You’ll find MCT oil in several recipes here on the blog, but are you familiar with other MCT oil uses? In this post sponsored by Perfect Supplements, I’ll share below all about how and why to use MCT oil, and how to find a good one you can trust.
What is MCT oil and what does it do?
I remember the first time I tried MCT oil. I was at a dinner party and the host had used it in a recipe. I internally rolled my eyes. “Don’t people know it’s healthier to eat whole foods rather than latching on to these fads?”
I went on about my business, and when I remade similar recipes at home, I replaced the MCT oil with other ingredients. Thankfully, my ignorance didn’t last forever!
It turns out that although MCT oil is indeed a derivative of coconut oil, it really is whole food nutrition- and outstanding nutrition at that!
What is MCT oil?
MCT stands for medium chain triglycerides or medium chain fatty acids. It’s a type of fat usually derived from coconut oil, but it’s also found in palm oil, butter, and grassfed beef.
The reason separating these medium chain fats from the rest of the coconut oil makes for such a superior food is because it isolates the very best benefits of coconut oil. While coconut oil is a wonderful, inexpensive source of good fats, it’s largely made up of lauric acid (which is also a beneficial component, but simply doesn’t do for your body what true MCTs can do).
While there are lots of fatty acids in coconut oil, there are only a handful of MCTs:
- Caproic acid (C6)
- Caprylic Acid (C8)
- Capric Acid (C10)
- Lauric Acid (C12)
It’s actually debatable whether lauric acid is a true MCT, because it doesn’t behave in the body the way the other MCTs do. The other MCTs (caproic acid, caprylic acid, and capric acid) are rapidly absorbed in your body, having essentially bypassed the digestive tract and gone straight to the bloodstream.
What does MCT oil do?
Because MCTs are readily absorbed by the liver and go quickly into the bloodstream, they are able to be converted quickly into ketones, a desired source of energy for the brain. (This is why so many of us swear by “bulletproof” coffee first thing in the morning: it wakes up your brain!)
Most of us are used to feeding our brains glucose for energy. Our modern diet lends plenty of starches, sugars, and carbs to make sure of it. However, new research is showing that ketones may be the brain’s preferred source of energy.
What are ketones? Ketones are produced when you don’t have enough insulin in your body to turn sugar (or glucose) into energy. Your body then turns to fat instead.
Your liver turns this fat into ketones and sends them into your bloodstream, where your muscles and other tissues can use them for fuel.
Because we fast overnight as we sleep (that’s why the first meal of the day is called break-fast), we wake up with low blood sugar, and many of us wake up in ketosis. Our bodies are primed for using ketones as fuel.
However, the average American loads up on sugary, starchy foods like cereal and oatmeal, thereby going back to glucose for energy.
When we instead turn to good fats like MCT oil to start our day off, we keep feeding our brain ketones, which helps it to function more efficiently.
How ketones benefit the brain
When your brain is able to start using ketones for fuel instead of glucose, a few things happen.
- GABA (a calming, inhibitory neurotransmitter) is increased in the brain, while aspartate (an excitatory neurotransmitter which can be neurotoxic) is decreased.
- Production of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate), the main source of energy for most cellular processes, becomes more efficient.
- The brain is able to use this energy more efficiently with less toxic waste that is likely to result in brain inflammation.
This more efficient energy usage can be beneficial for those with a variety of conditions that involve brain inflammation, including:
- bipolar disorder and depression
- & ALS
Most notably, ketogenic diets and MCT oil have been studied for the effects on seizure disorders, and have been found to inhibit seizure activity.
The benefits of ketones for weightloss
When our bodies start producing ketones due to lack of glucose to use for energy, they are producing them from fat. As you may have already figured out, this fat can come from two places: our diet or our bodies.
This is good news if you’re trying to lose weight, as your body can begin to used stored fat as energy. Cutting out carbs and sugars from your diet and increasing good fats will assist your body in using fat as energy.
This is one reason incorporating MCT oil into your daily diet can be so helpful.
Is MCT oil good for you?
