By John Parrillo
All the rage lately is the ketogenic or keto diet – a low-carb, high-fat and a higher-protein diet that forces the body into a state of ketosis. In ketosis, your body transitions from using carbohydrates for fuel to using ketones for fuel. (Ketones are substances in urine that indicate your body is burning fat).
This reaction allows your body to burn stored fat and gives you a feeling of fullness. One of the key supplements used in keto diets is medium chain triglyceride oil (MCT oil), such as Parrillo CapTri® C8 MCT.
Let me say this: the Parrillo Nutrition Program is not a keto diet; however, we do recommend that if you want to go low-carb, you definitely want to take CapTri® C8 MCT. It helps you get into ketosis (more on this in a moment).
Scientific studies have shown that when lipids like CapTri® C8 MCT are used in place of carbohydrates on low-carb diets, body fat stores are lower (1,2,). When you reduce carbs, you in turn reduce insulin (insulin promotes fat storage) and activate the carnitine shuttle. The carnitine shuttle is a transport system which moves fatty acids inside mitochondria – the furnaces inside cells where foods are burned for energy. The body is then able to shift into a fat-burning mode.
The problem with typical low-carb and keto diets, however, is that you don’t have much energy and your metabolism tends to slow down. You’re really not consuming any fuels that your body likes to use for energy. Employing a low-carb, high-fat, keto-type strategy, you use CapTri® C8 MCT in place of starchy carbs. This results in decreased insulin production and a higher release of glucagon, a hormone that helps unlock the body’s fat stores.
It is desirable to get your body in a fat-burning mode as efficiently as possible. The process of your body shifting from a glucose-fueled metabolism to a ketone fueled metabolism is known as “keto-induction.” This means your body, once emptied of glycogen stores, starts adapting itself to breaking down fat into ketones for fuel. How long the process of keto induction takes varies from person to person. But on average, it takes roughly two weeks.
CapTri® C8 MCT and Keto Induction
New research published in 2018 shows that supplementing with MCTs can help you get into keto induction faster – within the first few days of starting a ketogenic diet – due to the nature of MCTs. (3) Unlike most fats, MCTs are rapidly absorbed and taken directly to the liver, where they can be used immediately for energy or converted into ketones.
MCT oil, in general, is derived from coconut oil. Specifically, there are four kinds of MCTs found in coconut oil: C6, C8, C10, and C12. (The numbers refer to the length of the carbon chains.) Among these, the most superior is C8, caprylic acid. It has the best ketone-producing profile. Put another way, the body produces ketones when it uses fat for energy, as opposed to glucose. In fact, all the C8 fatty acids in CapTri® are converted into ketones. Parrillo CapTri® C8 MCT is formulated with C8.
Other Ways to Jump Start Fat-Burning
Minimize your starchy carb intake. Normally, your cells use glucose, or blood sugar, as their main source of fuel. However, they’re capable of using other fuel sources, including fats and ketones. When your starchy carb consumption is lowered, this sets into motion the release of fat stores in your body, thanks to reduced insulin levels.
Increase your workout intensity. A mound of scientific proof shows that being more active can help you get into ketosis. When you work out, you burn up glycogen stores. (4) Normally, you’d replenish these by eating carbs which are ultimately converted back into glycogen. But if you are low-carb dieting, your glycogen stores stay low. Your liver, in turn, steps up its production of ketones, which can then be used as an alternative fuel source, and your body burns even more fat. This phenomenon is one reason I recommend pre-breakfast aerobics. Upon arising and before eating, your body is low on glycogen. When you exercise, your body immediately taps into fat stores for energy.
The calories from CapTri® C8 MCT provide the energy you need to keep training hard. Also, by substituting CapTri® C8 MCT for an equivalent number of calories from carbohydrates you avoid the slow-down in metabolic rate which inevitably results from calorie-restricted diets.
Consume ample protein. Achieving ketosis require sufficient protein intake – for a couple of reasons. Protein supplies the liver with amino acids that can be used for “gluconeogenesis” – the manufacture of glucose. This helps ensure that the liver provides glucose for parts of your body that cannot use ketones for fuel, namely red blood cells and regions of the kidneys and brains. Second, you want your protein intake to be high enough to preserve muscle mass when carbs are reduced, particularly during dieting or pre-contest dieting. (5)
Eat at least 1.25 grams of protein per pound of body weight every day. Your major protein sources should be lean meats (chicken breasts, turkey breast, tuna, salmon, tilapia, and egg whites.
Supplementing with CapTri® C8 MCT
Start with one tablespoon a day, and after several days, add in another tablespoon or two. You can:
- Use it as a salad dressing with a little vinegar, herbs, and spices.
- Add it to protein shakes.
- Drizzle it over vegetables or eggs.
- Top baked potatoes with it.
CapTri® C8 MCT is incredibly versatile and tastes delicious. Be careful about cooking or sautéing with it. Due to its lower smoke point, you have to use low or medium heat when used as a cooking oil. If you see smoke, just turn down the heat.
CapTri® C8 MCT is the most highly refined, ultrapurified MCT on the market, specifically designed for people who want to be as lean as possible. CapTri® C8 MCT is available exclusively from Parrillo Performance. So if you’re looking for a good source of calories to provide energy and accelerate keto-induction while dieting, try CapTri® C8 MCT.
- Kovacs, E.M., and Mela, D.J. 2006. Metabolically active functional food ingredients for weight control. Obesity Reviews 7:59-78.
- St-Onge, M.P., et al. 2003. Medium-chain triglycerides increase energy expenditure and decrease adiposity in overweight men. Obesity Research 11:395-402.
- Harvey, C., et al. 2018. The effect of medium chain triglycerides on time to nutritional ketosis and symptoms of keto-induction in healthy adults: a randomized controlled clinical trial. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism 2018: 1-9.
- Phinney, S.D., et al. 1983. The human metabolic response to chronic ketosis without caloric restriction: preservation of submaximal exercise capability with reduced carbohydrate oxidation. Metabolism 32: 769-776.
- Westman, E.C., et al. 2007. Low-carbohydrate nutrition and metabolism. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 86: 276-284.