Fats, specifically medium chain fatty acids, can be a great source of energy. Just ask top cyclist Christian Meir, who recently won the “KOM” or King of the Mountain jersey.
Meir uses MCT Oil daily to fuel his athletic needs. But you don’t have to be an elite athlete to desire optimal health and energy. Here’s how and why you should incorporate MCT oil into your diet.
What are Medium Chain Fatty Acids?
Medium chain fatty acids consist of coconut and palm kernel oils. Unlike other fats, medium chain fatty acids (also referred to as medium chain triglycerides) are absorbed directly into the liver via the portal vein and are metabolized quickly through beta-oxidation.
Medium Chain Fatty Acids and Health Benefits
Aside from providing instant energy, MCT Oil may also improve cognitive function. According to research, medium chain fatty acids preserve brain function without causing deleterious hyperglycemia in individuals with diabetes.
Animal data suggests that medium chain fatty acids can cross the blood-brain barrier and be synthesized in the brain. Therefore, MCT oils may help concentration and memory, as well as decrease the risk for neurological disorders such as dementia, depression, and Parkinson’s disease.
Long term studies have shown that medium chain fatty acids result in less body fat. Because MCTs are converted into energy so quickly, they have little time to be stored as fat. Research indicates that individuals who take MCT oil have improved body weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and cognitive functions.
According to St-Onge et al, 2010, subjects who consumed MCT oil as part of their weight-loss diet lost an average of 1.7 kg more than did subjects who consumed olive oil as part of their weight-loss diet.
MCT oil may also slow down symptoms of the aging process by affecting oxidative stress and inflammatory responses. MCT’s anti inflammatory effects also play a role in individuals suffering from intestinal disorders, such as Crohn’s Disease, as they inhibit a secretion that causes inflammation in the digestive system. Furthermore, coconut oil has well known anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It also aids in weight loss.
Medium chain fatty acids may also promote oral health. According to research, medium chain fatty acids may influence the microbial ecology in the oral cavity by inhibiting at least two potential pathways.
Coconut Oil and Palm Kernel Oils
Coconut oil has many benefits. It can be used as an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antimicrobial food. It can also be used topically for skin health and is gentle enough to use on babies.
Studies show that when paired with biotin (an essential vitamin for enzyme support), palm kernel oils have the ability to decrease risk for fatty liver and kidney syndrome. Both coconut and palm kernel oils are inert and do not combine readily with oxygen to become rancid.
How Does Christian Meir Use MCT Oil?
According to Christian Meir’s wife, Amber, they use MCT oil daily in their morning coffee. Meir also prepares a bottle of MCT Oil to take to races. He uses them on oats, eggs, and salads.
Amber provided the following recipe using MCT Oil can be viewed here:
Asian Nut butter Ginger Slaw
- 1 medium head of cabbage, grated
- 1 cup shredded carrot
- 4 tablespoons of MCT oil
- 2 tablespoons of Flaxseed oil
- 6 tablespoons white rice vinegar
- 5 tablespoons almond butter
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger root
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
Mix all ingredients together and use as a delicious and nutritious side dish.
Other Ways to Use MCT Oil
- Replace vegetable, canola, and soybean oils with MCT oil for a quick health boost.
- Toss vegetables in MCT oil and bake in the oven for a healthy side dish.
- Make your own homemade salad dressing by combining MCT oil and apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.
- Dip fresh bread in MCT oil instead of olive oil.
Athletes know that concentration is just as important as energy during endurance events. Use MCT oil in place of sugary gels during exercise for a boost that won’t cause you to crash.
Feeling tired after lunch at the office? Instead of caffeine or an unhealthy snack, try using MCT oil for concentration to make you productive for the remainder of the work day. Replace sugary foods, which can be stored as fat when eaten in access, for foods that contain MCT oil instead.
St-Onge, M., & Bosarge, A. (2010). Weight-loss diet that includes consumption of medium-chain triacylglycerol oil leads to a greater rate of weight and fat mass loss than does olive oil. Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
For more information on MCT Oil, click on the link.