Fast Free Shipping for Orders over $150 Australia-wide | Living Life Low Carb
0 Cart
Added to Cart
    You have items in your cart
    You have 1 item in your cart
    Total

    News

    6 Science-Based Benefits of MCT Oil

    6 Science-Based Benefits of MCT Oil

    MCT oil is a supplement often added to smoothies, bulletproof coffee and salad dressings.

    As the name suggests, medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil contains medium-length chains of fats called triglycerides. Due to their shorter length, MCTs are easily digested and many health benefits are linked to the way your body processes these fats.

    MCT oil is most commonly extracted from coconut oil, as more than 50% of the fat in coconut oil comes from MCTs. These fats are also found in many other foods, such as palm oil and dairy products.

    Four different types of MCTs exist, of which caprylic and capric acid are most commonly used for MCT oil. In some cases, these specific types have unique benefits.

    Here are 6 science-backed benefits you can get from adding MCT oil to your diet.

    1. Promotes Weight Loss in Several Important Ways

    There are several reasons why MCT oil may be beneficial when you’re trying to lose weight.

    MCT oil has been shown to increase the release of two hormones that promote the feeling of fullness in the body: peptide YY and leptin.

    It may even be better than coconut oil in keeping you full. One study found that people taking two tablespoons of MCT oil as part of their breakfast ended up eating less food for lunch compared to those taking coconut oil.

    The same study also discovered a lower rise in triglycerides and glucose with MCT oil, which may also influence the feeling of fullness.

    Additionally, taking MCT oil has been shown to significantly reduce body weight and waist circumference. Researchers even report that it could help prevent obesity.

    MCT oil has about 10% fewer calories than long-chain triglycerides (LCTs), which are found in foods such as olive oil, nuts and avocados.

    Your body also processes MCTs differently, which may help you burn calories.

    Your body can use MCT oil as an instant source of energy, making it unnecessary to store fat for this purpose. Nevertheless, it’s important to note that your body may adapt to this dietary change, leading to only temporary results.

    MCTs can be converted into ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fat when carb intake is low. If you’re following a ketogenic diet, which is very low in carbs yet high in fat, then taking MCT oil can help you stay in the fat-burning state known as ketosis.

    Lastly, your gut environment is very important when it comes to your weight. MCT oil can help optimize the growth of good bacteria and support the gut lining, which could also help you lose weight.

    SUMMARY - MCT oil may support weight loss by increasing fullness, fat loss, energy burning, ketone production and by improving your gut environment.

    2. Instant Source of Energy That Can Also Be Used to Fuel Your Brain

    MCT oil has been dubbed a super fuel since your body absorbs MCTs more rapidly than long-chain triglycerides (LCTs), which contain more carbons in their fatty acid chains.

    Due to their shorter chain length, MCTs travel straight from the gut to the liver and do not require bile to break down like longer-chain fats do.

    In the liver, the fats are broken down to be either used as fuel or stored as body fat.

    Since MCTs easily enter your cells without being broken down, they can be used as an immediate source of energy.

    When you’re on a ketogenic diet, MCTs can also be converted into ketones in the liver.

    These ketones can pass through your blood-brain barrier, making them a convenient source of energy for your brain cells.

    SUMMARY MCT oil is easily absorbed and transported throughout the body. It can be used as an instant source of energy or can be converted into ketones to fuel your brain.

    3. May Reduce Lactate Buildup in Athletes and Help Use Fat for Energy

    MCT oil has gained popularity amongst athletes.

    During exercise, rising lactate levels can negatively impact exercise performance.

    Interestingly, MCTs may help reduce lactate buildup. One study found that athletes who took 6 grams or about 1.5 teaspoons of MCTs with food before cycling had lower lactate levels and found it easier to exercise, compared to those taking LCTs.

    Furthermore, the study found that taking the MCT oil before exercise may help you use more fat instead of carbs for energy.

    Even though MCTs can increase fat burning during exercise, study results are mixed as to whether MCT oil can help you exercise better.

    One study showed it could improve swimming capacity in mice, but another human-based study found no improvement in endurance performance in runners.

