What Is MCT Oil?
I have been seeing questions and comments about MCT oil on our Facebook page, so I decided to write an article on what exactly it is. MCT oil became popular with the Bulletproof Diet, which incorporates foods that are very high in fat and eliminates most carbs. One well-loved recipe found in the Bulletproof Diet is Bulletproof coffee, which blends together MCT oil, grass-fed butter, and coffee.
Is MCT oil just apart of a food trend, or are there are actual benefits to using it?
What is MCT oil?
MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides, and it is most commonly extracted from coconut oil. However, it can also be extracted from palm oil as well. It normally comes in liquid form, but it can also be purchased as a powder. You can find MCT oil at some grocery stores, health food stores, and online. Typically, it costs anywhere between $13-$30 depending on the brand.
Is MCT oil healthy for someone with diabetes?
There are a few published studies that discuss MCT oil. One study found that when MCT oil was incorporated into a weight-loss diet, it can help enhance weight loss when used instead of olive oil.1 According to an article on the Harvard School of Public Health website, MCT oil has a shorter chemical structure than other fats, so it is quickly absorbed by the body and used for energy.2
There are not quite enough peer-reviewed studies to make any other health claims for MCT oil. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence on this product, which means many people have shared their personal experience of using this product. Some of the anecdotal claims of using MCT oil include experiencing increased focus and energy and feeling full for longer.
It is important to note that MCT oil and coconut oil are saturated fats. If you eat too much saturated fat, this may put you at risk for raising your LDL, or "bad cholesterol".2
How do you use MCT oil?
As I stated in the intro, one of the most popular ways to use MCT oil is to blend it into a coffee drink. It is suggested that if you are new to MCT oil, that you start with 1 teaspoon of it, and then gradually work your way up to 1 tablespoon. You can also blend it into tea lattes, smoothies, oatmeal, and baked cookies. I have blended into coffee and tea drinks (both hot and cold drinks), and it gives the beverage a very thick layer of froth which I enjoy. To fully incorporate MCT oil, it is best to use a blender; mixing the oil in by hand will cause the oil to just float on top of the drink.
MCT oil considerations
Before incorporating any new supplements into your diet, it is always best to consult with your doctor. Using MCT oil may prove to be beneficial for your body, however, it is saturated fat so it is recommended to be consumed in moderation. There is some research on MCT oil that has proven certain benefits, but more research needs to be done to make further health claims.
Have you tried MCT oil? What has been your experience with it?
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, sleep apnea, RLS) in addition to your diabetes?