MCT Oil and Intermittent Fasting

Posted on October 4th, 2022

Today, intermittent fasting is a popular lifestyle choice. People all over the world follow this eating plan hoping to boost their health.  Many believe that intermittent fasting will lead to weight loss and a long life. It can also help with ketosis (when your body burns fat for fuel instead of glucose).

There are many different ways to practice intermittent fasting. That’s because your method of fasting depends on how long you go between periods of eating and fasting. With intermittent fasting, you avoid consuming calories for a specific amount of time. But that time frame varies from person to person.

Warding off hunger is one of the hardest parts of any fast. To help avoid hunger pangs, some people include MCT oil in their diets. So how can MCT oil be used for intermittent fasting? Before we dive in, let’s take a deeper look at what intermittent fasting is, what MCT oil is, and how MCT oil may be used to help intermittent fasting. 

Woman looking into fridge after intermitten fastingWhat Is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasters stop consuming food for specific durations. So what might that look like? You can fast for 12 hours overnight. Or, you can opt to fast for a longer period. You could also choose to fast for specific stretches during the day.

Now, this type of eating plan isn’t exactly new. People have practiced fasting for centuries, for religious or medical reasons. And, over the years fasting has yielded lots of health benefits.

Today, many people see intermittent fasting as a great way to lose weight. It does help limit your calories. But weight loss isn’t the only potential benefit of intermittent fasting. Instead, it’s reported to offer numerous other benefits. And it’s all tied to something known as autophagy, which helps your body clean its own cells.

Autophagy also clears out dysfunctional cells from your body. It repairs damaged cells and eliminates harmful cells that could cause disease. Once cleaning is complete, your body can self-heal.

Fasting may be an effective way to induce autophagy. Your body’s energy is able to focus on repairs when you fast since it isn’t wasting energy on digestion. Adopting a ketogenic diet is another way to induce autophagy.

What Is MCT Oil?

Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are a popular ketogenic diet supplement. They are fats that our bodies metabolize differently than short or long-chain ones due to their chemical structure. They aren’t stored but convert instead to ketones.

We derive the term “medium-chain” from the number of carbon molecules in MCTs. They contain between 6 and 12 carbon molecules.

Incorporating MCT oil into your diet may help reduce hunger. These supplements may also help you stick to your fast for a longer period.

MCTs may offer other health benefits, too. These could include:

  • Boosts metabolism
  • Improve athletic performance
  • Maintain healthy levels of cholesterol
  • Help with gut health

Will MCT Oil Break Intermittent Fasting?

Any substance that you consume breaks your fast… if you trigger an insulin response. For instance, coffee contains no calories. So you won’t break your fast by drinking plain black coffee because it won’t get your insulin going. But add some milk or sugar? The whole picture changes. 

Now, technically speaking, consuming MCT oil breaks your fast. After all, MCT oil is a high-calorie food. But, your MCT oil doesn’t really impact your digestion process. So you can use MCT oil before you fast and during the eating period to prevent hunger later on.

Even better? MCT oil makes you feel satiated. Satiation is the state of being fed or fullness. MCT oil may also help you think clearly. And many people report that it gives enough energy to get through the day.

What Forms Does MCT Oil Come in?

MCTs exist in several forms. Most MCT oils contain capric and caprylic acid. You can blend these two acids, or enjoy them alone.

Coconut oil produces higher quality MCT oils because it contains lauric acid. You can blend coconut oil with MCT oil for optimal results.

You can buy MCT oil, pills, or powder. Some consider the oil to be messy and prefer the powder as it may be easier to handle. However, oil is the purest source of MCTs. So it might be your best option.

MCT oil coconut oilChoosing the Best MCT Oil

There’s a lot to think about when you buy MCT oil. For the best results, choose C8 or C10 blends of MCTs. They have higher levels of ketone boost per calorie. Which means they are better fat burners.

You also have to think about MCT oil’s compatibility with intermittent fasting. Does it have ingredients that will break your fast? It’s also important to think about quality. GMO coconuts may compromise MCT oil. Instead, look for a pure product with a clean manufacturing process. This MCT oil won’t have contaminants.

Don’t compromise on purity, either. MCT oil shouldn’t contain fillers or extra ingredients. Additives may interfere with the supplement’s purity.

Safety is also key. Look for a third-party tested supplement with a long shelf life.

Are There Risks Involved in Taking MCT Oil?

MCT oil is safe for oral use. Almost anyone can take this supplement. But some people may experience side effects. For instance, MCT oil isn’t recommended if you have diabetes. It can boost your body’s ketones.

In rare cases, MCT oil can irritate your digestive tract. If this happens, you may have diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or gas. If you experience any of these symptoms, avoid MCT oil.

There are some people who should avoid this supplement. If you’re pregnant, MCT oil may not be safe. We just don’t have enough research to say it is. People with liver conditions should also avoid MCT oil. At least until we have more available safety research.

Are There Risks Associated With Intermittent Fasting?

You may increase your risk of heart and kidney problems when you fast for an extended period of time. Don’t fast if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or have diabetes, or if you’ve ever been instructed not to by a healthcare provider. 

You should also speak to your doctor if you follow a ketogenic diet for your medical safety. He or she will have to clear you for fasting.

You should take a break from intermittent fasting if you feel lightheaded or dizzy. Be sure to drink lots of water when fasting to stay hydrated.

Figuring Out the Right MCT Oil Doses for You

Consuming MCT oil can cause side effects such as diarrhea or stomach irritation. Start with small doses to help avoid these side effects. Then work your way up to larger ones, if you need to.

What’s a small dose? Start with one teaspoon a day. And work up to a large dose of up to three tablespoons every day. Remember, we don’t know the best daily dose. Experts recommend taking between 2 and 54 milliliters each day.

The timing of your dose also makes a difference. Try taking one dose of MCT oil at the start of your fast. This may help you maintain enough energy to get through your day. It could also help burn more fat.

Final Thoughts

MCT oil supplements can support intermittent fasting. Each of these may be used to help achieve various goals, and some may even use to help their weight loss journey. Even alone, MCT oil may help you lose weight. But, it’s important to keep your daily MCT oil doses in check. This will help you limit your calorie intake during intermittent fasting and avoid any unwanted side effects.

As mentioned, MCT oil and intermittent fasting may help you lose weight. But always be sure to clear new diets and supplements with your doctor before beginning. You should also consider making other changes to your diet. One change to implement is when you are eating, choose nutrient-rich foods.

Many people decide to introduce MCT oil to support metabolism, maintain healthy levels of cholesterol, maintain gut health, and boost athletic performance. And, when you use MCT oil, either to support fasting or for other benefits, always look for quality. This should deliver better results. And it should make MCT oil a great addition to your intermittent fasting lifestyle.  

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