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Coconut MCT Oil for a Healthy and Balanced Diet

Coconut MCT Oil for a Healthy and Balanced Diet

Coconut MCT Oil for a Healthy and Balanced Diet

 

Coconut oil is the talk of health and fitness circles around the world, and for good reason. Coconut oil contains MCT’s or Medium Chain Triglycerides. They are touted for fat loss in Keto diets and used to enhance brain health and metabolism in athletes. But are they really that good?

What is MCT oil

Medium chain triglycerides are a type of fatty acid that is more easily digested and used by the body. Fatty acids are classified by the length of their carbon bonds. Long-chain fatty acids are about 13 to 18 carbons long, while medium fatty acid carbon bonds are 6 to 12 carbons long, and both must be consumed through food. Short chain fatty acids 5 or less and are produced by healthy gut bacteria.

The length of carbon bonds in fatty acids matters, because they determine how easily a fat can be broken down by your system and absorbed into your bloodstream for use. And it turns out the carbon bonds in MCT oil are smaller than in other fatty acids, and with the added benefit of the shorter carbon chains, MCTs easy to digest and quick to absorb.

But the real beauty of medium chain triglycerides is that they require no special enzymes to digest and can travel directly to the liver for use. Because of easy digestion and quick absorption, they are used quickly as energy and not stored as fat. The result is a feeling of satiety after consuming it and a boost of energy as it quickly enters your system.

While MCTs can be found in a number of foods from dairy products to palm oil, coconut is one of the healthiest and tastiest ways to consume this healthy nutrient. But palm oil has proven to be extremely detrimental to the environment while many people avoid dairy products due to allergies and other reasons. Coconut oil is better for the environment, easy to consume in coffee, on salads and can tolerate high heat cooking, making it a delicious addition to many meals.

Health Benefits of Coconut MCTs

Fat Loss – In a double-blind, controlled trial, healthy men and women were given a diet protocol of similar energy, fat and protein intake with the exception that one group was given MCTs and the other LCTs, or long-chain-triglycerides. Both experienced consistent weight loss but by the end of 12 weeks the group consuming MCTs had significantly more weight loss, a decrease in body fat and less subcutaneous fat. (1)

Weight Loss – The healthy fats in coconut oil help keep you feeling full and satiated, and seem to control appetite. It also lowers the rise of glucose and triglycerides which might influence the appetite. Because it is also easy to digest and absorb, it seems that MCTs help ward off excess fat storage and aid in weight control.

Energy Boost – Because it is metabolized very quickly as it is digested, MCT oil quickly fuels the cells in your brain and throughout your body. This energy boost can fuel a workout may help you exercise longer with more intensity.

Brain Health – Your brain uses glucose for energy, and when it runs lows, it uses ketones, instead. This is one reason why many who are on ketogenic diets add coconut MCT oil to their daily food plan, as the added fats are quickly converted to ketones for energy due to the low carbohydrate intake. But MCT oil has more benefits for brain health.

Coconut MCT oil contains caprylic acid, a type of fatty acid found mainly in coconut and palm oil. But what makes caprylic acid stand out is it health promoting properties such as being anti-microbial and it’s a super fuel for brain power. It turns out that caprylic acid can cross the blood brain barrier and help nourish and hydrate the brain. This may be another reason why those who take it experience increased energy and better focus.

Supports Digestion – As mention above, coconut MCT oil contains caprylic acid.  The added benefit for your digestion is that it can help balance your gut microflora for improved digestion. This leads to better absorption of nutrients and improvement of intestinal distress as it that can cause digestive problems.

Ketogenic Diets

Coconut MCT oil is used by many as a way to get the right amount of healthy fat into a ketogenic diet. Because the body must convert fats to ketones for this type of diet to work, carbs must be restricted, and fats have to be increased to 20 to 40 grams per meal. But consuming just any fat can actually add weight and create health problems.

But coconut MCT oil provides all the health benefits listed above and more. Those who use it along with a ketogenic diet find they have more energy and provide benefits for healthy weight management. And it makes a healthy addition to cooked foods, salads and beverages.

How to Fit Coconut MCT Oil into Your Healthy Diet

There are numerous ways to fit coconut MCT oil into a healthy diet. Here are great tips:

  • Add to teas and coffee for a full-bodied morning boost
  • Add to smoothies for a delicious but mild coconut flavor
  • Lightly sauté veggies in a little coconut oil
  • Add to salad dressing and vegetable dips
  • Make delicious desserts using coconut MCT oil instead of unhealthy fats

Including coconut MCT oil into your daily diet will allow you to enjoy the benefits of weight management, improved brain power and more. Begin with a small amount to allow your body to adjust to your new diet addition, then have fun experimenting. Enjoy the delicious versatility of this healthy fat in smoothies, treats and meals as you work your way to a leaner and healthier you.

References:

1 Hiroaki Tsuji, Michio Kasai, Hiroyuki Takeuchi, Masahiro Nakamura, Mitsuko Okazaki, Kazuo Kondo, Dietary Medium-Chain Triacylglycerols Suppress Accumulation of Body Fat in a Double-Blind, Controlled Trial in Healthy Men and Women, The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 131, Issue 11, November 2001, Pages 2853–2859, https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/131.11.2853

Allison Lansman is a Registered Dietitian (RD),

Allison Lansman is a Registered Dietitian (RD), freelance nutrition and health writer, and wellness blogger. She is the owner/operator of The Freelance RD writing service and blog. Her business provides mainly writing services, but also product development, educational services and brand partnerships.

