What is MCT oil and Why You Should Use It

2.26.2021

I’m sharing another rawkstar smoothie addition today, MCT oil. What is MCT oil, it’s benefits, and how do I use it? Scroll down to find out.

Green Smoothie with MCT Oil

If you stay up-to-date on the latest superfoods to hit the market (or even if you don’t!), you’ve probably been hearing the buzz about MCT oil. Yet, even with all this buzz, you may be wondering—what is MCT oil? And how would I benefit from adding it to my diet? I’m here to give you the skinny on this healthy fat.

what is mct oil?

What is MCT oil?

MCT stands for Medium Chain Triglycerides—a type of saturated fatty acids commonly found in coconuts. Now, if you read ‘fat’ and a little alarm in your brain starts going off, hold on a second! Fats are one of the body’s primary sources of energy. They’re also important for healthy skin + hair, boosting brain function, digestion, and absorbing nutrients from food. #exhale

MCTs are different than LCTs (long chain triglycerides) in that they are processed in the liver. Therefore, they can be used as an immediate source of energy. Coconut oil—a staple in my pantry—claims to be a good source of MCTs (about 62-65 percent of the fatty acids in coconut oil), however most of these are lauric acid. Even though lauric acid is said to be an MCT, it’s not digested in the same way as caproic, caprylic, or capric acid and doesn’t provide the same energy boost for the body.

Don’t get me wrong—lauric acid has it’s own benefits and is part of why coconut oil is amazing.

When it comes to MCT oil, to get the most bang for your buck in terms of energy for your brain and body, you want to purchase a product with a small amount of lauric acid.

MCT oil benefits

Top 3 MCT oil benefits

So now that you know what MCT oil is, you may be wondering—is it for me? To help you decide, here are some of the reasons I personally use it…

You want to support your metabolism, and maybe even drop a few pounds.

The body digests MCTs quickly, then uses them as fuel, instead of storing them as body fat. Keep in mind, MCT oil is not a “magic weight loss serum.” For healthy weight loss, a healthy diet as well as good exercise, sleep, and stress management are all equally important.

You want more energy.

MCTs are unique in that they do not require energy to be absorbed or stored in the body. Since they don’t undergo a complicated digestive process, the body uses this oil as a great source of fast and sustained natural energy (waaaay better than sugary energy drinks!).

You’re vegan, paleo, or follow a plant-based diet.

Animal-based products such as grass-fed butter, cheese, and full-fat dairy products also contain MCTs. If you’re paleo, vegan or just don’t consume much dairy, then MCT oil benefits your body in a 100% plant-based way.

Research before you buy

Just like every superfood on the market, not all MCT oils are created equally. Here are few things I look for before buying a bottle:

Sustainably sourced is the best MCT oil

Many MCT oils come from a mixture of palm and coconut oils, and are not always environmentally friendly. If your MCT oil contains palm oil, then make sure it’s sustainably sourced, as well as fair trade. I buy my MCT oil from Nutiva—not only 100% derived from organic coconuts, but this company also supports and invests in their coconut farming communities. They give a portion of their sales away to programs that support sustainable agriculture.

Minimal chemicals in processing

Some MCT oils will use harsh chemicals (like hexane) during the extraction process. I don’t need a side of chemical residue in my smoothie! So definitely research how your oil is derived—you don’t want any harsh chemicals, filler oils, or additives involved. Less expensive often= more cheaply made, so quality reigns when buying.

Types of fatty acids MCT oil contains

Look for MCT oil that contains caproic, caprylic, and/or capric acid. If it contains high amounts of lauric acid, skip it. Like I said earlier, lauric acid has its own benefits, but better to get it directly from coconut oil.

favorite brand of mct oil

How to use MCT oil

There are so many ways, yet the key is to start with a SUPER small amount! This stuff is potent and can cause some serious diarrhea if you take too much. Yep, I just said that. When it comes to using it, here are my personal favs:

  • Put it in your coffee: I put 1 teaspoon in my coffee every morning. Combined with 2 tablespoons grass-fed butter, this Rawkstar Coffee (as I like to call it) keeps me full + energized until my mid-morning green smoothie.
  • Add it to your smoothies: MCT oil benefits that smoothie in SO many ways. Don’t like the taste of coconut oil? Then try this out instead!
  • Add it to salad dressing: When making an olive oil-based salad dressing, swap out some of the olive oil for MCT oil. It also works great in salad dressings that have apple cider vinegar in them (talk about a double health boost!).

Pro tip: If you add in 1 tsp of MCT oil and 2 tbs chia seeds to any of our classic green smoothie recipes, you can instantly transform it into a meal replacement green smoothie. If you’re looking for a starter smoothie to soak up those MCT benefits, then try out this digestion boost smoothie below.

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Digestion Boost Green Smoothie with MCT Oil


  • Author: Jen Hansard
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 16 oz smoothie 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

A refreshing green smoothie made with fresh veggies and fruit, with a hint of ginger + cilantro. Add in MCT oil to help jumpstart your morning!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 1 cup cucumber, diced (peeled if desired)
  • 1 medium green apple, cored (peeled if desired)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 13 teaspoons Organic MCT Oil
  • 1 serving Protein Smoothie Boost (optional)

Instructions

  1. Blend spinach, cilantro, ginger, and water, until smooth.
  2. Add cucumber, apple, lemon juice, and MCT oil, blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into glass and enjoy!

