Best MCT Oil Benefits and the Ketogenic Diet
Before looking at what MCT oil is, we need to know what a ketogenic diet is also, and how both can benefit your health and your lifestyle. When people talk ketogenic, they just say ‘keto’.
A keto diet is well known for being a low carb diet.
MCT oil are medium-chain triglycerides, a form of saturated fatty acid with health benefits like improved cognitive function to better weight management.
How ketones work in the ketogenic diet
The body uses glucose for fuel, and when there isn’t enough of this, and your glycogen levels get depleted, your insulin and blood sugar levels drop – your body will search for ways of getting that fuel which it will take from your fat levels. This usually happens when people fast, do a lot of exercises, starve themselves or when they are on a low carb diet, such as the ketogenic diet.
When the body breaks down the fats for its needed energy (beta-oxidation), ketones form, to be used as fuel for your brain and body. The whole process is called ketosis – hence the ketogenic diet.
Here’s what is covered in this article:
- How Ketones Work In The Ketogenic Diet
- The Benefits Of MCT Oil On The Ketogenic Diet
- Is The Keto Diet Just A Weight Loss Fad?
- What Do You Eat On The Ketogenic Diet?
- What Is MCT Oil?
- Potential Side Effects Of Taking MCT Oil
When following the keto diet, people eat fewer carbohydrates in order that the body forms ketones to be used for energy. People attempt this diet to help with lowering blood pressure, to reduce other food cravings they had, to improve their cholesterol, to lose weight and to improve their energy. To put it even into a smaller nutshell, the keto diet is starving yourself of calories, particularly carbohydrate calories and consuming plenty of fats.
MCT oil is very beneficial to the ketogenic diet
Many people say that the ketogenic diet is the way to go if you want to lose weight in the future. This diet is all about low carbs and high-fat eating, and this is where MCT oil has become so important in this diet. The whole aim of this diet is to toss out all carbs and replace them with healthy fats, putting the body into a ketosis state; when your body becomes efficient at burning up fat and turning it into energy.
If you follow the SKD diet or standard ketogenic diet, you would be consuming 75% of fat, 20% of protein and just 5% of carbs. An average woman requiring around 2000 calories would eat no more than carbs weighing around a mere 25 grams. One sandwich in a day or a boiled potato, for instance, would be the carbs allowance for the day.
If you exceed that, you would go out of ketosis. Your protein intake too, should not exceed 100 grams in a day. Anything higher than that would also affect ketosis. Remember, the ketogenic diet is a high-fat diet, not a high protein diet.
Many people believe it’s out with the Paleo diet and in with the Keto diet. That’s your call. Interest in the keto diet really spiked up during 2017 according to Google searches and gained in popularity daily.
Today, it is suggested that it’s now twice as popular as it was back then. According to data, it’s the in the diet.
Is the keto diet just a weight loss fad?
Any diet that is a fad, when it comes to weight loss, is a diet where people change their eating patterns quite drastically in order to achieve the weight loss that the diet claims will happen. This makes ordinary people not able to keep up with the diet for much longer than 2 months or so.
After the 2 months are up, they find themselves reverting back to their old eating habits again. The diet did not become their lifestyle of eating. The Biggest Loser contestants are good examples of this – see what you think.
In answer to the question, it is believed that the ketogenic diet is a fad diet, because if you can only eat less than 25 grams of carbs a day – one banana or small yogurt – you are changing your eating style drastically as mentioned above – that equates to a fad diet. Are you going to stay on this diet for the rest of your life; make it part of your lifestyle? If you answer yes, that’s good.
But if you don’t, you will put on all the weight again later. You will need to forget your potatoes, rice, pasta, legumes, beans, corn or even just a regular type of meal with your family. It means you must wave goodbye to social events because no snacking is allowed, no drinks and no treats.
Unlike other diets, on the ketogenic diet, if you do indulge in carbs for a day, you are already putting your body out of ketosis. It is not really surprising that the dropout rate on the diet has been somewhat huge. “Mr. Ketosis” himself, Dr. Peter Attia, no longer follows his diet anymore, saying, “I’m still carb-restricted by the standards of most Americans, but nowhere near the ketogenic lines of 2011, 2012, and 2013.”
People are, however, claiming to lose weight on this diet though. The reason why is because they are cutting calories. Most of us do eat poorly at times. We don’t consume enough veggies and fruit and we eat calorie dense foods, which make us put on weight which can cause health problems too.