As an RD, Allison embraces a modern approach to nutrition and wellness. She believes we benefit most from building positive, balanced connections between mind, body, food, and environment. And she is passionate about sharing that philosophy through wellness communication and writing.

Her educational background is through Iowa State University, where she completed both her undergraduate degree and dietetics internship. She is currently studying towards an Masters in Public Health.

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Life Line Foods Explains the Benefits of Liquid Nutritional Supplements

Dr. Chris Terrell Discusses the Advantages of Liquid Vitamins 

Matthew:  Vitamins and supplements have been a growing industry for the past 40 years.   Life Line Foods has been only focusing on liquid supplements since the mid 80’s.   However liquid supplements make up only about 5% of the entire industry.    Why do you think that is?

Dr. Chris:  Life Line Foods focuses solely on liquid vitamins and supplements because they understand it has superior absorbability.   It’s the best way to get nutrients into your body. The second part of the question, I believe, relates to taste.  There has been a long standing stigma against liquids. 20-50 years ago many had to deal with the taste of cod liver oil.  Things are very different now with use of more natural flavors.   We have come so far with technology.   People really should give liquid nutrients a try.

Matthew:  One thing we really focus on is the flavor.   How can anyone sell liquid supplements if they taste bad?  There are a lot of alternatives to liquid supplements with gummies, pills, capsules and tablets.  They may be less expensive than liquids but how effective are they?

Dr. Chris:  That is a very in depth question and it depends on what item we are specifically talking about.   Some herbs are only 20-30% absorbable in raw powder form.  Whereas liquids have up to 99% absorption.  Sometimes there is a convenience factor with other methods.   But superior absorption is going to be with liquid nutrients.

Matthew:   A lot of big box stores carry their own brands of tablets or capsules.  One point we are trying to make is the value of liquid vitamins and supplements verses other methods.  Do you think for the money spent on other delivery methods do you think people are getting what they pay for?

Dr. Chris: Again, it depends on so many factors.   Some products contain fibers, cellulose that your body can’t break down.  Another factor is if the manufacture does a dissolution test where the they can see if the product does break down by stomach acid. If your body doesn’t have enough stomach acid.   The product may be less expensive but how much does your body absorb.   For instance your body may only absorb 20% of a cheaper tablet or capsule.   The cost to the effectiveness with a liquid is always going to be superior.

Matthew:   The cost may be less expensive to other methods but the value may not be there.   If your professional opinion how much more effective are liquid supplements?

Dr. Chris: In my professional opinion liquids are going to be better.   There are a few exceptions where you need to bypass stomach acid like probioitics.   They need to bypass the stomach acid to be effective.  So they need to be in a capsule or soft gel.   For everything else, liquids are going to be better.   They are easier to digest, easier to absorb, it’s easier for your body to break down.   Your body doesn’t have to break down liquids as much.   The particle size is smaller which gives much better absorption.

Matthew:  This is what Life Line Foods Buried Treasure is all about – presenting value in our products.   It is difficult to present and sell a product if it doesn’t taste good and you are not getting any value out of it.    Can you break down a little of what bio-availability means?

Dr. Chris:  I like to keep my definitions simple and I am sure there are other definitions but basically bio-availability means how much your body is absorbing and how much you can get out of a product.  How much of a product you can utilize.   This varies on what product you are talking about but with liquids generally you have a very small particle size which means more bio-availability.

Matthew:   This is exactly what we are talking about with Buried Treasure products.   We advertise our particle size is less than 10 microns which is very small and makes it easier to absorb.   Your body doesn’t have to work very hard to break down the ingredients.

Dr. Chris:   Exactly, the smaller particle size the better the absorption.

Matthew:   What kind of health issues or health concerns do you see with people taking tablets, capsules or gummy bears for their supplements?

Dr. Chris: One major issue is low stomach acid.   Many people are on acid blockers.  People in their 40s,50s and 60s naturally have low stomach acid but also need to be on liquid supplements.  in my profession opinion people in this category with low stomach acid or are on acid blockers need to be on liquid supplements.   Anyone with gastrointestinal or digestive issues can’t absorb or breakdown nutrients they need for proper assimilation.

Matthew:  What about children?   We offer a Children’s Complete daily supplement.

Dr. Chris:   Again, liquids are always going to absorb better.   Children naturally have higher stomach acid so it is easier for them to break down ingredients, but if you don’t have to break it down, they will absorb much better.  You can put the liquids in any kind of juice or Stevia sweetened drink.

Matthew:   This is big difference with gummy bears or other methods that have added sugar or cellulose which has no nutritional value.

Dr. Chris:  If that is the only thing your child will take then give it to them.   They need the extra nutrients.  If they will take a liquid supplement they are avoiding the sugar, fillers, artificial ingredients and they are getting superior absorption

Matthew:  So are liquids for everyone?

Dr. Chris:   The exception is if anyone has difficulty swallowing thin liquids like with dysphasia or taking probiotics.  For everyone else liquids are the way to go.

Matthew:  Thank you Dr. Chris for coming out.   We appreciate your professional opinion and expertise on nutrition.

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The Council for Responsible Nutrition Producer of SOHO EXPO a Natural Products Industry Trade Show

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.   These products are not intended to treat, cure or diagnose illness or disease.

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