Many people out there are using coconut oil these days for seemingly everything — it can be used in cooking, in shampoo, in makeup, and even in cleaner. It seems like anything can get some beneficial fatty acids just by adding a little coconut oil.
But what if we told you that coconut oil just got a major upgrade?
MCT oil is the next big healthy fat oil. By giving your body some of the good fat that it needs, you can experience some pretty amazing benefits. You might be surprised at what this little oil has to offer you!
What Is MCT Oil?
MCT stands for medium chain triglyceride. Triglycerides are a type of fat in our diet, and these are a little less long than the other triglycerides we eat.
Why does that matter? Well, MCTs are more easily absorbed by your body, which can allow it to work harder for your body.
The Different Types of MCT
There are four different types of MCTs out there:
- Caproic Acid (C6)
- Caprylic Acid (C8)
- Capric Acid (C10)
- Lauric Acid (C12)
The type changes based on how many different carbon bonds are on the triglyceride molecule, Caproic acid, or C6, has six carbon bonds, caprylic acid, or C8, has eight, and so on.
Out of these four types, there are two that we really want to focus on: C8 and C10. These are the most easily absorbed by your body. Because of the low, but not too low, carbon count, your body can turn these MCTs into cellular energy much faster.
Short and Long Chain Triglycerides
C12 doesn’t do as good of a job as C8 and C10 because C12 is bordering on being an long chain triglyceride (LCT). Anything above C12 is a long chain, but C12 takes a lot longer to break down than its brothers, making it behave like an LCT. But that doesn’t mean it’s bad for you — it just takes a little longer for you to see its benefits.
On the flip side of that coin, C6 is bordering on being a short chain triglyceride (SCT). We don’t really eat SCTs because they tend to have a burning feeling in our throat as we swallow them, so they’re left out of most MCT oils.
How MCT Oil Helps with Keto
Some of the biggest users of MCT oil are people on the keto diet. MCT oil can help ketogenic diet followers get to their fat goals for the day with fewer calories than LCTs can. This allows your diet to be a lot more flexible.
Sure, you can still eat your favorite full-fat yogurt, but when you supplement it with a few tablespoons of MCT oil, you can add both fat and a nice boost of health benefits to your meal while staying in ketosis.
That's right—MCTs can be converted into ketones! You can even use MCT oils to make bulletproof coffee.
Keto can be one of the toughest diets to follow, so having a tool like MCT oil to make it easier can drastically improve your keto experience.
The Health Benefits of MCT Oil
Now, let’s get on to the benefits that MCT oil has to give to you. It’s not just for people on keto — MCT can bring benefits no matter what your diet is.
Supports Weight Loss as Part of a Low-Carb Diet
Consuming more of this fat can support you in your weight loss journey when paired with a low-carb diet and exercise plan.
Some people have a stigma against fat in food and think that it only makes you gain weight, but when you eat healthy fats like MCT, it can actually support weight loss.
Helps Reduce Lactate Buildup
MCTs can really help the quality of your workouts. As you workout, lactate, a salt of lactic acid, builds up in your muscles over time. The more lactate that builds up in your muscles, the more burning and soreness you’ll feel as a result of your workout.
MCT oil has been found to lower levels of lactate in your body. This can help your workouts feel easier, and could potentially help reduce some of the feelings of soreness after your workout is over.
Supports Sustained Natural Energy
Because MCTs are easily absorbed by your body, consuming them can help support energy levels. MCTs (C8s in particular) are able to be converted to cellular energy in only three steps by your body. Sugar takes a whopping 26 steps!
This can support your body’s energy level in a quick, simple way, which is why consuming MCT oil can help you to feel more energized.
As we talked about already, MCTs are very easy for your body to absorb. For people who have trouble digesting various foods, especially fats, MCTs can be a welcome addition to your diet and can help you get the energy and nutrients that you need without upsetting your stomach.
Supports Your Heart
There are two types of cholesterol in your body: low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Lots of people think high levels of cholesterol are always bad, when actually, HDL is good cholesterol that can support healthy blood pressure levels.
MCT oil can support healthy levels of HDL. By supporting your good cholesterol (and thus your blood pressure), MCT oil can help maintain the health of your heart.
How To Use MCT Oil
Unfortunately, MCT oil isn’t quite like every other oil — it’s not a cooking oil. It has a medium smoke point, so it’s not recommended to be used to fry anything.
But, there are so many other uses for MCT oil — here are our favorites!
One of the most popular uses for MCT oil is in your coffee! This is the biggest trend in the keto community. By putting MCT oil in your coffee along with heavy cream or butter, you can create a yummy, high-fat coffee that can fill you up and get you going without a ton of calories.
MCT oil is also a great addition to your morning smoothies! Breakfast smoothies are a great way to get a lot of fruits, veggies, and protein all in one conveniently portable meal. Why not add some healthy fats to that mix? MCT oil is tasteless and odorless, so it can easily become a part of your favorite smoothie recipe.
You might not be able to fry things in MCT oil, but if you want to bake with it, you absolutely can.
You might not want to put it in recipes that are baked at over 350 degrees, but if you’re making a keto sweet treat (especially the no-bake variety), MCT oil could be the perfect addition.
Top It Off
Because MCT oil is tasteless and odorless, you can use it as a topping or garnish for just about anything. Put it on peanut butter and toast. Mix it into your guacamole and put it on your tacos. The applications of MCT oil are limitless!
This coconut-derived oil is one of the most unique health trends out there, and the science is there to back it up.
C8 and C10 are the most beneficial MCTs out there, so when you buy, make sure you’re getting a brand packed with these two types of MCTs over C6 or C12. Not all MCT oils are created equal, so make sure you’re getting the maximum benefit out of yours!
So go out there and get yourself some quality MCT oil! There are so many benefits that await you!
Disclaimer: This is for informational purposes only and is not intended as individual or specific medical advice, nor is it intended to replace advice by your qualified healthcare provider. We strongly encourage consulting with a qualified healthcare provider about your interest in, questions about, or use of dietary supplements and what may be best for your overall health.