MCT Oil Benefits, Side Effects, and How To Use It
When I first heard about MCT Oil, it was in the Trim Healthy Mama book while I was working that plan. I read about the benefits, but didn't buy any, just moved on.
But to be honest, I didn't really give it much thought until I launched headfirst into Keto.
One of my favorite – and longest standing – foods has been bulletproof coffee. I started out simply, making my coffee with collagen, stevia glycerite, and heavy cream, but looking to inject more high-quality fats into my early morning meals, I started adding a bit of MCT Oil.
And I have to tell you, I'm never looking back.
MCT oil provides so many health benefits, and it's super easy to find in stores today.
From mental clarity, weight control, ketones, and more, let's dive into why MCT oil can benefit you, it's side effects, and how to use it….
MCT Oil Health Benefits
Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCT’s) are found in Coconut Oil, which has gained tons of popularity for it’s health benefits.
We in the Western world are typically missing these essential nutrients from our diets, which is why it is recommended that you consume some sort of MCT’s each day through Coconut oil: either cooking with it or drinking it.
But MCT Oil is even better.
MCT Oil can help you:
- Maintain or achieve a healthy weight
- Reduce stored body fat
- Have more energy
- Sustain mental clarity
- Improve Mood
- Aid Digestion
- Improve Nutrient Absorption.
- Aid Immunity:
- Balance Hormones
Maintain or Achieve a Healthy Weight
For most of us, fat loss or weight loss is our end goal. We want to live healthy, longer lives, and so we want to have a healthy body composition in order to do so.
When compared with other oils and fats, MCT Oil seems to have a positive effect on our fat burning abilities and weight reduction.
As a dietary supplement, MCT Oil can help your feeling of satiety – feeling full, or satisfied sooner – making you eat less or less frequently, and can even raise your metabolic rate.
Unfortunately, it’s not quite a simple as eating tons of MCT Oil and automatically losing weight. The science hasn’t proven that MCT Oil caused the fat/weight loss or metabolic change, just that there was a positive correlation between the use of MCT Oil (above other healthy dietary fats) and healthier body composition and metabolism.
Though there have been many studies done, one particularly interesting study tracked the body weight and body fat in adults consuming either long-chain fats or medium-chain fats for a 12-week period. The researchers kept the energy, fat, protein, and carbohydrate intakes the same between groups, the only difference was the type of fats they were eating.
After 12 weeks, the group consuming medium-chain fats (MCT’s) had a decrease in body weight and body fat that was significantly more than the group consuming long-chain fats.
Even cooler, this study found that the decrease in subcutaneous fat (one of the types of fat most linked with early death) was significantly greater in the group that consumed MCT’s over long-chain fats.
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Reduce Stored Body Fat
So how exactly do MCT’s aid weight loss?
Dietary MCT’s have been found to increase thermogenesis (the production of heat) in the body, which suppresses the body’s ability to store fat. In addition, MCT’s aided in fat oxidation (fat burning – yay!) in both animals and humans over other types of fats.
MCT’s can even help you produce ketones!
They are so efficiently used by our bodies that when consumed, they are sent straight to the liver, where they are used to make ketones. (And if you don’t know already, when in Ketosis and fat-adaptation, your body burns ketones and body fat for fuel)
Basically, MCT’s are the purest fuel for our bodies.
Have More Energy
MCT’s are pure fuel for our bodies, and you don’t even have to be in ketosis to reap the benefits.
But besides being pure fuel, MCT’s can increase your mood because of their effect on your brain. The brain is made up mostly of fatty acids, and so in order to feel your best, and allow your brain to regulate your moods and outlook as best it can, it needs a steady supply of those fatty acids.
And MCT’s can supply your brain with exactly what it needs to make you perform your best.
Related: 7 Signs You Are In Ketosis
Enhance Mental Performance and Clarity
Again, your brain is made up mostly of fatty acids, and MCT’s allow it to run the best it can.
As you age, your brain tends to break down a bit, leaving you feeling mentally foggy. Medium chain fatty acids can not only enhance your brain’s performance as your age, but they can actually protect those fatty tissues from breaking down. They actually protect your brain.
