Perhaps you’ve heard folks in the health world chattering about something called MCTs lately and wondered if it was a new brand of toning shoes or some sort of blog-internet-meme-of-the-week you missed…
Actually, MCT stands for Medium Chain Triglycerides, and to hear some experts and proponents tell it, this acronym is the next big thing in staying healthy AND dropping pounds.
What they are: These are fatty acids with a chain length of 6-10 fatty acids, soluble in water—so they can be absorbed at faster rate than some other fats. They are found in things like coconut oil and palm kernel oil.
Why people are excited about them: Because they are metabolized at a relatively speedy rate, MCTs are less susceptible to being stored in fat cells. In one recent study, overweight men and women who consumed a medium-chain triglyceride oil as part of a 16-week weight loss program lost more weight and fat mass than the group that consumed olive oil!
What an expert thinks: MCT fan New York City nutritionist Keri Glassman, creator of NutritiousLifeMeals.com, explains why she’s keen on these kinds of fats. “It’s good to have a variety of fat,” says Glassman, “and while this is a saturated fat, it’s a type that is actually good and MCTs don’t have a negative effect on blood cholesterol like trans fats do.” The lauric acid in something like coconut oil actually can raise your “good” (HDL) cholesterol levels, she notes.
How to try it: For a change of pace on your morning toast, try a swipe of rich, creamy coconut butter instead of your usual PB or almond butter. Or sub in coconut oil for your usual cooking oil once in a while!