.
- To know if an MCT oil or supplement is legit or not, choose one that is a mix of both coconut and palm oil. Consume it and observe how your body reacts if it is negative or positive.