The coconut cream in Take Two Barleymilk is a great source of healthy fats called medium chain triglycerides (MTCs). Coconut cream is simply a blend of ripe coconut flesh and coconut water. MCTs are commonly found in coconut, palm kernel oil and some dairy fats. They are a type of saturated fat, but they are not the same as the often-vilified, long-chain saturated fats.
Unlike long chain saturated fats and other types of fats, MCTs are rapidly broken down and absorbed, due to their shorter carbon atom chain length. MCTs diffuse straight from the digestive tract into the bloodstream where they are transported to the liver. From the liver, they can be sent to cells throughout the body to be used for instant energy or they can be transformed into ketones to fuel the brain when glucose isn’t readily available. The ability for MCTs to be rapidly absorbed and converted into ketones makes them an important source of energy for those following a ketogenic diet.
By contrast, long chain fatty acids are broken down in the stomach and small intestine, absorbed into the intestinal cells, rebuilt back up, packed into transport molecules, then released into the lymphatic system and ultimately the bloodstream. This process takes a while. In the meantime, the body uses other fuels leaving these fats for last which often means they get stored as body fat.