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Is MCT Oil the Key to Burning Stubborn Fat?

Published September 20, 2018 (Revised: July 09, 2019)
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<article> <section> <header>What is MCT oil?</header> <p>"MCT" is short for medium-chain triglycerides, a form of saturated fatty acid that has many health benefits. </p> <p>MCT oil is the gold standard oil for the Ketogenic (keto) diet. But what is it? And what about coconut oil?</p> <p>The quick answer is –– MCT oil is a concentrated form of coconut oil.</p> <p>MCT oil can be manufactured, but is also naturally present in whole food sources. The oil can be found in coconut oil (greater than sixty percent), palm kernel oil (greater than fifty percent) and dairy products (ten to twelve percent).</p> <p>The main difference between the supplement MCT oil and coconut oil is the MCT content. MCT oil is made of one hundred percent MCTs, whereas coconut oil contains just sixty percent MCTs.</p> <p>While coconut oil is a great choice on the keto diet, MCT oil is even better.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Let's review the keto diet.... </header> <p>Many know it as a low-carb, high-fat diet. The idea behind the keto diet is that eating healthy fats will make you a fat-burning machine and help you lose weight.</p> <p>Here's a sneak peak of what's ahead:</p> <p><ul> <li>The abundant health benefits of MCT oil</li> <li>What's better for me, MCT oil or MCT powder?</li> <li>The benefit of a collagen-MCT supplement</li> <li>How I can add MCT oil to foods I already eat</li> </ul></p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Where have I heard the term MCT oil before?</header> <p>You've probably heard of the Bulletproof coffee, which popularized the concept of adding fat to coffee for sustained energy and fat burning.</p> <p>Bulletproof coffee is a popular breakfast on "The Bullet Proof Diet," written by Dave Asprey. Its signature drink is a mix of coffee, MCT oil and butter. It is meant to decrease hunger levels and improve your brain function.</p> <p>MCT oil is such a big part of the diet, that the Bulletproof site even sells its own MCT oil, called Brain Octane Oil.</p> <p>Think of the Bulletproof diet as a subset of the keto diet, with carbs being okay at times. Similar to the Keto diet, the main idea behind the diet is that you intake healthy fats like coconut oil and grass-fed dairy for rapid weight loss and optimal brain function.</p> <p>The Bulletproof diet suggests that you receive fifty to seventy percent of your energy from healthy saturated fats which can include MCT oil, grass-fed butter and coconut oil, among other things.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>But how does MCT oil burn my fat?</header> <p>The key to the fat burning is the "medium" in "medium chain triglycerides". It is this precise length that tells the body to burn fat instead of store fat.</p> <p>A quick organic chemistry lesson: MCTs are types of fatty acids that contain 6-10 carbons. Long-chain triglycerides like olive oil contain 12-20 carbon atoms.</p> <p>Because they are shorter than longer-chain fatty acids, MCTs can be absorbed more quickly than other fats. When the body intakes MCT oil, it goes into ketosis, or breaking down fat for energy. Instead of going through the digestive system, it goes straight to the liver and gives you energy right away. It also passes through the blood-brain barrier directly, fueling the brain instantly.</p> <p>On the contrary, when you eat carbohydrates, the body breaks down carbs for energy and stores the excess carbs into fat, creating a fat storage.</p> <p>That's what creates those love handles that we try so hard to eliminate. Nobody wants that.</p> <p>When the body goes into ketosis, there are two immediate benefits:</p> <p><ol> <li>Quick and clean fuel for the brain</li> <li>Increased metabolism for weight loss</li> </ol></p> <p>On the keto diet, the main goal is to keep the body in the state of ketosis. MCT oil helps tell the body to do exactly that!</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Why should I add MCT oil to my keto diet?</header> <p>Fat burning is not the only benefit of using MCT oil. In fact, MCT oil has many health-enhancing properties.</p> <p>One of the main reasons that keto diet caught on so quickly was because scientists found saturated fat could improve your health after decades of "fat is bad" false marketing.</p> <p>Studies have shown that people living in tropical areas who consume coconut oil in large amounts actually enjoy great health. They do not suffer from the common Western ailments including heart disease and obesity. Contrary to long-held beliefs about fat, not all saturated fats clog arteries and lead to heart disease. The important thing to note is that not all fats are created equally. </p> <p>Eating fats from responsible and organic sources is good for our health. In fact, the standard Western diet is missing saturated fat recommendations.</p> <p>Adding MCT oil to your diet can help you gain favorable saturated fat properties.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>So what are the other health benefits of adding MCT oil to my diet?</header> <p>MCT's fat-burning properties boost your metabolism. Other advantages of MCT oil on the body include:</p> <p><ul> <li>Burning stubborn fat</li> <li>Reducing yeast and bacterial overgrowth in the body</li> <li>Improving gut health</li> <li>Maintaining stable blood sugar levels</li> <li>Increasing HDL, "good" cholesterol levels</li> <li>Improving brain function</li> <li>Increasing energy</li> <li>Reducing lactate buildup in athletes</li> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8696422" rel="noreferrer" title="Suppressing the appetite">Suppressing the appetite</a><sup>1</sup>.</li> </ul></p> <p>One of the first populations to use MCT oil was epileptic children. Doctors thought to prescribe the ketogenic diet to epileptic children. It was scientifically proven that a ketogenic diet coupled with MCT oil boosted the neurological health of epileptic children. This translates to better cognitive and brain function in <a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/5166216" rel="noreferrer" title="healthy individuals">healthy individuals</a> <sup>2</sup>.