You might be wondering right at the outset of this article why people fast in the first place.
Why do people follow this ancient eating method? After all, Jesus from the Bible fasted, and Hippocrates, the ‘Father of Medicine’ recommended fasting too, to his patients.
Fasting varies in the number of days you fast and the calorie allowances.
Look at the differences between intermittent fasting and traditional fasting .
In modern times, with intermittent fasting, people have been known to break their fasting by taking some MCT oil.
MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides.
That’s a type of fat that you get in oils like palm oil and coconut oil. MCT oil has also gained in popularity as a supplement.
It has also received much interest as a result of the popularity of the ketogenic diet as well .
And when you consider it, not all fats are created equal.
Healthy fats are considered polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.
An example of polyunsaturated fats is omega 3-fatty acids. They play a huge role in regulating inflammation in the body. Examples of monounsaturated fats are found in canola and olive oils.
Foods, where monounsaturated fats are found, are avocados, pecan, hazelnuts, and seeds like sesame and pumpkin seeds.
Can You Use MCT Oil While Fasting? The Pros And Cons
What about MCT oil and fasting though?
Some people might not be aware that other people fast, or why they fast – while others wonder whether MCT oil will break their fast.
Did you know that fasting is actually an ancient practice; observed by many religions and cultures over thousands of years?
But with the renewed interest in health and wellness in our modern age, many people look back into the past and try and practice what their ancient forefathers believed in and practiced.
For instance, Hippocrates, the ‘Father of Medicine’ made recommendations to people about abstaining from eating food and drink for certain health benefits.
Fasting can range anywhere from 12 hours in a day to several days. Jesus fasted in the Wilderness for 40 days! (See Matthew 4:1-11).
Does fasting really help with health issues?
Fasting allows your body to detoxify and repair cells. Are you interested in fasting?
Then you only should drink water and eat and drink nothing else. Anything that breaks your fast will be any food or drinks that contain calories.
So in answer to the above question, “Does MCT oil break a fast?” – The answer to that is yes.
If you do want to experience intermittent fasting, consult with your doctor – it is not for everyone.
But when done correctly, fasting can be very effective in improving your health.
One should remember that Biblical fasting is about spiritual fasting and intermittent fasting today is more about health.
Many people that are fasting often find that their energy levels need a boost.
Many of them believe that MCT oil will do the trick. But others believe that if you are fasting, taking MCT oil will surely break a fast.
The reason is that it is high in calories.
Fasting has physical and mental benefits
- Improves circulation
- Reduces inflammation
- Boosts brain function
- Promotes weight loss
- Reduces stress levels
- Improves mood
- Improves overall health
- Fasting is often used to help people to recover from mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety .
Are you on a strict fast?
If you want to follow a strict fast, then you might have decided you are not going to have any supplements while you are fasting.
Some people want to see how MCT oil works for them, and if it affects their goals and progress.
For instance, if you are trying to lose weight, then you would need to consider whether you should include an MCT oil in your diet.
MCT oil has been thought to promote weight loss.
On the keto diet, it is encouraged to eat natural fat.
Some say if you are trying to lose weight, stay away from consuming fat, particularly when you are fasting
The idea behind this is that when you fast, you encourage the body to use its own body fat for energy.
The more outside fat you consume while fasting, the less fat the body will need to burn from your fat store.
MCT oil can also quell hunger pangs – it makes you feel full and stops you from eating a high-calorie meal.
Many people say that when they use MCT oil during fasting their blood sugar levels don’t rise
Research suggests MCT oil doesn’t affect your insulin levels. In fact, it is thought to actually improve insulin sensitivity . This makes insulin work better in the body.
Real fasting is not about restricting food; it’s cutting out food entirely
As soon as you eat something, you break the fast. Today, you get modified fasting.
This way of fasting is particularly for millions of people who follow the keto diet, of which MCT oil has become increasingly popular.
In saying that, though, just a small dose of good quality oil like MCT won’t disrupt your intermittent fast.
The key here is to keep the MCT oil dose to minimal amounts. When you keep the dose to a minimum, your blood levels won’t spike and your total calorie intake is not affected much.
Is intermittent fasting required on the keto diet?
You don’t need to do intermittent fasting in order to reach ketosis. It is a good tool, though if you do want to reach ketosis quickly. When you follow a well-rounded and healthy keto diet, it is actually sufficient for improving health by cutting down on carbs.
