MCT oil is a dietary supplement that comes with several scientifically-based health benefits. This supplement is made from medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), which is a type of fat that is found in coconut oil, palm oil, and dairy products. MCTs are different than other types of fats because they go straight to your liver, where they are immediately used as a source of energy.
The best way to incorporate MCT oil into your diet is to blend it into a beverage such as a smoothie or drizzle it over foods such as salads. Do not attempt to use it as a substitute for other types of oils that you’re already cooking with because it has a low smoke point.
MCT does come with risks, as does every dietary supplement. Remember that MCT oil is a fat so taking it excessively could cause you to gain weight. You’ll also want to take it with food in order to prevent digestive distress. Before starting any supplement, you should always check with your doctor. Generally, it will be recommended that you start with 1 teaspoon per day and gradually move up to 2 teaspoons per day.
For the most part, however, MCT has more benefits than risks. Keep reading to learn how adding MCT oil to your diet could benefit your health.
MCTs can be used as an instant source of energy. This is because your body can more easily absorb MCTs than it can other types of fat. So when you incorporate MCT oil into your diet, you get an immediate energy boost. Your liver converts those MCTs into ketones, your cells grab the ketones, and then the ketones are used as fuel.
You can use a teaspoon of MCT oil at any point of the day to help you get out of a sleepy slump. It can help you perk up without providing a sugar crash. It is also good to use right before a workout to help provide you with extra stamina.
MCT oil aids in your weight loss by causing your body to burn fat and calories and by creating ketones. Ketones help increase your metabolism, which can help you burn off existing fat. MCT oil also promotes the growth of good bacteria in your digestive tract, which improves your overall gut.
MCT oil can also help you feel less hungry. Ketones suppress your hunger hormone and increase cholecystokinin. Cholecystokinin helps you feel full. So by incorporating MCT oil into your breakfast smoothie, you’ll be able to make it to lunchtime without feeling the need to eat a mid-morning snack.
If MCT oil is used in healthy doses, it can help lower your cholesterol. When you have too much cholesterol in your blood, it eventually builds up in the walls of your arteries, causing your arteries to narrow and reduce blood flow to your heart. By lowering your cholesterol, you lower the chances of your arteries clogging.
However, heavy consumption of MCT oil can increase your chances of heart disease. If you do choose to use MCT oil to improve the health of your heart, make sure to use MCT oil in moderation and pair it with other heart-healthy lifestyle changes.
As mentioned above, MCTs can create ketones. Ketones not only help increase your metabolism, but they can also be used by brain cells to fuel your brain. Taking MCT oil can provide a short-term boost to your mental clarity and focus.
The long-term benefits that MCT oil might have on memory are still being studied. There is a possibility that MCT oil could improve the symptoms of those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Purchasing MCT oil
A common question people have is “What makes a good MCT oil?” Quality MCT oils are typically made of distilled coconut oil harvested from organically grown coconuts and are free from additives and preservatives. Some MCT oils are fortified with flavors, but the majority of MCT oils will be flavorless so that they can be mixed into food.
You’ll typically find MCT oil available in a liquid form so that you can mix it into beverages or drizzle it into food. However, some manufacturers also offer MCT oil in the form of powder or in the form of capsules.
MCTs have a number of health benefits and taking MCT oil is the most convenient way to increase MCTs in your diet. Use MCT oil moderately (no more than 1 or 2 teaspoons per day) to avoid negative side effects.