What are MCTs: A Perfect Primer for Everything You Need to Know
MCTs are very popular among those on a low-carb or ketogenic diet. This article goes over the basics of what MCTs are and how to add it to your daily regimen.
What are MCTs?
MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides) are the key fat molecules found in coconut oil. MCTs are an amazing source of fuel for the body with many clinically studied health benefits.
What are the benefits of consuming MCTs?
Highly ketogenic [1,2]
Helps you feel fuller longer [3,4]
Decreases your appetite [5,6]
Promotes weight loss [3,4,7,8,9]
Promotes fat oxidation [10,11,12]
Boosts metabolism [10,11,12]
Can MCTs cause stomach issues?
Foods high in MCTs may cause gastrointestinal distress in some people. This is particularly common when beginning a diet containing MCTs. They can cause nausea, abdominal cramping, and diarrhea.
What can I do to prevent GI discomfort when consuming MCTs?
If you’re new to consuming MCTs, start slowly and build up gradually. Your body will get used to digesting MCTs and any GI discomfort will subside in a few days. For example, if you are starting a regimen that includes KetoLogic® KetoMeal®, we recommend that you:
Start with half of a serving or less mixed into 8 ounces of cold water.
Add ice (this will likely cause you to drink it slower).
Sip it slowly (over an hour).
Build up to a full serving over the course of a few days.
Start with 1 teaspoon and sip slowly. Add it to your coffee, tea, or smoothie.
Work your way up to a full tablespoon over a few days.
What is the shelf life of MCT oil?
MCT oil generally has a shelf life of two years. All MCT oil bottles have a “best by” date but it can last longer than that if stored properly. The best way to store MCT oil is in a cool, dry, and dark place (away from sunlight), such as the pantry or in a cupboard (away from your stove and any other heat sources). You can also store it in your refrigerator to extend its shelf life. Unlike coconut oil, it will not become solid when chilled.
Once you open your MCT oil, oxidation starts which can shorten the shelf life. Make sure you seal the bottle tightly after each use, and store it away from heat and sunlight. If you do that, your MCT oil should last the full two years (and possibly even longer) after being opened.
Another option is to buy MCT oil in single-serve packets. These should also be stored in a cool pantry, but you won’t need to worry about any impacts of oxidation after the packet is opened since you’ll use it up right away.
What is the shelf life of MCT powder?
MCT oil also comes in powder form. The powder form has a shorter shelf life than MCT oil. It’s generally good for at least one year. Once opened, the quality can start deteriorating, and clumping can happen over time. The best way to minimize clumping is to store it in a pantry or cupboard that is cool, dry, and dark. Shaking it prior to each use will help keep the powder loose.
In closing, MCT oil is a great supplement for those on a low-carb or ketogenic diet. They are linked to many health benefits, including weight loss and improved energy. You can learn more about MCTs by reading this comprehensive guide to MCTs.
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