    At the very least, the results of one animal study suggest that MCT oil does not negatively affect exercise performance, which is encouraging.

    SUMMARY MCT oil can increase fat burning and reduce the need for carbs during exercise. However, it is unclear whether this translates to improved exercise performance.

    4. Contains Powerful Fatty Acids That Fight Yeast and Bacterial Growth

    MCTs have been shown to have antimicrobial and antifungal effects.

    Coconut oil, which contains a large amount of MCTs, has been shown to reduce the growth of Candida albicans by 25%. This is a common yeast that can cause thrush and various skin infections.

    A test-tube study also showed that coconut oil reduced the growth of a disease-causing bacteria called Clostridium difficile.

    Coconut oil’s ability to reduce yeast and bacterial growth may be due to the caprylic, capric and lauric acid in MCTs.

    MCTs themselves have also been shown to suppress the growth of a widespread infectious fungus in hospitals by up to 50%.

    However, note that most of the research on MCTs and immune support has been conducted via test-tube or animal studies. High-quality human studies are needed before stronger conclusions can be made.

    SUMMARY MCT oil contains fatty acids that have been shown to reduce the growth of yeast and bacteria. Overall, MCTs may have a variety of antimicrobial and antifungal effects.

    5. May Reduce Risk Factors for Heart Disease, Such as Weight and Cholesterol

    Some factors that increase your risk include high cholesterol, blood pressure, inflammation, being overweight and smoking.

    MCT oil has been shown to support weight and fat loss. This may, in turn, help reduce your risk of heart disease.

    A study of 24 overweight men found that taking MCT oil combined with phytosterols and flaxseed oil for 29 days reduced total cholesterol by 12.5%. However, when olive oil was used instead, the reduction was only 4.7%.

    The same study also found better reductions in LDL or “bad” cholesterol when the MCT oil mixture was added to their diet.

    Moreover, MCT oil can also increase the production of heart-protective HDL or “good” cholesterol.

    It can even significantly reduce C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammatory marker that increases the risk of heart disease.

    Additional studies found that MCT-oil-based mixtures can have a positive effect on other heart disease risk factors, as well.

    SUMMARY MCT oil may reduce heart disease risk factors such as weight, cholesterol and inflammation. Adding it to your diet could help lower your risk of heart disease.

    6. May Help Control Blood Sugar Levels and Support Diabetes Management

    Most people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese, which makes diabetes harder to manage. However, MCTs have been shown to reduce fat storage and increase fat burning.

    One small Chinese study of 40 people with diabetes found that those who consumed MCT oil daily had significant reductions in body weight, waist circumference and insulin resistance, compared to those taking corn oil containing LCTs.

    Another study found that when 10 people with diabetes were injected with insulin, they needed 30% less sugar to maintain normal blood sugar levels when they consumed MCTs, compared to LCTs.

    However, the same study did not find any effect of MCTs on reducing fasting blood sugar levels.

    Therefore, other factors such as timing and the amount of food eaten may influence the effects of MCT oil.

    SUMMARY MCT oil may help manage diabetes by reducing fat storage and increasing fat burning. It may also help you control your blood sugar.

    Potential Drawbacks of MCT Oil

    Although MCTs are considered safe, they may have some disadvantages

    May Stimulate the Release of Hunger Hormones

    While MCTs can increase the release of hormones that help you feel fuller longer, they may also stimulate the release of hunger hormones in some people.

    A study on people with anorexia found that MCTs increased the release of two hormones that stimulate appetite: ghrelin and neuropeptide Y.

    People who took more than 6 grams of MCTs per day produced more of these hormones than those who had less than 1 gram per day.

    However, it is unclear whether the increase in these hormones actually causes you to eat more.

    High Doses Could Lead to Fat Buildup in the Liver

    High doses of MCT oil may increase the amount of fat in your liver in the long term.

    One 12-week study in mice found that a diet in which 50% of the fats were MCTs increased liver fat. Interestingly, the same study also found that MCTs reduced total body fat and improved insulin resistance.

    However, keep in mind that high doses of MCT oil, such as those in the study above, are not recommended. Overall, more research is needed on the long-term effects of MCT oil.

