Why MCT Oil is a Staple of the ketogenic diet

James Wilson
March 26, 2018
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We recently talked about the keto diet. Although the concept is not new, it has only recently started to take off. Many people that are starting off with the keto diet aren’t sure what to do. They find that it goes much more smoothly after they start using MCT oil.

MCT stands for medium chain triglycerides. It has a number of important health benefits for people on the keto diet, as this factual guide shows. Here are the main reasons that it is an important stable.

Boosting mental alertness

Adjusting to any new diet takes time. It can be particularly difficult for people following low-carb diets such as keto. They tend to suffer from brain fog.

MCT oil can be very helpful in these patients. It triggers the reticular activating system, which is responsible for regulating mental alertness. Therefore, using MCT oil can improve mental acuity as you are getting used to the keto diet.

Providing immediate energy boost

MCT oil is immediately sent to the liver, where it is processed as energy. There are two key benefits here:

  • MCT oil is not stored as fat, since it is immediately burnt as energy. This helps you achieve your weight-loss goals under the keto diet.
  • It provides an immediate energy boost when you’re feeling sluggish.

The second benefit is crucial for people that are just starting on the keto diet. The body is still adjusting to operating with fewer carbohydrates and higher levels of fat and protein. It can create a feeling of lethargy. This sluggishness can be miserable enough to cause them to give up on the diet before symptoms subside. They can also leave them less likely to exercise, which limits the effectiveness of the diet.

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If you are feeling drained of energy after starting the keto diet, it is a good idea to try MCT oil. Your healthcare provider can help you find the appropriate dose, which depends on your metabolism and other factors.

Facilitating digestion

Many people have a hard time choosing the right foods when they are starting the keto diet. They may choose foods that create a higher risk of digestive health problems.

MCT oil helps minimize these risks. It improves the microbiome in your digestive track, which protects against many colon and rectal diseases.

Improving weight loss

This is the most important benefit of HCT oil for many patients. They are following the diet to lose weight. HCT oil helps on both sides of the spectrum.

According to a 2003 study byMarie‐Pierre St‐Onge, Robert Ross,  William D. Parsons  and Peter J.H. Jones, MCT oil increases energy expenditures by overweight men. It can play an important role in helping them lose weight. Here is an excerpt of their study:

“Consumption of a diet rich in MCTs results in greater loss of AT compared with LCTs, perhaps due to increased energy expenditure and fat oxidation observed with MCT intake. Thus, MCTs may be considered as agents that aid in the prevention of obesity or potentially stimulate weight loss.Upper body adipose tissue (AT) decreased to a greater extent (p < 0.05) with functional oil (FctO) compared with olive oil (OL) consumption (−0.67 ± 0.26 kg and −0.02 ± 0.19 kg, respectively). There was a trend toward greater loss of whole‐body subcutaneous AT volume (p = 0.087) with FctO compared with OL consumption. Average energy expenditure was 0.04 ± 0.02 kcal/min greater (p < 0.05) on day 2 and 0.03 ± 0.02 kcal/min (not significant) on day 28 with FctO compared with OL consumption. Similarly, average fat oxidation was greater (p = 0.052) with FctO compared with OL intake on day 2 but not day 28.”

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The following year, another study was published, which found that MCT oils also suppress appetites. This means that they help on both sides of the issue.