The Ultimate Guide to MCT Oil for Keto

The ultimate guide to MCT oil for keto

The Ultimate Guide for Using MCT Oil for Keto!

These days everyone is talking about MCT oil as a supplement for keto dieters.

There is so much hype and people are blindly buying it without really knowing much about it or why or how to use it, and even if they should use MCT oil for Keto at all!

I hope to answer all your MCT oil questions here.

What is MCT Oil and should you use MCT oil for Keto?

MCT stands for medium chain triglyceride and the oil is rich in lauric acid. (There is a more sciency explanation in a section below).

Coconut oil is often confused with MCT oil and people assume that they are the same thing. Yes, they are very similar but you will want to know what the differences are so you can choose wisely for yourself.

Most cold-pressed coconut oil contains the medium chain triglycerides, but coconut oil also contains other kinds of fat, whereas MCT Oil does not. This is the main difference.

Coconut oil itself brings many benefits to the keto dieter but a lot of people feel strongly that MCT oil has the edge.

Not all MCT oils are the same

MCT oil is made up of 100% medium chain triglycerides – which is more than what coconut oil contains. It is solely comprised of the fats that many people feel are helpful to weight loss.

But many MCT oil manufacturers try to market diluted lauric acid as MCT oil. If you are going to spend the money on MCT oil, it is important to purchase a high quality high-grade product  from reputable suppliers or you are wasting money on what is really a more expensive coconut oil.

This is the MCT oil that I use both for myself and for my Mom who has Alzheimers.

You can also buy excellent quality MCT oil on Amazon. These are the premium brands on Amazon and included are their own Editorial Picks.



Why is MCT oil so effective for the keto diet?

The big advantage is that MCT oil is assimilated very quickly into the body. Unlike long chain triglycerides that need to be processed by the pancreas and requires enzymes to digest, MCT oil absorption is much faster.

Because it is so rapidly absorbed by the gut, it can travel through the blood stream and reach your liver very quickly.

This means your body can access the fuel and get energy faster than coconut oil. That’s why it has become so popular, especially for people who like to work out! The protein shakes of yesterday have been replaced by what is now called bullet proof coffee!

Bullet proof coffee with MCT oil for keto

What is Bulletproof Coffee?

Bulletproof coffee is one of those drinks that keto dieters have come to know and embrace fondly!

In it’s most basic form, it is normal coffee that’s mixed with butter and a tablespoon of MCT oil. Many people make their bullet proof coffee with coconut oil instead.

While there are some people who say that drinking bulletproof coffee is not a good idea, there are many who swear by it as a meal replacement and an aid to fat loss. I agree with this as long as you read the next section and understand the caveats!

Will MCT Oil help me lose weight on Keto?

Since bulletproof coffee is very high in calories from the fat in MCT oil and butter, most people using it would treat this as a meal. After all, the coffee is high in good fats, nutrients and a dose of caffeine to give you the mental boost you need to start your day.

Therefore, if you are doing Keto with the goal of weight loss, it is important to keep the above paragraph in mind!  Having these high calorie coffees along with a regular keto meal is going to be too high in calories for weight loss. 

So unless you are doing OMAD (One meal a day) or perhaps IF (Intermittent Fasting), a bullet proof coffee is the meal and should be used alone without other food.

Remember, this is not a case of thinking that if a little bit of MCT oil is good for you, then more must be better. This will backfire on you!

That said, it’s still a far cry better than what most North Americans are having for breakfast! Think of all the processed cereals and juices and even donuts for breakfast. In my neighborhood, there is a Tim Horton’s Donut shop on every corner and the lineups in the morning are crazy!

The amount of sugar consumed before the day even begins is astounding. So I feel that bulletproof coffee is a much healthier option.

Here are some ideas for making your own bulletproof coffees to start your day.

Other ways you can use MCT Oil on Keto

If you are not a coffee or tea drinker, you can still add MCT oil to your salad with the dressing or just even swallow a spoonful each day. A word of warning: Initially, you should start out with just 1 tsp and slowly work your way up to 1-2 tbsp a day.

You can also use it in this very popular keto egg shake recipe.

Did you know that you can buy chocolate flavored MCT oil powder to mix into coffee and shakes?  What a perfect way to amp up your morning shakes!

