If you’re wondering how MCT oil can help your keto diet,
you’re in the right place. MCT is short for medium chain triglycerides which
are special fats that bypass normal digestion and quickly convert to ketones.
They also have antimicrobial, antiviral, and immune system boosting properties.
MCT oil is great for the keto diet because it promotes ketosis, curbs hunger,
reduces sugar cravings, enhances mental clarity, can help accelerate weight
What is MCT Oil?
MCT oil is a concentrated source of a particular type of
fatty acid known as medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). The three main types of
MCT found in MCT oil are caprylic acid, capric acid, and lauric acid. These MCT
types are also referred to as C8, C10, and C12 respectively with the “C”
standing for the element carbon and the numbers 8, 10, and 12 representing how
many carbon atoms are in the MCT molecule’s “tail”.
MCTs are naturally found in a variety of foods and are even
present in mothers’ milk, but commercial MCT oil is typically extracted from
palm kernel or coconut oil.
Unlike regular fats that first go into storage (i.e. your
fat cells) before being turned into ketones, MCTs skip the storage phase entirely.
When you consume MCT oil, the MCTs go right to your liver where they are
converted into ketones. These ketones then travel through your bloodstream
providing an ideal source of energy for your brain, muscles, heart, and more.
MCT Oil Benefits for Keto Dieters
Adding MCT Oil to your keto diet can help you to get better
results and may improve your health in a variety of ways.
- Faster Weight Loss – MCT oil can help accelerate fat loss by reducing hunger, increasing metabolic rate, and promoting “good” gut bacteria. Due to their unique properties, MCTs also have a lower “net” caloric value than other fats. While most fats provide 9 calories per gram, because of the way MCTs are metabolized, they have an actual caloric value of ~7 calories per gram.
- Increased Energy Levels – MCTs increase energy levels by rapidly converting to ketones with are an ideal source of energy (ATP) for your cells. Studies also suggest that the regular consumption of MCTs triggers “mitochondrial biogenesis”, which means that you’ll actually grow more mitochondria, which are the “engines” that power your cells.
- Improved Brain Health – MCTs can support brain health by decreasing the brain’s reliance on sugar (glucose) which may lead to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive impairment, epilepsy, and autism. Even if you’re not suffering from brain-related diseases, MCTs can still help improve mental clarity and focus by fueling your brain with ketones.
- Enhanced Immune Function – MCTs support the immune system by fighting off bacterial (even drug resistant strains), viral, and fungal infections. These benefits are largely due to lauric acid (C12) as it is converted into monolaurin in the body. Fun fact: Monolaurin is the main antiviral and antibacterial compound found in mother’s milk!
MCT Oil vs Coconut Oil
You might be wondering why you should use MCT oil when MCTs
are found in regular coconut oil. The reasons why I recommend using MCT oil
- You have to take twice as much (or more)
coconut oil to get the same amount of MCTs – Regular coconut oil contains
about 50% MCTs and 50% LCTs (long chain triglycerides). This means that you
need double the amount of coconut oil (and double the calories) to get the same
- Coconut oil is harder to digest – Because
MCTs bypass normal digestion, your body does not need to produce
bile in order to digest them. This is especially important for individuals
who don’t have a gall bladder (which is the organ that produces bile) or who
have digestive malabsorption issues (difficulty absorbing nutrients).
- MCT oil is better at reducing hunger – In
a study that compared the hunger fighting effects of coconut oil, MCT oil, and
regular vegetable oil, it was shown that MCT oil resulted in greater
feelings of fullness and satiety when compared to the other oils.
- MCT oil is more convenient – Unlike
coconut oil, MCT oil is liquid at room temperature. This means that it doesn’t
have to be melted before being used in recipes, is easier to transport, and can
be poured into and over foods for a boost of ketogenic fats. You can even take
a shot of MCT oil instead whenever you need an energy boost!
