Energy, sleep, mental clarity – for many adults, all of these can seem elusive in this busy, high-speed world. Drained and depleted, many people jolt themselves through the day with stimulants like caffeine, sugar, prescription drugs (or worse), in an attempt to keep pace. While they may get a lift, it’s followed by a crash, creating a daily roller coaster ride which, over time, can do things like strain your adrenals and heart, trigger insulin-resistance, encourage addiction problems and contribute to a host of other ailments. So, how about a healthy workaround instead? Then Medium Chain Triglycerides, or MCTs, may be exactly what your body’s begging for. Sound interesting? Check out my topline on what MTC oil has to offer and how to put it to work for you.
MCT Oil Has Arrived
Perhaps you’ve heard of MCT but aren’t too clear on what it’s all about. You’re not alone. Until a few years ago, when butter and MCT-boosted (‘Bulletproof’) coffee burst onto the Silicon Valley coffee bar scene, unless they were on specialized diets, most people had never heard of the stuff. Since then however, with meta-analysis studies exonerating saturated fat and the rise of good fat-inclusive, ‘clean’ whole food diets, MCT has come into its own as the must-eat fatty acid, found in coconut oil, olive oil, grass-fed butter and several other sources. Coconut oil especially is a MCT motherlode.
MCT Won’t Add, Ahem, Extra Padding
Mostly due to ongoing, ingrained, wide-spread fat-o-phobia – the mistaken belief that all dietary fats are to be avoided – most people miss out on the benefits MCT-rich foods. Fat-o-phobics forget that the body needs a supply of good fats to function optimally. Going with the old-school eliminate-all-saturated-fat-from-the-diet is a recipe for low energy and brain fog and, also, may account for some of the listlessness and brain fog low-fat eaters commonly experience. While your body needs fat, nobody should be eating ‘bad’ fats like hydrogenated oils or trans fats, and everyone should be making room on their plates for good saturated fats, like MCTs, as well as mono and polyunsaturated fats. Another way to up intake is to supplement with concentrated MCT oil, the more convenient form that mixes easily into many foods and beverages.
MCT Won’t Blow Those Scale Numbers Up
What makes MCTs especially desirable it that they take less energy and enzymes to digest than other types of dietary fat, so it’s a more readily accessed energy source, quickly delivering the gentle, long-lasting lift you need. Another plus? MCTs are burned for energy, which helps keep your metabolism in high gear. Better yet, unlike other dietary fats, MCTs don’t get stored as fat in the body, so adding them to your diet won’t send the bathroom scale numbers into the stratosphere. MCT’s also enhance satiety, which means less hunger, fewer cravings and, in turn, an additional helping hand for weight control.
Think of It As a Healthy Performance Enhancer
Know you’re in for a tough day? Bypass Starbucks and Dunkin’ Doughnuts and prop yourself up with the good stuff – MCT oil. Just a little dab will do ya’ – boosting energy and supporting athletic performance, as well as immune health – an added bonus for the stressed-out masses. Add a teaspoon or two to your morning smoothie for long-lasting fuel to get you through the morning, no sweat, no jitters. Got a tough day of meetings or travel ahead? Take 2 teaspoons, 1 to 3 times a day to help you power up caffeine-free. Wrapping up your day with a post-work spin class? Try taking 2 teaspoons to help you go the distance instead of loaded-with-sugar “energy” bars or processed faux-foods like sports “goos” and gels.
Start With a Light Touch
MCT oil is a terrific, health-supportive supplement, not a magic bullet, so don’t start swigging this stuff like a college kid on Spring Break. To incorporate more MCT oil into your routine, start slow and build up over time, or you may find yourself with, to put it politely, mild gastric upset, particularly if you’ve been avoiding dietary fat for a while. While MCT oil is generally well-tolerated, check in with your doc for the go-ahead, especially if you have issues with your liver, are diabetic or pregnant. Assuming you get the all clear, try starting with a half a teaspoon or so over the course of several days and build up from there.