MCT are medium-chain triglycerides, a form of saturated fatty acid that has numerous health benefits, ranging from improved cognitive function to better weight management. Coconut oil is one great source of MCTs – roughly 62-65 percent of the fatty acids in coconut oil are MCTs – but recently more concentrated “MCT oils” have also been growing in popularity.
MCTs, also called “MCFAs” for medium-chain fatty acids, are believed to be largely missing from the diets of people eating “standard Western” diets, most likely because the public has been led to believe that all forms of saturated fats are potentially harmful.
We now know that ideally MCT oils like coconut oil should actually be consumed every day. Certain saturated fats, especially MCTs and other healthy fats found in things like coconut oil or grass-fed beef, are in fact easier to digest than long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) and might even have more benefits related to heart health, obesity prevention and brain health, too.
In fact, traditional populations living in tropical areas have been consuming saturated fats, including sources of MCTs like coconuts, for thousands of years without any ill effects – so consider the idea that a low-fat diet is “healthy” to be one of the biggest nutrition lies there ever was!.
Aside from coconut oil, smaller amounts of MCTs can also be found in certain other foods with saturated fats including butter (especially butter from grass-fed cows), cheeses, palm oil, whole milk and full-fat yogurt.
Medium-chain fatty acids are capable of helping you:
Maintain a healthy weight – since they both make you feel full
Specifically reduce stored body fat – since they also raise your metabolic function
Have more energy
Think more clearly
Experience better digestion
Balance hormone levels
Improve your mood
Fight bacterial infection and viruses
Absorb fat-soluble nutrients from various foods