What if I tell you there’s something you could eat that could help you in your weight loss journey? Something that you don’t have to force yourself to swallow because you can add it to your beverage, be it water or juice, because it’s tasteless but still works its miracles – well, that’s what Melissa Joan Hart, who is famous for playing the titular role in the ‘90s show “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” is saying. The magical ingredient is called MCT oil.
You may have read it on wellness sites and that’s because it is hardly a new discovery. Hart is the latest to share her fondness of the oil, which contains medium-chain triglycerides, saying she drinks it every day with water and tea. When asked why she loves MCT oil, the 42-year-old said it helped her lose weight, albeit only a few pounds, immediately and she managed to keep them off. The proud mom of three also credits the liquid for helping keep the cravings at bay, kick-starting her metabolism, and boosting her energy.
What is MCT?
Sounds like an all-in-one product, right? But before we dig deeper into the supposed benefits of the MCT oil, it is best we understand what exactly it is. First of all, medium-chain triglycerides are a type of fatty acids that can be naturally found in certain dairy products, like butter, and coconut, and palm oils. Apart from the medium-chain, there are also long-chains, but they differ in the rate the body absorbs them.
The shorter kind is easier to digest, registered dietician Jill Keene said, because it goes directly into the liver. Your body can then use MCT as a fuel or it can turn into ketones, which are the result when the liver breaks down fat, and which your brain can use in lieu of sugar. That said, you’ll feel fired up shortly after you consume it.
Because the calories in MCT are used immediately, it won’t become stored fat. MCT consists of capric, caproic, lauric, and caprylic acid and usually composed of 6 to 12 atoms. The long-chain fatty acids are found in avocado and olive oils.
Health Benefits of MCT Oil
According to the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, one study found that MCT can provide short-term benefits for people with dementia. Another one says those with Alzheimer’s disease tend to take up as many ketones as a healthy person. Apart from its effect on the cognitive level, avid consumers of the oil claim that it gave them increased endurance and boosted their energy – research found that recreational athletes who consumed food rich in MCT rather than long-chain had increased the time they can endure high-intensity activities.
Hart’s account is not the first, in fact, several studies found that MCT is a big help in weight loss and management. It increases the release of peptide YY and leptin, hormones that trick you into feeling full. A 2017 research discovered that people who take two tablespoons of it along with their breakfast ate less for lunch and dinner.
Should I Try MCT Oil Now?
Like all the other fitness trends that pop out, it is best that you proceed with caution. Even though a lot of studies have been made about the wonders of the MCT oil, there are contradicting ones as well, which means results vary. Although it sounds perfect, Keene warned that those who were sold by it should remember the potential risks of consuming saturated fat, such as heart and cholesterol levels.
Plus, a tablespoon of MCT oil equals a hundred calories! So best be aware that putting loads of it on your food or drink defeats the purpose of losing weight. You also don’t want to go overboard because a lot of people reported that it causes digestive problems like diarrhea. Yikes!