The have seen a rise in incredible weight loss stories, with the before and after pics to prove it all over social media. And the credit has been going to one diet in particular: the ketogenic diet.
A high-fat, low-carb diet that was developed back in the 1920s as a way to treat epilepsy, the purpose of the keto diet is to get your body to get into a state of ketosis and turn it into a fat-burning machine. 
Usually, our bodies run on glycogen, an energy source made from carbs we get from foods like fruits, bread, and grains. But when we eat super low carbs on the keto diet, our body doesn’t have enough sugars to run on. It then shifts to using a different energy source called ketones, made in the liver from the breakdown of body fat. This is known as “being in ketosis” and is the reason behind the keto diet’s fat-burning and weight loss.
If you’re thinking of “going keto,” MCT oil, a beneficial keto-friendly supplement made from coconut oil (but different), is one of the healthiest and most valuable sources of fats that can help you along the way. Although functional, MCTs, which are ‘medium-chain triglycerides’, are rare to find naturally in high amounts in food alone so that a supplemental form can be a big help.
But what the heck is MCT oil used for on the ketogenic diet? And what is it perfect for?
Here we’ll break down what MCT oil is and its potential benefits so you can decide whether it might be a good fit for you on your keto journey.
What are MCTs, and What is MCT Oil?
To understand what MCT oil is and why it’s beneficial, we have to break down a little basic science behind the fats our body uses. The building blocks of fats, called fatty acids, are generally classified by how many carbon molecules of.
Long Chain (12-18 carbon atoms): Most of the fats in our diet are long-chain fatty acids (LCTs). Our digestive system needs bile and pancreatic juices to break these down to be used for energy.
Short Chain (0-6 carbon atoms): Most short-chain fatty acids are made by the fermentation of fiber by the friendly bacteria in our colon. These are mainly used to feed the gut wall lining.
Medium Chain (7-12 carbon atoms):
Medium-chain fatty acids, or MCTs, can be found in in dairy foods like butter, milk, full-fat yogurt, and palm oil. Coconut oil is the richest source of MCTs, with a concentration of about 60%. They can be separated from whole coconut oil with a unique process, which leaves us with MCT oil.
Here are some benefits of MCTs on a keto diet:
- They’re easily used for energy by cells. Because of their unique chemical structure, MCTs to digest the same way long-chain fatty acids do.
- MCTs are quickly absorbed and then sent straight to the liver to be immediately used for energy by the body.
- MCTs are a great way to boost energy while on the keto diet.
And unlike LCTs, MCTs are stored as ketones in our body instead of body fat.