MCT oil is a buzzword on keto and low-carb diet forums everywhere.
But choosing the right MCT oil to supplement your low-carb diet can be confusing.
Let’s look at the basics of understanding MCTs and how to choose the best, most affordable MCT oil.
What Is MCT Oil?
MCT oil stands for any oil that is comprised of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).
These occur naturally in sources such as dairy foods, coconut oil, and palm kernel oil, although the quantity of MCTs in each source can vary.
MCTs come in four types:
- Lauric Acid
- Capric Acid
- Caprylic Acid
- Caproic Acid
Although MCTs occur naturally, manufacturers have learned to extract and isolate each of these acids to concentrate them in one oil – MCT oil.
Why MCT Oil Is Important on a Low Carb Diet
MCTs are unique because your body doesn’t have to manufacture bile to digest them – they simply get absorbed directly into the first section of your small intestine, the duodenum.
And your body is efficient at using MCTs for energy production. Seventy percent of the MCTs you consume is used for on-the-spot energy, as opposed to being stored as fat.
Plus, unlike many other fatty acids, MCTs possess antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, which can help bolster your immune system.
Other than the fact the oil is all-around healthy, there are three specific reasons you should use MCT oil with your low-carb diet.
Research shows MCTs beat coconut oil in being able to curb hunger and increase satiation. Hunger reduction is important on a low-carb diet, particularly when you’re first beginning.
Using MCT oil helps low-carb dieters avoid fattening carbs by working as body fuel – energy – more efficiently.
MCTs are also a precursor for another energy alternative – ketones.
Anyone on a ketogenic diet knows that keeping your body in ketosis – running on ketones for energy – is important for weight loss.
Now that you know why you should be supplementing with MCTs, let’s look at how to choose them.
How to Choose the Best MCT Oil
To get the best MCT oil for your healthy diet plan, follow these simple rules.
Choose Oils with Caprylic or Capric Acids – Or a Combination
These two MCTs are the most easily absorbed and digested. Lauric acid, present in coconut oil, is used more like a longer chain fatty acid.
Caproic acid is not considered a good choice in an MCT formula. It’s bad-tasting and hard on your digestive system, although very small amounts might be okay.
Use Oil, Not Powder
If you’re using MCT oil for a low-carb diet, steer clear of MCT powders that have up to four grams of net carbs per serving.
This can drive up your daily carb consumption quickly, so it’s best to use pure MCT oil instead.
Again, if you’re on a low-carb diet, you’ll want to minimize consumption of fillers, flavorings, and other additives to avoid consuming extra carbs.
If the label says maltodextrin, starch, or other oils, find a different brand.
And watch for oils with large amounts of lauric acid, primarily from coconut oil. It’s cheaper and not as effective as caprylic and capric acids.
Choose a Reputable Brand
Lots of manufacturers have joined the MCT oil craze, and that means many fly-by-night companies have their products for sale online.
Check reviews to ensure customers are happy with the product, and make sure the company has contact details such as a street address, email address, and phone number on the site.
MCT Oil for Your Low Carb Success
MCTs are already present in some of the food you encounter daily, like dairy and coconut oils.
But concentrated formulae comprising caprylic and capric acid, either alone or combined, make a powerful ketone-producing formula called MCT oil.
Adding a high-quality MCT oil to your low-carb diet can help you feel less hungry, increase your metabolism, help burn energy efficiently, and jump-start weight loss.
So long as you choose an MCT oil with pure ingredients and no fillers marketed by a reputable brand, you’ll have a powerful aid in your low-carb diet journey.