Diets force us to do without and most of what we cut out will be sugar, junk food, and drinks. That’s the reason you lose weight. Don’t think it is because your ketosis state makes your metabolism work overtime, and don’t believe it is tossing out carbs is the reason you are losing weight. It is really simply that you are eating fewer calories every day, full stop.
But still, when people do lose weight and let’s face it, losing weight can improve heart health, people are inclined to attribute the benefits to the ketogenic diet. Also, when you do cut carbs as you would on the ketogenic diet, you also lose water within 24-48 hours and this also leads to instantaneous weight loss.
The weight loss is actually from the loss of water and not really from the carb restrictions. However, the ketogenic diet has proven to be a good diet for children who suffer from severe epilepsy, as well as for diabetic people.
What do you eat on the ketogenic diet?
Fats and oils: MCT oil is ideal on this diet, also olive oil and organic butter.
Protein: Try and eat only organic meat from grass-fed cows that roam in a pasture naturally. Don’t eat too much protein on a ketogenic diet.
Vegetables: Frozen or fresh vegetables are not really that important; just stick more with veggies that are above the ground, green and leafy.
Dairy: Most dairy is suitable on the ketogenic diet; just try to make sure you consume full-fat dairy. Choose the harder cheeses which have fewer carbs in them.
Nuts and seeds may be eaten but in moderation. Try and eat the fattier nuts such as almonds and macadamias
Beverages: Keep it simple, sticking mostly with water. Try and flavor with stevia-based flavors. Adding lime or lemons will do great.
With the ketogenic diet behind us, let us look at what MCT oil is about, why it is being ranked as a superfood and how it will benefit your health on the ketogenic diet.
You might have heard people in the gym, stores, or health shops, referring to MCT oil. You might be left wondering yourself whether this so-called oil that is supposed to burn fat, rev up your metabolism and improve your health is just another fad or is it really a superfood. We’ve heard much spoken about coconut oil and its benefits over the years – now we have MCT oil set to take its place.
Coconut oil has been touted for years as a top nutritional oil, a superfood, extremely healthy and natural, reported making your skin look like a baby, an oil that can keep your cholesterol levels in check and of course, help you to lose weight.
Experts say coconut oil got its good reputation because it contains MCT in it or medium-chain triglycerides.
Now we are hearing oil that is actually called by that name, MCT.
What precisely is MCT oil?
- It is very complicated to try and explain here what medium-chain-triglycerides and long-chain triglycerides are all about – how triglycerides work. But it will help you to understand how they work in relation to dieting and food, etc. Read here for yourself.
- The fact is that many people have been taught not to include saturated fats in their diets, but recently there are researchers and even fitness gurus who say that saturated fats aren’t all that bad, that in fact, MCT oil, which contains some saturated fats will very quickly help to digest your foods and turn it into fuel in your body. The speed of digestion coming from MCT oil could be the very reason that the author of ‘Eat Fat, Get Thin’ book, Mark Hyman says that MCT oil could be known as the “secret fat”, the one that makes you slim – it’s because it boosts the job of burning fat in your body as well as enhancing your mental clarity.
- There are four different types of MCTs; caprioc acid, caprylic acid, capric acid, and lauric acid. To put it very simply, MCT oil is just more concentrated oil than coconut oil. A top source of MCT and medium-chain triglycerides is coconut oil. People in the western world, like in America, eat more from the long-chain variety fats. In doing this, they make it harder for their bodies to process fatty acids and to digest it, making it even harder for that fat to be converted into energy. With the medium-chain triglycerides, such as coconut oil, the body absorbs it more easily because there is less energy involved in getting the fats metabolized.
- That being said, the most popular source where MCT oil comes from is coconuts; growing on the fringes of many an exotic island. The countries that mostly produce coconuts are the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, Brazil, and Indonesia – Asia, in fact, produces 90% of the world’s coconuts. Other countries are Vietnam, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, and Thailand. The coconut tree is a resilient tree, growing successfully in different soil types. They do need plenty of rainfall though in order to thrive. Because the demand for coconuts and coconut oil has burgeoned over the last few years, a lot of these countries are searching for opportunities to increase production. Other examples of medium chain variety triglycerides would be palm kernel oil and some of the heavy whipping creams. MCT gets made from distilling concentrations of medium-chain triglycerides.
What are the benefits of MCT oil?
