MCTs, or medium-chain triglycerides, have quickly become an invaluable product to include in the modern Keto diet as an instant fat boost for shakes, recipes and even coffee. However, the history of these products has long outweighed the modern benefits they are associated with. In this article, we will explain what MCTs are, why they are an important nutritional component for anyone following a Ketogenic diet and provide some creative ways to include them into your daily meal plan.
What are MCTs?
In essence, MCTs are just healthy fats that are derived from palm oils or coconut oil. All forms of triglycerides are composed of a glycerol backbone with 3 distinct fatty acids attached to it. Unlike most dietary fats that contain long-chain fatty acids, MCTs are partially manmade fats that are both easy to digest and can quickly be converted by the body into usable ketones for energy.
Traditional fat sources that are composed of long-chain fatty acids require the assistance of bile and phospholipids in order to be broken down and then absorbed via the intestinal wall. However, MCTs can be transported directly to the liver and converted into a bio-available source of ketones that the body can use instantly. By incorporating MCT-based products into your Ketogenic diet, you can benefit from the immediate boost in available ketones while also encouraging the creation of ketones from other dietary fat sources for a consistent supply of these fat-burning molecules.
Extensive research has been given to MCTs for the medical uses they provide. In fact, they have become a common and safe additive in food products for individuals that are unable to easily digest fats. One of the most common examples of this is the inclusion of MCTS into baby formula to simulate human breast milk. Now, researchers have found that MCTs may actually be the holy grail for the Keto faithful, particularly as a supplement in the ongoing fight against obesity.
How Do MCTs Assist a Keto Diet?
When the body is in a state of nutritional ketosis, it will require a consistent supply of ketones to provide energy. By supplementing your meals with MCT, you will be able to not only reduce feelings of hunger but ensure that you are maintaining consistent energy levels by supplementing the ketone bodies that your organs are creating on their own and supplying to the brain. Obtaining 70% to 80% of your dietary intake daily from fat sources is critical for success on a Keto diet. MCTs help make this more manageable.
While the research into the efficacy of MCTs for a Keto diet is still fairly new, the results that have currently been established are promising. Some of the benefits that have been found include a small increase in overall metabolic rate, improved insulin sensitivity among diabetics and an increase in serum ketones unmatched by other fatty acids. However, the most important reason to consume MCT while following a Ketogenic diet is the ability to provide your body with easily converted ketones that can be used for an immediate energy boost.
One other positive benefit attributed to the consumption of MCT-based products while following a Keto diet is the ability to improve satiety over an extended period. This can help not only establish a deep state of ketosis but ensure you maintain it while following a high-fat, low-cat meal plan. Depending on what you have set your daily fat intake requirements to, MCT supplements are a great way to ensure that you are hitting your macronutrient level consistently.
How Do You Use MCTs?
One of the easiest ways to incorporate MCTs into your diet is by adding it to smoothies or drinks. For instance, adding MCT oil or MCT powder to your morning coffees can ensure that you have the appropriate amount of fat intake to remain full until lunch. Even more importantly, adding MCT to your morning coffee can ensure you have enough ketones to provide energy for your brain and body to help kickstart your day the right way.
Because MCTs are generally flavor neutral, you can also drizzle them on top of your vegetables or other foods to provide an immediate fat boost. This can be as easy as incorporating MCTs into your salad dressing or condiments for a creative yet easy option for added fats in your diet. Remember, it’s important to ensure that up to 80% of your calories are coming from fatty sources. By adding MCT-based products to each meal, you can easily hit these macros to ensure consistent fat loss.
If you have been on the fence about trying MCTs, we encourage you to browse the popular options available within this blog with included Amazon Prime shipping options to get started quickly. In some cases, you may experience intestinal discomfort when using MCT products initially; however, this is normal. Just start with around 1 to 1.5 tsp each day and slowly increase the amount to 4 tbsp daily to help your body adapt.
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