Recently, I’ve been getting an overwhelming amount of questions regarding MCT oils, specifically coconut oil. Many have questions in regard to its impact on ketosis, especially while on the HCG diet. It’s quite coincidental, because this particular subject is what’s been dominating a majority of my current research.
This is both good and bad. It’s good because I have a lot of the answers my readers are pursing. It’s bad because all of this new research has me re-rewriting a lot of the content of my new book. It’s that good and relevant. But as is life, you gotta take the bad with the good, right?

Coconut oil is MCT oil, but MCT oil isn’t necessarily coconut oil 

Is that slippery enough for you? Before we discuss these oils and how they relate to ketosis, let’s first define them, because I was a bit confused at first too.  Let’s use an example – when you eat an orange the main vitamin you’re consuming is what? Vitamin C.  However, when you buy “vitamin C” tablets from the local drugstore you’re getting a compound called ascorbic acid.  Ascorbic acid and vitamin C are identical molecules but one of them is natural and the other is manufactured in a laboratory.

The same can be said for MCT oil and coconut oil.  An MCT oil is simply a Medium Chain Triglyceride that is manufactured in a laboratory.  Coconut oil however is a naturally-occurring Medium Chain Triglyceride. 

There are benefits to both the manufactured MCT oils as well as naturally occurring MCT oils found not only in coconut oil, but in palm oil, butter and even milk. Although the latter of the two contain very small concentrations of MCT oil. The primary benefit to the manufactured MCT oils is they are usually 100% pure MCT.  As a result, this makes them more efficient, but not necessarily better.  Like the ascorbic acid manufactured in a laboratory, you don’t get the other essential vitamins and minerals that come with the orange.  The same can be said for naturally occurring MCTS such as coconut oil. With the coconut oil, you get all the other good stuff that only nature can provide.

Coconut oil is roughly 60% MCT. Within that 60% there are 3 different MCT oils.

The 3 Different MCTs in Coconut Oil

  1. Lauric Acid
  2. Caprylic Acid
  3. Capric Acid

All three are legit MCT oils, but Lauric Acid is the money maker. It has a ton of anti-microbial properties. In fact, the only other naturally occurring substance with higher concentrations of Lauric Acid is breast milk. It’s good stuff.

I could go on regarding the bio-chemistry of MCT oils, but I think this gives you enough information to understand the difference, or better said, similarities, between the two. Now let’s talk about how these oils/fats, can facilitate ketosis.

How MCT Oil and Coconut Oil Enhance Ketosis

It’s true, both MCT oil and coconut oil enhance ketosis. Not all that long ago, it was assumed that the only way to induce ketosis was to deprive the body of carbohydrates. This is essentially true, but it’s now being discovered that ketosis is what’s called a feed forward process. That means ketosis induces more ketosis. It’s a feeds itself.

The more ketones your liver produces, the more prolonged your state of ketosis will be. Now, hypothetically, if you were to have a bad day and eat an overabundant amount of carbs, you could easily slip out of ketosis and the switch get’s turned off.  Previous research would say that this means you have to start process over. One again reducing carbs and suffering through the transitional stage as your body switches from carbs and glycogen as an energy source to ketones. The hallmarks of this are hunger, lethargy and straight up miserableness.

However, it’s now being shown that the addition of MCTs, specifically a tertiary ketone called beta-hydroxy-butrate, will fuel ketosis and allow you to stay in the weight loss “sweet spot” even if you slip up and have a bad day. You could say that MCTs are a precursor to the ketones produced by the liver in an optimal state of ketosis.

It’s important to remember that MCT oil alone will NOT induce ketosis. If you were to consume MCTs and/or copious amounts coconut oil on a 2000 calorie/day Standard American Diet, you would only be adding additional calories. This would likely cause you to gain weight. However, if you’re participating in a low-carb diet like the HCG 2.0 diet, the addition of MCTs will likely prolong and even enhance your current state of ketosis. Not only will this result in rapid weight loss and fat burning, but you’ll also be more energized.  Many report better performance and clearness of thought while in an enhanced state of ketosis. If you’re familiar with Bullet Proof coffee, it’s the same concept.

So if you’re questioning whether to add coconut oil or MCT oil to  your HCG diet protocol, the answer all depends upon timing. My advice would be to wait until you’re losing weight. If you’re testing yourself with keto strips, when you begin to test positive, add 2 to 3 tables spoons of MCT oil or coconut oil per day. Do this for a couple of days see what happens. If you’re curious as to which is better for your HCG diet MCT or coconut oil, they’re both good.

Since stumbling upon this research, I’ve altered my morning ritual to include a large teaspoon of coconut oil and about a half scoop (4-6 grams) of pure MCT powder in my morning coffee. I’ll also add a bit of protein such as a hard-boiled egg. My goal isn’t weight loss, it’s energy and clearness of though and I thoroughly believe that its working.

So give it a try and see what happens. Also try putting it in your hair. See the benefits here.  If you have questions leave them below as a comment.

To your success,

 

Dr. Zach