As you can see, finding a way to have MCT oil is very easy to do every day. Please note that since it has a low smoke point, you should never actually cook with MCT oil.

For more information on which oils are best for cooking, see this article on Fats and Oils for Keto.

The heat generated during cooking will change the chemical structure of the oil. So, it’s best to consume it at room temperature or with coffee or tea.

There are so many benefits that come with consuming MCT oil. Do give it a try for two or three weeks and see if you feel the difference. Most of the avid keto dieters are using MCT oil to their advantage. Just make sure the product you buy is of good quality.

So how exactly is MCT Oil different from Coconut Oil? 

Here is some technical information in regards to MCT Oil vs coconut oil. I promise it’s not too hard to understand!

Medium chain triglycerides, also known as MCT, are comprised of only 6 to 12 carbon atoms. The reason they are known as medium chain is because the long chain triglycerides have 13 to 18 carbon atoms.

Pure MCT oil contains 100% of these medium chain triglycerides whereas Coconut oil is somewhere in the range of 60% MCTs. 

MCTs have become very popular over the past few years because of the popularity of the keto diet. And since the keto diet is a fat-based diet, those who do keto try to get 70 to 75 percent of their calories in the form of fat.

MCT Oil vs Coconut Oil

Honestly, I don’t even know why this debate exists yet I see people fighting over this in keto groups. MCT oil and coconut oil both have their places when doing Keto.

Coconut oil is one of the foods recommended for the keto diet. Since it’s rich in lauric acid, it aids in weight loss and has many beneficial health properties.

I use it myself extensively especially for cooking as it has such a high smoking point. I also love using it for keto desserts as it does a wonderful job of holding together those fat bombs!

See my article on Coconut Oil for the Keto Diet here.

For the pro MCT oil camp,  they argue that coconut oil also has extra strains of fat that are unnecessary for weight loss. To me, both of these fats are of benefit to us and they are just used in different ways.

Which MCT Oil Should I buy?

Several companies have created MCT oil that only has the medium chain triglycerides (in other words 100% MCTs) the body needs to burn fat – and you don’t need to deal with any of the extra fats that you’d get if you were to consume coconut oil.

Here are the considerations to keep in mind when purchasing MCT oil:

  • Palm oil and coconut oil both contain medium chain triglycerides. So be sure to check and see where your MCTs are coming from.
  • Check that 100% of the MCT oil or powder are medium chain triglycerides and not diluted coconut oil.
  • There are several other benefits that can be derived from MCT’s such as increased metabolism, appetite suppression, speeding up ketosis and acting as an antioxidant.
  • The most common types of MCT found in coconut oil are lauric acid, caprylic acid, and capric acid. Depending on the manufacturer, the MCT oil you buy will probably contain all these acids.
  • There are many manufacturers of MCT oil because this is a booming industry. So, be on the watch for companies marketing diluted lauric acid as MCT oil.
  • Caprylic acid and capric acid, generally don’t have a very pleasant taste. The MCT oil you purchase may taste fine, but if the taste is strong, you can mix it with your coffee and you won’t know the difference.

Personally I am a huge fan of the MCT products developed by Perfect Keto. I use them for myself and my Mom and my daughter also orders them.

Other considerations and benefits of MCT Oil

  • These fats are great for improving your gut health and will give you a quick boost of energy. If you mix some in your pre-workout drinks, you’ll really have an edge and be able to give your best effort during your training.
  • Since these fats are rapidly absorbed by the body, as compared to the long chain triglycerides, they are great as a quick ‘pick me up’ energy booster. 
  • MCT oil stays liquid in cold temperatures, while coconut oil normally solidifies unless you’re using refined coconut oil.
  • To start out it’s best to try only 1 teaspoon of MCT oil every day. Over a few weeks, you can build up to 1 tablespoon a day. You can keep building up until you reach 2 tablespoons a day if you want. 1 to 2 tbsp of MCT oil a day is just fine and will be ideal if you’re on the keto diet and need to meet your fat macros.
  • Do your research and find a reputable manufacturer that guarantees only the best ingredients are used and that 100% of the MCT oil or powder are medium chain triglycerides and not diluted coconut oil.
  • Exercise due diligence, purchase wisely and make MCT oil a part of your daily keto diet. It has many health benefits which will serve you well in the long run.