    MCTs are high in calories and usually only make up about 5–10% of your total calorie intake. If you are trying to maintain or lose weight, you should consume MCT oil as part of your total amount of fat intake and not as an additional amount of fat.

    SUMMARY MCT oil increases the release of hunger hormones, which could lead to increased food intake. In the long term, it may also increase the amount of fat in your liver.

    The Bottom Line

    Taking MCT oil could have many benefits and very few risks.

    For starters, it contains fatty acids that can promote weight loss by reducing body fat, increasing fullness and potentially improving your gut environment.

    MCTs are also a great source of energy and may fight bacterial growth, help protect your heart and aid in managing diabetes.

    Potential drawbacks may include increased hunger and possible fat accumulation in your liver. However, as long as you keep to 1–2 tablespoons per day and use it to replace — not add — to your normal fat intake, any negative side effects are unlikely.

    At the end of the day, MCT oil is a convenient way to take advantage of all the health benefits MCTs have to offer.

    You can purchase MCT oil online.

     Source - Healthline - Sharon O'Brien

    14 Healthy Sources for Fats for the Keto Diet (Plus Some to Limit)

    14 Healthy Sources for Fats for the Keto Diet (Plus Some to Limit)

    14 Healthy Sources for Fats for the Keto Diet (Plus Some to Limit)

    When following a high-fat, very-low-carb ketogenic (keto) diet, it’s important to remember that not all fats are created equal.

    Some sources of fat are better for you than others, and it’s critical that you fill your plate with the most wholesome options to successfully reach your health goals.

    Here are 14 healthy sources of fat to enjoy on the keto diet.

    1. Avocados and avocado oil

    Avocados are not only an excellent source of heart-healthy fats but also provide a hefty dose of fiber and essential vitamins and minerals.

    Research suggests that avocados and their oil may support heart health, balanced blood sugar, and healthy aging. Enjoy avocado by itself, use it to make guacamole, or add it to smoothies and salads to boost fat and nutrient content. Drizzle avocado oil on grilled or steamed veggies or use it to make salad dressings and other keto-friendly sauces.

    1. Nuts

    Including different kinds of nuts in your diet is a great way to boost your intake of healthy fats, plant-based protein, and fiber.

    Additionally, a higher intake of nuts is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and deaths associated with cancer, diabetes, and respiratory illnesses.

    Nuts differ in their nutrient composition, so eating a variety of your favorites will help you get the most benefits. Pistachios, walnuts, almonds, pecans, cashews, and Brazil nuts are all great options for low-carb, high-fat diets like keto.

    Carry mixed nuts to snack on, sprinkle them on your salads and soups, or make a nut-based spread like walnut pesto.

    1. Nut and seed butters

    Nut and seed butters offer the same benefits as eating whole nuts and seeds — but in a more versatile package.

    Spread sunflower butter over keto crackers or use almond butter as a dip for low-carb vegetables.

    Add your favorite nut butter to smoothies or use it as a base for making energy bites. You can even include nut butters in sauces and marinades for fish or veggie noodles.

    1. Flax seeds

    Flax seeds are an excellent source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats, fiber, and health-promoting plant compounds.

    One-quarter cup (42 grams) of flax seeds provides 11 grams of fiber, 7 grams of protein, and 18 grams of fat, half of which from omega-3s.

    Research indicates that flax seeds and their oil may help prevent heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and degenerative brain diseases. Add ground flax seeds to smoothies or sprinkle them on salads, soups, or a keto yogurt parfait. You can also incorporate whole or ground flax seeds into your favorite recipes for keto-friendly crackers, muffins, and pancakes.

    1. Hemp hearts

    Hemp hearts, or seeds, are another great, nutrient-dense option for boosting fat intake on the ketogenic diet.

    Three tablespoons (30 grams) of hemp hearts provide 15 grams of fat, making them a perfect choice for high-fat diets.

    They’re one of very few complete plant-based protein sources that contain all nine essential amino acids. Plus, they pack a variety of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, calcium, iron, and potassium.