What to Look for in MCT Oil
Now that you know what MCTs are and what they can do for
you, here’s what you should look out for when buying an MCT Oil:
- Free of hidden carbs or other non-keto
additives – Some MCT oil products contain hidden ingredients that you
should avoid on a keto diet. Examples of things to look out for are corn fiber
(common in powdered MCT products), artificial flavors (common in flavored MCT
products), and cane sugar (common in sweetened MCT oil products). 3rd
party certifications like The Paleo Foundations Keto certification program also
provide an additional guarantee that the product you purchased has no hidden
ingredients that could knock you out of ketosis.
- Packaged in glass or BPA-free, non-leaching
plastic – The unique structure of MCTs make them a nutritional powerhouse,
but it also makes them really good at breaking down plastic. If you’ve ever
tried to pour a MCT-containing coffee into a Styrofoam cup, you may have seen
this in action! (Note: Don’t actually try this! The Styrofoam cup can literally
melt in your hand causing severe burns.) The estrogen-like compounds in plastic
can cause negative health effects so make sure you always buy MCT oil packaged
in glass or BPA-free plastic bottles.
- 3rd Party Lab Tested – If we
lived in an honest world, this wouldn’t be an issue, but the fact of the matter
is that many supplement manufacturers incorrectly label or misrepresent what’s
in their products. 3rd party lab testing ensures that you are
getting exactly what you want, and nothing that you don’t. This information
should be publicly available or quickly provided when requested from brands
that you can trust. Things to look out for on testing data is the specific MCT
breakdown (i.e. exactly how much C8, C10, and C12 is in your MCT oil), heavy
metal testing (arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury), and microbial testing
(yeast/mold, salmonella, e. coli, and staph).
- Made from 100% coconut oil, not palm oil
– Even though palm oil is rich in MCTs, palm oil plantations are responsible
for widespread deforestation in Southeast Asia and account for ~10% of all deforestation
worldwide. The burning and clear cutting of native forests for palm oil
production also displaces indigenous peoples and threatens endangered species
like the orangutan. To ensure that your MCT oil is made from coconuts, check
the ingredients label which should specifically say “MCT Oil from coconuts”.
The Best MCT Oil for Keto
When I need the best MCT oil for keto my favorite brand is Natural Force. All of their MCT oil products are made with clean, Keto certified ingredients, are packaged in non-toxic plastic or glass, are 3rd party lab tested, and are made from 100% organic and non-GMO coconut oil. No palm oil ever! I also love their commitment to delivering world class customer service and high-quality educational information.
Natural Force Organic MCT Oil
My Take On This Flavored MCT: This is a great all-purpose MCT oil that can be used for blended drinks like Bulletproof coffee and as a ketogenic alternative to unhealthy vegetable oils in cooking/baking recipes.
MCT profile: Contains C8, C10, and C12 MCTs from
organic coconuts (6.5g, 4.5g, and 1.3g respectively per tbsp).
Certifications: Keto Certified, Paleo Certified, Vegan Certified, USDA Organic, Project Non-GMO Verified, and Kosher
Natural Force has a code you can use to save 10% off your order, use code “MCT10” for a discount off your order!
Natural Force Keto Coffee Creamer
My take: This isn’t your grandma’s coffee creamer! Keto Coffee Creamer contains a hefty dose of emulsified C8/C10 MCT oil which means that it is both highly ketogenic and very convenient to use. Adding Keto Coffee Creamer to coffee, tea, or my personal favorite, sparkling water, doesn’t require a blender so you can simply stir it in whenever you want an instant shot of MCT fuel.
MCT profile: Contains emulsified C8 and C10 MCTs from
organic coconuts (3.7g and 2.7g respectively per tbsp).
Flavors: Vanilla, Caramel, Chocolate, and Hazelnut
Certifications: Keto Certified, Paleo-friendly Certified, Vegan Certified, and Kosher
Natural Force was kind enough to give you guys a discount if you wanted to check out there line of MCT oil so use code “MCT10” to save 10% off your order!