I think we all know someone with Alzheimer’s, Dementia, or another disease of the brain. In 2004, a study published in The Journal of Neurobiology of Aging found that the MCT’s in coconut oil helped improve the memory problems found in patients with Alzheimer’s. It makes sense when you think about the fact that this perfect brain food energizes, protects, ad enhances your brain.
One more perk of MCT’s: they improve your gut health, which I’ll get into in more detail in a moment. But the end result of the improved gut microbiome is is connected to brain function through something called the “gut-brain connection.”
We already know Coconut oil has a positive effect on the gut, and since MCT’s are a more refined and powerful derivative of Coconut oil, it makes sense that they would have a powerful effect on gut health.
MCT’s aid the gut in absorbing vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat, helps kill dangerous bacteria, boost your immune system, heal leaky gut, decrease intestinal discomfort, and keep your system “regular.”
In order to reap these benefits, you will need to consume healthy fats through your diet, specifically to enable your digestive system to absorb the nutrients from your food. If you eat a healthy and varied diet, but not enough dietary fat, your body can’t physically absorb all the nutrients you’re giving it, but MCT’s can really help with that!
MCt’s are a natural antibiotic. They can balance the gut microbiome by increasing good bacteria, decreasing the bacteria that will make you sick. MCT’s can kill the following types of harmful bacteria:
- Strep Throat
- Sinus Infections
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
This is especially important because today antibiotics are highly overused. When they’re used, they kill both the good and bad bacteria. They leave your gut defenseless against the onslaught of bacteria that comes after the course of antibiotics. After all, with 70% of your immunity coming from your gut, wiping that out will make you vulnerable to ever little sniffle that comes your way.
MCT’s provide better protection than long-chain fatty acids, too!
Research is showing that fats help balance hormones, as well as aid in their production.
Blood sugar and insulin regulation affect so many functions: from improved metabolism, appetite regulation, improvements in PMS and PCOS, as well as cholesterol and blood lipid control.
Unfortunately, MCt’s do have some downsides that can make using it tricky.
The 4 main issues with MCT’s are:
- Digestive Upset: Consuming liquid MCT oil (in the beginning) can produce some digestive symptoms such as upset, diarrhea, and even vomiting. Some people have noticed gas or discomfort after consuming liquid MCT’s. These are most likely to happen if you take too much MCT oil or take it on an empty stomach. Even so, it is best to take MCT oil in small amounts at first to see if you experience any of these symptoms.
- Convenience: Transporting oil in a bottle is tricky, to say the least. You either have to tote around an entire bottle of oil, or you have to put it into a smaller container. And if you spill, well, we all know how tricky cleaning oil up is.
- Cooking: MCT oil cannot be cooked with, because if you heat it too high, it becomes a carcinogen. No kidding. So it’s best to use liquid MCT oil in cold drinks and foods like iced coffees, smoothies, salad dressings, or no-cook fat bombs.
- Texture: Adding oil to drinks doesn’t sound appetizing at all. Think about it – you’ve got a layer of oil floating on top of your coffee that you have to “get through” to get to the good stuff. Some people are fine with it (personally, I’ve adjusted to it over time) and of course you can emulsify it, but you’re still left with oily coffee.
Some people are fine with the downsides of MCT Oil.
But if you’re not, and still want to enjoy all the mental clarity, energy, improved digestion and immunity, or other benefits, you can benefit from using MCT Oil Powder.
MCT Oil Powder has all the benefits of MCT oil liquid, without the digestive upset, cooking limitation, and portability issues.
What is MCT Oil Powder?
MCT Oil Powder is just like MCT Oil liquid, but without all the downsides of the liquid that I mentioned above.
MCT Oil Powder is:
- Easier on your digestive system
- Easier to cook and bake with
- Easier to combine with other Keto supplements
How Is MCT Oil Powder Made?
MCT Oil powder is made through a process called “spray drying.”
It sound strange, but the process is widely used and accepted throughout the food industry to turn liquids into powders by evaporating the moisture with hot air.
Spray drying is used to make other food products like powdered milk, superfood powders, and even our beloved coffee.
Here’s how the process breaks down:
- The two materials that will make up the MCT Oil Powder are combined. Once the liquid in the MCT Oil is evaporated, it will need to bond to a carrier material. In Keto MCT Oil Powder, acacia fiber is used to keep carbs low and quality high. Lower-cost MCT Oil Powder often uses low-quality binder materials to keep costs low. You get what you pay for!
