With the meteoric rise in popularity of the ketogenic diet, everyone is talking about adding more healthy fats to our diet.
But everyone assumes that in order to experience weight loss with keto, it’s not as simple as just increasing fat intake—you also have to subtract carbs from the diet equation too, right?
In a series of clinical studies, new evidence now suggests otherwise.
According to clinical trials, one lesser-known fatty acid in particular has been shown to act as a convenient “keto workaround” within the body—allowing users to experience the fat-burning benefits of the keto diet without ever having to slash carbs.
Researchers say it can provide the brain with immediate energy and help speed up fat metabolism (and ultimately weight loss)—but is the hype legitimate?
Stubborn Belly Fat, Meet Medium-chain Triglycerides.
Medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs as they’re more commonly known, are a form of saturated fatty acid that’s typically extracted from coconut oil.
Here’s a look at how medium-chain fatty acids stack up compared to other dietary fats.
Coconut oil has received a lot of attention in recent years.
This is because of its potential health benefits, many of which can be attributed to the medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) it contains.
There are many promising animal, test-tube and observational studies on coconut oil. However, these types of studies can't prove that coconut oil is beneficial in humans.
Interestingly, it has also been studied in several human controlled trials. These studies are much better at determining whether coconut oil is truly healthy for people.
All five studies examining changes in fat loss or metabolism found some benefit with coconut oil, compared to other oils or control groups. However, the effects were usually modest.
Here are a few facts to consider:
- Coconut oil increased metabolism during at least one time point in each study where it was measured (
1Trusted Source, 2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source).
- In one study, subjects in the coconut oil group experienced decreases in body fat and waist circumference without intentionally reducing calories (
- A study comparing calorie-restricted diets found decreased abdominal fat only in the group who took coconut oil (
There are also several studies that have looked at fat loss and metabolic changes in response to MCT oil, which makes up about 65% of coconut oil.
In each of these studies, MCT oil was found to increase metabolism, reduce appetite and calorie intake and promote fat loss.
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