Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, in which case I’m a little jealous, you’ve probably heard about the health benefits of MCT oil.
While some “diets” trend from time to time, consuming healthy fats is not another fad, the benefits of this healthy fat are legit. Today, I want to share why I incorporate MCT oil into my lifestyle and my favorite recipe to incorporate it into my mornings.
I want to emphasize that this post is based on my personal research and experience. You should first consult a licensed medical physician if you decide to incorporate MCT oil into your diet. Making health and lifestyle changes, even positive ones, are always something to be discussed with a medical professional.
The purpose of this post is to give you my first-hand experience and acquired knowledge not to provide any professional/medical advice.
What is MCT oil?
MCT oil is a type of fat called a medium-chain triglyceride that is most commonly made from coconuts. It’s the extraction of coconut oil from coconut fat (like the cream at the top of the coconut milk can, but the oil).
Unlike other fat sources, MCT oil can be immediately absorbed by your body. As a result, it is quickly turned into usable energy, something I know we could use more in our lives.
What is MCT Oil Good for?
Research shows that some of the health benefits of MCT oil may include the potential for weight loss, decreased appetite, increased energy, and reduced inflammation. In addition, MCT oil may help lower your cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
It can also improve memory function and brain cognition. If you practice intermittent fasting, I’ve found that it can be a great supplement to keep my energy levels constant until I break my fast with my first meal; which is why I add it to my morning coffee.
Intermittent Fasting for Women
If you want to dive deeper, I’ve created a book with everything you need to know about intermittent fasting & a 1-week meal plan so you know exactly what to eat during your eating windows. Check out my Intermittent Fasting Guide here.
Are MCT oil and Coconut Oil the Same Thing?
MCT oil is extracted from coconut oil but they are not the same. Coconut oil contains both medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) and long-chain triglycerides (LCT). These are different fat sources (think the size of the fat molecule) that are found in foods.
MCT oil is only made of medium-chain-triglycerides while coconut oil contains both.
Another main difference is that MCT is digested immediately, but LCT is stored by the body and used later as needed during digestion.
MCT oil is extracted from the oil in coconut and separated from the LCT fat. As a result, it contains only one form of fat that is digested immediately (used for fuel) and not stored for later.
Because of this, coconut oil is not often recommended when weight loss is the health goal. It is, however, recommended, as a better type of fat for cooking and baking rather than using vegetable oils.
How Does MCT Oil Help You Lose Weight?
Unlike other fat sources, MCT oil is immediately used by the body and used to provide immediate energy. For this reason, it is often recommended for weight loss to keep a person satiated (full longer) and therefore suppressing appetite.
Plus, MCT oil is not stored as fat. Instead, it works to curb the appetite by keeping me fueled without crashing. Research shows that MCT oil can help maintain ketosis if you’re following a keto diet.
What Are Health Benefits of MCT Oil for Women?
Women can benefit greatly from incorporating MCT oil into their diet and lifestyle by providing a healthy source of fats, which are needed for hormone production, providing energy, as well as maintaining overall health.
Some research shows uses for MCT to fight some types of bacteria, like the type that feeds yeast infections -although this isn’t reason enough to take it IMO.
What’s most important is that fats are needed for female hormone production and MCT oil is a source of fat that is not stored long term and used immediately.
Remember the “low-fat” diet from the 80s and 90s where fat was removed from products and sugar was added instead and people still gained weight? Total failed experiement.
Sugar causes insulin spikes which is contradictory to what you need for weightloss and when the spike comes down, your body craves more.
For this reason, MCT oil is claimed to aid the body’s ability to burn fat, something most women struggle to achieve -both from a hormonal perspective and insulin stability.
Lastly, MCT oil can also be used as a moisturizer. However, for this purpose, I prefer to use coconut oil since it’s cheaper and also highly moisturizing, and still absorbed by my skin.
Are there Side Effects of MCT Oil?
For healthy individuals, there are very few known negative side effects of MCT oil. But it does come with a small “from experience” warning that you should incorporate it slowly.
In some people, too much MCT oil per serving too fast in an empty stomach can upset the stomach and lead to cramps and diarrhea. While short-term symptoms should be noted.
For this reason, if you are just starting to incorporate MCT oil into your morning coffee, start with 1 teaspoon and work your way to 1 tablespoon as tolerated. Again, this should be discussed with your medical professional to establish the best dose for you.
Excess MCT oil can cause a build-up of ketones in the body in some people, which is a major concern if you have diabetes. Similarly, given that the liver immediately processes MCT oil, it can be dangerous for individuals with liver disease or other related conditions. Reason no. 2,399 to consult a professional.
How to Use MCT Oil
To gain the most health benefits of MCT oil, it’s often recommend mixing it with food, specifically caffeine contaning drinks, rather than just drinking it straight.
Caffeine works as a transmitter and can carry the medium-chain-triglycerides through the blood-brain barrier (more on this below).
A lot of people drizzle it over their salad, mix it with yogurt, or blend it into a smoothie.
Personally, my favorite way to use MCT oil is in Bulletproof coffee. If you want to get creative, you can make keto-friendly snacks known as fat bombs.
MCT Oil in Coffee
The health benefits of MCT oil in coffee are truly amazing. When combined with butter in popular bulletproof coffee recipes, MCT oil creates the creamiest, most delicious coffee ever.
Even better, the natural caffeine in coffee helps deliver the fats in MCT oil through the blood/brain barrier. In simple terms, it provides immediate, long-lasting fuel straight to my brain and makes mornings a heck of a lot easier!
So when people talk about beign able to “stay focused” or that MCT oil helps them stay focused and have more mental energy, this is because MCT oil, when combined with caffeeine, can provide mental energy as well.
The brain is an interesting organ made of fat and it requires fats for fuel. I’ve also found higher clarity and mental energy when I add MCT oil to my morning coffee.
There is some debate whether or not fat coffee will break your fast. For more on that topic, check out my post on intermittent fasting.
Through much trial and error, I’ve perfected my Bulletproof coffee recipe so that you can start your day feeling great, burn fat, and improve your health! Who knew drinking coffee could be so good for you?
How to Take MCT Oil
You can incorporate MCT oil into your day in liquid form, in powder form, and even capsules for convenience.
Both the liquid and powder form are incorporated with food while the softgels can easily be swallowed at any time –these are also very convenient to have when traveling.
Best MCT Oils
There are many MCT oils available in the market and prices range greatly. This is because not all forms of MCT oil are processed the same -although all come from coconuts.
These are some of my favorite brands of MCT oils I personally use:
- Now Foods MCT Oil (liquid)
- Bulletproof Brain Octane MCT Oil (liquid)
- Nutiva MCT Powder (powder)
- Now Sports MCT Softgels (capsules)