Natural Weight Loss: Medium Chain Triglycerides

Natural Weight Loss: Medium Chain Triglycerides. You’ve heard the advice for years. Don’t consume more than 30% fat in your diet and limit your intake of saturated fat to below 10%. Sounds reasonable considering fat makes us fat and saturated fat increases the risk of heart disease, right?

WRONG! New research is blowing the lipid hypothesis (the theory that’s been promoting the “avoid fat scenario” for the last 50 years) right out of the water. We are learning more and more about how certain fats are essential to health, and believe it or not, one type of fats - medium chain triglycerides (MCTs for short) - may even promote natural weight loss!

Natural Weight Loss Medium Chain Triglycerides Most of the fats most of us eat come from vegetable oils. These fats, called long-chain triglycerides, need to go through a process called “emulsification” in order to be digested by the body. This is accomplished with help from bile salts that come from the gallbladder.

This is a fairly arduous process, and depending what other types of foods you eat, usually results in some of the fat that you eat being stored by the body. Diets high in these fats as well as refined carbohydrates typically cause more fat storage due to higher circulating insulin levels.

Medium Chain Triglycerides are different from other fats. They do not require emulsification and are instead absorbed directly from the small intestine to the liver. The body is able to quickly convert them into energy, and they can actually boost your metabolic rate. MCTs are rarely, if ever, stored by the body as fat.

You probably already know about the omega-3 fats that are said to be protective against cancer, heart disease, diabetes, inflammatory, and autoimmune disorders, and it’s definitely wise to consume an omega-3 source such as cod liver oil. If you are not already taking advantage of the benefits of MCTs as well, you should consider starting right away.

Sources of MCTs in the diet include organic coconut oil, butter, palm oil, and lard.

Natural Weightloss Medium Chain Triglycerides

Yes, you read the list right. And yes, all of these foods contain saturated fat and were once considered dieting “no-nos”.

Saturated fats are not the terrible thing many have been led to believe- they are important for the structure of all cells in the body, they boost the immune system, and are necessary for the absorption of minerals such as calcium. And now that we are finding that many of the fats that are saturated contain MCTs, it’s really worth reconsidering your position if you’ve always avoided these foods.

Replacing the man-made vegetable oils (high in problematic polyunsaturated fats) and incredibly unhealthy trans-fats in your diet with a combination of omega-3 fats and the natural saturated fats high in MCTs mentioned above will give you many total body benefits, including helping you reach your optimal weight. If you're having a hard time believing these foods are actually good for you, consider that these are all natural foods with a long history of use by native populations around the world.

Coconut oil in particular has received a lot of positive press regarding its health conferring and weight reducing abilities. Studies such as those conducted at McGill University have reported weight loss from 12-36 pounds a year in individuals supplementing with coconut oil. Most books recommend 2-4 tablespoons per day, depending on body weight, and also suggest sticking with a whole foods diet low in sugars and refined carbohydrates.

In addition to the metabolism-boosting effects, most people who consume coconut oil and other Medium Chain Triglycerides report that their energy levels are increased and that the MCTs have both a satiating as well as an appetite suppressing effect. This allows many people who typically always feel hungry and frequently overeat to experience fullness and satisfaction with their food, allowing them to eat less and lose weight.

Perhaps the best part about MCTs is that the foods that contain them are really quite delicious! So stop counting fat grams and go ahead and introduce the MCTs into your diet- they might just become your best friend.

Table 1: Healthy sources of MCTs in the diet

Butter, raw and grass-fed Coconut, organic Lard, pastured and non-hydrogenated
Cream, raw and grass-fed Palm, organic  
Cheese, raw and grass-fed Palm kernel,organic  






About the Author:
Dr. Kendra Pearsall, N.M.D. is a Naturopathic Medical Doctor specializing in natural weight loss and food addiction. She created to help millions of people achieve optimal health, natural weight loss and life success with her free weekly e-newsletter (sign up at the top of this page.)