I kept seeing the people of the internet going on and on about how healthy the Keto diet is and the benefits of healthy fats. One thing that stuck out to me while scrolling was MCT oil. I’ve seen multiple posts on how it’s meant to be some type of “super fuel.” Next thing I know, my mom brought a couple bottles. And if you’ve ever read any of my other blog posts, you’d know I have to research things concerning health and fitness to find out if there is some truth behind the hype. What is MCT oil? Should I add MCT oil to my diet? Do I even need MCT oil? Let’s find out.
What is MCT Oil?
MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides. Triglycerides are the technical term for fat. These triglycerides are found within coconuts and palm oil in high amounts. Due to their structural makeup, MCTs breakdown quickly inside of the body. This makes medium-chain triglycerides a fast and convenient source of energy. This quick breakdown time also makes MCT less likely to be stored as fat within the body. This is where the whole ketones as fuel versus carbs as fuel debate stem from. MCTs are obtained via a process known as fractionation, where they are extracted from the source oils. The most commonly used oils being coconut and palm.
What are the Health Benefits of MCT Oil?
Fans of MCT oil claim that it is better than long-chain triglycerides because MCTs cannot be stored by the body as fat. It digests quickly, so it is fast fuel for the body. MCT is said to be a great fat loss aid as it increases leptin and lowers ghrelin. This allows one to feel full and satiated. It is also noted that MCTs are possibly a workout performance booster. Because it is fast fuel for the body, this may be true. MCT can also lower inflammation and support brain health. While researching, I noticed a lot of studies are either for or against these claims. This makes it hard for me to decide if the things I listed are actually benefits or just unfounded claims by influencers trying to make an easy buck.
How Should I Use MCT Oil in my Diet?
When first starting out with MCT, use only 1 tsp per serving. Over time, work your way up to 2 tsp per serving. 1 tbsp of MCT oil is 100 calories, and 1 tbsp is equal to 3 tsp. Be careful not to overdo it if fat loss is one of your goals. Due to MCT oil lacking any strong taste or smell, it is easy to add to foods and drinks you already enjoy. Try adding MCT to your coffee, smoothies, or salad dressing. It’s not recommended to cook with MCTs as the smoke point is low.
So would I say MCT oil is all hype? No. Plenty of people have had success with their goals using it. Scientific data is out there in support of MCTs, even if some data contradicts it. Research is still being done, and we may hear something new tomorrow. If you find that focusing your diet around healthy fat helps you obtain your health goals, I’d say give it a shot. Would I use MCTs? No. I prefer fats that add flavor to my food or ones that I can cook with—just a personal preference. I even find that a healthy fat like ghee helps keep me full just like MCT oil is meant to. Plus, it tastes great.