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Trendy Nutrients A-Z

Want to eat less? Add MCT oil into your diet


Medium-chain triglycerides could help you burn fat and lose weight. Healthista’s Nutritional Director Rick Hay explains its benefits, in our Trendy Nutrients A – Z series

Yesterday, it was reported  that a Harvard professor claimed that coconut oil is ‘one of the worst foods you can eat’ and is ‘pure poison’.

In her speech, ‘Coconut Oil and other Nutritional Errors’, Dr Karin Michels made some controversial comments concerning the health benefits of coconut oil.

However, Healthista’s nutritional director Rick Hay would disagree with Dr Michels’ statements.

‘Coconut Oil contains essential fatty acids and can assist with the absorption of vitamins A, D, E and K,’ says Hay. ‘It also is rich in polyphenols to help with immune function and is anti inflammatory with potential cardio vascular benefits as well.’

‘Coconut oil contains Medium Chain Fatty Acids, MCFAs, including lauric acid, and these may assist with fat metabolism and energy production.’

Medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) are partially man-made fats,’ says Hay. ‘MCTs are most commonly found in coconut oil, as well palm oil and dairy products, such as butter.’

‘MCT oil can be helpful for weight loss or weight management. This is because it promotes the release of peptide YY and leptin. These two hormones increase the feeling of fullness in your body.

One study (2009) conducted by Oxford Brookes University found that consuming two tablespoons of MCT as part of breakfast led to people eating less food for lunch, compared to those taking coconut oil.

MCT oil is also used to help sports performance as it promotes energy production in the body. It is easily absorbed in the body and so can be used as an instant source of energy.

When you exercise, rising lactate levels can hinder you from performing at your best; MCTs can reduce the buildup of lactate.

Another study (2017) conducted by the Nisshin OilliO Group in Japan found that when athletes took 1.5 teaspoons of MCTs with food before cycling, they had lower lactate levels and found it easier to exercise.

Looking for a nutrient powder that contains MCTs? Try a scoop of the Healthista ‘Body Food’ nutrient powder daily in a little water or juice, before and during exercise.

You can take MCTs in oil or powder form. Try blending them into your coffee, tea, shakes and smoothies. You can also drizzle MCT oil into your meals.


Rick Hay is an Anti-Ageing and Fitness Nutritionist with many years clinical experience in nutrition, naturopathy, botanical medicine and iridology. He specializes in obesity treatment and weight management. He writes a regular Natural Health and Fitness Blog for Healthista. Find out more at Follow Rick on Twitter @rickhayuk


rick hay anti ageing fitness plan

Rick Hays book the Anti Ageing Food and Fitness Plan is available to buy on Amazon. 


More from Rick Hay:

Anti Ageing Fitness Plan: Week 6

5 foods to keep your body young

10 rules of weight loss

5 foods to eat when you’re frantic

10 pre-exercise snacks that WON’T ruin your diet

FOOD is seven a day the new five a day?

HOW TO Choose a protein powder

What to eat if you exercise

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