What is MCT oil? Learn more about this beneficial saturated fat and how to incorporate MCT into your daily diet. Plus, learn about the healthy benefits, get some recipes to try, including a butter-less iced bulletproof coffee latte recipe!
Just letting you know this 3 Ways to Use MCT Oil post was originally published in Spring 2014. I updated the content to be more relevant with new research and updated the recipes. Now I am republishing it for you today in partnership with NOW® MCT oil! I hope you enjoy and please feel free to comment with questions or suggestions! Thank you for following Cotter Crunch Y’all!
MCT oil. It’s the new craze, isn’t it? Well, at least that’s what I’ve been seeing since 2015 and what I’ve been asked about over and over again. What is MCT oil? Why is it so good for us? How should we use MCT oil? Etc. Etc. Etc.
I will be quite honest, it can be confusing. All this good fat versus saturated fat talk. I am pretty sure our society is confused as well; Fat has been used in such a negative way for the past 20 years. But there’s hope! Yes! All we need is a little clarification and explanation.
So let’s talk about it. Fat. Saturated Fat. MCT oil (Fat) and how we can incorporate MCT oil in our daily diet. Mmmm k?
I’ll explain how we use it and why I think it’s a great NUTRITION tool for endurance athletes. Sound good?
First things first: What is MCT oil?
MCT oil is plant source oil made up of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). Medium-chain triglycerides are a special kind of lipid (fat). These triglycerides are quite unique in their chemical formal (structure) in that they bypass the regular digestion: intestines, to liver to, blood.
Instead, these fats are digested fast and easily (very little strain on your digestive system). MCTs are also absorbed right away and taken to the liver, where they are used directly for energy instead of being stored at fat.* It’s fast and it can be converted to ENERGY STAT!* This is why it’s great for athletes. Instead of a spoonful of sugar, try a spoonful of MCT oil for quick energy!* This is also why some endurance athletes carry MCT oil on their long rides, runs, etc.
Think of long-chain fats as being like a whole piece of fruit and MCTs as being like a smoothie. If you eat the whole fruit, you have to put in a lot of effort chewing, but the smoothie you can just slurp right up almost without noticing. In your digestive system, MCTs are a little bit like that smoothie.(Paleo Leap)
That being said, the way each body rapidly DIGESTS MCT fats is very individualized. Some digest it quicker than others which can lead to digestive discomfort. It’s best to test it out for yourself first, starting off with 2 tsp to up to 1 tbsp a day is plenty.
Another reason to LOVE MCT oil is that it does not raise blood sugar. You can use MCT oil in between meals for this very reason. The last thing we want is for blood sugar (insulin) to spike and cause more hormonal imbalance (See Adrenal Cocktail recipe post for a refresher). That being said, the question still remains: is MCT oil safe for Type I diabetics while on a Keto Diet? Well, depends on the person. First, consult with your doctor. In general, MCT oil can support normal blood sugar regulation and appetite.* Research has also show that MCTs raise up ketones and help maintain healthy blood sugar (source).
And lastly, I personally use MCT oil to get in more fat while also helping to ease the digestion of fat.* If that makes sense? You see, since having a parasite (in 2006), digesting fats and certain sugar (FODMAPS) can sometimes be difficult, causing malabsorption. Let’s face it, this happens to a lot of us due to stress too, right? Oh, the body is so sensitive. But using MCT oil can help! MCTs are easily digested, which can help SAFELY increase fats and therefore absorb more nutrients.* Again it’s safe to check with your doctor first.
One of my favorite brands of MCT oil is from NOW FOODS. They have a couple different flavors, besides plain, which makes for more fun and delicious recipes! Both the Vanilla Hazelnut and Chocolate Mocha taste AMAZING blended in coffee. But more on that below.
- 100% Pure oil – NOW® MCT Oil is derived from coconut/palm kernel oil that is sustainably sourced to protect our planet and preserve native wildlife habitats.
- Trusted manufacturer
- Great for healthy weight management and Body Composition
Other smaller sources of MCT oil can be found in coconut oil, grass-fed butter, whole milk, aged cheese, palm kern oil, and yogurt.
Okay, now we know why MCTs are so awesome and a great source of MCT oil (Now Foods). Let’s talk about how we can use MCT oil. You don’t have to think too much here because MCT oil is so versatile! Cook with it, bake, blend, drink, eat, or use it for external uses (like skin or hair care).
Here are our 3 favorite ways to use MCT Oil in everyday recipes.
Eat, drink, and blend and be HEALTHY!
Note – Look for the oil derived from sustainably harvested organic coconut.
Bulletproof Coffee or Bulletproof Coffee ICED LATTE (Butter-less Option)
Oh yes, you’ve heard the bulletproof coffee talk. And yes, we make it! Not all the time, but some of the time. We’ve made it hot and cold. It’s pretty simple. All you need are
- ghee, butter, or coconut oil
- MCT oil
- organic coffee
- almond milk
- maybe some collagen or even cashew cream.
It tastes like a latte, but the energy lasts much longer! If you want to make it ICED, I have a little trick. Mix a tiny bit of flavored oil (we use Vanilla Hazelnut NOW FOODS MCT oil) with almond or coconut milk and pour it in an ice tray to freeze.
Now you can use that as your ICE for your iced bulletproof coffee latte. See, an extra ENERGY PERK.
For HOT coffee, just skip the ice cubes and blend all together when hot. You could even brew regular coffee, blend in regular or flavored MCT and top with whipped coconut cream or cashew reamer. Oh yes, a healthy fats “cappuccino” bulletproof coffee per se.
BAKING with MCT OIL!
Second, I LOVE to use it in baking.
Replace conventional oils with MCT, or use it along with regular coconut oil and/or butter (half and half). You can sub out about 1/4 to 1/3 of the coconut oil for MCT oil instead. This makes for more nutritional baking! Here’s are a few great paleo baking recipes to try it out with; cinnamon almond flour bread or Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies!
NOTE – I wouldn’t recommend cooking/baking over 350F with MCT oil due to it’s medium heat smoke index. This means the oil won’t oxidize from heat (becoming rancid) when baking/cooking at 350F or lower.
MIX and POUR!
And lastly, you can replace the oil (or part of the oil) in your homemade salad dressings and homemade aioli/mayo.
Well, there you have it, some of our FAVORITE ways to use this incredible oil. I hope this helps clarify the saturated fat and MCT oil confusion. I know, I know, nutrition overload. Did you make it through the post? ;
Do you use MCT oil? If so, I’d love to hear how!
Disclaimer: I am not a medical practice and do not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please seek diagnosis, treatment, and advice from qualified providers based on your condition.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.