mct powder is a dietary supplement containing medium length triglycerides. its popularity has grown rapidly in recent years, largely due to the multitude of benefits it offers, including weight loss, increased metabolism, reduced risk of heart disease, and more.
This mct powder guide will define what the powder is, how it can positively affect your diet, how to consume it for maximum benefit, and other useful information.
what is mct powder?
To fully understand what mct powder is, we must first define the acronym mct.
mct stands for medium chain triglycerides.
Triglycerides, in general, make up the majority of the fats we consume. Within these fats, all triglycerides contain fatty acids, of which there are three main types: long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs), medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), and short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). chain length refers to how many carbon atoms are in each of the fatty acids.
Most of the oils and oil products you use to make stir-fries and salad dressings (olive oil, for example) are longer-chain triglycerides, meaning they have the most carbon atoms in its fatty acids. medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), on the other hand, have (you guessed it) a medium number of carbon atoms, between six and 12, to be exact.
what does mct powder have to do with the ketogenic diet?
The ketogenic (or ketogenic) diet is one that emphasizes eating more protein and healthy fats and fewer carbohydrates. This high-protein, high-fat, low-carb diet essentially forces your body into ketosis, which in turn helps you reduce body fat over time.
what is ketosis and how does it affect blood sugar?
Your body uses glucose or sugar for energy primarily. but when it doesn’t have blood sugar to expend for energy, it turns directly into body fat. If you’re trying to lose weight, this is great news.
The metabolic process of ketosis occurs when the body does not have enough glucose or blood sugar to burn daily energy. therefore, to continue working and helping you in everything you need to do each day, it will use stored fats as energy. ketosis can occur naturally, but it can also be fostered with a diet high in fat and protein and low in net carbs.
featured foods in the ketogenic diet
if you follow the ketogenic diet (or some forms of the paleo diet or the atkins diet), you will eat a lot of:
- meat and poultry
- eggs and high-fat dairy
- nuts and seeds
- nut butters
- mct oil, olive oil, canola oil, coconut oil, palm oil, butter, and other healthy fats
- cakes and cookies
- pasta and rice
- starchy vegetables (such as potatoes)
- crackers and pretzels
- ice cream
- lauric acid (12 carbon atoms)
- capric acid (10 carbon atoms)
- caprylic acid (8 carbon atoms)
- caproic acid (6 carbon atoms)
and you will remove or limit:
Eating a diet like this and making sure to incorporate mcts will put your body into ketosis which, in turn, will help you burn fat easier and faster.
what are the benefits of medium chain triglycerides?
mct powders contain medium chain fatty acids, and when it comes to your health, this is a good thing.
The short answer is that medium chain fatty acids are metabolized faster in the body.
In particular, medium-chain triglycerides do not need to go through the extra digestive steps that long-chain triglycerides do. instead, they go directly to the liver and are quickly metabolized there. because of this, they are less likely to turn into body fat. If you’re hoping to lose body weight or are looking to help your body produce more ketones, this is good news and means you’ll want to incorporate more Medium Chain Triglycerides, or MCTs, into your diet on a regular basis.
using mct powder is a great way to go.
mct powder contains some or all of the four types of mct:
Are there other benefits? Yes! In addition to promoting the ketosis process and being a great component of the ketogenic diet, mct oil powder also has additional benefits.
mct oil benefits
- can improve brain function.
- helps with fat loss in other ways.
- improves exercise performance.
- lowers cholesterol.
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Some experts have called MCTs the perfect “brain fuel” due to the way they are quickly absorbed into the body and used as energy for the brain. they pass directly through the blood-brain barrier and, in turn, promote better cognitive function in general.
mcts may also be helpful with some brain-related diseases and illnesses. Some studies have even shown that MCT supplements are helpful in reducing the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease, as well as seizures caused by epilepsy.
