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If you’re new to the keto diet, you’ve probably heard of MCT oils and why they should be a daily part of your diet. You might have also seen people adding MCT oil to their smoothies or blending it into their coffee.
What are MCTs and what are their benefits? Before diving in, you should have a basic understanding of what MCTs are and how they work. Find out how to use MCT oil on keto and how to incorporate it into your favorite recipes!
What are MCTs?
MCT stands for medium-chain triglyceride and these are saturated fats that possess unique molecular characteristics, allowing them to behave differently inside the body compared to other fats. Medium-chain means they have only 6-12 carbon atoms.
To make it simple, the fewer the carbons, the less it takes for your body to process and use. The medium carbon-chain length of MCTs means the fats can be digested more rapidly, allowing them to bypass lengthy digestion and become an instant energy source.
There are four different strains of this oil, namely:
- Caproic acid (6 carbons)
- Caprylic acid (8 carbons)
- Capric acid (10 carbons)
- Lauric acid (12 carbons)
What makes MCTs helpful when you’re on the keto diet is their ability to create ketones. Because they don’t need digestive enzymes to break down, they are readily available energy once consumed.
Benefits of MCT Oil
Here are some benefits associated with the consumption of MCT oil.
Since MCTs bypass the usual digestion process, they are more readily available as an energy source, allowing the fats to also be used for ketone production. This is the only food that can do this!
MCTs are shown to improve the health of the brain because they provide the necessary fuel for better cognitive function, especially in aging or neurodegenerative individuals.
As we age, our brain’s ability to uptake glucose decreases and specific neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by decreased glucose utilization. This makes MCTs a great way to enhance memory! Ketones block receptors in the brain that causes memory loss.
Because of their unique digestion, MCTs can help the body burn more calories through the digestion process, increasing resting energy expenditure. MCT is a fat that helps you lose fat!
While this is only a slight increase, burning more calories at rest over time can lead to weight loss. And another way they help you lose weight is by increasing satiety due to the ketones produced. So, they help you eat less because of their ability to decrease your cravings.
How to Use MCT Oil on Keto
MCTs can be found in whole foods like coconut oil, palm kernel oil, butter, whole milk, and full-fat yogurt, although their composition varies in each of these.
Pure MCT oil can be purchased in different forms, usually in a liquid form or a powder. We recommend MCT oil in liquid form as they are less processed and don’t come with added fillers or chemicals.
MCT oil powder can be easier on the stomach than liquids, making them more suitable for beginners. They can also come in unflavored or flavored options, making them a great addition to beverages like shakes and smoothies.
For the keto diet, MCT oils are great for helping you reach your daily macro count. They can be used in a variety of ways as they don’t affect the taste of your meals and drinks! Here are some ways you can use them!
MCT Oil in Salad Dressings
Bottled dressings are usually stuffed to the brim with preservatives, franken-oils and sugar. Use MCT oil instead to add a silky mouthfeel to your favorite salad dressing.
MCT Oil in Baking
When baking, you can replace conventional oils with MCT or use it along with regular coconut oil and butter. This will make your baked goods more nutritious!
You can even add a scoop of MCT oil powder to your batter for an extra fat source.
MCT Oil in Cooking
MCT oil is heat-stable up to 320 degrees Fahrenheit. Use it as a cooking oil to slow-roast or gently cook your favorite dishes, whether it’s meat, keto-friendly pancake, or vegetables.
MCT Oil in Drinks
Adding a scoop of MCT oil powder to your blended coffee will create a foamy texture that also gives you energy and a mental boost to start your day on the right foot. You can also add a scoop to your smoothies and they will taste just as great!
Adding them to your beverage is easy as they quickly dissolve without the need for a blender.
Which MCT Oils to Use
Although MCT oils and MCT powders both offer the same range of health benefits, there are unique pros and cons to each type. There are many factors to consider when choosing the best MCT oil for keto.
You can use oil for frying and powder to mix with your drinks. Here are some unique characteristics of each type.
MCT Oil Powder
MCT oil powder is a more recent version of the good stuff that has some benefits over its oil counterpart. Although it only has somewhere between 50%-80% MCT oil makeup, it is easier on the digestive tract, making it suitable for those who are new on keto.
The powder form is also easy to incorporate in baked goods, drinks, and other types of food. MCT oil powder also comes in different flavors, so they could contain hidden fillers and sweeteners to cut costs.
We love the Perfect Keto MCT oil powder as it comes a variety of great flavors as well as an unflavored option.
MCT oil has been used therapeutically for many years to assist with a variety of nutritional and neurological conditions. You can drizzle it on salad and veggies, add it to soup and broths, mix into full-fat yogurt and cottage cheese, and blend it with your coffee and tea.
Current research on the effectivity of MCT oil is done in liquid form rather than in powder form, so they may be more potent and effective. The verdict is still out on this though.
Keto Recipes with MCT Oil
These recipes will help you incorporate MCT oil into tasty and healthy food and drinks that are keto-friendly!
Spice up your iced coffee by making it creamier and keto-friendlier with MCT oil. This iced latte is easy to make with only three basic ingredients!
- 1 tbsp of MCT oil
- 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
- 2 shots of brewed espresso or ¼ cup of your favorite strongly brewed coffee.
This drink makes a great breakfast to keep you satiated and energetic throughout the day, whether it’s for work or gym! Check out how to make it here!
Lemon Coconut Energy Bites
For a light but energy-boosting snack, these lemon coconut bites are a great option. You will need the following:
- ½ tbsp raw honey
- ½ tbsp MCT Oil
- ¼ cup shredded organic unsweetened coconut
- 1 tbsp lemon zest (optional)
- 2 Lemon Cookie Collagen Protein Bar
You can bring these lemon bites with you to the gym for that extra dose of energy before working out. It provides a healthy, packable, fun twist to the yummy lemon cookie bar.
Check out the recipe from Bulletproof here!
Want something yummy for lunch? Shrimp stir-fried in bacon oil and MCT oil will make the perfect meal! All you will need for this recipe are:
- 1 lb shrimp
- 2-inch nub of ginger root
- 2 garlic cloves
- 4 baby bella mushrooms
- 1-inch piece of lemon rind
- 2 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp bacon fat
- 12 oz. frozen riced cauliflower
- 2 tbsp MCT oil
This keto-friendly meal takes less than 30 minutes to prepare! Make sure to choose fresh, wild shrimp to get the best quality and reap the maximum health benefits. Head over to the Perfect Keto blog to find out how to make this meal!
Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
Step up your salad with this delicious high-fat dressing! All you have to do is mix the following ingredients:
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/8 cup extra virgin oil
- 1/8 cup MCT oil
- 3 tbsp organic dijon mustard
- 1-2 tbsp keto-friendly sweetener
Mix everything together and adjust sweetener to your taste. You can drizzle on to a pile of fresh, organic veggies and high-quality meat to make your salad perfect!
Replace carby oats with flax meal and chia seeds for a low-carb keto version of oatmeal! All you will need are:
You can also top it with these keto-friendly foods:
- Sugar-free chocolate chips
- Coconut milk
- Vanilla extract
Try MCT Oil Now!
MCT oil is a food and dietary supplement that gives you more energy because of its molecular makeup and also helps to curb your cravings. Benefits such as enhanced brain function and appetite suppression make keto dieters swoon over it!
If you’re ready to include high-quality MCT oil in your food and drinks to help keep you in ketosis, you’ll need to decide which one is right for you. Start by choosing the best MCT oil or powder and giving it a try.
Your brain and body will thank you as you make MCT oil a part of your daily routine!