MCT Oil Explained

Friday, November 1, 2019

You've probably heard of MCT oil. Nowadays, it's everywhere — some people mix it into smoothies, while others pour it into their morning coffee. They drizzle it over dishes and whip it into salad dressings. Nevertheless, you're sure unclear as to what it is.

MCT stands for medium-chain triglyceride. Most of the time, it comes from coconut oil, though dairy products and palm oil are good sources, too. Regardless, MCTs exist in shorter strands than other kinds of fat. As such, your body can digest it more quickly — and easily reap the benefits that come with ingesting healthy fats.

Why Incorporate MCT Oil Into Your Diet?

As we've already said, the rumors about its power have likely reached you already. Perhaps you've heard ingesting it can help you lose weight or boost your energy stores. Someone might've told you it soothes athletes' tired muscles. Or maybe it has come up as a possible way to relieve the side effects of epilepsy or Alzheimer's.

As it turns out, all these health benefits are, indeed, real — MCT has a lot to offer you. This chart explains all you've ever wanted to know about MCT oil.

MCT Oil Explained Infographic

How to Reap the Advantages of MCT Oil

The above only touches on everything you can do with your MCT oil. If you're wondering how else you might incorporate it into your diet, grab a pen and jot down some of the possibilities from Bulletproof, a company founded to share the benefits of healthy fat with others. Of course, you can blend MCT oil into a shake or pour it over oatmeal. But you can incorporate it into unexpected places — slow cooker pot roast, anyone?

Just make sure you take your foray into MCT oil slowly. Everyone's digestive system will react differently to an influx of a new source of fat, so start small. Most experts suggest trying out a half-tablespoon at first to see if it changes how you feel or adversely affects your digestive system. From there, you can work your way to a maximum of three tablespoons per day. Just keep in mind each one contains about 100 calories. If you eat three tablespoons of MCT in one day, the benefits it provides won't offset that number of calories, according to Shape magazine.

Be an Educated Consumer

Now, your next step is to find MCT oil and give it a try. Be sure to read labels, so you know what you're buying. Sometimes, something marketed MCT will contain a good portion of coconut oil, too. This blend will still provide benefits, albeit diluted ones. Nevertheless, this might be enough of a draw, considering that pure, medical-grade MCT can cost about $200 for one eight-ounce container.

Also, remember MCT makers don't have any regulations when they slap "100% MCT" labels onto blends that aren't pure. So, use your best judgment — and ask people you know for their favorite brands. You can also do research online to find the right brand for you. 

With that, you're ready to sample MCT. Start small and work your way up to the dose that makes you feel your best — others swear by it, and it could have the same body-bettering effects on you, too.