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Food and drink

Coconut oil is fashionable right now. Everyone knows

that this saturated fat is actually good for us.

Have you heard of Medium-Chain Triglycerides in foods,

or MCT oil? Another term for triglycerides is fatty acids.

So, another way of referring toMCTs is MCFA (medium-

chain fatty acids).

Th e word “medium” refers to the length of the chain of

the fatty acids. Oils can contain short- medium- and/or

long-chain fatty acids. Most oils have all three.

Medium-chain fatty acids have tremendous health

benefi ts, such as:

Helping us maintain a healthy weight (a

healthy, saturated fat that makes you feel

full more quickly and, therefore, results in a

tendency to eat less)

By raising your metabolic function, it helps

us reduce stored body fat

Provides us with more energy

Improves our digestion

Balances our hormones

Improves our mood

Fights bacterial infections and viruses

Helps our body absorb fat-soluble nutrients

in foods

MCTs are also vital to maintaining a healthy brain. My

husband Jack and I incorporate MCTs into our diet

because Jack has Alzheimer’s. MCT oil improves his

cognition and memory. I can attest to this fi rst-hand.

Samuel Henderson, PhD is renowned for having patented

MCT oil. He was the fi rst to discover that MCTs improve

cognition andmemory. MCTs produce ketones. Th e brain

treats ketones as fuel, much like a carbohydrate (sugar).

MCTs cross the blood brain barrier (BBB). Th is is why

the ingestion of MCTs has an immediate and positive

effect on the brain.

Foods containing MCTs include: coconut oil (15%);

palm kernel oil (7.9%); cheese (7.3%); butter (6.8%);

milk (6.9%); and yogurt (6.6%).

We prefer to ingest MCT oil as an additional dietary

supplement and incorporate it into our cuisine. It is readily

available for sale at health-food stores. You’ll fi nd it on

shelves beside avocado and grape seed oil.

Before incorporating MCT oil into your diet, consult

your physician. If it is okay for you to ingest this oil, start

with just a small daily intake, about ½ teaspoon. It takes

time for your digestive tract to get used to it and it can

act as a laxative. Take ½ teaspoon for at least a week. If

your digestive tract is fi ne, then you can slowly increase

the amount.

MCT oil does not solidify like coconut oil. It can be clear

or light yellow in colour and is tasteless and odourless.

Th erefore, it’s a fantastic ingredient to add to a variety of

dishes. It can be added to dressings and sauces, as well

as to baked goods. It is key to add the oil aft er cooking

or baking. Do not use MCT oil for frying. High heat will

kill its nutritional properties. Add the oil at the end of

the culinary process, or to uncooked foods and dishes.

I use MCT oil in my super-healthy caesar dressing and

as a base ingredient instead of olive oil in pesto! I add it

to spaghetti sauce (aft er the sauce is already cooked) and

to whipped caulifl ower and roasted garlic on shepherd’s

pie. I drizzle this odourless and tasteless oil over soups,

stews and chili. Th is oil adds to a dish, as well.

I’ve also added a teaspoon of MCT oil to both my white

and red wines. It is tasteless, so does not alter the fl avours

of the wine whatsoever. But it adds incredible thickness,

making the wine suitable to be paired with rich and/or

fatty foods.

MCT

Benefits of MCT oil

by Shari Darling

For more information on

wine and food, go to

www.sharidarling.com

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