When you follow a keto diet, it is very important that you take good, healthy fats. After all, they are your primary source of energy! When we look at the healthy fats, you often hear the term ‘MCT’ passing by. You can get it in oil form, but also as a powder. You often see it processed in other products, such as energy bars and keto snacks.
But what exactly is it? And why is MCT an indispensable part of the keto diet? In this article we answer all possible questions and give you the tools you need in the field of MCT.
MCT: What is it?
MCT is a form of fat. You’ve probably heard of saturated and unsaturated fats, but you can also divide fats into short-chain, medium-chain and long-chain fatty acids.
MCT stands for Medium Chain Triglycerides, or medium chain fatty acids. As the word ‘medium’ indicates, the chains of the fatty acids are medium in length, which in normal human language means that they are digested more quickly and easily by the body. This allows you to quickly and effectively get the most energy from these fats.
MCTs can be found in various natural sources such as palm oil and dairy products, but are mainly found in coconut oil. More than 50% of the fats in coconut oil consists of MCTs.
Now of course you can consume a lot of dairy products or coconut oil to get it, but a better idea is to use MCT oil. This has everything to do with a much higher concentration of MCT.
Perfect in a keto diet
The ultimate goal of a keto diet is that your body burns your fat reserves instead of the carbohydrates you normally take in. This process can be much more stable by including MCT oil in your keto diet.
The easy digestibility ensures that the MCTs are delivered directly to the liver. Here the substances can be immediately transformed into ketones.
These ketones are then immediately converted into energy for your brain. This is because the ketones can easily penetrate the blood-brain barrier. This process is also called ketosis and is an important part of your metabolism.
This explains why taking MCT oil before exercise can ensure that fat instead of carbohydrates is used to create energy. So you generally need fewer carbohydrates for your energy, which of course fits perfectly within a ketogenic diet.
MCT oil consists of different acids, the most effective and common composition is a blend of caprylic acid (C8) and capric acid (C10). The lower the number, the shorter the chain of the fatty acids and the faster it is digested in your body.
Coconut oil consists for the most part of lauric acid (C12), even though this officially falls under the medium-chain fatty acids, your body digests it as a long-chain fatty acid (LCT). MCT oil that consists of 60% C8 and 40% C10 contains all the good properties of MCTs that you need and is therefore more effective than pure coconut oil.
How do you incorporate MCT oil in your daily diet? To benefit from the positive effects of MCT oil, a dose of about 10 ml is enough, which equates to a small tablespoon.
Good quality MCT oil is tasteless and liquid, perfect for adding a dash to your smoothie, salad or even coffee! You can also use it for baking, for example. Note: it is better not to heat above 120 degrees. A selection of the possibilities:
Drink it with coffee and other hot drinks
By adding it to your morning drink, you are not only assured of your intake of healthy fats, but it gives your body and brain the ultimate energy to start the day .
Add it to your keto smoothies. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of MCT oil to your daily smoothie for a boost of healthy fats and ketones.
Use it in your keto condiments, dressings and sauces
Add MCT oil to your favorite keto dressings, condiments and sauces Use a tablespoon or 2 in your dressing, or mix with olive oil, for example, depending on the consistency and flavor you want.
Add it to your shakes before and / or after your workout.
Supplementing your pre or postworkout meal with a tablespoon of MCT oil can improve your performance, stamina and recovery. MCT oil as a pre-workout supplement can be great for people who are just starting the keto diet and who feel less energized than usual during their workouts.
Because MCT oil provides an energetic body and mind, it is wise to take it in the morning or during the day, so that you do not lie awake too long.
Drizzle It Over Your Meal
If you want to add some extra fat to your keto meal, just drizzle some MCT oil over it.
Make a quick keto chocolate sauce
Fancy some chocolate with your keto dessert? Try making a quick chocolate sauce by mixing cocoa powder and MCT oil together (add your favorite keto sweetener if you want some extra sweetness too). Drizzle this chocolate sauce to add some extra flavor and ketosis promoting fats to your keto dessert.
Add them to your keto fat bombs
As long as you are using a fat / oil that doesn’t melt at room temperature as your primary fat source, feel free to add some extra MCT oil or MCT oil powder to turn your fat bombs into ketosis-increasing fat bombs. to make.
Take it right away
Because MCT oil is tasteless and odorless, it is possible to take your dose without having to add it to anything. You can do the same with MCT powder by adding it to a glass of water.
All benefits at a glance
Besides the fact that MCT oil gives you a good dose of clean energy, a large number of benefits have been discovered. We have listed a number of them.
Great help with weight loss and dieting
MCT oil can help in several ways when you are. This way, when you take MCT oil, you produce more leptin and peptide YY. These are the hormones that make you feel full. This way you will fill up faster and get through the day without a nagging hunger pangs.
In addition, MCT oil contains about 10% less calories than other oils and healthy fats such as nuts and avocados. A wise choice!
Direct energy for body and mind
Due to the shorter length of the chain fatty acids, MCTs can be quickly processed by the body. This allows them to be converted into a source of energy almost instantly. You can immediately use this extra energy for workouts, but also for mentally challenging work such as a long study session.
MCT oil is loved by athletes because it can reduce lactic acid build-up for improved endurance. A 2009 Japanese study found that MCTs actually have an effect on athletes’ endurance during high-effort exercises.
During this study it has been proven that MCT oil can ensure that the formation of lactate in the muscles is reduced. Lactate is a residual product of lactic acid and once it settles in the muscles it can cause your sports performance to decline. To counteract or reduce the build-up of lactate, you can incorporate MCT oil in your diet, which ultimately ensures that you can continue exercising for longer.
bacterial and anti-MCTs are known to have antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Much has been proven about these effects in coconut oil, which contains a large percentage of MCTs. For example, it will stop the growth of fungi such as Candida albicans, which are the cause of many common fungal infections in the skin.
It also reduces the growth of Clostridium difficile, a bacteria that can cause diarrhea and various intestinal infections. These effects are due to a number of acids that can be found in MCTs: caprylic acid and capric acid.
Lowered cholesterol and blood sugar
MCTs have also been shown to have a number of important medical effects on the body and health. For example, it has been shown in several studies that consuming MCT oil, compared to oils such as soybean oil and olive oil, can result in lowering cholesterol levels. MCT oil can also reduce the effects of bad types of cholesterol and stimulate the good types.
Diabetes patients can also benefit from MCT oil. MCTs can help burn fat faster, which is beneficial for type 2 diabetes. During a study it has been proven that consuming MCT oil ensures that 30% less sugar is needed to maintain normal blood sugar levels in diabetics who use insulin.
Positive effects in Alzheimer’s, epilepsy and autism
Especially in combination with a ketogenic diet, MCT oil can make a positive contribution to the regulation of various disorders. For example, three different studies have shown that Alzheimer’s patients make progress when they are in ketosis.
A dosed intake can also lead to improved brain and memory functions. Caprylic acid, an acid in MCTs that also counteracts bacteria formation, also has positive effects in regulating seizures. Perhaps even better than commonly used epilepsy drugs, according to a 2013 neuro-pharmaceutical study.
Long-term use of MCT oil can result in general improvements in the behavior of people with autism. It is important to note that this can differ for each person as autism is a spectrum disorder. After all, all these effects are enhanced when taking MCT oil is combined with a keto diet.