Are You Missing Out on the Benefits of MCT Oil?
Right now the Ketogenic Diet is all the rage. If you are starting this diet, or are currently on it, you may have heard of the wonders of MCT oil. What is MCT oil anyway, and how is this any more special or beneficial to your body than other oils?
To answer this, you first have to understand what the basis of the Ketogenic Diet is. Essentially your food intake should contain high fats, moderate protein, and very low carbs.
With a high fat content being the basis of your energy, rather than carbs, MCT oil is an ideal form of energy to keep you going.
MCT stands for medium chain triglycerides. What is a triglyceride? Simply put, a triglyceride is a fat molecule. This molecule is built up of a carbon chain 6-10 segments long, and made up of three fatty acids bound to a glycerol.
Medium chain triglycerides are smaller and more easily digested and utilized than long chain triglycerides (LCT).
Long chain triglycerides must first be processed in your liver to be converted into useable energy. MCT's bypass this process and are quickly transformed into energy for your cells.
LCT’s are the most common form of triglycerides. Think of pasta, scones, pizza, etc.
Two things can happen with a triglyceride, it can be broken down and used for cellular energy, or it can be stored in your body as fat (which is what happens to most people when they are also consuming an abundance of carbs in addition to a high fat diet).
Ultimately this whole process results in the production of ketones in the body. This is the goal of the ketogenic diet. To use ketones as energy rather than glucose.
What is a ketone? It is the byproduct of the body breaking down fat for energy when your carb intake is low.
When you are eating a low carb diet, your body is unable to have enough glucose to keep it running so it changes to an alternative source, ketones. When this happens you are in “ketosis”.
So why would you add MCT oil into your diet?
- It is easily absorbed by your body giving you energy sooner.
- More efficiently burned, meaning less gets stored as body fat.
- If you are eating a low carb diet, MCT oil gets transformed directly into ketones which your body then uses for energy. WAHOO!
If you eat a diet rich in carbs, sugar, and processed foods, I would not recommend adding MCT oil to your diet. However if you are on a low-carb diet, this is a great way to give your body energy.