Keto MCT Oil on the Ketogenic Diet
If you’ve started doing your research on the ketogenic diet, it’s likely you’ve come across a few ingredients like Keto MCT Oil or Coconut Oil, that probably haven’t been in your pantry before if you’re used to a typical Western diet.
As the company Onnit writes, “MCT oil is one of the fastest sources of clean fuel for body and brain.”
“With fewer steps to convert into caloric energy than carbohydrates, it is hands down one of the best ways to power up your performance or kick start a nutrition program.”
But what is Keto MCT Oil, really?
What is a Keto MCT Oil?
MCT stands for Medium-chain triglycerides, which are made from medium-chain fatty acids. In this description, “medium” refers to the length of their chemical structure, as all fats are made up of both carbon and hydrogen.
It’s possible to get MCTs from foods like coconut oil (15 percent), palm kernel oil (7.9 percent), cheese (7.3 percent), and butter (6.8 percent), but concentrated MCT oils offer much higher amounts of the MCTs.
When it comes down to a generic tablespoon comparison, coconut oil only has about 2 grams of MCTs while MCT oil has 15 grams.
Coconut oil also costs around $0.45 to $0.60 per tablespoon where pure oil is closer to $0.02 or $0.03 cent each, but coconut oil does also have antimicrobial properties, which is why many ketogenic followers will put both coconut oil and MCT oil in their “bulletproof coffee” (full recipe below).
The Science Behind Keto MCT Oil
As mentioned above, a triglyceride is simply a technical term for fat. There are two purposes of triglycerides as they are to be transported into the cells to be used as energy or stored as body fat.
All triglycerides are made up of three fatty acids and a glycerol molecule.
There are short, medium, and long-chain fatty acids, which refer to how many carbons are within the chain. Short may only have 6, while a long has 13-21, so the medium lies in the middle around 6-12 carbons.
According to Healthline, some examples of medium-chain fatty acids include:
- C6: Caproic acid or hexanoic acid.
- C8: Caprylic acid or octanoic acid.
- C10: Capric acid or decanoic acid.
- C12: Lauric acid or dodecanoic acid.
Medium-chain triglycerides are metabolized differently than the short and long types. They are rapidly broken down in the body and they go straight for the liver.
This means MCT oils can create instant energy or turn into ketones. Ketones occur when the liver is breaking down fat and provide alternative fuel for the body.
How Does MCT Oil Help with Weight Loss?
Consuming MCT oils helps with weight loss in several ways, mainly by rebooting the body and changing the way it requires fuel.
Specifically, Keto MCT oil helps with the following:
- Burn calories: studies show MCTs like C8 and C10 may increase the body’s abilities to burn calories and fat.
- Burn fat: one student concluded that an MCT-rich diet causes greater fat loss than one with LCTs, especially within the first 2-3 weeks.
- Feel full: MCTs result in less appetite due to peptide YY and leptin.
- Less fat storage: MCTs are absorbed and used quickly so they’re less likely to be stored as body fat.
- Improves ketogenic diet: low-carb or ketogenic diets help people lose weight since they produce ketones.
Basically, MCTs help with weight loss through reduced calorie intake, increased fullness, better calorie burning, and less fat storage. If the science is a little overwhelming, let’s simply discuss the daily benefits of MCT oils.
Additional Health Benefits of Keto MCT Oil
MCT oil has been associated with various health benefits other than weight loss. In various studies, MCT oils have been linked to lower cholesterol levels, lower blood sugar levels for those with diabetes, and improved brain function.
Many productivity gurus and entrepreneurs have jumped on the ketogenic diet for improved brain function. When compared to a Western diet, those on the ketogenic diet experience less mental fog in the afternoon and do not need to eat every few hours.
The ketogenic diet began to help children with epilepsy but soon many other benefits became obvious. In fact MCT oils have started to be used to prevent other brain disorders like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
One study revealed that MCTs improve learning, memory, and brain processing for those with Alzheimer’s disease. So far there’s only been short samples but more research is being conducted on the subject.
Basically, ketones can be a preferred fuel for the brain. Our bodies can make ketones are they can come from MCTs. Dr. Jockers writes, “Ketones feed all the cells of the body, but in particular they are a preferred fuel for the brain.”
MCTs can cross the blood-brain barrier and become oxidized by the brain, which means ketones can be a direct source of fuel for the brain.
This is very important for those type 1 diabetic patients as they can feed the brain without having to worry so much about raising blood glucose levels.
Popular Keto MCT Oil Products
Some of the most popular MCT oils include the following:
- Viva Naturals Non-GMO Pure Coconut Oil ($24.99)
- Premium MCT Oil from Organic Coconuts ($27.95)
- Premium Coconut MCT Oil ($24.97)
- NOW MCT Oil ($19.20)
- Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil ($23.00)
- Keppi Keto MCT Oil 32 oz ($23.99)
There are also raw options at local GNC stores from Chemistry Labs.
