Have you jumped on the MCT Oil bandwagon yet? Are you “nutty” about this popular supplement redrived from coconut oil?! If you haven’t, you just might soon, since it offers proven benefits ranging from everything to fast energy to a reduced risk of heart disease to yes… even weight loss.
Now, don’t get me wrong, this is no “miracle-product” that’s going to magically help you drop pounds overnight. Instead, it’s a healthy fat with some really cool, unique features that have made it a favorite among those on low-carb diets like keto and health enthusiasts alike. Plus, it has the data to back it up in the weight loss realm.
So, we’ll hook you up with the details, starting with what makes this oil special, and how it can benefit you in a range of different ways. We’ll also discuss where you get it, how you consume it, and how it differs from the mighty coconut oil.
Table of Contents
What’s MCT Oil?
The beauty of MCT Oil is all in the length of its “chain”, or in its unique structure. Most of the other fats in your diet (including olive, canola and safflower oil), are made up of long-chain fatty acids. But MCT oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (or MCTs), which have a shorter chain. This is important because it means they’re broken down and absorbed into your body faster. Therefore, becoming a fast, efficient source of energy! (1)
These healthy MCT fats are so special (and getting everyone excited) because they head straight to the liver once they’re inside your body. From there, they can be turned into ketones – which is pretty much the holy grail state for those on the keto diet. People on very low-carb diets such as keto aim to reduce their carb count so intently that their bodies start using ketones for fuel instead of glucose (carbs).
Many people, including experts, consider ketones to be a superior source of fuel for your body and brain. MCT oil helps ignite this natural system.
MCT vs Coconut Oil
Great question, but the long and short of it is no, simply because although coconut oil contains MCTs, it doesn’t contain enough of them. Some other food sources include MCTs as well, but the absolute best place to find 100% pure MCTs is from one of the best MCT Oil supplements. More on that later…
Here’s where else you can find MCTs: (2)
In addition, there are different types of MCTs, and although coconut oil contains all of them, it contains smaller doses of the two most efficient MCTs (that lead to quick energy and a boost in ketones). These MCTs are C8 (caprylic acid) and C10 (capric acid).
Though coconut oil is also a healthy addition to your diet in its own right, it’s made up mostly of lauric acid. This is another type of MCT, but one that takes longer to be digested. It also doesn’t translate into quick energy, since it doesn’t go directly to the liver like C8 or C10.
There’s a lot of talk of MCT Oil being used to help reduce the number on the scale, but how much of it is accurate, based on real data? Let’s see what the numbers say… Turns out, studies show that MCT Oil actually can help with weight loss, when used in the right way. (3)
When you take MCT Oil, it increases the release of two important hormones inside your body. Those hormones, peptide YY and leptin, promote a feeling of fullness. Therefore, you feel satisfied and less likely to snack, especially on unhealthy things.
Research actually shows that MCT Oil is one of the best oils to help keep you full. In fact, it may even be better than coconut oil! In one study, people that had two tablespoons of MCT Oil with breakfast ate less overall food for lunch compared to those that consumed coconut oil. (4)
The data available on weight reduction is also promising. Studies show that the addition of MCT Oil to your diet may significantly reduce body weight and waist circumference. In fact, researchers believe it could even help prevent obesity.
This has a lot to do with this healthy fat having 10% fewer calories than other sources of good fats with long-chain triglycerides. These include olive oil, nuts and even avocados. But there’s a catch… You still have to watch your overall daily calorie content, including MCT Oil as a source of healthy fat that replaces another source.
A 2015 meta-analysis showed that replacing long-chain triglyceride fats with MCTs could lead to “modest reductions in body weight, visceral fat and total body fat.” (5)
As mentioned, once you consume MCT Oil, your body uses it right away. It gets processed in the liver and then turned into an instant source of energy (or ketones), instead of being stored as fat. Instead, it produces a thermogenic effect, helping to increase your metabolism, and therefore enhancing your body’s ability to burn fat.
MCT Oil can also help support optimal gut health… And your gut is pretty much the control center for the most important systems in your body, including your digestive system and immune system. It also houses 90 percent of the serotonin in your body, which helps regulate your mood, and determine if you’re relaxed or anxious and stressed.
It’s been shown that MCT Oil helps promote the growth of good (healthy, beneficial) bacteria in your gut. And this can streamline essential functions in your body important for weight loss. For instance, this bacteria assists with proper food digestion, determining whether or not fat is stored, and if you feel hungry or full. (6)
Along with helping to support weight loss and promoting optimal gut health, MCT Oil is also linked to these potential health benefits… (3)
As discussed, MCT Oil may help reduce weight. And being an unhealthy weight is a major risk factor for heart disease. This oil may also help lower cholesterol and reduce inflammation in your body, reducing your risk even more.
In studies, MCT Oil reduced total cholesterol, as well as LDL or “bad” cholesterol. It also helped increase the production of heart-protective HDL or “good cholesterol”. Finally, it helped decrease a certain inflammatory protein in the body.
By reducing fat storage and increasing fat-burning, MCT Oil may help people with type 2 diabetes manage their condition (which is harder for people when they’re overweight or obese).
It may also help with maintaining and controlling blood sugar levels. One study found that participants with diabetes needed 30% less sugar to maintain normal blood sugar levels when they had MCTs, compared to long-chain fats.
After reading all of this science-y health info, you’re probably wondering what MCT oil tastes like and how you get it into your daily diet?
The good news is, it’s incredibly versatile! It’s a clear, odorless, and virtually tasteless oil. And it can be added into coffee (such as to make ultra-popular Bulletproof Coffee), smoothies, salad dressings and more. You just don’t want to cook with it, as it has a low smoke point, and it isn’t recommended that you heat it.
Although you can find it naturally in some food sources as mentioned earlier in this article, your best bet to get a full dose of effective, 100% MCTs is with a high-quality MCT Oil supplement.
When checking out the labels for MCT oils, you want to ensure you’re getting the real thing. To find one of the best MCT oils, we recommend it has these qualities:
We hope this info has been extremely useful and will help you find the best MCT Oil for you – to enhance your health and support your weight loss efforts. Remember, while adding MCT Oil into your diet can help you move towards your personal wellness goals, just don’t overdo it. It’s still a higher-calorie food since it’s a fat.
Since it’s extremely satiating, it’s also a smart addition to a healthy diet, just have it in place of another fat source, not in addition to one. MCT Oil should be included as part of your healthy lifestyle plan as a unique fat source with properties that may help boost your overall health, energy, productivity and weight loss initiatives.