We're sure you've all heard of MCTs by now, which have recently become popularised by the keto diet.
Apart from low-carb fans constantly raving about MCT oil, what are MCTs, why are they so popular and should you be including them in your diet?
MCT stands for Medium Chain Triglycerides, or Medium chain fatty acids. These types of fatty acids are quite rare in western diets with the richest sources of MCTs coming from coconut and palm oils. It is important to note however that MCT oil is not just regular coconut oil.
MCT oil is a highly concentrated source of these fatty acids and has been used for many years to help with food absorption issues that come with conditions such as coeliac disease, liver disease and bowel problems.
Usually our food consists of Long train glycerides (LCTs), which take longer to be absorbed into the body compared to MCT's which the body is more quickly able to digest them to be able to efficiently utilise them for energy.
Whilst you can get MCT's through whole foods, the most potent sources of MCT come in MCT oil or MCT powder. Our two Bondi blends incorporate low levels of MCT powder.
What are the benefits?
Studies have linked MCT oil to improved performance in cognitive ability, sport, gut and heart health, as well as being a tool to aid weight management.
Whilst several studies have shown that MCT oils can be useful for weight management, they are by no means a magic weight loss pill. They may however help to make you feel more satiated and therefore help to limit the calories you are consuming.
MCT oil is also a form of healthy fat and is a helpful supplement for those who struggle to get enough servings of fatty fish in their diet.
There has been research into how MCT's may help reduce people's risk factor for heart disease and high cholesterol however there isn't enough conclusive research yet. As MCT's grow in popularity and are studied more we will have a greater understanding of the potential of these fatty acids.
How to incorporate MCT's?
MCT oils don't have a very strong taste so they are easily incorporated into different ways into the diet.
MCT's have an extremely low smoke point so they aren't advised for use when cooking as their chemical structure is altered when they come into contact with heat.
The most popular ways to incorporate MCT's are into coffee, in the case of Bondi Coffee we already have MCT powder infused into our sachets.
If you do however want a higher dose, you can add MCT oil into your smoothies, coffee or oats (after they have been cooked). It can also be used in salad dressings. It is interesting to note that the addition of MCT oil to meals can actually help our body absorb various fat-soluble vitamins in the fruit and vegetables we eat such as vitamin D, E, A and K.
There is still a long way to go with research for how MCT oil can help us to improve our health however the popularity of the supplement with healthcare and fitness professionals around the world is in undoubtable.
If you are looking to starting to incorporate MCT's, you can consume it in both our Bondi Coffee Lean Green sachets as well as our pre workout Workout Booster Blend.
If you want to add further MCT's, it is recommended you start with a tablespoon of MCT oil and increase your dose over time.