You’ve watched countless Instagram stories of people blending butter into their coffee or adding a scoop of coconut oil to their morning smoothie, touting the benefits of medium-chain triglycerides. But what exactly is it?
The eight-syllable term might sound super science-y, but it’s really just a way of identifying a class of fats buzzed about for their reported energy-boosting benefits (namely coconut oil, butter, and palm oil). And wellness buffs in-the-know use it straight, in the form of MCT oil.
The miracle oil is at the center of the ketogenic diet, which shifts your body to use fat as an energy source. And while some of these oils come close to being fully organic (and still others contain questionable chemicals), the world’s first USDA-certified organic version just dropped: Nutiva Organic MCT Oil. Oh, and it’s non-GMO verified, too.
MCT might sound super science-y, but it’s really just a class of fats buzzed about for their reported energy-boosting benefits.
For Maria Emmerich, author of The 30-Day Ketogenic Cleanse, that’s a necessity (the first thing she looks for in an MCT oil is whether it’s organic). And she has good reason for adding the stuff to her diet in spades. “MCT’s are more rapidly broken down by the body than longer chain fatty acids, while having a more pleasant neutral taste than common short chain fatty acids,” she says. Translation: They’re easily digested to help the body use them for fuel.
Nutiva’s new, patented process extracts the fats from virgin coconut oil without adding in any hexane (a CDC-certified neurotoxin often used in plant oil extraction), additives, fillers, or other chemicals. That removes any harsh aftertaste, leaving just a subtle coconut flavor that’s paleo, vegan-friendly, and can be used in smoothies, coffee, salads, and more (Emmerich personally loves using MCT oil in the salad dressing recipes from her book).
Wellness obsessives say adding an extra dose of these fats to your meals helps keep you feeling full, and also rave about benefits that go way beyond satiety. So, is the high-fat life for you?
Scroll down for the three reasons to hop on the seriously buzzy MCT oil trend.
It helps induce ketosis (aka a metabolism upgrade)
The ketogenic diet has been showing up everywhere for a reason. Lovers of the high-fat, low-carb diet report all sorts of positive side effects, according to Emmerich, including a boosted metabolism.
Nutiva Organic MCT Oil delivers 13 grams per serving, more than any other organic MCT oil on the market.
Ketosis changes the way your body metabolizes fat, urging your liver to create ketones to fuel your cells rather than forcing them to rely on the sugar from carb, she explains. “This can be extremely beneficial to the function of many organs, as well as your general metabolic health,” Emmerich says. “Ketosis also increases the rate at which your body metabolizes fats, and can potentially aid weight loss.”
Nutiva Organic MCT Oil can help get the ketosis ball rolling with its 13 grams of MCTs per serving, more than any other organic MCT oil on the market. Game. Changer.
It can give you an energy boost
Another beloved ketosis side effect? Super-charged energy.
“Taking MCT oil actually raises ketone levels in your blood, giving you a taste of what it feels like to be keto-adapted,” Emmerich says. “You have better moods, more energy, mental clarity, and more.”
“You have better moods, more energy, mental clarity, and more.”
Emmerich advises adding MCT oil into your diet slowly to give your body time to adjust (so don’t get greedy in your exuberant quest). But once you get there, she says you’ll be hooked.
“It takes a few days to get into ketosis, so once you’re in that adapted state, it makes sense to stay there and reap the benefits,” Emmerich says. “Ketosis is a lifestyle, not a diet.” Word.
It supports the environment
After ensuring it’s organic, Emmerich’s second criterion for choosing an MCT oil is finding one that’s sustainably sourced. Some options like palm kernel oil are made from palm trees, and the demand can lead to rainforest deforestation as farmers clear room for palm plantations. Choosing an MCT oil made from coconuts is a more environmentally friendly choice.
Choosing an MCT oil made from coconuts is a more environmentally friendly choice.
“Coconut trees only grow in sandy soil near the beach and aren’t competitive with rain forests, making their planting and cultivation much less impactful on the environment,” Emmerich says. “It’s worthwhile to think about the impact that your purchasing decision has on the world.”
And Nutiva has taken that impact into account. One percent of your purchase goes to supporting small organic farming communities, which encourages sustainable agriculture. (Psst: Over $4 million has been donated to date.) Good coffee, and good karma.
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