Coconut oil is all the rage these days, whether you’re using it to moisturize your skin, bake, or sauté veggies for a curry. Part of the reason for its popularity is the recognition that coconut oil is a lot healthier than previously thought, for two reasons. The first reason is that saturated fats are not the dietary villain they were once considered to be.*(Coconut oil, like butter, is mostly saturated fat.) The second reason is MCTs.
What are MCTs?
MCTs, short for medium-chain triglycerides, are a type of fat that naturally occurs in coconut oil. These consist of four different fatty acids: caproic, capric, caprylic and lauric acids.
What’s special about MCTs?
There’s emerging evidence that MCTs are burned differently than other fats — they can be converted directly to energy rather than being stored as fat. This means MCTs do not contribute to weight gain in the same way long-chain triglycerides do.*,
In fact, MCTs may even help people keep their cholesterol levels within a normal range.*,MCTs also provide the brain with fuel in the form of ketones, which may help seniors stay sharp.*
There’s just one caution. Like all fats, coconut oil is high in calories, so you don’t want to pig out on the stuff.
Which one should I choose: Coconut oil or MCT oil?
MCT oil consists of pure, concentrated MCTs. So, if you’re mainly interested in the metabolic and brain health benefits of MCTs, a high-quality oil such as Barlean’s MCT Swirl is your best bet. But if you’re after something you can use for culinary or cosmetic purposes (that also provides a smaller amount of MCTs), you should opt for coconut oil.
Either way — Barlean’s MCT Swirl and assortment of coconut oils — are an easy, delicious way to get more MCTs into your diet.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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