Month: June 2017

What are Medium Chain Triglycerides and why you need them

Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT for short) are a type of fat that is readily broken down by the human body into ketones. Ketones are the metabolic component responsible for your energy when in a state of ketosis. MCT belongs to the group of fats known as saturated fatty acids. In this blog post, I introduce MCTs and why you need them while running a ketogenic diet. If you’re not familiar with what the ketogenic diet is, check out my post here about my own achievements with the diet, along with my entire keto category index for all my related blog posts.

Caproic acid acsv
Molecular structure of Caproic Acid, one of the different MCTs.

You might have been told that saturated fats are bad. You might have heard they are linked to all sorts of diseases like heart disease. But not all saturated fats are equal, and Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) are innocent here. They make up about 60% of the oil in coconuts, attributing in part to what makes coconut oil a super food on the keto diet. Because MCTs breakdown much easier into ketones, our bodies can use them to enter ketosis much faster.

Boosting Fat Consumption

Most people whom I coach through the on-ramp to the ketogenic diet struggle with the high amounts of fat they must now consume. A lot of the struggle is from the mental shift away from the “low fat” myth that we’ve been told for decades. But even after you convince yourself that it’s worth a shot, you may find that it’s still very difficult to get 70% or more of your calories from fat sources.

In order to get MCTs (and thus fat) into more of your meals, I recommend using an MTC Oil supplement. You can find them in liquid and powder forms. I prefer the powder form because it is lighter and easier to carry around. It mixes easily with water, and the flavor of the powder is similar to powdered creamer that you might use in your coffee. The product linked below is what I personally use, and I really enjoy it! It’s easy to drop a serving or two into my (low carb) protein shake or use it as an ingredient in other recipes. One serving of this product gives you 7 extra grams of fat from MCTs!

Disclaimer: clicking on the links above awards me a very small advertising credit to my Amazon Associates account. I am not paid by Amazon or any other company for my opinions or to directly promote products. The opinions expressed on this site are my own. Buying a product using ad links on my site goes towards helping me pay for website maintenance costs and the fuel (coffee!) that powers my blog writings.

Stomach Sensitivity

Some people might find that taking too much MCT oil at once can cause stomach pains. These are not harmful! It just means you’re using more than your body can process at once. Consume less MCT oil until you find the sweet spot where you body can handle it all without the discomfort.

In time, you can gradually increase the amount you use. I’ve personally noticed that my own ability to process MCT oil has improved the longer I use it.

Summary

Medium Chain Triglycerides are an important and powerful tool in the keto dieter’s nutritional arsenal. Whether you’re struggling to add more fat to your keto diet or not, you can benefit from making sure you get more MCT. You can find it in several natural food sources, like coconuts, but I prefer the ease and convenience of using it in a powdered supplement form.

Want to enter the Bitcoin market?

Unless you’ve been on vacation for the last month or two (which if so, good for you!), you’ve likely heard about a rapidly growing technology called Bitcoin. Bitcoin has experienced dramatic growth over the past couple of months, thought largely to be fueled by global economic instability. This theory works because if you, as someone who holds a certain country’s currency, don’t have faith in the value of your currency, you might look at converting that cash into something else. Bitcoin has become attractive because it is not controlled by any governments, and thus is not tied to the general success or failures of those governments.

What are Bitcoin, Cryptocurrencies, and Exchanges?

There are a lot of foreign concepts in the world of Bitcoin. I’m going to attempt to give you a super brief crash course. You likely don’t even need to know all of this in order to get started, but it’s not a bad idea to start trying to understand it, if you’re going to seriously invest your money into it.

Bitcoin is one of many different cryptocurrencies that exist. Cryptocurrencies are entirely digital units of value which are backed by a massively distributed ledger which records ownership and transactions. This distributed ledger is operated by miners, which include regular people like you and me, who run a small piece of software on their computer in order to help validate the blockchain. The blockchain is simply the term that refers to the distributed database running across all the different computers in the network.

This all works because of several fundamental key aspects of blockchain technology. Perhaps the most important is the immutability of past transactions. Once a transaction is recorded in the blockchain, it can never be changed. This is because every computer in the blockchain network has to validate new transactions against the blockchain, so to try to forge an older transaction, you would have to rewrite the blockchain, and also get a majority of the computers in the network to accept your new blockchain. This is an incredibly difficult thing to do with intent to change an existing transaction.

Exchanges are a common vehicle used in stock markets to trade units of stock. So, a Cryptocurrency Exchange is simply a way for you to trade cryptocurrencies! Many exist, and not all are created equal. The price you pay (or get) for a Bitcoin will be determined by the exchange you participate in.

How can I buy Bitcoin?

Buying Bitcoin has become as easy as online banking. You first need to choose a cryptocurrency exchange. There are dozens, perhaps hundreds, out there. You want to select an exchange that is easy to use, has good trading volume, and is respected/trusted by the community. Trust is important when using exchanges, because at some point, they will be in control of your money. If you can’t trust them, then you’ve just signed away your fortune.

I highly recommend Coinbase for both new and old Bitcoiners, and I use it often. They’ve made it so easy to buy and sell Bitcoin that it really doesn’t feel any different from moving money around in an online savings account. Coinbase also has industry leading protections, such as FDIC Insurance on your USD Wallet equivalent to what you get with US Banks. ($250,000 insured) They also have general insurance protecting against cyber attacks, hacks, and employee theft. This is all very important, even though it’s probably the last thing you want to think about!

Click above to sign-up for a Coinbase account using my referral link and you’ll get $10 worth of BTC after you fund your account with $100 or more.

 

What about Ethereum and other altcoins?

You may have already heard about “competition” to Bitcoin by the likes of Ethereum or perhaps another cryptocurrency. These are grouped together to be known as the “altcoins” (alternative coins). Coinbase allows you to trade in Ethereum and Litecoin, in addition to Bitcoin. Each cryptocurrency has a wealth of information and community behind them, and they are not all the same. For example, Ethereum aspires to be more than a cryptocurrency. It seeks to provide a distributed platform for “smart contracts”, which are basically small software applications, that run when certain conditions are triggered. This allows for a much more flexible exchange and ownership of anything valuable, such as titles and deeds. If you want to explore other cryptocurrencies, you should do your research just like you would if you were researching a company to invest in stocks of that company.

Where is all of this going?

Bitcoin seeks to provide a viable alternative for using fiat currency. It can already be used to buy goods from thousands of merchants online and in traditional brick-and-mortar stores. It’s still in its infancy in terms of being a widely used payment mechanism, but the future looks bright with change. As more tech companies work to make the technology easier to use and more accessible, more and more people are adopting it. Each of the other cryptocurrencies seeks to fulfill some other purpose, all of which are just starting to explode now.

If you’re simply interested in the speculative nature of the Bitcoin price, you can easily find analyst opinions saying anything from Bitcoin reaching $4000 by the end of this year, to hitting rock bottom instead. Yes, it’s possible that Bitcoin and the other altcoins can lose some, or all, of their value. It’s an open, global market, just like any other. But as long as there is demand for it, the price will continue to rise.