Saturated Fat in Coconut Oil
Not all fats are created equal. Not all unsaturated fat is healthy, and not all saturated fat is bad for you. Plant-based saturated fat, such as that found in coconut oil actually provides some health benefits. Coconut oil is primarily made up of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). These types of fatty acids are processed differently by the body than their cousin the long-chain triglycerides (LCTs), which are found primarily in animal fats. Because of their shorter chain length, MCT’s can be absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract and transported directly to the liver via the portal circulation without incorporation into chylomicrons in the lymphatic system, which are the body’s primary fatty acid transportation mechanism. As a result, MCTs are oxidized to a greater degree and more efficiently than are LCTs. Since MCT’s have less of an opportunity for deposition into adipose tissue, they have been used successfully to support healthy weight management programs.