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Do You Know Why You Should Be Using MCT Oil?

+ 4 quick and easy recipes

Do You Know Why You Should Be Using MCT Oil?

If you are looking for boundless energy, weight loss, and mental clarity (and who isn’t?), putting chunks of butter and a healthy splash of MCT oil into your morning cup of coffee might just be the perfect prescription. 

MCT oil is gaining popularity among keto enthusiasts due to its ability to quickly convert into fuel, boost metabolism, satisfy hunger, and help you burn body fat. MCT oil does not have to go through digestion to transform into energy. Instead, it heads straight to the liver where it converts into ketones and provides needed energy without being stored in the body. You could say MCT oil is the perfect ketogenic food!

But what exactly is MCT oil, and how do you use it?

What is MCT Oil

MCT is short for medium-chain triglycerides. A triglyceride is a type of fatty acid that is composed of a glycerol spine and three fatty acids. The fatty acids vary in length based on the number of carbon atoms in their hydrocarbon chains. Medium-chain triglycerides are considered medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) because they have just 6-12 carbon atoms. (Learn more about short-, medium-, and long-chain fatty acids and the best fats to eat on the Keto Diet.)

MCTs occur naturally in varying amounts in many foods, such as butter, hard cheese, whole milk, full-fat yogurt, palm kernel oil, and—perhaps most famously—coconut oil. But most foods have a greater amount of long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs) than MCFAs. Even coconut oil, which is famous for its high concentration of MCTs, only contains about 87% MCTs. Through an extraction process, the medium chain triglycerides found in coconut oil are isolated to make MCT oil, which contains 100% MCFAs. 

How is MCT Oil Different than Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is made up of several different types of saturated fatty acids (88.5%), some monounsaturated fatty acids (6.5%), and some polyunsaturated fatty acids (5%)[1]. The fatty acids in coconut oil are a mostly medium chain fatty acids, with some long chain fatty acids mixed in:

  • 49% lauric acid (C12)
  • 20% myristic acid (C14)
  • 8% palmitic acid (C16)
  • 7% caprylic acid (C8)
  • 5% capric acid (C10)
  • 3% stearic acid (C18)

MCT oil is extracted from coconut oil, and contains only medium chain triglycerides. Typically, high quality MCT oil is made up of 100% caprylic acid or 100% capric acid or a combination of the two. Some lower quality MCT oils may contain caproic acid or lauric acid. If you experience stomach upset or itchy throat, it might be worth getting another brand with higher purity standards.

The Major Types of MTCs

Caproic acid (C6)
Caproic is the shortest of the MCTs and filtered out of MCT oils. It is worth mentioning as this oil may cause a burning sensation in the back of your throat, gastrointestinal issues, or diarrhea.

Caprylic acid (C8)
Caprylic acid is the fastest MCT to metabolize into energy. This fatty acid is the most ketogenic MCT, and promotes gut health through its anti-microbial attributes.[2]

Capric acid (C10)
Capric acid is similarly ketogenic as caprylic acid, but it has a slower transformation into cellular energy.
Lauric acid (C12)
Although lauric acid only has 12 carbon atoms, it is not considered an MCT as it behaves more like a long chain triglyceride (LCT). Lauric acid may, however, be beneficial to intestinal health and have anti-fungal properties.

So why would you want to add pure MCT oil to your diet?

Health Benefits of MCT Oil

There are many health claims surrounding daily consumption of MCT oil. You have probably heard people mention that MCT oil helps them:

  • feel fuller longer
  • not fell hungry
  • not crave sweets
  • have more energy and eliminate that afternoon slump
  • have better mental focus and clarity

So how exactly does MCT oil give you more energy and suppress hunger?

The increase in energy is due to the way the body processes MCT. The medium chain structure is key to easier digestion. The medium chain breaks down very easily, and does not have to go through digestion to convert into energy. MCTs are sent directly to the liver where they are converted into ketones.[2] MCTs are not stored as fat. Instead, they are burned as fuel right away. And because they don’t get broken down, your cells get the energy they need more efficiently.

Research Studies on MCT Oil

The FDA recognizes medium chain fatty acids as generally regarded as safe (GRAS) under GRN No. 449, but does not currently allow or support any health claims on ingredient labeling of MCT oil.[3] Luckily, there are several studies that support the health benefits of a diet high in saturated fat.

In a study, nineteen healthy participants were given MCT test breakfast and a control breakfast of vegetable oil and monitored to see the time it took to request lunch. The time between meals increased for those given the MCT test breakfast. Those who consumed the MCT ate less over the remainder of the day. Based on the results researchers concluded that adding MCT to meals increased satiety and reduced the amount eaten throughout the day.[4]

The following health issues have shown a positive decrease in risk and symptoms by consuming saturated fats, such as MCT oil:

Obesity

A systematic review and meta-analysis of 13 randomized controlled trials in healthy adults showed that MCTs reduced body weight, waist and hip circumference, total body fat, total subcutaneous fat and visceral fat when compared with LCTs.[5]

Alzheimer’s Disease

Patients with memory impairment showed significant improvement in memory after receiving oral supplementation with MCTs. Higher plasma levels of ketones like β-hydroxybutyrate were directly correlated with higher performance in memory scores during this study.[6]

Epilepsy

Researchers have found that MCT oil, used as part of a ketogenic diet for the treatment of epilepsy, reduce seizures in children. MCT oil supplementation with a regular diet may provide better seizure control in some patients, and be a more tolerable alternative to the standard ketogenic diet. [7,8]