Notes

Start with 1 teaspoon MCT oil and work your way up to the full 3 teaspoons. Seriously, this stuff is powerful!

To make this smoothie cold, serve over ice.

  • Category: Smoothie
  • Method: Blending
  • Cuisine: Healthy

Keywords: cucumber smoothie, mct oil smoothie, green smoothie

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About Jen Hansard

Mom of 2, ran across the Grand Canyon and lover of smoothies, coffee & tacos. I transformed my family's health with a plant-based diet. I also found myself again along the way.

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Recipe rating

  1. Sarah says:

    I give this a 5-star pushing me outside my comfort zone. This recipe was hard core and def not as sweet as a like, but I know it’s good for me and worth doing. So thank you Jen!

  2. Kat says:

    I always feel so much smarter after reading your posts. Thanks for clarifying the difference between these two.

  3. Olivia says:

    This is my go-to smoothie when I need to ‘move things along’ if you know what I mean. It helps, and is much more natural than taking medicine.

  4. Kim says:

    I love adding MCT oil to my morning smoothie. I haven’t worked my way up to 3 teaspoons yet but can tell the difference with just a little.

  5. Amanda says:

    Can I use coconut oil in place of MCT oil?

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      Hey Amanda – great question! You can totally swap in coconut oil for MCT oil… However! MCT oil is made up of better, more digestible acids vs. the lauric acid in coconut oil. The acids in MCT oil are also responsible for a better energy boost than what you’d get from coconut oil.

  6. Erin says:

    This is helpful! I started buying MCT oil at Costco, but didn’t know that I could look for different levels of the fatty acids. I’m going to check mine out now.

  7. Linda says:

    Hi Jen,
    I have been using a tbsp of MCT oil and a tbsp of avocado oil in my daily smoothie. I’ve heard that it is best to use another ft with MCT oil. Is that too much fat?

    • SGS Rawkstar Carissa says:

      Hey Linda,

      We are always a fan of consuming healthy fats, so you should be perfectly fine! 🙂

  8. Paige O'Neill says:

    Hi Jen,
    Just started using MCT oil a little and wondering — if I put a small amount of coconut oil in my coffee, is it too much to then use MCT oil in my morning smoothie? Trying to get my oil doses down here…

    • SGS Rawkstar Amanda says:

      Hi Paige,

      I usually pick one or the other. I find MCT oil to be a great addition to smoothies, coffee, and salad dressings and I save coconut oil for baking + cooking.

      I hope this helps!

  9. Donna says:

    Yes Jen, MCT oil is the bomb ! I have been using it and feel great ! I use bullet proof XCT oil. I will check out the Nutiva brand though
    Rawkon!

    • SGS Rawkstar Amanda says:

      Hi Donna,

      Make sure + check back in. I’d love to hear your thoughts between Bullet Proof XCT oil and Nutiva!

  10. Karen says:

    Jen,
    this MCT oil is pretty high in calories for the amount. How much of this should we ‘eat’ daily to get the benefits?

    • Jen Hansard says:

      Hey Karen. This is super concentrated stuff. I recommend starting with 1 tsp and working up to 3 tsp a day max to help you get in the benefits. I do 3 tsp in my coffee at this point and love how I feel in the morning. 🙂

  11. Rosa M Lugo says:

    Hi Good Morning,
    Where can I buy this product?!

  12. Helen Lee-Williams says:

    Hi Jen, thanks for this info on MTC Oil, you said in “Do your research” “if it contains Laurie acid, forget it”, well I checked the info on the label of this product and it has some Laurie Acid, so am now curious?
    Regards, Helen

    • Jen Hansard says:

      Hey Helen. You’re so right— I goofed on that part. They is Lauric Acid is MCT oil, you just want to look for versions that have lower amounts of that than the other MCT oils (like capric and caprylic) which are gonna be more beneficial to your body.

    • Helen says:

      Thanks

  13. Kristin says:

    Thanks, Jen! I make coffee creamer using coconut milk and put that in my coffee every morning. Can I also put MCT in or is that double dosing?

    • SGS Rawkstar Amanda says:

      Hi Kristin,

      You definitely can!

    • Jen Hansard says:

      I would just add one thing— when using MCT oil (or any sort of oil.. .like butter) in your coffee It’s best to blend to together to mix it up well. Otherwise you could have a floating layer on top of oil and that’s just not very enjoyable to sip down. 😉

  14. Bita says:

    Thanks Jen! Reading this post from the beautiful island of Kauai where we are spending 2 weeks on holiday. I had not heard of MCT oil prior to your post. I have been using standard coconut oils – in moderation for it’s non-animal based healthy fat qualities. I am a health coach and work with folks trying to lose or maintain weight. Thank you for this informative post. I will be looking further into MCT oil and experimenting with it as well. Have you tried cooking or baking with it yet?

    • SGS Rawkstar Amanda says:

      HI Bita,

      Rawk on! Love that you’re sharing health + wellness with others as a health coach! MCT oil isn’t the best option for baking, but I love using it in coffee, salads, smoothies + shakes.

    • Jen Hansard says:

      Hey Bita! Kauai looks amazing!!! I want to go there so bad. One day 🙂

      I don’t cook or bake with it— just consume it in smoothies and coffees in small amounts. It would be very expensive to do much else with it and I think the benefits would go down as well when paired with baked goods. You could also add it to a salad dressing— but that’s about as adventurous as I’d be willing to go with this precious oil. 😉

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