    Hemp hearts have a mild flavor and a texture similar to sesame seeds, so they’re easy to mix into a variety of foods without changing the flavor profile much.

    Sprinkle them on top of yogurt, salads, and roasted vegetables, blend them into smoothies and soups, or incorporate them into energy bites. You can also add them to sauces and dressings.

    1. Chia seeds

    Chia seeds are rich in healthy fats and fiber, making them a perfect candidate for a keto diet.

    In just 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of chia seeds, you get 4 grams of fat, mostly omega-3s, as well as 4 grams of fiber, which is about 16% of the Daily Value (DV).

    These seeds also contain a variety of plant compounds, including quercetin and kaempferol, that may reduce inflammation and prevent chronic conditions, such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

    Additionally, chia seeds have a unique ability to absorb water. When soaked in a liquid for a few hours, they become very gelatinous. In this form, they can be used to make chia pudding or to thicken sauces and dressings.

    Like other seeds, chia can be blended into smoothies or stirred into yogurt, soups, and salads. You can also use them to make keto-style crackers or as a breading for baked fish, chicken, or pork.

    1. Olives and cold-pressed olive oil

    The benefits of olives and olive oil have been researched for decades, and it’s no coincidence that they’re frequently included in many of the world’s healthiest diets.

    Olives are not only loaded with heart-healthy fats but also contain vitamin E and various plant compounds known to reduce inflammation and your risk of chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis.

    Olives make for a convenient and portable snack but are also great tossed into salads or eaten as part of antipasti. For an extra boost of flavor stuff the olives with garlic, pimentos, or gorgonzola cheese.

    Purée whole olives with olive oil, anchovies, and capers to make a tapenade to add fat, flavor, and moisture to veggie sandwich wraps.

    Cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil can be drizzled over grilled or lightly sautéed veggies to boost fat content or use it as a base for a dressing or marinade for roasted meats, vegetables, or fresh salad.

    1. Coconuts and unrefined coconut oil

    Coconuts and coconut oil are popular keto fat sources because they offer a natural source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), a type of fat that your body can easily absorb and use.

    Research suggests that MCTs may ease your transition into ketosis, a state in which your body burns fats for fuel rather than glucose.

    What’s more, MCTs are more likely to be burned as energy and less likely to be stored as fat, which may aid weight loss.

    Add unsweetened coconut flakes to homemade trail mix or smoothies. Use full-fat coconut milk to make curried meats or roast vegetables in coconut oil. For an island-style flavor, try sautéed cauliflower rice in coconut oil and fresh lime juice.

    1. Cacao nibs

    If you think chocolate doesn’t belong in your keto diet, think again.

    Cacao nibs are a form of unsweetened, unprocessed raw chocolate. Just 1 ounce (28 grams) provides about 12 grams of fat and a whopping 9 grams of fiber.

    Dark chocolate is also well known for its rich supply of polyphenols, which are plant compounds with strong anti-inflammatory effects that may encourage the growth of healthy gut bacteria.

    Add cacao nibs to homemade smoothies, energy bites, or trail mix. If you have a sweet tooth, make keto hot chocolate by melting cacao nibs in unsweetened coconut milk on the stovetop. Then mix in your favorite keto-friendly sweetener, such as stevia or monk fruit.

    1. Full-fat Greek yogurt

    Though it contains some carbs, unsweetened, full-fat Greek yogurt can be a healthy addition to a ketogenic diet.

    A 5.3-ounce (150-gram) serving provides approximately 6 grams of fat, 13 grams of protein, and 6 grams of carbs, as well as 15% of the DV for calcium.

    Yogurt is also a great source of beneficial bacteria known as probiotics, which promote healthy digestive function.

    Eat Greek yogurt by itself or build a keto yogurt parfait by layering nuts, seeds, coconut, and cacao with it. You can also mix in herbs and spices to make a flavorful veggie dip.

    1. Fatty fish

    Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, anchovies, and sardines are great additions to a healthy ketogenic diet.

    They’re rich in high-quality protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fats. Certain types like salmon also provide a substantial dose of vitamin D, a nutrient critical for immune function, bone health, and more.

