All you hear in the ketogenic community is about MCT oil and how it is the magic ingredient – in the oh so popular Bullet Proof Coffee (BPC). Although the MCT oil might be the magic in the BPC, it is actually the butter that makes it taste magical. So creamy and delicious. I am writing this at 9PM at night, so way past my eating window, but I will be sipping on my BPC for my first meal tomorrow. So what are the benefits of mct oil?
You will find below an explanation of what MCT oils are and why I drink them on the ketogenic diet and I have included my recipe for a bulletproof coffee, but I whip it up with my own flare. A traditional bulletproof coffee consists of all healthy saturated fats with a high grade organic fairtrade coffee. A traditional one is 1 Tbsp MCT oil, 2 Tbsp grassfed butter and coffee.
Keep reading for the benefits of mct oil.
What is it?
MCT is short-for for medium-chain triglycerides, which, in the family of fats is considered a saturated fatty acid. It comes from the coconut. They are metabolized differently than the long-chain triglycerides (LCT) found in most other foods.
Because of the shorter length of the chain of the fatty acids, MCT oil is rapidly broken down and absorbed into the body and they go straight to the liver to be used as fuel.
This is great for us on a ketogenic diet because they are turned into ketones and our bodies use them as an instant energy source.
Although Coconut Oil is the richest source of medium-chain triglycerides, there are other sources, including Palm Kernel Oil and then dairy products which contains only a small amount.
What are the benefits of MCT oil?
- Given that they are used immediately as fuel and they go straight to your liver, your body is less likely to store the fat in your body
- Lose Weight: studies have shown that MCTs increase the ability to burn fat and calories, making it easier to lose weight
- MCTs are 10% fewer calories than the LCTs
- MCT is short for medium-chain triglycerides, which is a form of saturated fatty acid, the good stuff! Roughly 65% of coconut oil is made up of MCT’s. You might hear people referring MCT oil as medium-chain fatty acids.
Brain health is a topic I hear a lot about when talking about MCTs, and although the ketogenic diet was created to treat epilepsy in children and what I understand is that it is still one of the most used treatments for neurological disorders, there isn’t a ton of research done to say that it has other impacts on your brain.
But I can tell you that your brain is the fattest organ in your body and consist of at least 60 percent fat. So you can just imagine what the low-fat diets have been doing to your brain. I make the connection that if our bodies are made up somewhere between 50-75% water and we can get dehydrated if we don’t feed it water, is it too extreme to think the same thing could happen to our brains if we cut out all fats? Maybe I am an extremist but I don’t think it is too far out there to draw that conclusion.
Why are they good for a Ketogenic diet?
MCTs first word Medium gets its name because of its chemical structure. The fatty acids family are made up of strings of connected carbon and hydrogen and they reference them in fats. Fats are categorized by how many carbons they have: short-chain fats (like butyric acid) have fewer than six carbons, medium-chain fats have between 6–12 carbons and long-chain fats (like omega-3s) have between 13–21. Medium-chain fats are digested quite easily and they go directly to your liver, where they have a positive effect on your metabolism. This is one of the reasons that people on the ketogenic diet use MCTs because they are burned by the body for energy instead of being stored as fat. You know the term of being “fat fueled”.
MCTs are amazing for keto’ers because we immediately use them as fuel and they increase our ketones. So if you are going to be fat fueled and kick-start your day with high ketones levels, consuming MCTs are the way to go! You can even test it with drinking a bulletproof coffee with MCTs and another day without and what impact it has on your ketones. Now, it isn’t all just about fat, there are other factors that increase your ketones, but if you are eating clean and sticking to your macros, you should be producing strong ketone bodies to burn.
Why I Started Breaking My Fast with a BPC:
Because of the benefits of MCT oil of course! Not only because it is delicious, but because it fills me right up and because the MCT oil is used quickly for fuel and it increases my ketones, I am continuing the break on my body from processing carbohydrates and proteins, because a BPC has zero of those, and it gives me energy, I feel amazing and I increase my fat burning ketones.
Using this as a tool has broken my 6 months weight loss plateau. I know that seems like a long time but there were a few factors at play. I had lost 40 lbs and then I decided to replace intermittent fasting with eating when I was hungry with a more grazing approach throughout the day, vs. eating 3 scheduled meal times.
Recipe for Bulletproof Coffee (Lyndsay Mullaney Style!)
- 8 oz cup of organic fair trade coffee, served hot
- 1 scoop Perfect Keto Chocolate MCT oil powder (Use code ENTHUSIASTIC for 15% off at checkout!)
- 1 Tbsp MCT Oil OR Emulsified MCT oil, I use a brand Alpha
- 1 Tbsp grass-fed ghee or butter
- Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until you reach a smooth creamy consistency
You can see that I do mine a little different and don’t be shy when making yourself a BPC, I stopped using the word BPC and I now call mine a fatty coffee or tea. I just load it up with healthy fats and it keeps me full for hours and I feel amazing!!
One thing that is always in my fatty coffees is MCT oil. I can’t deny the impacts it has on my ketones so I won’t do it any other way. However, for people just starting to use MCT oils, because its different length of chain, it can be hard on your stomach to digest, so I always recommend start small and work your way up.
A client of mine messaged me yesterday to inquire about this exact thing because, her words, “my stomach is playing my a symphony right now”. I had a giggle, not at her expense but I did love how she put it. I have yet to see someone not build up their tolerance to MCTs but it does take time and you never want to overdo it. Start with a teaspoon and then work your way over weeks to a tablespoon. Notice how I said weeks and not days – it takes time!