I hate hype. You can go through my past headlines and you’ll clearly see that I’m not a sensationalist. In fact, it’s the hype and sensationalism that turn me off from reading most magazines.
So why did a write a headline like this? Because it’s true. And that’s the problem with magazines — everything is hype, whether it’s useful or completely useless. That’s cognitively disappointing.
So with that said, let’s get back on track. What’s this food I’m talking about? It’s actually not a food, it’s a derivative of food; an extract, if you will.
And no, it doesn’t come from some far away mountain range, procured by indigenous people with great care and shipped to you for $14.95. Well, it does come from the Amazon — if you choose to buy it online with super saver shipping (bad joke, sorry).
Okay, let’s get serious. This food I’m talking about is a concentrated fat called MCT oil. And it offers some unique advantages for both cooking and consumption. There’s absolutely nothing mystical about it, it just freakin’ works.
So what is MCT oil? You can think of it as a concentrated form of coconut oil. The extremely healthy saturated fat in coconut is comprised of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT). And MCT oil is a concentrated form of that fat (about 6x stronger than eating coconut oil).
The reason I’m so interested in MCT oil is two fold: it’s uniquely metabolized and it’s easily digested.
The unique metabolization of MCTs and other benefits
Instead of being metabolized through the digestion process like other fats are, MCTs are taken straight to the liver where they act very similar to carbohydrates, providing instant — and well sustained — energy.
If you want to feel the effects of this for yourself, put a tablespoon of MCTs in your coffee — or really go for it all and make bulletproof coffee (or tea). Seriously, this an effect you WILL feel — and it feels like you gave your body rocket fuel.
But it’s not just the energy you get that’s interesting. MCTs improve blood sugar regulation (yay!), improve metabolism (especially fat metabolism), may improve thyroid function, improve appetite regulation, and are used to treat many ailments (Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, seizures, cystic fibrosis, etc.).
As far as brain function goes, MCT oil is like rocket fuel because it enhances ketone production. Ketones, of course, are a more efficient fuel for your brain (which is why some people report clearer thinking on a ketogenic diet). For productivity, using MCTs to outwork my competition is my unfair advantage.
That’s a pretty compelling list — and it’s why MCT oil (or coconut oil at a minimum) is prioritized in how I eat. (And it’s probably why breast milk contains a lot of MCTs and — shocker — saturated fat).
Of course, a side effect of all of that is improved body composition. If you’re into burning fat, MCTs are your friend.
The digestion of MCTs
The body is very efficient at metabolizing and digesting MCTs. They don’t require bile salts for digestion and they pass easily from the GI tract to the blood stream without being modified the way long-chain fats must be.
If your body has trouble digesting long-chain fats, you should definitely be adding MCTs to your diet.
The reason something like bulletproof coffee works so well for energy — especially sustained energy — is that it combines MCTs with longer chain fats. This gives you the rocket boost up front with a sustained, diesel-fuel-like energy that lasts for hours on end.
How to use MCT Oil in day to day life
Getting MCTs in your diet is simple. For starters, you should be using coconut oil for something on a day to day basis, whether you’re cooking with it, putting it in a smoothie, or eating it with a spoon.
Beyond that, I highly recommend you supplement with pure MCT oil (I personally use Onnit brand MCT Oil). You can cook with the oil itself (or add it to the oil/fat you’re already cooking with (as long as temperature stays under 320 degrees)). You can put it straight into your smoothie, coffee, or tea (as I do). And you can use it in your salad dressing or soups.
You do need to start out slow. Until your body gets used to the straight dose, taking too much at once can cause you to experience digestive disturbances (“disaster pants” as Kelly Starrett calls it). Start out with one tablespoon at a time and then you can increase to two or three.
Try it and let me know what you think — and let me know what it does for your productivity, satiety, and body composition after 30 days.