Is it really possible to burn FAT predominantly found around the waistline by eating coconut oil??? Well, there is evidence pointing toward a type of fat, specifically medium chain triglycerides, found in coconut oil, as well as the supplemental form referred to as MCT oil, that just might be worth investigating for your own diet! Here’s the “not so technical” scoop…
WHAT IS MCT AND HOW DOES IT “WORK”?
MCT, or medium chain triglyceride, is simply a fat that has a medium chain of carbons, unlike other fats that are short or long chained. This is important as you learn how our bodies metabolize this type of fat. Triglycerides (fat) are transported into our cells and burned for energy or stored as fat. This takes some time and the metabolization process involves several steps, organs, and systems. It is not an efficient energy source for activities, and therefore most is put into storage. Some of us could benefit from a smaller storage locker!
Medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) are rapidly broken down, absorbed, and sent directly to the liver from the small intestine. This is where the magic happens! Ketones are produced when the liver breaks down larger amounts of fat. Ketones provide an alternative energy source for the brain because they can cross the blood brain barrier efficiently. It also provides an immediate energy boost as well as thermogenic effect (burning energy as in fat!). Since MCT is quickly broken down and used, much less is stored! Hello junk leaving the trunk!
MCT contain 6-12 carbons in the chain gang.
C6 – Caproic Acid
C8 – Caprylic Acid
C10 – Capric Acid
C12 – Lauric Acid
All 4 offer fabulous health benefits, but lauric acid is the BEST, known for it’s antimicrobial powers!
WHERE DO I GET THIS AND HOW DO I TAKE IT???
Coconut oil is the easiest and tastiest way to grab your MCT’s. Certain dairy products, especially goat’s milk and breast milk, also contain MCT’s. Coconut oil contains about 50% Lauric acid, which is the highest concentration found in any food. Pay attention to buy organic and virgin if possible. You can use it to make your own salad dressing, sauté or roast veggies, or in favorite recipes for muffins and breads. Store it in the cupboard away from sun and heat.
MCT oil is a highly concentrated source that is manufactured by fractioning out the MCT’s from the LCT’s. However, only the capra acids remain. Manufactured MCT oil does not offer lauric acid, so it is not the same as pure coconut oil. MCT oil has grown in popularity with athletes and body builders because it provides an easy energy source, has been shown to help reduce body fat, and can be taken straight or added to smoothies, dressings, and sauces.
HOW DOES THIS HELP ME LOSE FAT???
First of all… remember, you aren’t adding more fat… you’re replacing it!
Try using 1 -3 TBS of coconut oil instead of butter, margarine (YIKES), olive, safflower, and canola oils.
As stated above, the thermic effect of consuming MCT oil can increase the amount of energy you expend digesting and metabolizing food. It can help you feel fuller after eating, and much less is stored as body fat. There are several studies suggesting that MCT oil can help burn visceral fat, which is stored around your organs and excessively in the abdomen. This can offer several benefits reducing inflammation and risks of cardiovascular disease… not to mention reducing waist circumference!
ARE THERE OTHER BENEFITS???
There are always ongoing studies and contradictions on the benefits and contraindications for MCT oil. It is always wise to do your own research and consult your doctor as it relates to your personal health.
Aside from helping your body burn fat as a more efficient fuel source and reducing the amount hanging out in storage, there is evidence supporting changes in cholesterol figures, specifically lowering LDL’s (the bad guys), and raising HDL’s (good guys). It could also help lower overall blood sugar, and the ketones produced provide energy to the brain, which is always a good thing!
As a health coach, I always recommend WHOLE FOODS. Keeping in line with that notion, I would say to get a quality jar of coconut oil and begin experimenting with replacing your old stand by oils and fats with this gem. Remember, you need fat as part of your healthy eating plan, and this is a great way to do that AND burn off the excess! If you decide to supplement with manufactured MCT oil… choose a quality brand and do your research!
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