Are you a fan of MCT oil?
This popular supplement has been touted for its ability to provide quick fuel for the body and boost ketosis.
But when it comes to tracking your macros, do you count MCT oil as a fat or a carb?
The answer may surprise you.
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of MCT oil, how it affects your macros, and how to properly incorporate it into your diet for optimal results.
So sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the world of MCT oil.
Do You Count MCT Oil In Macros?
MCT oil is a type of fat that is metabolized differently than other fats in the body. It is quickly absorbed and used for energy, making it a popular supplement for those following a ketogenic diet or looking for a quick energy boost.
But when it comes to counting macros, the question arises: do you count MCT oil as a fat or a carb?
The answer is that MCT oil should be counted as a fat. One tablespoon of MCT oil contains about 14 grams of fat and 115 calories. It does not contain any carbohydrates or protein.
While MCT oil is not technically a carb, it can still affect your overall macro count if you consume too much of it. It is important to remember that MCT oil is high in calories, so consuming it with abandon and hoping for weight loss is counterproductive.
What Is MCT Oil And How Does It Work?
MCT oil is a supplement that contains medium-chain triglycerides, which are fats found in foods like coconut oil. These fats have a shorter chain length than the long-chain triglycerides found in most other foods, which means they are metabolized differently in the body. MCTs are quickly absorbed and used for energy, making them a popular supplement for those following a ketogenic diet or looking for a quick energy boost.
MCT oil is usually made from coconut or palm kernel oil through a process called fractionation, which separates the MCT from the original oil and concentrates it. MCT oil can be bought as 100% MCT oil or as a mixture of MCT and LCT.
Studies have shown that MCTs can help boost cognitive function in individuals with mild cognitive impairment, mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease who have the APOE4 gene, and some severe cases of dementia. People with other brain-based issues, including Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, gliomas, and autism, may also benefit from MCTs.
One tablespoon of MCT oil contains about 14 grams of fat and 115 calories. It should be counted as a fat when tracking macros. However, it is important to remember that MCT oil is high in calories and consuming it with abandon may be counterproductive for weight loss. Further research is needed to determine the effects of MCTs on weight loss.
The Benefits Of Incorporating MCT Oil Into Your Diet
Incorporating MCT oil into your diet can have several benefits. One of the most significant benefits is weight loss. MCT oil has been shown to increase the release of hormones that promote the feeling of fullness in the body, which can lead to a reduction in overall calorie intake. Studies have also found that MCT oil can reduce body weight and waist circumference, and may even help prevent obesity.
MCT oil can also be beneficial for those following a ketogenic diet. It can be converted into ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fat when carbohydrate intake is low. This can help you stay in the fat-burning state known as ketosis.
In addition to weight loss and ketosis, MCT oil may also support a healthy gut environment. It can help optimize the growth of good bacteria and support the gut lining, which can improve digestion and overall health.
Counting MCT Oil In Your Macros: Fat Or Carb?
When tracking your macros, it is important to understand how to count MCT oil. While some may argue that MCT oil should not be counted as part of your fat intake for a given meal because it is a “bonus fuel,” it is still a type of fat and should be counted as such.
One tablespoon of MCT oil contains 14 grams of fat and 115 calories. It is important to note that MCT oil is a type of saturated fat and consuming too much of it can increase cholesterol levels. Additionally, while some studies suggest that MCT oil can aid in weight loss, it is not a magic solution and should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
When counting MCT oil in your macros, it should be counted as a fat. This means that if you are following a ketogenic diet, the calories from MCT oil can be included in your daily fat intake. However, it is important to keep track of your overall calorie intake and ensure that you are not consuming too many calories from MCT oil or any other source.
How Much MCT Oil Should You Consume?
The amount of MCT oil you should consume depends on several factors, including your experience with MCTs and your daily caloric needs. For beginners, it is recommended to start with 1 teaspoon of MCT oil per day and gradually increase to 1 tablespoon per day. For more experienced users, up to 2 tablespoons per day can be consumed.
It is crucial to keep in mind that MCT oil is high in calories, with one tablespoon containing 115 calories. Therefore, it is essential to factor in the calorie content of MCT oil when calculating your daily caloric intake. If your goal is weight loss, it is crucial to ensure that you are consuming fewer calories than you burn throughout the day.
While MCT oil can provide numerous benefits, including increased energy and improved cognitive function, it should not be used as a substitute for a healthy diet and lifestyle. MCT oil should be used as a supplement to support your overall health and wellness goals.
Tips For Incorporating MCT Oil Into Your Diet
If you’re interested in incorporating MCT oil into your diet, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are some tips to help you get started:
1. Start slow: As with any new supplement, it’s important to start with a small amount and gradually increase your intake. Begin with one teaspoon of MCT oil per day and work your way up to one or two tablespoons.
2. Add it to your coffee or tea: One of the most popular ways to use MCT oil is by adding it to your morning cup of coffee or tea. Simply stir in a tablespoon of MCT oil for an added energy boost.
3. Use it in smoothies: MCT oil is flavorless, making it a great addition to smoothies. Add a tablespoon or two to your favorite smoothie recipe for an extra dose of healthy fats.
4. Replace conventional oils: You can also use MCT oil as a replacement for other oils in your cooking and baking. Just be sure not to heat it above 350F, as it has a low smoke point.
5. Make “fat bombs”: If you’re following a ketogenic diet, you may already be familiar with “fat bombs”. These are small snacks that are high in healthy fats and low in carbs. MCT oil can be used to make these snacks, which are perfect for when you need a quick energy boost.
Remember, while MCT oil can be a healthy addition to your diet, it should be consumed in moderation. Always talk to your doctor or dietitian before incorporating any new supplements into your routine.
Potential Side Effects Of Consuming Too Much MCT Oil
While MCT oil has numerous benefits, consuming too much of it can lead to some potential side effects. The most common side effect of consuming too much MCT oil is digestive distress. This is because the body digests MCT oil differently than other fats, and excess consumption can cause sudden digestive distress, leading to symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating, stomach pain, and flatulence.
In addition to digestive distress, consuming very high doses of MCT oil (50% of daily calories) has been shown to increase liver fat in mice. While these doses are much higher than the recommended upper limit for humans, it is still important to be mindful of your MCT oil intake.
It is also worth noting that some individuals may experience higher cholesterol levels as a result of MCT supplementation. While clinical trials have discovered that MCTs can help lower LDL/HDL ratio, reduce total and HDL-cholesterol, increase HDL, and decrease LDL, other studies have shown that consuming MCTs instead of sunflower oil or palm oil have either no effect or an adverse effect on cholesterol levels. As such, it is important to consult with your doctor before making significant dietary changes and to get regular blood lipid lab tests to help monitor your cholesterol levels.
To avoid these potential side effects, it is recommended to start with a small dose of MCT oil (such as 1 teaspoon) and gradually increase your intake over time. A maximum daily dose of 4-7 tablespoons (60-100 mL) has been suggested, although it is not clear what dose is needed to obtain potential health benefits.