MCT’s & Coconut Oil

MCT’S and Coconut Oil…

Medium chain triglycerides (MCT’s) are a saturated fat. MCT’s are composed of, as the name gives away, three fatty acids attached to a glycerol backbone, with 2 or 3 of those fatty acid chains are medium-chain in length.

Saturated fat has had bad press for a long long time to the point where advice stearing people away from eggs and steak for any more than once per week has been thrown around.

Now in the past couple of decades this thought process (all though still existing) has almost 180’d completely on itself as all blame got taken off fat, specifically saturated fat and pushed onto carbohydrate.

I think whats important to point out is that taking an “either or” stand point is usually a dangerous position to be in and labeling any food or food group as good, bad or indifferent is missing the point.

The circumstances, environment and context change the health or unhealthy nature of any food, what is perfectly acceptable to consume for one person at one time maybe a very poor and unhealthy decision for another.

There is very rarely an “either or” scenario….guess what? Here’s where I say “it depends” again!

Remember, its how a food is used that makes it a wise or woeful decision.

The rise of lower carbohydrate approaches highlighted the importance and role of fats in the diet, and in particular one strand of the fat family got good press.

That fat, which we are going to take a quick look at is – MCTs –  Medium-chain triglycerides

Like I said, MCT’s are a saturated fat, however MCT’s are metabolised at a different rate compared to other saturated fats such as long chain fatty acids, which makes them an easy fuel source that is available almost immediately unlike other fats that become available around 2 hours later.

– Some studies show they have a thermogenic effect and promote fat oxidation.

– In the absence of carbs, MCT’s place the body in a great position to increase fat burning and prolong the process of burning fat.

– They permeate cell membranes easily and do not require special enzymes to be utilized effectively by your body.

– They are easily digested.

– They are immediately converted into energy rather than being stored as fat.

One of the best sources of MCTs is coconut oil

– Coconut Oil is almost 60% MCT’s

– Cook with coconut oil – it has a slightly higher smoke point (350F/175C)  than olive oil at around 325F/165C, which means its harder for coconut oil to go rancid.

– It can be stored in either a liquid form, which it is in warmer climates above 76F or a solid state as it is in cooler climates and virgin coconut oil can last almost indefinitely.

– Best stored away from direct sunlight and not in the fridge or you will need a chisel to access it.

– Coconut oil also contains lauric acid, actually it possibly contains the highest concentration of lauric acid of any substance on earth and also contains capric acid. In the body Lauric acid converts into monolaurin, which has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-protozoa properties.

– Monolaurin is a monoglyceride that can destroy lipid coated viruses such as flu, measels and various pathogenic bacteria.

You don’t just have to cook with it or eat it, in tropical parts of the world coconut oil has many more uses.

– Hair tonic
– Moisturiser
– Some research suggests that due to the antimicrobial and antiviral properties of the oil make it great treatment against acne, psoriasis, and eczema
– Clean teeth – teeth pulling has been used for around 2000 years to improve oral health, many people swear by it, Including me. take a further look here http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-oil-pulling
– Make up remover (just for the record i didn’t figure this one out!)

…And here’s a little extra for you;

I use coconut oil as part of one of my favorite pre-workout drinks

The level 1 – ‘Chocolate Proconut Espresso’

– Boiling water
– Coffee
– 1 – 3 teaspoons coconut oil
– 15g whey or beef protein (chocolate works best)
– 5g creatine

“…Or there’s always Pina Colada!”

 

Dan

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