If you’re following a ketogenic diet, you’ve no doubt heard about the benefits of MCT oil for helping you achieve and maintain that coveted state of ketosis. But with all the MCT oil products currently flooding the market, it can be difficult to figure out which is best. So if everything MCT oil has your head spinning, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’re going to break down the top five best MCT oils for ketosis, uncover what makes each of them unique, and give you all the information you need to choose the right MCT oil supplement to help you get the most out of the keto diet.
Before deciding on the right MCT oil for you, it can be helpful to know a little bit about what MCT oil is and how it can support fat burning and weight loss.
MCT oil isn’t like other types of oils that are extracted from nuts or seeds. Instead, it’s a refined oil that’s created using either coconut or palm kernel oil.
But palm and coconut oils contain different concentrations of the medium-chain triglycerides that make up MCT oil, so it takes a different process to create the oil depending on which source is used.
The medium-chain fatty acids that comprise the MCTs are caproic acid, caprylic acid, capric acid, and lauric acid. These fatty acids are made up of 6, 8, 10, and 12 carbon atoms, respectively, and are therefore sometimes known by the designations C6, C8, C10, and C12.
However, palm oil contains almost no C8 or C10, so, to create MCT oil, it must first be combined with glycerin in a process called esterification.
By contrast, MCT oil made from coconut oil is produced using a process called fractionation. During fractionation, coconut oil is heated past its melting point and then cooled to allow the long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) to separate from the MCTs.
However, most high-quality oils are made of MCTs derived from coconut oil.
Two words: purity and sustainability.
Palm oil may be a cheaper source of MCT oil than coconut oil, but most palm oil is itself extracted using hexane—a petroleum-based solvent. What’s more, palm plantations are a major contributor to rain forest destruction.
By contrast, MCT oil processed using coconut oil often comes from organic coconuts grown under more environmentally sustainable conditions.
It may seem counterintuitive, but the answer is no.
For one thing, caproic acid can smell or taste rancid, so it’s generally removed from MCT oils.
For another, lauric acid is the longest of the MCTs, so it tends to get removed with the LCTs during processing. In addition, even though lauric acid is known to possess certain health benefits, it’s not thought to provide as efficient a source of energy as caprylic acid (C8) and capric acid (C10), both of which convert easily into ketones.
And because these healthy fats boost energy levels and help the body burn fat, both caprylic acid and capric acid offer indirect health benefits by assisting in the maintenance of healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
So now you know to think more sustainably by looking for MCT oil made from coconut oil, and you’ve probably gathered that a premium MCT oil is one that contains only C8 and C10.
But that still leaves quite a few oils to choose from.
So what are the very best MCT oils for ketosis, mental clarity, energy, and endurance?
With the perfect combination of ease of use and non-GMO, paleo-friendly ingredients, Fitoru’s MCT oil softgels claim our first place rating.
Let’s face it. Most MCT oil products require you to deal with, well, oil.
What’s more, even though pure MCT oil is relatively flavorless, some people just don’t like the texture a spoonful of oil brings.
But with Fitoru’s MCT oil softgels, all you need to do is pop a single softgel with a glass of water, and you’re on your way to greater energy and endurance, fewer cravings, faster metabolism, and enhanced fat loss and mental performance.
Plus, Fitoru’s MCT oil softgels contain a powerful blend of 60% caprylic acid and 40% capric acid, which means you get all the fat-burning and health benefits of two incredibly powerful medium-chain triglycerides.
And, with no fillers, preservatives, artificial ingredients, soy, gluten, or grains, Fitoru’s MCT oil softgels offer all the benefits of MCT oil without any of the extras that can slow you down or throw you off your health and weight-loss goals.
With a 50-year history in the dietary supplement world, it’s hard to go wrong with products from Nature’s Way. And their MCT oil is no different.
Like Fitoru’s MCT oil softgels, Nature’s Way organic MCT oil contains a 60/40 blend of caprylic and capric acid, which means you get all the powerful fat-burning benefits of MCT oil.
In addition, Nature’s Way organic MCT oil is made of organic, non-GMO coconuts and is entirely vegan as well as filler and gluten free.
It’s also unflavored, which means this organic MCT oil is perfect for bulletproof coffee, smoothies, and green drinks or even salads and snacks.
Nature’s Way organic MCT oil is an all-around superb oil, but it falls at number two on our list of best MCT oils for ketosis because it lacks the convenience and ease of use found with Fitoru’s MCT oil softgels.
The MCT oil that started it all, Bulletproof Brain Octane oil, comes in at number three on our list of best MCT oils for ketosis.
Unlike the MCT oils from Fitoru and Nature’s Way, Bulletproof Brain Octane oil is pure C8 MCT oil.
What’s the difference?
Basically, for the purposes of the ketogenic diet, it comes down to ketone conversion speed. While both caprylic acid and capric acid help the body get into ketosis and thus burn fat, caprylic acid is shorter than capric acid, which means the body is able to convert it into ketones even faster.
This is a good thing, especially if you’re following a keto diet. But the difference in conversion time between C8 and C10 isn’t that substantial, and both fatty acids offer unique health benefits.
Hence, Bulletproof Brain Octane oil misses out on the top spots on our list.
The fourth MCT oil supplement to make our list of best MCT oils for ketosis is Perfect Keto MCT oil powder.
MCT oil … powder?
Sounds counterintuitive, doesn’t it?
But in the world of MCT oil, it really is a thing.
Unlike softgels or pure MCT oil, MCT oil powders are created by spraying MCT oil on a carrier to form a powder.
The main advantage of MCT oil powders is that they’re more convenient than MCT oil. However, if you’re following a ketogenic diet, they can also work against you.
Some MCT oil powders are made using ingredients like maltodextrin, which has a glycemic index approximately twice as high as table sugar—and that can spell doom if you’re trying to get into ketosis.
But Perfect Keto’s MCT oil powder is made with acacia gum, which can actually help lower blood sugar levels.
Perfect Keto MCT oil powder also contains stevia, which is a natural sugar substitute known for its ability to lower blood sugar levels.
However, Perfect Keto MCT oil powder comes in at number four on our list of best MCT oils for ketosis because it also contains natural flavors—which can mean anything—and is not quite as easy to use as Fitoru’s MCT oil softgels.
We round out our list of best MCT oils for ketosis with Sports Research MCT oil.
Unlike the other MCT oils on our list, this non-GMO oil from Sports Research contains caprylic acid, capric acid, and lauric acid—the longest of the medium-chain triglycerides.
As mentioned earlier, lauric acid is so long it’s generally removed during the production of MCT oil along with the long-chain triglycerides. What’s more, because it takes longer to convert into ketones, lauric acid is usually left out of most MCT oil products.
However, like the other medium-chain fatty acids, lauric acid still has the ability to assist with ketone production—plus, it possesses potent antibacterial properties. In fact, studies have found that lauric acid is more effective against the bacteria that cause acne than benzoyl peroxide!
So, if the benefits of lauric acid outweigh your desire for a heightened state of ketosis, Sports Research MCT oil makes an excellent choice.
This final entry on our list of best MCT oils for ketosis also highlights an important factor to keep in mind when choosing the right MCT oil for you. All of the medium-chain triglycerides offer important health benefits, from fat loss to enhanced energy and endurance to decreased risk of acne.
So, when choosing an MCT oil, remember that the right choice is all about deciding what’s most important to you.