I recently received this huge jar of Tropical Traditions Gold label virgin coconut oil:
Prior to receiving this, I was using some regular run of the mill coconut oil that I found at Walmart. I’d like to think that when I bought that first batch of coconut oil, I was not yet a well informed consumer. Anyways, I began using the coconut oil a few months ago because of the benefits that I had read and heard about on a few podcasts. Never having bought such oil before, I was surprised when I opened it because it is solid at room temperature. Who knew? So I started using it to cook with and to mix in with my BulletProof coffee (future post on this coffee), and also in the morning before a long training session – 1 tsp coco oil and 1 tsp of cream cheese down the hatch – much to my surprise, I didn’t need to supplement with much of anything like gels or chomps after that little magical concoction.
Q: So what is a medium chain triglyceride (MCT’s from here on out) and why is it essential for fat adaptation, which happens to be my main goal?
A: Compared to other fats, the fatty acids in MCT’s are more rapidly metabolized – giving fast energy release before the body can store them as fat. They are also slightly lower in calories.
As I mentioned before, I am still learning, reading and delving into all of this stuff, so to explain it in an easy to understand context, I found this article from the September issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, that I thought did a good job of explaining the benefits of using coconut oil because of it’s high content of medium chain triglycerides. Here it is:
Nutritionists have historically lumped coconut oil into the same category as cream, butter, and lard—namely, “off-limits”—because it consists largely of saturated fat, the kind linked to a higher risk of heart disease.
Current science indicates that not every type of saturated fat is evil: The crucial question is whether it consists of “medium-chain” or “long-chain” fatty acids, says Marie-Pierre St-Onge, PhD, a scientist at the New York Obesity Research Center. Medium-chain fatty acids—such as lauric acid, which makes up about 50 percent of coconut oil—can be metabolized faster than the long-chain variety. They’re also readily absorbed in the small intestine along with other nutrients, meaning they don’t enter the lymphatic system and are less likely to get deposited in the stomach as fat.
A study published in the journal Lipids found that a small group of obese women who consumed two tablespoons of coconut oil a day for 12 weeks saw their waistlines shrink, while women who consumed the same amount of soybean oil experienced no such change. And one of St-Onge’s studies, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, revealed that overweight subjects who consumed medium-chain triglycerides as part of a diet program lost more weight and more abdominal fat than subjects who consumed olive oil.
The Bottom Line
Coconut oil is the richest naturally occurring source of medium-chain triglycerides, but these fatty acids represent only part of the oil’s total composition. “We have hints that coconut oil may be beneficial for weight management, but we don’t really know enough to make blanket statements,” says St-Onge. And no research shows conclusively that coconut oil’s health perks are as strong as those from canola oil and olive oil—both of which promote cardiovascular function.
KC’s bottom line:
As the title of my post suggests, I am a skeptic by nature and I didn’t think there would be a difference in taste between brand X coconut oil that I bought at Walmart and the Tropical Traditions. But guess what? It was! The Tropical Traditions actually has a mild coconut flavor whereas the brand X did not have any flavor at all. I happen to like the taste of coconut, especially in the bulletproof coffee, so Tropical Traditions has won me over and I will be purchasing more as soon as I get through this huge, 32 ounce sample they sent me. It may take awhile …
If you visit their website HERE, not only will you find some great deals and lots of sales on coconut oil for humans and pets, but you will also find great organic products, skin care products, recipes, books and other healthy oils.
Much love and peace out!