What is MCT Oil and How Does it Benefit The Heart?

What is MCT Oil and How Does it Benefit The Heart?

MCT stands for medium chain triglycerides, which simply means they are medium sized fats. Most of us consume long chain triglycerides in foods like olive oil, nuts, seeds and fish for example.  These are longer and larger fats that need help from a transport molecule called chylomicrons to go from the intestine into circulation. They also require bile.  This takes time which makes dietary fat helpful in slowing digestion down and keeping us satiated longer.

MCT fats however are interesting because they can skip most of this digestive process and can be used for more immediate energy. This is why people who follow a low carbohydrate or keto diet love MCT oil so much. MCTs are helpful on a low carbohydrate diet because they help increase ketone production quickly.  Ketones can help with metabolic health, weight management, decreasing inflammation, as well as improved cognition.

While this sounds incredible, the issue with most low carbohydrate and keto diets is that they increase LDL cholesterol levels because they’re high in saturated fat.  So, for most people, we do not recommend this dietary pattern for cardiometabolic health.

Are there benefits to consuming MCT fats for low-carb diets?

Yes, for sure! MCTs are an easily digestible fat lower in calories than other dietary fats by about 10%. The body preferentially burns MCTs for fuel (and doesn’t store it), increasing energy and metabolism. MCT oil may support better metabolic health, easier weight management, and decreased inflammation. 

MCT fats are preferentially used immediately for fuel by your cells which leads to increased energy and quicker time to satiety which is helpful if you’re trying to lose weight in the new year. 

MCT oil may also benefit digestion, especially if you struggle with constipation.  If you have had your gallbladder removed, MCT oil is a good option to include as a helpful fat source in your diet.

How much MCT oil should we have?

Like everything in nutrition, the answer is: it depends. You should always start out with as little as possible to see how you respond. Try a teaspoon at first.  If you have too much too quickly, it can cause diarrhea and digestive discomfort like nausea, gas and cramping so the key is to go slow. We love that there is a small amount in Scott’s Protein Balls so people won’t ever be subjected to these issues!

Where does MCT oil come from?

MCTs are naturally found in foods like coconut and palm oil but also in foods like butter, ghee and dairy. The concern about trying to increase your MCT oil by increasing these dietary sources is that these foods contain the highest amount of saturated fats. As we discussed earlier, we don’t want to overdo our daily saturated fat limit because these fats raise LDL cholesterol levels.

What makes Scott’s Protein Balls heart-healthy?

Our newest balls contain a special SPB Protein Blend, found in our newest protein ball flavors. We use MCTs along with pea protein, chia seeds, chicory root, and broccoli seed powder for a 100% plant-based superfood protein to support your health and vitality. We couldn’t think of a better combination to celebrate all the nutrition science for heart health.

We recommend consuming small amounts of MCT as part of a meal or snack.  Here are our favorite ways to add some of these fats to your diet:

  • Enjoy a berry smoothie with 1 cup of mixed blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries.  Add 1 tsp MCT oil, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds and use soy milk to increase the heart health benefits even more
  • Add 1 tsp of MCT oil to hummus or almond butter and use it as a dip for carrots, jicama and bell pepper for an afternoon snack
  • Include 1 tsp of MCT oil in a bowl of Greek yogurt and top with 1 tablespoon ground flax seed, pomegranate and a spoonful of mini dark chocolate chips
  • Enjoy a couple of Scott’s Protein Balls for an afternoon snack or evening treat

  • MCT oil presents a fascinating option for those interested in enhancing their diet, particularly those following a low-carbohydrate or ketogenic lifestyle. Its ability to provide quick energy, support metabolic health, and aid in weight management without the common digestive discomforts associated with other fats makes it a noteworthy addition to a balanced diet. 

    The inclusion of MCT oil in innovative products like Scott's Protein Balls offers a convenient and delicious way to enjoy these benefits without overindulging. However, like any dietary supplement, moderation is key, and starting with small amounts is advisable to gauge individual tolerance. While MCT oil is not a panacea, it can be a valuable component of a health-conscious diet, especially when combined with other nutrient-rich foods and a healthy lifestyle. So, why not give it a try and see how MCT oil can make a difference in your energy levels and overall well-being?

    • Lori Levine is an eternal optimist and after undergoing breast cancer treatment, she learned she had to upgrade her snacks to upgrade her health. She and her husband Scott became accidental entrepreneurs after he lovingly created quality protein balls made from tasty, easily recognizable ingredients that are as convenient as they are healthy and delicious! Even better? 1% of all sales are donated to Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) to help support breast cancer research. #betheend.