I am almost one week into my Ketogenic diet. It’s going well. It’s in the early stages so I have a long way to go but in the first 5 days, I have dropped 3 pounds. And the nice thing about it is I’ve been eating well, no deprivation, no hunger, no cravings. This is all good.
An important element of the Ketogenic diet is getting good fats in your diet. One of the very important fats to make sure you include is MCT oil, or Medium Chain Triglycerides. Coconut oil is very high in MCT and is the popular choice in this regard. There is also MCT in dairy and palm oil.
Medium Chain Triglyceride oil contains medium-length chains of fats called triglycerides. MCT’s are more easily digested than Long Chain Triglycerides found in many foods.
MCT oil comes with benefits. The big one for me right now is that it helps your body to lose weight in that it creates a feeling of fullness. MCT oil converts into ketones, produced when the body breaks down fats. On the very low carb and high fat ketogenic diet, MCT oil helps your body stay in the ketosis state where your body burns fat for fuel.
MCT oil is absorbed quickly into your cells and is an instant source of energy.
Interestingly, MCT oil is being used in the treatment of some of our modern day diseases such as Alzheimer’s and autism and epilepsy. MCT oil crosses the blood brain barrier and boosts your brain cells ability to function, and helps with memory.
MCT oil has anti microbial and anti fungal properties. This means it is good for your gut health. Along with the laxative qualities MCT is also anti-inflammatory which contributes to optimal digestion and healthy gut flora.
Studies are also showing that MCT oil may help in the reduction of heart disease. People using MCT oil regularly show a reduction in bad cholesterol LDL and an increase in the protective good cholesterol HDL.
Another disease showing positive results with MCT oil is diabetes. Those with diabetes who added MCT to their diets showed a reduction in body weight and insulin resistance.
There are other benefits from MCT oil such as improved mood, skin protection, better energy, stronger immune system, better cognitive function and regulation of hormones. You only need a very small amount of MCT oil to reap benefits. If taken in excess it can backfire with unpleasant symptoms so be mindful of the amounts you use.
For daily dosage amounts, it is different for everybody, but in most cases no more than 2 to 3 tablespoons per day is ever needed. Less is better….say between 2 teaspoons and 2 tablespoons is a good range for the majority of people.
There are ways to get MCT into your daily nutrition.
- Blend it into your morning smoothie, or your high fat plain yogurt.
- I have a “super coffee” on my keto diet which is a coffee with 1 tablespoon of grass fed butter, and one teaspoon of MCT oil blended in my nutri bullet. After blending, it comes out like a frothy latte coffee. It’s good, trust me.
- MCT oil is a good base for salad dressings.
- Drizzle MCT oil on your oatmeal, in your soup, toss on your roasted vegetables
- You can cook with MCT oil but it has a low to mid temperature cook point so is not good for sautéing at high temperatures or you will damage the benefits of this fat.
MCT is flavorless so it works in any recipe. It is nutrient dense so keeps you feeling full. It has a long shelf life, stored properly it could last for years. This oil does not solidify in the fridge so is at the ready all the time.
Below, I share a nutritional recipe for a really good salad dressing using MCT oil. It is a great Keto recipe.
GREEN GODDESS DRESSING (all of my ingredients are organic)
1 large avocado
1/2 cup Extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh parsley
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 cloves garlic
3 tbsp juice of a fresh lemon
2 tbsp MCT oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Put all of the above ingredients in a blender or nutri-bullet and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Will keep in the fridge for up to one week. Delicious tossed on any salad green.
As a footnote to this article…..having Multiple Sclerosis which is a Neurodegenerative disease, there are studies showing that the inclusion of Medium Chain Triglycerides in my diet could have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective activities, helping with the management and slowing of progression of my MS. I am game to try anything that may help in this regard.