If you are on the paleo diet or the keto diet, 100% MCT oil is a pure source of healthy fats. So it will make a welcome addition to these diets. Just choose 100% real pure MCT oil, like coconuts for instance. Don’t buy oil with any artificial ingredients added or flavors, or other added low-quality oils.
Some more important facts about MCT oil
- MCT oil is 100% MCTs. This makes it the most concentrated source of MCTs compared to other oils like palm or coconut. You find MCTs also in butter, milk products like cheese, and palm kernel oil. Butter made from cattle that are grass-fed consists of about 8% of MCTs.
- Recommended dosage: It is recommended that you start with one teaspoon and increase this amount slowly to 1-tablespoon per day. Some people can tolerate up to 6 tablespoons a day, consumed throughout the day. But still, speak to a dietician to determine what will be the right dose for you.
- You could try taking MCT oil for a couple of days to boost your energy levels. Then you could stop taking it on the fourth day. MCT oil will give you the boost and fuel your need to endure a long fast. One or two MCT tablespoons daily are fine to take. Doing just short fasts, you could add MCT oil a few hours before your first meal of the day.
- Some say MCT oil prevents autophagy while fasting. Autophagy  refers to the breakdown and recycling of old cells. Autophagy is your body throwing out the rubbish. No one knows for sure whether MCT oil prevents or slows down autophagy yet. Some experts believe that the more MCT oil you consume when you are fasting, the less autophagy takes place. Autophagy happens when you don’t have a whole lot of energy from fasting. Some people’s goal is actually to stimulate autophagy; then they won’t in all likelihood take an MCT oil supplement.
Experts say that MCT oil might not be safe for people who suffer from diabetes or liver disease, nor for women who are breastfeeding or pregnant .
But if you do decide to use MCT oil, take it slowly in the beginning. Make sure you don’t experience digestive discomfort – that means the difference between a good product and a not-so-good product.
Most people who are into health, fitness, and intermittent fasting know about MCT oil and how they can use it in their diets to achieve maximal health benefits.
Just adding a tablespoon of MCT oil to your day before you leave for the office will help you to feel fuller for longer.
Apart from that, we have shown you other benefits it has when added to a healthy diet.
Some experts will recommend using both MCT oil and other fasting oil to improve your general health.
Nevertheless, it is recommended that you save the MCT oil till your fasting period is over.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are there any pros to taking MCT oil?
There are some good reasons for taking MCT oil. These are:
- Many say it has helped with weight loss
- Feelings of satisfaction afterward, like a full feeling
- Increased energy and stamina
- Cognitive performance improvement
- Ketone production. Ketones are substances that are produced when the liver breaks down fat.
- Ketones can be used by the brain for energy instead of sugar or glucose
- Lowered cholesterol
- Lowered blood sugar levels
Are there any cons to taking MCT oil?
- MCT oil shouldn’t be used for cooking as it has a low smoke point. Rather use solid coconut oil instead.
- Remember that taking MCT oil adds extra calories and fats to a person’s diet. It could lead to them gaining weight; after all, a tablespoon of MCT oil has around 120 calories
- MCT oil has been created from different food oil versions, and so is not considered a natural product. The sources of MCT oil is from coconut oil, palm kernel oil, butter, and milk.
How often and how much MCT oil should I take every day?
Healthline says that you can take a maximum daily dose of 4–7 tablespoons (60–100 mL). Remember though, that if you are trying to lose weight, this will be too much.
Is MCT oil anti-inflammatory?
Yes, it is. So you can see there is a great benefit to be had by taking MCT oils! Studies show  that MCT oil can have an effect on inflammatory responses. MCT oil has been found to increase the number of anti-inflammatory cytokines while reducing the number of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
Isn’t there a special fat shake recipe you can recommend using MCT oil?
This is a quick and easy way to achieve gains at the gym and to get in a whole heap of calories:
- 1-2 raw eggs
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon MCT oil
- 1 tablespoon cream cheese
- 1 squirt of vanilla cream stevia
- 1 scoop of vanilla whey protein powder
- 3 ice cubes
- Add it all to a blender until smooth
-  https://sites.psu.edu/siowfa16/2016/09/15/intermittent-fasting-vs-traditional-fasting-and-dieting/
-  https://ketologic.com/blogs/articles/mct-oil-keto
-  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23332541/
-  https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320251
-  https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/autophagy
-  https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/2019/02/05/what-mct-oil-diet-cocounut-oil-medium-chain-triglycerides/2657374002/
-  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6915711/