healthy alternative fats

Alternative Fats – Learn The Benefits

Coconut Oil Extracts & MCT (Medium-chain triglyceride) Oils 

While fat has been condemned as bad and something to avoid, there are certain types of fats that our bodies require and actually contribute to both a healthy lifestyle and a low carb diet. These alternative fats, or bad fat substitutes, can provide the same properties and function like regular fat but contain fewer calories.

One such fat is medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil, which can be found in many delicious products. MCT Oil can be used to improve food absorption and is popular with many professional athletes.

Let’s find out what alternative fats and MTC oils are and what foods they are commonly found in. We’ll also look at how they can help you maintain a low carb diet and offer some recipes to help you get started.

What is Fat?

Many types of fat are actually considered nutrients making them an essential part of our diet. Our bodies require fat for energy and if you are particularly active, you need a substantial amount to keep going once calories and carbs have been burned. Of course, there is risk in consuming too much fat, so it’s important to monitor your intake.

Fat has other useful functions like keeping skin and hair healthy. It can absorb fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K. Additionally, fat fills fat cells, keeping us warm during the winter months or in cold climates.

Some fats are healthier than others. For instance, vegetable fat is better for you than animal fat and can lower the risk of major health issues like heart attacks or strokes.

What are Alternative Fats?

Alternative fats are low calorie fats that contribute to several aspects of one’s health. Some examples of foods with alternative fats, include:

  • Sorbet or sherbet
  • Plain yogurt
  • Many light cream cheeses
  • Reduced calorie cheeses
  • Partly skimmed milk
  • Leaner meats

To introduce more alternative fats into your diet, a good rule is to eat more fruits and vegetables, avoiding or limiting those that are high in carbs. Additionally, carefully read food packaging and be sure to double check the lists of ingredients.

Remember, anything that you eat with reduced fat or alternative fats will conceivably be better for you.

MCT Oils

MCT oil are partially man-made fats, the name referring to the arrangement of the carbon in their chemical structure. The “medium” part of their name points to the fact that the fatty acids are shorter than the more commonly found long-chain triglycerides. Often, these are made via the processing of coconuts and palm kernel oils.

MCTs are sometimes used for medicinal purposes. They can reduce cholesterol levels and offset other fats in the blood. Additionally, they are believed to be useful in the treatment of diabetes and, for older people, can be employed to increase strength.

MCTs work by acting as a fat source for people who have a low or zero tolerance for other kinds of fats. While studies are ongoing, scientists and researchers believe that these fats can produce the necessary chemicals to potentially fight the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Furthermore, these fats could help a patient lose weight as the body uses them in a different and more productive manner than other fats.

MCTs are also believed to be effective for:

  • Preventing muscle breakdown in patients who are critically or terminally ill.
  • Certain types of seizures in children.
  • Symptoms of Waldmann disease.

It’s recommended to be cautious if consuming MCTs if you are pregnant, breast-feeding or suffering from liver issues. It’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor prior to introducing anything new to your diet or before committing to a strict low carb diet. It’s always better to err on the side of caution.

With respect to aiding a low carb diet, MCTs provide fat to replace harmful fats like the saturated kind. It can lend itself to healthy cooking or is found in a variety of healthy ingredients. When you eat these fats, they head to your liver where they are converted into ketones, a source of energy that forms that basis for the keto diet.

Products with MCTs

Here are some products you can find at The Low Carb Grocery that feature some version of MCTs:

These products are great additions to your low carb diet.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is one of the more popular food items for people looking to consume MCTs. It is a popular substitute for other cooking oils like canola or vegetable. It is high in healthy saturated fats that can boost fat-burning and provide a significant energy boost.

Coconut oil is a staple in many parts of the world and studies of these populations suggest that those with high amounts of coconut in their diet are generally in excellent health. Coconut oil can increase the number of calories burned compared to other longer chain fats. It can also reduce hunger so you will eat less, potentially contributing to weight loss and helping you achieve your health goals.

Recipes Featuring Coconut Oil

Keto Coconut Blondies

This blonde version of brownies is bursting with coconut flavour and make a great low carb dessert.

The ingredients list includes: ½ cup of coconut flour, 1/3 cup of coconut oil melted, three large eggs, ¼ cup of coconut cream from a can, 2 tsp. of vanilla extract, ¼ cup of powdered sweetener, 1 tsp. of baking powder, ¼ cup of desiccated coconut unsweetened and a handful of additional coconut flakes.

Start by preheating your oven to 350F and line a small baking pan with parchment paper. Mix the melted coconut oil with the vanilla extract, eggs and coconut cream. Now, it’s time to incorporate the dry elements (coconut flour, desiccated coconut, baking powder and sweetener). Mix until you get a batter with a consistency that’s nice and smooth. At this time, you can check the sweetness level. If you feel it needs more sweetness than add a bit more sweetener but be careful not to overdo it. Pour into the baking pan and sprinkle the top with shredded coconut.

Bake for 20 minutes, ensuring that the edges are golden brown. Let them cool before you dive in!

Scrambled Eggs and Vegetables

If you love classic scrambled eggs for breakfast, then you should try cooking them with coconut oil. It adds extra depth and a nice hint of tropical flavour.

Gather coconut oil, your favourite fresh vegetables like carrots, broccoli or green beans, as many eggs as you want, spinach and salt and pepper.

Heat up the coconut oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the vegetables and let them cook for a minute or two. Add the eggs and the salt and pepper. The last steps are to add the spinach and stir until the eggs are cooked through. Top with some tomatoes, if you want to add some additional freshness and a subtle touch of tartness.

Get Low Carb Cooking!

If you’re looking for alternative fats, we hope you consider products that feature MCT oils. They are healthy and can help you maintain your low carb diet.

Give some of these products a try, or browse through all our low carb and keto friendly food at the Low Carb Grocery today!