    Bake or grill a filet of wild-caught, fatty fish to serve over a salad or alongside roasted vegetables. You can also use your favorite canned fish mixed with mayonnaise, herbs, and spices to stuff lettuce wraps, avocado, or celery sticks.

    1. Whole eggs

    Eggs are as nutritious as they are versatile, making them an easy addition to a ketogenic diet.

    A single 56-gram egg packs about 5 grams of fat, 7 grams of protein, and 80 calories.

    Make sure to eat the whole egg, as the yolk is rich in B vitamins and the potent antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which support eye health.

    Hard-boil a batch of eggs to have as snacks throughout the week or add a little mayonnaise and turn them into egg salad. Make a scramble loaded with low-carb veggies or have poached eggs with sliced avocado and tomato.

    1. Butter

    Butter is perfect for your keto lifestyle, as it’s carb-free and about 80% fat.

    Though it was long considered a menace to heart health, current research indicates that there is only a small or neutral association between butter intake and heart disease and stroke risk.

    Butter also happens to be one of the richest food sources of butyrate. Early research suggests that this type of short-chain fat may play a significant role in promoting brain health

    Some research indicates that organic butter from grass-fed cows may have a slightly more favorable composition of fats than butter from conventionally raised cows, but whichever you choose, make sure it’s of high quality

    Roast or sauté vegetables in butter or spread it on keto-friendly muffins, waffles, or pancakes. Rub butter over a whole chicken before roasting to achieve perfectly crispy skin.

    1. Cheese

    Cheese is another good high-fat, low-carb option for keto dieters, and with hundreds of varieties on the market, there’s no shortage of options to choose from.

    Though exact nutrient composition varies depending on the type of cheese, many types are good sources of protein and calcium. Certain fermented varieties like cheddar or gouda also provide probiotics.

    Enjoy slices of cheese with fresh veggie sticks or melt it over roasted or steamed vegetables. Try adding shredded cheese to salads or grilled meats or use it to make keto mushroom pizza sliders.

    Fats to limit on keto

    Though fat makes up the majority of the calories on a ketogenic diet, not all sources of fat are good for your health — even if they fit into the macronutrient distribution of your diet plan.

    Artificial trans fats

    Artificially produced trans fats are known for significantly increasing heart disease risk and should be avoided, regardless of the type of diet you’re following.

    Trans fats are frequently found in highly refined oils and commercially prepared processed foods, such as cakes, cookies, pastries, biscuits, crackers, and other ultra-processed snacks.

    Trans fats may be indicated on an ingredient label under the names “partially hydrogenated oils” or “shortening.” It’s best to avoid foods that contain these ingredients as much as possible.

    Note that many countries, including the United States, have banned or restricted the use of artificial trans fats.

    Still, according to the current regulation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), trans-fat-containing products manufactured before June 18, 2018 may be distributed until January 2020, or 2021 in some cases.

    What’s more, if a food provides less than 0.5 grams of trans fats per serving, it’s labeled as having 0 grams of trans fats.

    Processed meats

    Processed meats, such as deli meat, sausages, salami, hot dogs, and cured and smoked meats, are frequently advertised as keto friendly.

    While these foods technically fit into a ketogenic diet plan, several studies have found an association between high intake of processed meats and an increased risk of cancers of the digestive tract.

    Therefore, it’s best to keep your intake of these foods minimal. Instead, focus on eating whole, minimally processed foods as much as possible.

    Fried foods

    Deep-fried foods are included in some ketogenic diet plans, but you may want to think twice before adding them to yours.

    Fried foods tend to be high in trans fats, which can increase your risk of heart disease.

    Certain types of highly refined oils typically used for frying, such as corn oil, often contain small amounts of trans fats. As the oils are heated to very high temperatures, more trans fats may be produced.

    Fried food absorbs large amounts of these fats, and frequent consumption could lead to detrimental health effects over time. Therefore, keep your intake of fried foods to a minimum to support your health while following a ketogenic diet.

    SUMMARY Certain fat sources should be limited or avoided on a keto diet, as they may negatively affect your health. These include processed meats, fried foods, and anything containing artificial trans fats.