- Not a lot of fat is stored because MCT oil is absorbed rapidly into the body, converting it into energy just about immediately – not much is stored as extra fat.
- It is absorbed quickly by the body because the chemical structures of MCT oil allow it to get processed easily; easily assimilated by the body.
- Digestion is improved because MCT oil enhances the whole digestive processing system and because of this, also prevents constipation.
- The metabolism is fueled because the medium chain triglycerides found in MCT oil also helps to increase thermogenesis in your body. Thermogenesis is the production of heat in a human or an animal’s body. When thermogenesis is increased, metabolism kicks in and helps your body to work more efficiently.
- Keeps your weight regular, because taking it gives you a feeling of satisfaction, preventing cravings from occurring and thereby preventing you from snacking during the day.
- Boosts brain function, because it helps in creating ketones. These are used for energy by your brain, aiding in cognitive functioning, memory, and mental clarity.
- It contains antioxidants which we all know can reduce cellular damage and helps to support the immune system; generally, your overall health.
- It has anti-inflammatory properties, keeping it down and therefore controlling certain health conditions that would arise because of inflammation.
- Gut health is improved because MCT oil supports your gut microbiomes, preventing harmful bacteria and supporting the good ones.
- Improves heart health. A 2010 study proves that MCT oil helps to prevent cardiovascular disease as well as metabolic syndrome.
Apart from the above health benefits, MCT oil has proven to have skin benefits as well, and people are known to add it to their special lotions and potions, cosmetics and lip balms, etc. This makes sense, seeing as it contains antifungal, antiviral and antimicrobial properties.
Truth is, MCT oils does promote health and needs to be consumed every day to benefit from the wonderful benefits. Sources of MCT oil are coconut oil, organic butter from grass-fed cattle and dairy products that are full-fat. Taking MCT oil just means you are getting the above oils in a much more concentrated way. MCT oil is available in powder form, liquid form, and capsules if you prefer it.
MCT oil is multi-functional
MCT oil, in its pure form, is quite flavorless actually, and clear. And that’s how it needs to be consumed just like that, without any heating. It is also an unrefined oil which means it has a low smoke point like wheat germ oil, flaxseed oil or walnut oil – you won’t find it responds very well to heat. Let’s just say you won’t find MCT oil beneficial for cooking.
What it is excellent for, however, is when you add it to your smoothies or your coffee and salad dressings, not a lot though, just like ½-tablespoon to 3-tablespoons. If you take too much you could cause your digestive system to be distressed. One tablespoon of MCT oil will set you back about 100 calories.
It might be a little bit difficult to ascertain whether the MCT oil that you buy down at the store is legit because it’s still early days of discovery. Buy the ones that say it’s got coconut and palm oils in rather than bottles that say ‘has coconut derivatives’ in it. Lots of experts will tell you that MCT oil acts like you are eating carbohydrates.
This is because it offers all that energy with a difference – MCT oil won’t raise your blood sugar like carbs do nor increase your insulin levels either like carbs do.
Do people have problems consuming MCT OIL?
This question is asked by many people who want to follow diets such as the ketogenic diet and others. Many people do tolerate taking MCT oil well. There are those who if they take too large a dose, have experienced gastrointestinal complaints like feeling nauseous, vomiting and diarrhea. If you are one of those people, stay calm and don’t panic or give up on the benefits of MCT oil immediately.
The best thing is to start just with small doses, for instance about half-teaspoon a few times in the day and then increasing the doses as you tolerate the oil. Think of MCT oil as a supplement to your diet, and not as a replacement for the other healthy fats that you have in your diet.
Why Some people just can’t get enough of the keto diet
The most popular diet around at the moment appears to be the ketogenic diet. Those who are on it swear by its abilities to help drop the pounds. Those who aren’t on it can’t understand how all the fat and butter eating isn’t affecting the peoples’ hearts. It’s pretty easy though – if you eat the right type of fats, you can burn off the fat, and even build some muscle on this diet, and this is what the celebrities are doing right now.
Even though the ketogenic diet actually has a long history, today it is becoming a new trend, an obsession, keeping the celebs strong and sleek. Doctors have long since been prescribing this diet to treat Type 2 diabetes and epilepsy.
But really, what is forgotten in the hype of the ‘latest diet trends’ is that this diet is the same as what Dr. Robert Atkins and all the low carb peddlers have been trying to sell since 1960, but find out yourself to understand what are the Best MCT Oil Benefits and what the Ketogenic Diet is all about.