The Powerful Plant-Based Keto Superfood That Will Elevate Your Health
For years we have been taught as a society to fear fat as it will clog our arteries, lead to heart disease, and contribute to lifelong health problems and early death. We have pushed away whole milk dairy products in favor of skim milk, margarine, and anything else that is labeled as low-fat. When in reality, the research actually suggests that our bodies need healthy fats.
An adequate amount of healthy fats is necessary in order to maintain optimal cellular, brain, immune, and hormone health. Considering it from an evolutionary and biological perspective, starting in infancy, we rely on nutrients and healthy fats from breastmilk for energy and development.
Healthy fats come in many delicious, whole food sources such as coconuts, avocados, olives, wild-caught fish, nuts, seeds, and grass-fed ghee. One next-level source that is often overlooked, but one that I recommend to patients frequently in my functional medicine clinic and use in my own life, is MCTs (or medium-chain triglycerides). These uber powerful fatty acids are packed with nutrients that will seriously up your wellness game. There are four main types of MCTs that are made up of different carbon lengths.
- Capronic acid – 6 carbons
- Caprylic acid – 8 carbons
- Capric acid – 10 carbons
- Lauric acid – 12 carbons
MCTs can be found in both synthetic forms and natural sources such as coconut oil, palm kernel oil, and dairy fats, though coconut oil has the highest source of this bioavailable nutrient at 15 percent. While there are many wide-ranging health benefits to MCTs, there are a few main benefits that most people can experience across the board.
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1. Brain health
MCT oil is made up of lauric acid which has antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial capabilities. (3)
3. Blood sugar
Healthy fats, particularly MCTs, are able to increase insulin sensitivity (4) to help reverse insulin resistance and reduce diabetes risk.
The ketogenic diet, where you get the majority of your caloric intake from healthy fats,moderate amounts of protein, and low amounts of carbs, has been shown to do wonders for decreasing inflammation, enhancing brain health, reducing cancer and heart disease risk, and more. By cutting carbohydrates, you transition your body from burning glucose from carbs, to burning ketones from healthy fats. MCTs are quickly absorbed (5) by your body to boost energy and increases ketone levels. Even when carb intake is higher, (6) MCTs are powerful enough to help keep the body in ketosis.
While coconut derived MCT oil is one of the most common sources for these fatty acids due to its high MCT content and bioavailability, it can often be hard on the gut and may not always be the most convenient option. This is why Nutiva developed the world’s first USDA Certified Organic MCT Powder from 100 percent young organic coconuts and prebiotic acacia fiber to support a healthy gut. A single serving contains 6g of MCTs comprised of 56 percent caprylic acid, 39 percent capric acid, and five percent lauric acid.
With 6 percent of Americans identifying as vegan (compared to 1 percent just three years ago), there is no doubt plant-based diets are on the rise, leading to more people looking for additional nutrient-dense, plant-based energy sources. Nutiva’s Organic MCT Powder answers this need by offering a clean fuel source that is paleo-friendly, Non-GMO Project Verified, Certified Vegan, USDA Certified Organic, and Keto Certified at 0g net carbs. My book, Ketotarian, marries the best of plant-based and ketogenic diets into one easy-to-follow real-food plan designed to burn fat, boost energy, crush cravings, and calm inflammation through delicious plant-based meals. Since Nutiva’s Organic MCT Powder is free of dairy, gluten, corn, soy, hexane, and palm-oil, it is one of my favorite Ketotarian friendly superfoods!
Nutiva’s Organic MCT Powder stands apart from everything else on the market by delivering a powder that is easy to blend into your favorite smoothies, tea, or coffee. It’s powder format also makes it easy to bring with you on the go to enhance mental clarity or use as a before and after workout support. In fact, studies have shown that MCTs can increase both muscle strength and a person’s ability to work out for longer periods of time. With so many benefits, this is one superfood that every health-conscious individual can gain from having in their pantry.
If you want to learn more about your own health case please check out our consultation process. We offer webcam as well as in-person consultations for people across the country and around the world.
- Rebello CJ, Keller JN, Liu AG, Johnson WD, Greenway FL. Pilot feasibility and safety study examining the effect of medium chain triglyceride supplementation in subjects with mild cognitive impairment: A randomized controlled trial. BBA Clin. 2015;3:123‐125. Published 2015 Jan 16. doi:10.1016/j.bbacli.2015.01.001
- Sharma A, Bemis M, Desilets AR. Role of Medium Chain Triglycerides (Axona®) in the Treatment of Mild to Moderate Alzheimer's Disease. Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen. 2014;29(5):409‐414. doi:10.1177/1533317513518650
- Shilling M, Matt L, Rubin E, et al. Antimicrobial effects of virgin coconut oil and its medium-chain fatty acids on Clostridium difficile. J Med Food. 2013;16(12):1079‐1085. doi:10.1089/jmf.2012.0303
- Eckel RH, Hanson AS, Chen AY, Berman JN, Yost TJ, Brass EP. Dietary substitution of medium-chain triglycerides improves insulin-mediated glucose metabolism in NIDDM subjects. Diabetes. 1992;41(5):641‐647.
- Fernando WM, Martins IJ, Goozee KG, Brennan CS, Jayasena V, Martins RN. The role of dietary coconut for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease: potential mechanisms of action. Br J Nutr. 2015;114(1):1‐14. doi:10.1017/S0007114515001452
- Liu YM, Wang HS. Medium-chain triglyceride ketogenic diet, an effective treatment for drug-resistant epilepsy and a comparison with other ketogenic diets. Biomed J. 2013;36(1):9‐15. doi:10.4103/2319-4170.107154
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BY DR. WILL COLE
Dr. Will Cole, IFMCP, DNM, DC, leading functional medicine expert, consults people around the world via webcam and locally in Pittsburgh. He received his doctorate from Southern California University of Health Sciences and post doctorate education and training in functional medicine and clinical nutrition. He specializes in clinically researching underlying factors of chronic disease and customizing a functional medicine approach for thyroid issues, autoimmune conditions, hormonal imbalances, digestive disorders, and brain problems. Dr. Cole was named one of the top 50 functional medicine and integrative doctors in the nation and is the best selling author of Ketotarian and The Inflammation Spectrum.
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