Over the years America’s love affair with fat has helped to trigger an increase in the rates of type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and heart disease. But we didn’t understand that there were “good fats” and “bad fats”
Healthier fats are better for your heart. And you need to choose ‘good fats’ for healthy eating. A ketogenic diet works because it is based on “good fats” science.
MCTs are ketogenic friendly “good fats”. By themselves they have many healthy benefits. But when combined with a keto diet MCTs are a “secret weapon”
Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are a key ingredient in an effective ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet (keto) is arguably the healthiest way to eat on the planet. Those misunderstood and once shunned MCTs are what makes keto work.
Understanding “Good Fats” vs “Bad Fats”
Science made a lot of big mistakes back in the 1970s. One of the worst may have contributed to the tremendous increase in obesity rates in America.
Nutrition science was in its infancy. The health and fitness boom was just beginning. At that time, a lot of well known scientists believed that saturated fat was a primary cause of heart disease. With a few flawed studies to back it up, the theory was presented again and again.
The “low-fat” diet was encouraged by the food industry and mandated by politicians in a series of “low-fat” recommendations. By 1977, it went mainstream.
It was assumed that by removing saturated fats, including MCTs from the diet that it would lower the “bad” cholesterol in the blood. This was also supposed to dramatically decrease the incidence of heart disease.
For the next 30 years eggs, meat, and butter along with other healthy foods, that didn’t fall into the “low-fat” guidelines, were off the table. Processed foods with chemicals and a high content of refined sugar replaced them.
Obesity, heart disease and diabetes all increased dramatically. Reducing MCTs from the diet was not the only reason for these increases, but it was a big contributing factor.
A myriad of studies had similar results. MCTs were once again proven to be “good fats”. They increase fat burning and decrease body fat as a whole..
MCTs are Fat Burning “Good Fats”
MCTs are also known as medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs). They are saturated fats composed of medium-chain fatty acids. MCTs are very different from other types of saturated fats.
The difference between MCTs and other fats is in the basic chemical structure. Every kind of fatty acid has strings of carbons which are connected by hydrogen.
Fats are identified by the number of carbons. Short-chain fats have less than six carbons. Between 6-12 carbons are present in medium-chain fats. Long-chain fats have between 13–21 carbons.
MCTs are “good fats”. They easily break down in the body for use as energy. They are also very easy to absorb.
Paleo Leap describes the difference of fats by comparing fruit to a smoothie, they claim that “ long-chain fats are like a whole piece of fruit and MCTs are like a smoothie. If you eat the whole fruit, you have to put in a lot of effort chewing, but the smoothie you can just slurp right up almost without noticing.”
Saturated fats are not all the same. Now we know that MCTs are healthy “good fats”. And, MCTs speed up the fat burning process known as ketosis. The body doesn’t store them like it does “bad fats” (LCTs). They are easy to digest and quickly converted to ketones in the liver.