FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS, COCONUT OIL HAS BEEN REVERED THROUGHOUT ASIA & THE PACIFIC FOR ITS REMARKABLE HEALTH PROPERTIES. WE NOW KNOW THESE BENEFITS ARE DUE TO A SPECIAL KIND OF FATTY ACID FOUND IN COCONUT OIL
- MEDIUM CHAIN TRIGLYCERIDES (MCTs).
Coconut Oil is one of the world's richest natural sources of MCT's known to man (second only to Palm Oil) making it a truly unique and valuable source of nutrition. Unlike the Long Chain Triglycerides (LCTs) in most other dietary oils, MCTs are metabolised very efficiently by the body and are directly responsible for dozens of amazing health benefits, some of which we've touched on below.
MCTs are easily digested
MCTs put less strain on the digestive organs compared to the LCTs contained in most other dietary fats because they only require stomach acids to be broken down and they bi-pass the intestines completely. Coconut Oil is therefore recommended for people who have problems digesting fats and are also better tolerated by bubs, nans and pops (and other people who have low levels of digestive enzymes).
MCTs protect against cardiovascular disease
You may already know that when Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL, aka "bad" cholesterol) levels are high, they pose a health risk because they can clog up our arteries. On the other hand, High-Density Lipoproteins (HDL, aka "good" cholesterol) take cholesterol from the blood and transport it to the liver for processing. While the LCTs found in most other dietary oils are incorporated into "bad cholesterol," MCTs have been shown to raise the level of "good" cholesterol, improving the LDL:HDL ratio and protecting our heart and blood vessels from disease.
MCTs are preferentially used as energy rather than stored as fat
After LCTs found in most other vegetable oils are broken down, they are absorbed through the intestinal wall and circulate the bloodstream where they become available to be stored as fat. In comparison, MCTs are transported directly to the liver where they are converted into energy. This makes them less available for plumping up our fat cells, and more available for creating useful energy that our bodies can use - great news for people who are calorie counting!
MCTs are more efficiently converted into energy for immediate use
The unique structure of MCTs means that they are more completely digested, more rapidly absorbed and more quickly metabolised or burned as fuel compared to the LCTs. In fact, the fatty acids in MCTs are absorbed just as fast as glucose, our body's normal energy source, and produce an enduring energy boost, making Coconut Oil the ideal choice of fat for athletes and active individuals.
MCTs help to power and protect your brain
When consumed, a larger portion of MCTs are converted into ketones compared to LCTs. Ketones are a vital source of food for your brain during periods of fasting, strenuous exercise or when glucose metabolism is compromised (as is the case with diabetics) and they can supply more than one-half of the brains energy needs when carbohydrates and glucose are scarce. They also have profound benefits in fighting degenerative brain disorders, where they seem to be the brain's preferential source of energy.