That’s medium-chain triglycerides… Read on to learn why MCT oil might be what’s missing from your routine, and how to use it…
My favorite season is finally here, guys. Nope, not fall (though I do love the cooling weather and vibrant trees), I’m talking hot coffee season. While some may swoon at iced coffee, I crave the ritual of blending up my morning cup. That’s right, I said blending. Coffee-making has reached new heights in my kitchen, with daily adaptogens, collagen, a dash of cinnamon, and brain-boosting MCT oil for good measure. Toss it all into the blender with a cup of strong coffee? Doesn’t get much better. That last ingredient has been a favorite these past few years, and it’s not just me. Look up “MCT oil” and you’ll find post after post extolling the benefits. But what, exactly, is it? Today I’m diving into the specifics — and sharing a great alternative to your morning cup of joe. Read on to learn why MCT oil might be what’s missing from your routine, and how to use it:
What is MCT?
MCT, which stands for medium-chain triglycerides, is an essential fatty acid commonly derived from coconut oil, but also present in grass-fed butter and palm oil, and most other foods that contain saturated fat (though in smaller amounts). Easier to digest than long-chain triglycerides, MCT oil is beneficial for the entire system. Most MCT oils on the market are derived from coconut oil because coconut oil is such a rich source — roughly 60-65% MCTs — however, the distilled oil is a great choice for harnessing the pure benefits of MCTs, as it has a higher, more potent amount of medium-chain triglycerides. Coconut oil still has an important place in our diets, but for those looking to get a diverse and concentrated array of MCTs, a specialty oil is a great choice. Just be sure to choose a high-quality, organic formula.
Benefits of MCT oil
So, why are MCTs so special? Medium-chain triglycerides are easier for our bodies to absorb and digest than long and short-chain fatty acids — they’re sent right to our liver, creating a thermogenic effect that could boost metabolism. MCTs have also been found to increase satiety, keeping us feeling fuller, longer. Good quality MCT oil could help boost energy and stamina, especially when used in place of carbs in a low-carb diet (such as Paleo). MCTs could also help boost mood, as healthy fats are an essential part of brain function. Additionally, the fats in MCT oil aid the body in properly absorbing vitamins (which is why salad should always have a little healthy fat in it), promotes gut health and balances gut bacteria (which has recently been linked to healthy brain function). And — good news — like coconut oil, MCT oil also boasts many of the same antibacterial benefits, with the ability to potentially protect against streptococcus, straphylococcus, and more.
How to use MCT oil
MCT oil can be taken by the spoonful, like you would a daily vitamin, or added to recipes. Because it’s digested differently and used quickly by the body, it’s important to start with small doses of MCT. Start with ½ to 1 tsp and work your way up to avoid potential stomach upset. MCT oil blends easily into warm liquids and is the perfect substitute for butter or coconut oil in bulletproof coffee recipes (check out the version below for a coffee-free MCT-powered bulletproof). Since it stays in its liquid form, MCT oil also mixes seamlessly into salad dressings and can replace olive oil in most dressing recipes. Add a spoonful to smoothies, chia puddings, or overnight oats for added healthy fats. MCT oil is super versatile and can be used as a finishing oil on almost anything, from sweet desserts to savory dishes, or subbed for coconut oil in baked goods — for a dose of healthy, brain-boosting fat!
Morning MCT Matcha Latte
8 oz plant-based milk or water (or a mix of both)
1 tsp matcha powder
1 tsp – 1 tbsp organic MCT oil (start slow)
½ tsp ashwagandha
½ tsp rhodiola
¼ tsp cinnamon
Optional: Collagen peptides
In a pot over low heat, heat the milk or water over the stove until hot but not boiling. Combine milk with remaining ingredients in a high speed blender and blend on low to medium until mixed and frothy (be careful blending hot liquids, a blender with a locking lid is recommended). Pour into your favorite mug and sip slowly. Enjoy!
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