Getting Keto MCT Oil Into Your Diet
Perhaps the most popular way to get MCT Oils into your diet would be to purchase one of the oils above and then make bulletproof coffee in the morning.
This way, you know you’re getting a good start to your day and it’s possible to switch over to a complete ketogenic diet where you won’t need a heavy breakfast in the morning.
After a few days or possibly two weeks for those who have never experimented with the diet, it’s possible to completely reshape the way you consume food, both in terms of hunger and grocery list.
Dave Asprey’s website provides a bulletproof coffee recipe:
- 2 ½ tablespoons ground coffee
- 1-2 teaspoons Brain Octane Oil (or MCT Oil)
- 1-2 tablespoons grass-fed butter or ghee
For hot coffee, it’s possible to just stir in the MCT oil and butter as it melts. Bulletproof suggests blending everything in a mixture for about 30 seconds until it looks like a latte but this isn’t necessary if you’re in a rush.
The site also recommends using Xylitol, Erythritol or Stevia rather than traditional sweeteners. Asprey has often said that the artificial sweeteners in diet sodas limit weight loss.
If you’re looking to spice up your coffee or create a different type of flavor to help you down it each day, some approved options would include turmeric, collagen, vanilla, chocolate powder, or Ceylon cinnamon.
The 5 Top Reasons to Consume Keto MCT Oil
There are several reasons to start consuming MCT oils and many of those revolve around the ketogenic diet.
- MCTs Lower Blood Sugar
Consuming MCT oils naturally lowers blood sugar and raises ketones. In addition, they also have a stabilizing effect to improve brain functions and reduce inflammation in the body.
A single oral dose of MCT oil can already begin to lower blood sugar levels. Soon, consuming MCT oils will also help those tolerate carbohydrates. Basically, while it takes a few days to get into ketosis the first time, ketogenic dieters will be able to re-enter ketosis easier and easier if they do decide to take a meal off from the diet.
This is ideal for those who require a weekly cheat meal or simply want to enjoy the holidays with friends and families.
- Better Nutrient Absorption
In addition to the health reasons listed above, MCTs also improve the absorption of magnesium and calcium. In one study among infants, those who consumed MCT oils consumed 80 percent more magnesium than those who did not.
The study revealed, “These same groups were then analyzed for protein absorption and nitrogen content.”
“The 80% MCT group had significant improvements in nitrogen absorption and amino acid sparing (22). This means the body will be more effective at preserving and building lean body tissue when using MCT oil.”
This isn’t just important for infants as nutrient consumption is important at all stages of life.
- Anticonvulsive Properties
Ketones have a natural anticonvulsive properties on the brain as the ketogenic diet began as a treatment for epilepsy. The traditional ketogenic diet is made up of 70-87 percent fats, but compliance is low for those at the upper end of fat intake.
An MCT based diet should consist of 70 percent fats, 25 percent protein, and 5 percent carbohydrates. The diet’s diversity means more micronutrients are consumed and this ratio is more compliant for newcomers to the diet.
- Enhanced Athletic Performance
Athletes like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James have adapted the ketogenic diet to improve their physical exertion. Keto MCT oil helps with the digestive track and the metabolic conversion into energy.
“Kobe is probably the most diligent athlete I’ve ever been around in terms of preparation,” Lakers trainer Gary Vitti said. “He really takes his body and his preparation very seriously, both before activity and after activity.”
Many athletes consume Keto MCT oil before and after a workout. Generally speaking, it’s best to have some fat within two hours after an exercise to quickly mobilize and rebuild muscles after a rigorous training.
- Weight Loss and Appetite Control
Perhaps the most well-known reason to consume Keto MCT oil and to follow the ketogenic diet comes down to weight loss and appetite control. After a few days, when the body moves from glucose to ketones, those who follow the diet will learn that they aren’t as hungry as they thought they used to be throughout the day.
For those trying to gain muscle, however, the appetite control will need to be matched with more protein and more food. The best way to calculate proper intake would be to track your daily intake with an app or on paper. Some experts recommend one gram of protein per lean body pound to gain muscle.
Where to Begin with Keto MCT Oil
If the above benefits of Keto MCT Oil consumption have you interested in started a diet focused around the keto lifestyle and MCT oil consumption, the time to get started is right away.
There are many benefits to the ketogenic diet when it is followed properly. If you haven’t experienced these benefits by day four or so, it might be a good idea to purchase a urine or blood analysis to check your actual levels.
Blood analysis is more accurate but the urine analysis will provide a pass/fail scenario, by letting you know if you have “trace” or “moderate” levels of ketones in the blood.
- No more sugar cravings
- No more hunger pains
- Lower blood pressure
- Lower cholesterol
- Lower triglycerides
- Decreased joint pains
- Decreased fogginess
- Increased HDL cholesterol
- Increased energy
- Weight loss
For more specific details on the benefits of the ketogenic diet, visit the “30-Day Playbook” that details information on triglycerides, mental fogginess, and more.