You have probably heard of coconut oil, MCT oil, and bullet proof coffee by now and if you have no idea what these items are (and what all the hype is about), you are not alone. These oils and coffee are very popular in the ketogenic world where people consume high-fat foods and drinks to get into the metabolic state of ketosis in order to burn fat for fuel (instead of carbs). Even if you don't want to go full blown keto, coconut oil, MCT oil, and bullet proof coffee can be beneficial items to add to your nutrition plan as these healthy fats keep you fuller for longer, and assist with blood sugar level stabilization.
Extracted from the meat of mature coconuts, coconut oil is very popular in the keto community as its fat profile is different than most other cooking oils. Typically, fats in the diet come from long-chain triglycerides, however, the fats found in coconut oil are called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) as these fats are shorter, having between six and twelve carbons. There are four primary MCTs that are categorized, based on their carbon lengths--C6 (caproic acid) contains six carbons, C8 (caprylic acid) contains eight carbons, C10 (capric acid) contains 10 carbons, and C12 (lauric acid) contains twelve carbons. Because of their chemical structure, MCTs go to the liver where they are used as a quick source of energy, and they can increase fat burning, as well as raise your HDL (good) cholesterol. Coconut oil provides a mixture of all medium-chain triglycerides, and is most abundant in C12 (lauric acid). Once digested, lauric acid helps to create monolaurin which helps to kill harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Coconut oil can be used for cooking at high heat, creamer for coffee, added nutrients in smoothies, and moisturizing the skin without added chemicals.
The primary difference between coconut oil and MCT oil is that coconut oil is comprised of around fifty-five percent medium-chain triglycerides, whereas MCT oil is 100 percent medium-chain triglycerides. In addition, while C12 (lauric acid) is beneficial to fend off harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi, it is the most prevalent MCT found in coconut oil. Since it is the longest MCT, it is the least efficient in terms of converting to ketones. For greater ketone conversion, MCT oil contains a much higher proportion of of C8 (caprylic acid) and C10 (capric acid) which are known for brain health and curbing hunger. These specific MCTS will give you the benefits of a strict ketogenic nutrition plan, while being able to consuming more carbohydrates. A 2015 meta-analysis found that MCTs helped to decrease weight, hip and waist circumference, visceral fat, and total body fat. MCT oil has no taste or smell and can be taken on its own or added to coffee, smoothies, and salad dressings.
In addition, you can use MCT oil to make bullet proof coffee which is a high-fat, high-calorie coffee that is typically made with brewed coffee, grass-fed butter or ghee, and MCT oil. It is suggested to use a blender to thoroughly combine the ingredients for a smooth and frothy texture. Since bullet proof coffee does offer a substantial amount of fat and calories, some choose to use the coffee as a breakfast replacement. You can make your own simple bullet proof coffee by adding MCT oil to any of our high-protein, delicious coffee drinks found here!