- The solution is fed through an atomizer. An atomizer is a pressure nozzle that controls the size of the droplets into the perfect size to dry faster..
- The solution is dried.
The droplets created by the atomizer enter a chamber filled with hot air. The moisture is evaporated in this chamber, creating powder and evaporated gas.
Finally, the powder and evaporated gas are separated.
The mixture passes into a cyclone, where they are separated, and the powder is collected.
After this last step, we have MCT oil powder!
Unfortunately, while this process is very efficient and eco-friendly, there is a danger that companies trying to cut costs will include ingredients besides MCTs and the acacia fiber to bulk it up or make it more palatable.
But when you fill up a product with lesser quality materials, or extras, you get a less effective and lesser quality product.
So with that in mind, here’s what to look for to find a quality MCT Oil Powder:
- Those Made with a Healthy Binder Materials: Acacia Fiber is the best source to be used. Stay away from powders that use corn fiber, maltodextrin, or liquid glucose. The first ingredient should always be MCT Oil, and the second the Acacia Fiber.
- The MCT Oil should be made from coconut: MCT oil from any other source is inferior.
- The Type of MCT Oil: MCT is made of C6, C8, C10, and C12. The lower the # of C’s, the more potent the effect. However, cost-cutting companies will use only C6 and C8 because they’re cheaper to obtain and work with.
- Balanced MCT and non-MCT Ratio: basically, the ratio of MCT’s to other ingredients. Look for 70% MCT and 30% Acacia Fiber for the best products.
- No Extra Fillers: fillers could be added to extend shelf life, enhance taste or texture, or for many other reasons. There should be NOTHING in your MCT Oil Powder besides MCT Oil and Acacia Fiber. Nothing.
- No Unnecessary Sweeteners: MCT Oil powders can have flavors, and as long as they come from the right source, that’s fine. Where it gets tricky is adding sweeteners like those that come from sugar, or have been shown to have adverse health effects such as Aspartame or sucralose. Stick with those that use monk fruit, stevia, or erythritol only.
- Contains no allergens: look for powders that are dairy free. Dairy can be sneaky, and found in the form of casein, dry milk, corn fiber, or milk protein.
- Look for healthy flavors and ingredients: No matter what the flavor, read the ingredient labels to ensure there are no artificial or natural flavors. While these may not necessarily be harmful, it is always best to use flavors from their original sources, such as freeze-dried fruits, vanilla bean extracts, and pure spices.
Look for the MCT Oil Powder with the fewest, and highest-quality ingredients to KNOW you’re getting the best product.
This will often mean spending up to 50% more, but isn’t quality over quantity always the goal?
I recommend Perfect Keto MCT Oil powder because they have the highest-quality, most minimally processed product on the market right now.
How to Use MCT Oil Powder
- In Keto Overnight “Oats”
- In Fathead Bagels
- In Cream Cheese Pancakes
- Add a scoop to a breakfast smoothie or Keto Shake
Lunch & Dinner
- Add a scoop to soups or stews
- Incorporate some into sauces to go on wraps or proteins
Desserts & Snacks:
- Put MCT Oil Powder in Fat Bombs
- Incorporate MCT Oil Powder into Keto Desserts like Cookies, Candies, and Mug Cakes
- Put MCT Oil powder in with your pre-workout
- Mix it in with your after-workout
My favorite combination is found in my Collagen Coffee:
- 1-2 cups of Coffee
- 2 scoop of Collagen
- ½ oz Raw Cacao Butter
- 1 T. Heavy cream
- A few drops of Stevia Glycerite
- NuNaturals Chocolate Syrup
- And 1 scoop Perfect Keto MCT Oil Powder
My Collagen Coffee not only packs a punch of protein – 20 grams! – it is basically a fat bomb/keto bomb and meal in a coffee cup. It is the perfect way to prime your system for ketosis and for energy and focus for the day ahead.
MCTs are by far one of the best sources of energy – and incredibly valuable for ketosis.
They are the one supplement every Keto person should have in their cabinet and use regularly.
You can find Perfect Keto MCT Oil Powder (in plain and flavored) at their website: PerfectKeto.com
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