You probably heard of MCT oil if you are familiar with the ketogenic diet. MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides, a type of fat metabolised differently from other types of fat. In this article, we will explore whether MCT oil is keto-friendly and, if so, what benefits and drawbacks it may offer.
Does MCT Oil Help Ketosis?
Ketosis is a metabolic state that uses fat as the primary energy source rather than relying on glucose. Limiting carbohydrate intake forces the body to produce ketones as an alternative energy source. MCT oil can help with ketosis because it is metabolised into ketones more quickly than other types of fat. MCT oil can provide a quick energy source for the body while promoting ketone production.
Does MCT Oil Trigger Ketosis?
While MCT oil can help with ketosis, it is essential to note that it is not a magic bullet. Simply adding MCT oil to your diet will not automatically trigger ketosis, and you still need to follow a low-carbohydrate diet and maintain a caloric deficit to achieve ketosis. However, MCT oil can certainly be a helpful tool in achieving and maintaining ketosis.
How Much MCT Oil Should I Take on Keto?
The optimal amount of MCT oil to take on a keto diet varies depending on individual factors such as body weight and activity level. However, starting small and increasing the dose is best to reach the desired effect. Beginning with one tablespoon daily and gradually increasing to 2-3 tablespoons is a safe and effective approach.
Is it OK to Take MCT Oil Every Day?
MCT oil is generally safe to consume every day if you do not exceed the recommended daily amount. However, some people may experience digestive issues such as diarrhoea or stomach cramps if they consume too much MCT oil. If you experience these symptoms, reducing your intake may be best or speaking with a healthcare provider.
Benefits of MCT Oil
MCT oil has several potential benefits for those following a keto diet. These include:
- Promoting ketosis and fat burning
- Boosting energy and reducing fatigue
- Improving mental clarity and focus
- Reducing inflammation
- Supporting gut health
- Helping to regulate blood sugar levels
- Promoting weight loss
What are the Disadvantages of MCT Oil?
While MCT oil has many potential benefits, there are also some drawbacks. These include:
- Digestive issues such as diarrhoea or stomach cramps
- Potential for liver damage if consumed in excess
- High-calorie density can make it easy to consume too many calories
Does MCT Oil Break a Keto Fast?
If you follow a fasting protocol, you may wonder whether consuming MCT oil will break your fast. It depends on your definition of fasting, especially on the keto diet. If you follow a strict water-only fast, consuming MCT oil will break your fast. However, consuming MCT oil may be acceptable if you are observing a less strict fast that allows for some calories or certain types of food.
Is MCT Oil Just Coconut Oil?
MCT oil comes from coconut oil but is not the same. Coconut oil contains both medium-chain and long-chain triglycerides. In contrast, MCT oil comprises only medium-chain triglycerides, meaning that MCT oil is more effective at promoting ketosis than coconut oil alone.
Can You Cook With MCT Oil?
MCT oil is safe to cook with at low to medium temperatures. However, it is not recommended for high-heat cooking as it has a low smoke point and can break down and become less beneficial when exposed to high heat. Additionally, some may find that MCT oil has a slightly bitter or coconut-like taste, which may not be ideal for specific recipes. Alternatives for cooking include olive oil and butter.
The Different Types of MCT
Not all MCT oils are created equal. There are four different types of MCTs, each with slightly different properties and benefits:
- C6, also known as caproic acid, is the shortest and most potent of the MCTs. It is quickly converted into ketones but can also cause digestive issues.
- C8, or caprylic acid, is the most ketogenic of the MCTs and is quickly converted into ketones without causing digestive issues.
- C10, or capric acid, is slightly less ketogenic than C8 but still effective at promoting ketosis.
- C12, or lauric acid, is technically an MCT but is metabolised more like a long-chain fatty acid. It is still a healthy fat but is not as effective at promoting ketosis as the other MCTs.
When choosing an MCT oil, it is essential to consider the type and quality of the oil. Look for a high-quality MCT oil derived from pure, non-GMO sources and contains a high percentage of C8 and C10.
In conclusion, MCT oil can be a helpful tool for those following a keto diet. It can promote ketosis, provide a quick energy source, and offer several other potential health benefits. However, it is vital to consume MCT oil in moderation and choose a high-quality oil that is low in C6 and high in C8 and C10.