Have you jumped on the MCT Oil bandwagon yet? Are you “nutty” about this popular supplement derived 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. Plus, it has the data to back it up!
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.
MCT Oil: A Short Chain With a Long List of Rewards
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 (MCTs) which have a shorter chain. This is important because it means they break down and absorb into your body faster and become a fast, efficient source of energy! (1)
These healthy MCT fats are so special (and get everyone excited) because they head straight to the liver once they’re inside your body. From there they turn 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 that their bodies start using ketones for fuel instead of glucose (carbs).
Many people, including some experts, consider ketones to be a superior source of fuel for your body and brain. And MCT oil helps ignite this natural system!
MCT vs Coconut Oil
Can I get MCTs from coconut oil? Great question, but the long and short of it is no. 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 a high-quality MCT Oil supplement (scroll down for more on this!).
Here’s where else you can find MCTs: (2)
- Coconut oil (55-60% MCTs)
- Palm kernel oil (more than 50% MCTs)
- Dairy products (10-12% MCTs)
It’s also worth noting that there are different types of MCTs out there! 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 that takes much longer to digest and doesn’t translate into quick energy because it doesn’t go directly to the liver like C8 or C10.
Can Taking MCT Oil Daily Help You Lose Weight?
There’s a lot of talk about using MCT Oil to help reduce the number on the scale. But how much of it is accurate and based on real data? Let’s see what the numbers say… Turns out, studies show that MCT Oil actually could help with weight loss when used in the right way. (3)
4 Ways MCT Oil Helps Support Your Weight Loss Goals
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 so you feel satisfied and less likely to snack (especially on unhealthy things).
Research shows that MCT Oil is one of the best oils to help keep you full (maybe even better than coconut oil). In one study, people that had two tablespoons of MCT Oil with breakfast ate less food for lunch compared to those that consumed coconut oil. (4)
Helps reduce body weight
The data available on weight reduction is also promising. Some studies show that the addition of MCT Oil to your diet may significantly reduce body weight and waist circumference. This is to the point where researchers believe it could even help prevent obesity. For example, 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)
This has a lot to do with this healthy fat having 10% fewer calories than other sources of good fats like olive oil, nuts, and even avocados which have long-chain triglycerides. But there’s a catch… You still have to watch your overall daily calorie content because MCT Oil is calorie-dense.
As mentioned, once you consume MCT Oil, your body uses it right away. It gets processed in the liver and then turns into an instant source of energy (or ketones) instead of storing it as fat. Instead, it may produce a thermogenic effect, helping to increase your metabolism and enhance your body’s ability to burn fat.
Boosts gut health
MCT Oil could 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% of the serotonin in your body, which helps regulate your mood, and determines if you’re relaxed or anxious and stressed.
MCT Oil could help promote the growth of good (healthy, beneficial) bacteria in your gut – streamlining essential functions in your body important for weight loss. For instance, this bacteria assists with proper food digestion, fat storage, and satiety. (6)
Other MCT Oil Health Benefits
Along with helping to support weight loss and promoting optimal gut health, MCT Oil is also linked to these potential health benefits… (3)
Helps reduce heart disease risk factors
As discussed, MCT Oil may help reduce weight, and 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. (3)
In some studies, MCT Oil helped reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol, and increase the production of heart-protective HDL or “good cholesterol”. It was also shown to reduce a certain inflammatory protein in the body.
Support diabetes management
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.
How Do You Use MCT Oil?
After reading all 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 that you can easily add to coffee (like the ultra-popular Bulletproof Coffee), smoothies, salad dressings, and more. But you don’t want to cook with it or heat it up because it has a low smoke point.
Although you can find it naturally in some food sources, your best bet to get a full dose of effective, 100% MCTs is with a high-quality MCT Oil supplement.
How to Find the Best 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:
- 100% MCT Oil– It comes from pure coconut oil, not a cheaper blend of coconut mixed with palm kernel or other oils. Plus, it has an abundant dose of the most efficient MCTs, C8 (caprylic acid) and C10 (capric acid), with lower doses of the less effective MCTs.
- No Chemicals– In short, many MCT oils are made by a refining process that includes harsh chemicals (like hexane). Make sure the extraction process and the final product are hexane-free.
- Clean Ingredients– Make sure the product is free from all fillers, additives, and flavorings, and it’s extracted without solvents.
- Great Reviews– Nothing shows more about a product than individual reviews by the people using it! Make sure you find a good amount of MCT Oil reviews by those who use it regularly and have seen awesome results. (P.S. our #1 rated Shake, 310 Nutrition, has a great MCT Oil with a ton of positive reviews!)
MCTs and Weight Loss: The Takeaway
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, don’t overdo it. It’s still fat, making it a higher-calorie food.
Since it’s satiating, it’s also a smart addition to a healthy diet. But to watch your calories make sure you’re using it in place of another fat source, not in addition to one. All in all, MCT Oil is a great part of a healthy lifestyle. It’s a unique fat source with properties that may help boost your overall health, energy, productivity, and weight loss initiatives.