I saw this abstract in my Facebook feed, and when I saw, “randomized controlled trial” in the title, I knew I had to read it because good randomized controlled trials in fitness and nutrition are hard to come by. Let’s say that I was pleasantly surprised and excited by this one; and truthfully, that doesn’t happen that often.
Before we talk about the study, I think it’s important to differentiate between “high-protein” diets and “low-something else” diets. “High protein” means that the first maconutrient of importance is protein and when figuring how much carb and fat to eat, the calories not taken up by protein are then taken up by the other two macronutrients. “Low something-else” means that the first macronutrient taken into consideration is the “something else” (these days it’s usually carbohydrate), and then the rest is available for fat and protein. This doesn’t mean that a low-carb diet is automatically a “high protein” one, or, more importantly, that a “high protein” diet is automatically a low-carb one.
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Before I even start explaining what I’ve done here, I want to make it absolutely clear that this analysis is fairly casual, and that by no means have I followed a text-book rigourous protocol to do it because if I HAD done that, you wouldn’t be reading this for another year while it waited in the publication queue of some nutrition journal. However, I will say that even with that disclaimer, I’ve probably been a bit more rigourous than a lot of crap I’ve read, so…well, there really isn’t anything more to say, is there?
Back in the early 2000’s there was a small surge of medium-chain-triglyercide (MCT) research that petered out around 2003ish. While there were a fair number of human trials looking at MCT’s and lipid profiles, there were also a handful of trials that also examined the effect of MCTs on body composition, specifically fat loss. And while MCTs are used in some supplements and meal-replacement shakes, there hasn’t been a widespread adoption of MCTs like there was when olive oil got really big (also in the early 2000’s), and I have to say that it’s not entirely clear as to why. Part of the reason might have been the sparseness of human trials involving MCTs compared to those looking at olive oil. Since 2009, however, there appears to be another blip of human trials looking at MCTs, and specifically at coconut oil, or mixes that involve a fair amount of coconut oil.
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