MCT Oil is a great source of healthy fats to keep you naturally energised, boost brain performance and enhance ketone production. But should it be taken during a fasting window, or is it best enjoyed after a fast?
What is MCT Oil?
MCT stands for "medium chain triglycerides" - MCT oil is simply oil which is made up of only this type of fat.
It may sound like something you'd conjure up in the lab under a microscope, but MCTs are actually completely natural and incredibly healthy.
They're a fat found in coconuts, butter, milk, yoghurt, cheese and palm oil (in varying amounts and amongst other types of fat).
4 Benefits of Taking MCT Oil
Without getting too science-y, as the name suggests MCT oil contains medium chain fats (triglycerides).
This is important because their shorter molecular length means that they are more rapidly digested. This is what makes them unique and is the underlying mechanism for most of their health benefits.
Compared with longer chain fatty acids, MCTs are metabolised quickly and travel faster from the gut to the liver. So, consuming MCTs can help to:
- Kick-start your fat-burning state - Consuming MCT oil can encourage the body to use fat for energy rather than carbs, helping to promote fat loss during exercise
- Increase satiety and curb cravings - Replacing long chain triglycerides with MCTs has been shown to increase satiety and promote weight loss
- Boost brain health and mental clarity - MCTs promote ketone production, providing an alternative energy source to glucose that the brain can use more efficiently
- Enhance stamina & athletic performance - As they don't need to be broken down before they enter cells, MCTs provide an instant source of energy that can boost stamina and physical performance
Adding foods and supplements which contain MCTs to your diet can have a number of amazing health benefits. Check out our article below to find out more.
MCT Oil vs. Coconut Oil
There is a reason why MCT oil has its fancy name and isn't just called coconut oil or something similar - it is a very specific oil and unlike anything else.
It is really important to understand the difference between coconut oil and MCT oil, especially if you are using MCT oil as a nutritional supplement to enjoy the benefits listed above.
Whilst they are both derived from coconuts, MCT oil and coconut oil have a vastly different nutritional profile. Coconut oil naturally contains MCTs, but only around 60-70% and this also includes C6 and C12 fatty acids - whereas MCT oil is 100% MCTs and you want one made up of either pure c8 or c8 and c10 blend.
Coconut oil is often a lot cheaper and more widely available than MCT oil, but it is not equal to it. Whether you're enjoying it during a fast or not - 100% MCT oil should be your choice to enjoy the maximum benefits of MCTs. You can learn more about this in our articles below.
Is MCT Oil Paleo & Keto Friendly?
100% MCT oil (like Hunter & Gather MCT Oil!) is a pure source of healthy fats and so a welcome addition to your Paleo or Keto lifestyle.
Just be sure to choose an MCT oil which is derived from 100% real food sources, such as coconuts. Also - watch out for hidden artificial ingredients, flavourings or lower quality oils which are often used to 'cut' MCT oil.
A great quality MCT oil should proudly proclaim just one ingredient on the packaging - MCT oil!
Check out the article below to learn more about the benefits of MCT oil for Keto:
Should you have MCT Oil while fasting?
Whether or not you can take MCT oil during your fasting window really depends on your reason for fasting in the first place.
Whilst many people think that fasting is something you do mainly for weight loss, there are actually a lot more benefits to fasting.
Let's explore just a few, and find out if MCT oil will help or hinder these amazing results.
Fasting for Longevity
Studies have shown that intermittent fasting has the potential to help us live longer. The anti-aging benefits of fasting are mostly attributed to autophagy, the body's way of cleaning out damaged cells to regenerate new, healthier cells. This is something which is accelerated during fasting windows.
Unfortunately, if you are fasting solely for anti-aging benefits then it may be best to go without MCT oil. As energy restriction is vital to promote autophagy, MCT oil being a pure fat means that its caloric density will get in the way of this process.
However, it should be noted that the benefits of intermittent fasting for overall health e.g. gut health and metabolic flexibility, have their own benefits for longevity. What's more, you can enjoy MCT oil during a fast if you are fasting for these reasons instead.
Which brings us conveniently on to our next point!
Fasting for Gut Rest
Intermittent fasting can be a great tool for gut rest and rejuvenation. Simply put, by abstaining from eating food you will not activate the digestion process. This will allow the gut to focus on repairing damage and cell regeneration instead of food absorption.
MCT oil differs from other fats such as butter and even coconut oil in that it is taken from the stomach directly to the liver, where it is metabolised. Here the MCTs are broken down and used as an instant energy source - or are metabolised into ketones.
This process means that 100% MCT oil will not activate the same digestive response, as with longer chain fatty acids found in butter, coconut oil and other foods. Essentially, it will not disrupt gut rest at all.
MCT oil can provide a good boost of energy during your fasting window even if you are fasting for gut rest. Just be sure to stick to around 1-2 tablespoons so that your body will still turn to its own fat stores as a source of energy - which has its own benefits when fasting.
Fasting for Fat Loss & Metabolic Flexibility
Aside from longevity and gut rest, many people choose to incorporate fasting into their lifestyle for fat loss and metabolic flexibility. Fasting can help to promote weight and fat loss, as well as improving insulin sensitivity and metabolic efficiency.
If this is your main reason for fasting, MCT oil might actually enhance your results rather than hinder them. As a pure source of fat, MCT oil does not impact insulin levels. It is also readily converted into ketones, aiding in ketosis and the associated benefits of fat loss and appetite suppression.
Again, sticking to 1-2 tablespoons of MCT oil during your fasting window will ensure that your body will still turn to its own fat stores for fuel.
Hunter & Gather MCT Oil
Our triple distilled MCT oil is made using 100% Organic coconuts - and nothing else! It is a pure and nutrient-dense source of health boosting MCTs, with a naturally neutral taste which means it is easily added to meals and drinks.
Hunter & Gather MCT Oil is the perfect supplement to compliment Keto and Paleo lifestyles, and can even be enjoyed during a fasting window depending on which benefits you're hoping to gain from your fast.
✅ Premium C8 & C10 MCT Oil
✅ Triple Steam Distilled
✅ Palm Oil Free
✅ Lab Tested
✅ Low Carb & Paleo
All information provided on our website and within our articles is simply information, opinion, anecdotal thoughts and experiences to provide you with the tools to thrive.
It is not intended to treat or diagnose symptoms and is definitely not intended to be misconstrued for medical advice. We always advise you seek the advice of a trained professional when implementing any changes to your lifestyle and dietary habits.
We do however recommend seeking the services of a trained professional who questions the conventional wisdom to enable you to become the best version of yourself.