We already know that mct powder can reduce body fat by putting your body into ketosis and forcing it to use stored fat for energy instead of sugar alone. but it can also help with weight loss in other ways.
for example, compared to longer chain triglycerides like olive oil, mct oil has about 10% fewer calories per serving. As calorie intake is directly associated with weight gain or loss, this naturally makes MCT oil the best choice for dieters.
In addition, several key hormones are released when you consume mct powder. these are called leptin and peptide yy, and they can help you feel full longer, effectively helping you avoid overeating.
Another one of the health benefits of mct powder is how it can help improve exercise performance. This makes sense because MCT oil has been shown to increase and improve metabolism. In one study, athletes who consumed medium-chain fatty acids instead of long-chain fatty acids were found to have better endurance during strenuous activity.
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death among men and women in the United States today. Fortunately, high cholesterol that can contribute to heart disease can be quelled with superfoods like mct oil powder.
how is mct powder made?
We know which mct powder contains those healthy medium chain triglycerides, but how exactly is the powder form made?
mct powder is made from mct oil, which is why it is sometimes called “mct oil powder”. Most of the time, MCT oil is made from a combination of coconut oil and palm kernel oil. both oils contain medium chain triglycerides and longer chain triglycerides. a process called fractionation removes only the medium chain triglycerides from coconut and palm kernel oil and creates new mct oil. then other ingredients are added to turn the oil into a powder. for example, maltodextrin is often used to create the consistency of starchy powder.
coconut oil vs mct oil
coconut oil and mct oil are not the same thing. many people make this mistake. In fact, mct oil is technically a partially man-made fat. it is 100% medium chain triglycerides, while coconut oil is only 45-53% medium chain triglycerides. This is not to say that coconut oil isn’t helpful on a ketogenic diet, it is. however, when it comes to inducing ketosis, mct oil has the upper hand.
mct powder vs. mct oil
Both mct oil powder (mct powder) and mct oil offer key benefits as outlined above. the fact that they are different types of substances does not mean that one or the other is superior.
so deciding between the two really comes down to how you plan to use them. For example, if you like to eat smoothies more than salads and nut butters more than nut bars, MCT powder is probably the best option for you. powdered mct is also ultra-convenient and a little easier to take with you for lunch or on road trips, for example.
on the other hand, mcts are such a beneficial overall addition to most diets that it doesn’t hurt to have mct powder and mct oil on hand in the kitchen.
mct powder vs. mct pills
mcts can also be found in pill or capsule form for those who want to take their mcts as a supplement and not as a natural part of their diet. While this is a good choice for MCT consumption, the high concentration of MCTs can be problematic for those with sensitive stomachs. When this happens, it might be best to start using the powder or oil form of MCTs, then slowly move to a capsule or pill.
Which products contain mcts?
There are several foods that naturally contain mct. For example, coconut oil and palm kernel oil (from which MCT powder is derived) contain MCTs. Other foods that contain natural percentages of MCTs include butter, yogurt, but butters, milk, and cheese—all foods that are recommended in their full-fat form on the ketogenic diet.
how can you get more mct powder into your diet?
There are many ways to incorporate mct powder into your diet, whether you’re following the ketogenic diet or just looking to improve your overall health with the help of mcts.
Blend your favorite keto veggies and fruits with ice, almond milk, and a few scoops of mct powder for a delicious, nutritious, keto shake.
Because nuts are packed with protein and healthy fats, nut butters are the perfect addition to the ketogenic diet in almost any form. however, when also packed with mct powder like macadamia mct + superfat probiotic nut butter, nut butters become an amazing superfood that is certainly not to be missed when going keto.
One of the best ways to use mct powder is to add it to your coffee as a creamer. It is possible to buy MCT powder that has been specifically made into a coffee creamer, but remember that you can also put a few teaspoons of standard MCT powder in your coffee along with any other desired ingredients.
Looking for more information on the ketogenic diet? check out our complete guide for beginners!
author: faye cpublished: feb. January 12, 2020