</p> <p>Studies still continue today to test the effectiveness of treating Alzheimer’s disease, brain tumors, and adult epilepsy with MCT oil and a Ketogenic diet. Results are promising.</p> <p>While MCT promises many health benefits, the most compelling evidence shows that MCT oil can improve your brain health and increase your metabolism. </p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Are MCT powder and MCT oil the same thing?</header> <p>MCT powder and MCT oil are essentially the same thing, but there are some important differences. They both contain MCT fats to stimulate the metabolism. But, they are not created equally.</p> <p>Let's take a look and see which one is better.</p> <div class="sub-head">Why use MCT powder?</div> <p>MCT powder was created because oil isn't the easiest to add to foods. Also, the oily texture of MCT oil turns some people off. The powder can easily be incorporated into recipes, smoothies, and drinks without giving it an oily texture. It's also a perfect combination with other supplements like collagen.</p> <p>Collagen-MCT powder boosts are especially beneficial for athletes and fitness lovers. The combined supplement can initiate soft-tissue repair and muscle building after a workout.</p> <p>The other advantage of adding MCT powder to collagen is that it allows your body to go into a deeper ketosis or a fat-burning state.</p> <p>Other protein powders will spike your blood sugar levels and throw your body out of ketosis. The collagen-MCT supplement will give you sustained energy and intensify fat burning.</p> <p>People who work out often and have soft tissue injuries may take advantage from a combined collagen-MCT supplement.</p> <div class="sub-head">Why MCT oil is better. . .</div> <p>While a combined collagen-MCT sounds like a smart idea, let's look at the powder drawbacks.</p> <p>The MCT powder is not usually pure. The technique of spray drying is used to make MCT powder. In this manufacturing process, unnatural fillers, sweeteners, artificial flavors and other additives are often added. For this reason, it's harder to find high-quality MCT powders as opposed to high-quality MCT oils. </p> <p>In addition, all the scientific studies that prove MCT is the gold medal fat in the keto diet are done with MCT oil, not powder. While the powder may have similar health benefits, the science proves health benefits on the oil.</p> <p>Whether you decide to buy MCT oil or powder, you should carefully read for the best quality ingredients rather than just choosing the oil or powder.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>How do I know if I'm getting a high-quality MCT product?</header> <p>Here is a list of the requirements for a high-quality MCT oil or powder:</p> <p><ul> <li>Healthy powder source, like acacia fiber (medicinal benefits)</li> <li>One-hundred percent coconut instead of palm oil (unethical and unhealthy choice)</li> <li>C8 and C10 MCTs are the most beneficial MCTs</li> <li>No fillers, additives, sweeteners, and artificial or "natural" flavorings</li> <li>Non-GMO, gluten free, and dairy free</li> </ul></p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>How can I add MCT oil to my diet?</header> <p>A common dosage of MCT oil is 1-3 tablespoons per day. You can add it to coffee, smoothies, or salad dressings.</p> <p>3 nutritious and delicious ways to add MCT oil to your diet. . .</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/mct-oil-0010.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/mct-oil-0010.jpf" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/mct-oil-0010.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/mct-oil-LR-0010.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="MCT Oil"> </picture> <div class="sub-head">Use MCT oil with caution</div> <p>Before you start adding MCT oil to everything, it is important to take note of some possible side effects.</p> <p>You can gain weight if you take too much MCT oil, because it is still calorific. High doses of MCT oil may lead to fat buildup in the liver. so, if you are planning to include MCT oil in your diet, make sure it is only five to ten percent of your total calorie intake.</p> <p>Each individual may react differently. For instance, while most will experience decreased appetite, others might experience stimulated appetite after taking MCT oil.</p> <p>As with any dietary supplement, it is best to consult your doctor or physician before adding it to your daily regimen.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>The takeaway</header> <p>MCT oil has advantageous health benefits especially for those looking to lose weight and increase energy.</p> <p>Enjoy both coconut oil and quality MCT oil for their many health benefits. Most importantly, look for high-quality MCT oils that state what the ingredients are visibly and how it was manufactured.</p> <p>From a holistic perspective, MCT oil and powder supplements are processed and thus should be used in moderation. A balanced diet emphasizes unprocessed, wholesome foods to get the highest vitamin and micronutrient amounts.</p> <p>MCT oil can help burn fat and provide you with numerous other health benefits, and MCT supplements for a temporary weight loss solution may be the best option.</p> <p>Even better, you should eat whole, unprocessed foods that contain MCTs like coconut oil for a healthier, safer and more sustainable option that goes great with any diet!</p> <div class="sub-head">Resources</div> <ol> <li>Stubbs RJ, Harbron CG. Covert manipulation of the ratio of medium- to long-chain triglycerides in isoenergetically dense diets: effect on food intake in ad libitum feeding men. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. (1996)</li> <li> Huttenlocher PR, Wilbourn AJ, Signore JM. Medium-chain triglycerides as a therapy for intractable childhood epilepsy.Neurology. (1971)</li> </ol> </section> </article>

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