How to Use MCT Oil – Dosage Information

MCT oil is very easy to use. It is flavorless and odorless, so it blends well into sauces, beverages, and other recipes. We recommend you introduce MCT into your diet in small amounts to prevent stomach upset. Most people can ingest the oil without any side effects. One teaspoon per day is a good place to start. One tablespoon a day is a general recommendation.  Researchers studying the use of MCT oil in the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders, however, have recommended 4-7 tablespoons a day, dividing the dosage between all meals.[5]

MCT is available two forms: oil or powder. Here’s a look at the differences:

MCT oil MCT powder
100 % MCTs no additional ingredients MCTs and may contain the following: soluble corn fiber, sodium caseinate, sunflower lecithin, silicon dioxide.
0 carbs 1g dietary fiber
Can be messy and difficult to take along Very easy to take along. No oily mess
May separate out in foods Acts as a binder and blends well recipes

You can mix both MCT oil or MCT powder into foods or beverages, add them to cooked foods, and use in low-carb baked goods. However, the low smoke point (302°F) of MCT oil makes it inappropriate as a cooking or frying oil.

If you want to get the benefits of feeling fuller longer, eating less, and keeping your mind focused the evidence points to MCT oil being a beneficial addition to a low-carb keto lifestyle. So get your morning cup of coffee, a tablespoon of butter, add MCT oil, and get a daily boost of energy. What have you got to lose—except excess weight, that tired feeling, and brain fog?

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Are you looking for ways to incorporate MCT oil into your diet?

Check out these quick and easy recipes:

Cinnamon Spiced Keto Coffee

Keto coffee gives you all of the great benefits of drinking coffee plus the added perks of the blood sugar stabilizing fats. It is known to decrease hunger, improve mental clarity, and keep you feeling energized.

Yields1 Serving
Prep Time5 minsCook Time1 minTotal Time6 mins
 1 cup coffee
 2 tbsp coconut cream or heavy cream
 0.25 tsp cinnamon powder
1

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Enjoy!

keto coffee

Ingredients

 1 cup coffee
 2 tbsp coconut cream or heavy cream
 0.25 tsp cinnamon powder

Directions

1

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Spiced Keto Coffee

Green Goddess Keto Dressing

This Green Goddess keto dressing is fresh and delicious. The parsley and cilantro are both high in fiber, contain anti-inflammatory properties, aid in digestion and provide important vitamins and minerals. Feel free to substitute any fresh herbs you might have on hand.

Yields32 Servings
Prep Time5 minsCook Time1 minTotal Time6 mins
 0.25 cup fresh parsley
 1 cup fresh cilantro
 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
 1 small shallot, chopped or 1 garlic clove, minced
 1 cup water
 0.25 cup apple cider or red wine vinegar
 0.50 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
 0.67 cup avocado oil
1

Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

green goddess keto dressing

Ingredients

 0.25 cup fresh parsley
 1 cup fresh cilantro
 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
 1 small shallot, chopped or 1 garlic clove, minced
 1 cup water
 0.25 cup apple cider or red wine vinegar
 0.50 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
 0.67 cup avocado oil

Directions

1

Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

Green Goddess Keto Dressing

Avocado Strawberry Keto Smoothie

Avocados are a great addition to any smoothie. They are high in healthy fats, potassium, fiber and protein. This recipe is very versatile. You can sub the strawberries for any fruit, use any sweetener of choice and even add an extra half of an avocado to increase the healthy fat content. Enjoy!

Yields2 Servings
Prep Time5 minsCook Time2 minsTotal Time7 mins
 0.50 large avocado
 0.67 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
 1 pinch sea salt
 0.50 cup ice
 0.25 cup fresh mint leaves
 1.50 cups full fat coconut milk
 0.50 cup water
1

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.

avocado strawberry keto smoothie

Ingredients

 0.50 large avocado
 0.67 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
 1 pinch sea salt
 0.50 cup ice
 0.25 cup fresh mint leaves
 1.50 cups full fat coconut milk
 0.50 cup water

Directions

1

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.

Avocado Strawberry Keto Smoothie

White Chocolate Keto Fat Bombs

These wonderful white chocolate keto fat bombs are so easy to make and provide a great pick-me-up snack that satisfies sweet cravings, but won't knock you out of ketosis.

Yields15 Servings
Prep Time10 minsCook Time2 hrsTotal Time2 hrs 10 mins
 1 cup gently melted cacao butter
 0.75 cup coconut butter
 0.25 cup cashew butter
 1 pinch sea salt
1

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well incorporated.

2

Spread the mixture into ice cube trays and place in freezer until solid.

3

For best results keep refrigerated after solid. Enjoy!

Ingredients

 1 cup gently melted cacao butter
 0.75 cup coconut butter
 0.25 cup cashew butter
 1 pinch sea salt

Directions

1

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well incorporated.

2

Spread the mixture into ice cube trays and place in freezer until solid.

3

For best results keep refrigerated after solid. Enjoy!

White Chocolate Keto Fat Bombs

Intrigued? Try Guy Gone Keto MCT Oil for yourself, and see what all the fuss is about.

REFERENCES
[1] http://agris.fao.org/agris-search/search.do?recordID=IN2011000120
[2] https://www.charliefoundation.org/explore-ketogenic-diet/explore-2/mct-oil-diet
[3]https://www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementActions/WarningLetters/ucm433444.htm
[4]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27188898
[5]https://med.virginia.edu/ginutrition/wp-content/uploads/sites/199/2014/06/Parrish-February-17.pdf
[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4202787/
[7]https://www.researchgate.net/publication/259560371_Marked_Seizure_Reduction_after_MCT_Supplementation
[8] http://mctlift.com.br/site/artigos/21.pdf

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