The fat burning fats
We have been greatly mis-informed the past few decades on the importance of fat in our diet. Fat has gotten a bad rap, but the truth is, fat is an essential component in our diet. We need fat in order to live. Essential fatty acids are needed for healthy brain function, immune system operation, hormone production and cellular energy to name a few. While not all fats are equal. There are some we should avoid including trans fats and vegetable oils, there are others that are incredibly healthy for our bodies and can burn fat. Yes, fat can help your body to burn excess lipid stores. These fats are medium-chain-triglycerides (MCTs) and is the core component in this fat burning tea.
How they are metabolized
Medium-chain-triglycerides are different than long-chained triglycerides. MCT are absorbed more like carbohydrates. Instead of being metabolized through the digestion process like other fats, MCTs are taken straight to the liver where they act very similar to carbohydrates by providing instant and sustained energy. The extras are not stored in the fat cells instead they are converted to ketones which increase body fat burning.
In addition to this, medium-chain triglycerides don’t require bile salts for digestion and they pass easily from the GI tract to the blood stream without being modified the way long-chain fats must be. This is why MCT fats or oils are great for those who are chronically ill, have or had cancer or even those with a gall bladder issue.
How they burn fat
The bulk of the research on MCT oils relates to weight loss. There are numerous studies done on a variety of topics centered on weight loss and achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. Here are just a few examples of that;
Both animal and human trials suggest that you get full faster when you ingest MCTs compared with LCTs (long-chain triglycerides), so you eat less. This leads to lower body fat mass and a healthy way to maintain a desirable weight (1).
The thermic effect of MCTs is upwards of three times greater than that of LCTs with researchers finding that substituting MCTS for LCTs would produce weight loss as long as calorie intake remained the same (2).
MCTs could aid in the prevention of obesity because they help stimulate weight loss (3).
Here are a few other benefits of MCT oil:
- Help regulate blood sugar (4)
- Increase the thermic effect (fat burning) in the body (5)
- Improve appetite regulation (6)
- May improve thyroid function (7)
- Support Cognition (8, 9)
- Heart Healthy (10, 11)
Really they have a triple approach to weight loss through;
- Lower caloric load over other fats
- Minimally stored as body fat
- Enhance metabolism to burn even more calories
The bulk of the studies done on the advantages of MCTs have been in the area of weight loss and fat reduction. However, there is a lot of other research being done demonstrating how MCTs could benefit chronically ill patients with diabetes, cancer, seizures, HIV and cystic fibrosis to name a few.
How to get them in your diet
Everyone can benefit from increasing daily consumption of MCT fats. From those who are chronically ill and need a boost of energy to those who want to enhance athletic performance, support healthy growth and development, support cardiovascular health, mental clarity and of course to lose weight and keep it off.
MCTs are found naturally in foods like coconut oil, full-fat cows milk (not a great source), sheep milk, goats milk and palm kernel oil. Realistically the greatest source is coconut oil or concentrated MCT oil which offers a unique advantage for both cooking and consumption. My recommendation is that you start by using coconut oil on a day to day basis. You could cook with it, put it in a smoothie, rub it on your skin or just eat it off a spoon. Beyond that you could choose to supplement with pure MCT oil. This is the brand I choose to use. It is virtually flavorless and is a great addition to my morning tea. It is in their store under Healthy Fats and is labeled as XCT oil.
Word of warning
If you choose to supplement with MCT oil, start slowly. Until your body gets used to pure MCT oil, taking too much at once can cause you to experience an upset digestive system. Start with 1-2 tsp a day and work your way towards 2-3 Tbsp of MCT in the form of pure MCT oil or organic coconut oil. Fat burning and energy boosting, it is better than any caffeine source you consume.
My daily tea is one thing that I enjoy and look forward to each day. I love coming up with new ways to use a standard bag of green or black tea and take it up a notch. With the Christmas season fast approaching, I decided to set out on trying to come up with my own Spiced Christmas Tea blend, PLUS the added benefits of the fat-burning capabilities of MCT oil like I talked about above.
This is one simple way to add in that extra boost of MCT’s to a normal morning routine. Plus, this fat burning tea is top-notch. The perfect blend of spices with the tartness of the juice paired with the antioxidant power of green tea and you have yourself one healthy and very, very delicious morning drink.
I make the Spiced Pomegranate concentrate ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator and use it to mix with my hot tea. The best part is, this tea would be a fabulous addition to serve at any holiday party or gathering (with or without the MCT oil). I hope you get the chance to enjoy this tea and combine it with the added benefit of turning it into a fat burning tea with the addition of MCT oil.
- 4 cups Pomegranate juice
- 3 cups apple cider
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 15 whole cloves
- 8 cups water
- 8 green tea bags (black tea works as well)
- 1 Tbsp XCT Oil (optional)
- Place pomegranate juice, apple cider, cinnamon sticks and whole cloves in a pot and bring to a simmer.
- Simmer for 10 minutes or until flavors have combined.
- Remove and cool and refrigerate until use.
- To make:
- Heat 1 cup of green tea with ¾ cup of concentrate mixture.
- Remove and add 1 tbsp XCT oil for added fat-burning benefits.