As I mentioned at the start of this section, there’s often a big argument that one should just stick to coconut oil which is generally cheaper than MCT oil. This will come down to your budget and personal goals and preferences.

About 60 percent of coconut oil is comprised of MCT, but when using MCT oil, you know that 100% of it is MCT oil. So, there is a difference, but it all depends on you and your goals.

If you are going to use coconut oil instead, choose organic and unrefined for most uses.


Will MCT Oil put me in Ketosis?

In the absence of excess carbs, then yes, MCT oil will help you achieve ketosis.

But do not think that eating the Standard American diet (also called SAD) and adding MCT oil to it will help you achieve ketosis. The same goes for other products such as exogenous ketones. 

These products help to boost the results when following keto, they cannot be used in place of following a keto diet when looking for results!

MCTs can be converted into ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fat but it has to be when your carb intake is low. If you’re following a keto diet (which we are assuming since you are here!), a diet very low in carbs yet high in fat, then taking MCT oil can help you stay in that magical fat-burning state known as ketosis.

And that’s what we want!

MCT Oil VS MCT Powder – Which Should You Take?

This is a very common question asked by people who want to try medium chain triglycerides (MCT). This is one of those questions where both answers are right. It all comes down to personal preferences.

Before making that decision it’s important to understand how these products work.

How to use MCT oil and MCT powder

MCT oil like the name suggests is an oil and comes in liquid form. It’s mixed in coffee and tea, drizzled on salads as salad dressing, or you can use it in a shake.

MCT powder comes in powder form and is stirred and dissolved into coffee, tea and shakes. It can also be sprinkled into soup and other keto recipes. Despite being a powder, it’s still a medium chain triglyceride and has the same potency as the oil.


These are the factors to help you choose between MCT Oil vs Powder

  1. Convenience

    For starters, MCT oil is much more convenient at home. You can easily swallow it or mix it into coffee and drink it up. MCT oil is also absorbed by the body much more rapidly.

  2. Absorption

    Many people who are on a keto diet and following an intermittent fasting protocol, usually time their meals after their workouts. If you’re consuming MCT oil, the fats will go into the bloodstream and be absorbed by the liver quickly. MCT powder, on the other hand, takes longer to be absorbed by the body. So, if you need a quick burst of energy, you’d be better off with MCT oil.

  3. Mixability

    MCT powder mixes better in coffee. This is one of the biggest issues that keto dieters have. Many people complain about the MCT oil floating the top of their coffee. Some people have a difficult time adjusting to this, and drinking bulletproof coffee becomes more of a chore than drinking their beloved morning coffee. In cases like these, the powder will be better fit than the oil.

  4. Expiration Dates

    MCT oil usually lasts much longer than MCT powder. So, if you’re making your purchases in bulk, you’re better off with the oil. If you prefer powder, it’s better to buy what you can consume within the expiry period to prevent waste.

  5. Ease of use

    MCT oil is easy to add to most things. However, for other uses such as mixing in coffee, MCT powder is easier to use. It’s also not oily or greasy, easier to clean up and doesn’t have the same hassles that come from dealing with oil. For this reason, I think that MCT powder is better for traveling or on the go days.

  6. Your Tummy

    How your body responds to MCT oil will determine if you go with the powder or the oil. Some people’s constitution makes them have diarrhea or stomach problems when they consume the oil. For folks like these, MCT powder will be the best option. It’s worth noting that when you first start using MCT oil, it’s best to go slow and start off with half a teaspoon or 1 tsp a day and gradually build up until you can take 1 tablespoon a day. Sometimes, building up to it will give your body time to adapt to the oil and accept it without much issue.

It’s just important to know that whether you use MCT oil or MCT powder, the benefits are really about the same. That said, I do like the creaminess that flavored MCT powders add to my coffee!



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2 thoughts on “The Ultimate Guide to MCT Oil for Keto”

  1. There is one company that sells an MCT powder that is made exclusively of the 8-chain MCT which they call C8 MCT. They claim it is the best for weight loss and that the other chains slow down the ketosis process. Have you found anything in your research to support that claim?

    1. C8s and C10s are more rapidly absorbed than longer chains such as C12s, which go through the liver. I have not seen anything that would indicate this is better for weight loss. It’s possible to be in ketosis and not lose weight so while it may be better for getting into ketosis, that is a quite the leap to say it would be make for better weight loss. IMO. :-)

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