    The bottom line

    The ketogenic diet is centered around high-fat foods, but some sources of fat are healthier than others.

    Fatty fish, avocados, coconut, olives, nuts, and seeds are a few examples of nutritious sources of healthy fats.

    To best support your health on the keto diet, choose fats from nutrient-dense, whole foods and avoid those that come from ultra-processed oils, meats, and fried foods.

     

    What’s the optimal ketone level for your ketogenic diet?

    What’s the optimal ketone level for your ketogenic diet?

    As you might have suspected, there isn’t a one-size fits all answer to this question. Part of the answer depends on what your goals are.

    The optimal ketone levels you’ll want to achieve will likely be different depending on whether you’re looking to lose weight, get improved mental clarity, improve your athletics performance, or to cure/prevent illnesses like cancer. And the numbers may also vary depending on your body’s current insulin resistance (e.g., if you have type 2 diabetes or if you’re pre-diabetic then your optimal levels at the beginning might be different from someone who has healthy levels of blood glucose).

    Bearing all of those different factors in mind, below are some ranges proposed by different ketogenic diet experts.

    NOTE – again, these ketone levels are for optimal nutritional ketosis and should not be used if you’re a type 1 diabetic!

    Dr. Stephen Phinney, MD, PhD and Jeff Volek, PhD., RD

    jeff-and-steve

    Most people have based their optimal ketone numbers on the recommendations in The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance: “‘light nutritional ketosis’ is between 0.5mmol/L and 1.0mmol/L and ‘optimal ketosis’ is between 1.0mmol/L and 3.0mmol/L.”

    Dr. Thomas Seyfried

    tom-seyfried

    Dr. Thomas Seyfried, a professor of biology at Boston College who researches cancer and the uses of a ketogenic diet in curing and preventing cancer, states in the The Complete Guide to Fasting book: “The key to therapy is prolonged therapeutic ketosis (blood ketones in the range of 3–6mM), together with reduced blood glucose levels (3–4 mM).”

    Dominic D’Agostino

    dominic-dagostino

    Dominic D’Agostino is an assistant professor in University of South Florida and his lab researches how a ketogenic diet can aid neurological diseases. In a 2014 podcast with Chris Kelly from Nourish Balance Thrive, Dominic stated: “What’s the optimal level of ketones? I think anecdotally and from the data that I’ve seen, I think somewhere between 1.5 and 3 is optimal.”

    Luis Villasenor

    luis

    Luis from Ketogains.com who helps many bodybuilders on a ketogenic diet has repeatedly suggested that search for high ketone levels is not always beneficial. He regularly tells people: “don’t chase ketones; chase results.”

    Marty Kendall

    marty-kendall

    Marty, an engineer who runs the website and Facebook group, Optimising Nutrition, states that: “If your aim is exercise performance or fat loss then ketones between 0.5mmol/L and 1.3mmol/L might be all you need to aim for. I also think loading up on dietary fat at the expense of getting adequate protein, vitamins and minerals may be counterproductive in the long term.”

    Marty also points out that not everyone on a ketogenic diet will get high levels – for example, Sami Inkenen only had around 0.6mmol/L when he was rowing from the US to Hawaii on an 80% fat diet.

    As Certified Nutrition Specialist Amy Berger, CNS, NTP, says, “Don’t compare your results to someone else’s, and don’t let anyone “ketone shame” you on social media. It’s not a contest or a race. Someone might feel like a total rock star with [ketone level] at “only” 0.6, while someone else might not notice any difference unless their ketones are above 2.0. It’s entirely individual and the only competition you’re in is to feel your best.”

    Summary

    Weight-loss: above 0.5mmol/L

    Improved athletic performance: above 0.5mmol/L

    Improved mental performance: 1.5-3mmol/L

    Therapeutic (e.g., to prevent or cure certain illnesses): 3-6mmol/L

    Again, these are general ranges and if yours doesn’t fall within the range, it’s not a definitive indicator that you’re doing something wrong, but it is a helpful guide to ensure you think about tweaking and testing your keto diet to see if something can be improved.

    The above Content  is an extract from an article written by Louise Hendon and published on ketosummit.com