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Coconut Oil, A Medium Chain Fatty Triglycerides

Coconut Oil, A Medium Chain Fatty Triglycerides

Coconut oil is unique in its structural make-up due to its medium chain fatty triglycerides (MCTs). In contrast with animal fats, which contain cholesterol, coconut oil, because of its vegetable source, has no cholesterol. Coconut oil's MCTs are easy to digest and converted to energy. They do not raise cholesterol nor increase the risk of heart disease. Conversely, animal fats are long chain triglycerides (LCTs) which have the ability to raise cholesterol and are easily stored in the body as fats.

Just as there is 'bad' cholesterol, LDL and 'good' cholesterol, HDL, there is a research-based concept of what a good fat should do. It should not contain LDL and it should be burned up quickly to provide energy instead of being stored in our bodies as excess fat. Coconut oil fulfils all these criteria.

LCTs are typically stored in the body as fat, while MCTs are preferentially burned for energy. There are dual actions as MCTs burn up quickly in the body. At the same time, MCTs spark thermogenesis. Thermogenesis increases the body's metabolism and produces energy. This is the secret to successful weight loss!

Research shows that consumption of a diet rich in MCTs results in greater loss of adipose (fatty) tissue compare with LCTs, perhaps due to increased energy expenditure and fat oxidation observed with MCT intake. Thus MCTs may be considered as agents that aid in the prevention of obesity or potentially stimulate weight loss.

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