MCT oil uses expand beyond losing weight or fueling the brain.
In addition MCT oil may:
- increase your overall energy
- keep you healthier by combating viruses and bacteria
- improve cardiovascular health
- & lower bad cholesterol.
How do you take MCT oil? MCT oil uses you can try everyday.
It’s so easy to get MCT oil into your daily routine! The obvious way to use MCT oil is to add it to foods and drinks you’re already eating and drinking. MCT oil is totally tasteless and colorless, so you won’t even know it’s there (which is especially helpful if you’re trying to get it into kiddos).
There’s the ever-popular “Bulletproof Coffee.” Mr. Incredible drinks this every single day and swears by it for waking up his brain and getting him going in the mornings. I prefer drinking a bulletproof latte.
Make keto ice cream. This delicious recipe is definitely one of the tastiest ways to use MCT oil!
Add it to salads. Instead of dressing, drizzle MCT oil over your salad, along with a squeeze of lemon juice or a splash of apple cider vinegar.
Blend it into smoothies or shakes. Regardless of what you’re putting in a smoothie, you can add MCT oil without affecting the texture or flavor. I often make smoothies for myself and my kids with coconut milk, frozen fruit, a scoop or two of collagen, and a generous squirt of MCT oil. It’s delicious, filling, and packed full of nutrition.
Make popsicles. A favorite of my children, making popsicles at home allows you to not only avoid the junkie ingredients in store bought products, but also to customize flavors and sneak in extra nutrition. Try my healthy popsicles featuring extra fat and protein here.
Make fat bombs. Read about how and why you should here.
How do you choose a good MCT oil?
You know I do my research and try a variety of products before settling on something my family will use long-term, so the Mister and I have tried our fair share of MCT oils. Some were ok. Some were overpriced. Some caused major stomach upset. And none of them were organic (always at the top of my wish list for any product).
When Perfect Supplements reached out to let me know they were coming out with an all-new MCT oil, I was super excited.
Other products that I had used from the company had exceeded my expectations because Perfect Supplements:
- sources organic ingredients where they can
- third-party tests their products for contaminants like heavy metals and pesticides
- & offers high-quality products for lower prices than competitors.
How Perfect MCT Oil is different
While many MCT oils on the market are made from lauric acid (which does not bypass the digestive tract or get converted quickly to ketones), Perfect MCT Oil is made only from c8 and c10 fatty acids (caprylic and capric). And while c6 (caproic acid) also converts to energy well, it can cause some stomach upset and may taste bad.
That’s why Perfect Supplements was picky when it came to creating an MCT oil: they wanted to offer something superior to what was available (otherwise why bother?). And the truth is, they delivered!
Perfect Supplements’ MCT oil:
- is made from 100% organic sustainable coconuts
- is USDA certified organic
- contains 100% MCTs (C8 and C10)
- is vegan, gluten-free, soy-free and non-GMO
- is batch tested (one of my favorite things about Perfect Supplements and their commitment to safe, quality products!)
- uses low heat processing; no chemical extraction
- is more affordable than lesser-quality MCT products
I’ve been so happy with Perfect MCT oil and use it every single day, whether for coffee, or smoothies, or in ice cream. And I really do notice a difference when I include it in my morning routine: I have better energy, am more clear-headed, and feel happier.
If you’re ready to give it a try, you can get Perfect MCT Oil here.
And as if their prices aren’t already affordable, they offer multi-item discounts and free shipping for orders over $99. If you buy 3-5 Perfect Supplements brand products, you’ll save 25% on your order, and if you order 6 or more, you’ll save 30%! Trust me, that adds up to huge savings.
Some of my favorites include Perfect Bovine Gelatin, Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen, Perfect Desiccated Liver Capsules, Perfect Acai Revive, and Perfect Rhodiola Rosea (read about how much I love Perfect Rhodiola here!). You can see all of their quality supplements here.
PLUS– the kind folks at Perfect Supplements have extended an offer exclusive to my readers to get an extra 10% off any order using the code FAMILYHEALS10, which can be combined with the multi-item discount.