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MCT Oil and Keto: Unpacking the Buzz to Uncover the Truth

Updated: Oct 31, 2023

 MCT Oil, coconuts, and dairy

As keto has stormed onto the scene in recent years, many supplements have surfaced claiming to help boost this fat-burning state of ketosis. Among them, MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides) Oil reigns supreme in popularity. Its proponents laud its ability to provide instant energy and accelerate fat loss, but is MCT Oil truly the miracle supplement it's chalked up to be? Or is it just another fad riding the coattails of the keto wave?

What is MCT Oil?

MCT Oil is a type of saturated fatty acid claimed to offer myriad health benefits and derived primarily from coconut oil, palm oil, and dairy products. Unlike long-chain triglycerides found in most fats, MCTs are quickly absorbed by the body and transported to the liver, where they can be converted into ketones to be used as a rapid source of energy.

The Perceived Keto Complement

  1. Instant Energy: MCT Oil is known for its ability to provide quick energy, making it a popular choice for those looking to avoid the midday slump.

  2. Ketone Production: By converting into ketones in the liver, MCT Oil seemingly supports the very essence of a ketogenic diet. It’s believed to help individuals reach or maintain ketosis, even if their diet isn’t perfectly dialed in.

  3. Appetite Suppression: Some users find that MCT Oil helps to curb their appetite, potentially aiding in weight loss efforts.

pouring mct oil in coffee, and ghee on the side

The Other Side of the Coin: Is MCT Oil Necessary?

Despite its popularity, there's a growing body of evidence suggesting that MCT Oil may not be the golden ticket to weight loss and sustained ketosis. Here’s why:

  1. Caloric Density: MCT Oil is very calorie-dense, providing around 100 calories per tablespoon. For those whose primary goal is weight loss, these extra calories can add up quickly, potentially stalling or even reversing progress.

  2. Cost Factor: High-quality MCT Oil doesn’t come cheap. With a multitude of other wholesome, nutrient-dense foods capable of supporting ketosis being available, the cost-benefit analysis of MCT Oil becomes questionable.

  3. Gastrointestinal Distress: Some people may experience stomach cramps, diarrhea, or other gastrointestinal discomfort when taking MCT Oil.

  4. Lack of Nutritional Variety: Relying on MCT Oil as a fat source can also lead to a lack of variety in the diet, which could result in missing out on essential nutrients found in other fat sources like avocados, nuts, and seeds. The lack of variety could also lead you to giving in to cravings and setting yourself back.

keto fats; avocado, nuts, oil, salmon

Verdict: Is the Hype Justified?

MCT Oil might offer some benefits for those on a ketogenic diet, but it's not a one-size-fits-all solution, especially for individuals focused on weight loss. The added calories and cost, coupled with potential digestive discomfort, might outweigh the supposed benefits. Before jumping on the MCT Oil bandwagon, it’s wise to consider your personal goals, do your homework, and perhaps consult with a healthcare professional to determine if MCT Oil has a place in your keto journey.


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Bullet coffee infredients, coconut, mct oil, coffee beans, ghee


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