Log In
Blog /
Guides Nutrition
7 min read

Does MCT Oil Break a Fast?

Profile Picture
Kasparas Aleknavičius, MD November 4, 2022

Intermittent fasting involves periodic breaks from eating. This practice is one of the favorites in the health and fitness world for losing weight, providing an energy boost, and other additional health benefits.

To reap the perks of intermittent fasting, however, requires significant effort and calorie restriction during fasting windows.

You must be mindful of what you put into your body during the fasting period so you don’t break your fast and hinder your weight loss efforts. While food intake is off limits for sure, the safety of supplements and beverages is often unclear.

So, does MCT oil break a fast? Keep reading as we bring you everything you need to know about MCT oil and intermittent fasting.

Take a
1-minute quiz

and discover how much weight you can lose with DoFasting!

What Breaks a Fast?

Breaking a fast means bringing your fasting period to an end, whether intentionally or unintentionally. It occurs when you return to consuming calories. If you break your fast too early, you may miss out on the potential benefits that fasting brings.

Strictly speaking, consuming any number of calories in the fasting window will break your fast. Some modified fasting methods, however, allow up to 25% of caloric needs that won’t physically end the fast or prevent you from getting the health benefits.

That said, taking in zero calories is the only way to maintain a truly fasted state. When you return to eating, glucose levels rise, and the body returns to using carbs for fuel. It reverts to a normal metabolic state, no longer burning stored fat for energy.

If you’re new to fasting, use the DoFasting app to manage your chosen fasting method. DoFasting makes the fasting process a lot easier as it monitors your progress, records your caloric intake, offers guidance, and provides recipes to help you get the most out of your diet.

Does MCT Oil Break a Fast?

The human body rapidly transports and absorbs MCT oil, converting it into ketones and providing a quick energy boost. It contains plenty of healthy fats that your body converts into fuel instead of glucose from your usual carb intake.

Ultimately, whether or not MCT oil breaks a fast is a matter of opinion. Since the MCT oil supplement is not calorie-free, it does technically break a fast. For this reason, some people avoid MCT oil entirely.

However, a small number of calories will not completely destroy your progress, but it is imperative to monitor your dosage.

In fact, MCT oils can support your fasting journey by curbing your appetite and giving you much-needed energy when you’re struggling. MCT oil travels differently through the digestive system, essentially bypassing the process.

If fasting for ketosis, MCT oil will not break your efforts. Intake of MCTs can help you reach ketosis faster as they enhance ketone production. MCT oil has little time to store as body fat, and small amounts do not spike insulin levels.

Therefore, consuming MCT oil doesn’t truly break a fast.

When using MCT oil during the fasting period, it’s best to start small and see how your body adapts. MCT oil contains calories, so monitoring your intake is critical. Aside from breaking a fast, too much MCT oil can adversely affect your gut health.

1-2 teaspoons should do the trick. Try adding it to a calorie-free beverage, like your cup of coffee.

What Is MCT Oil, and Where Does It Come From?

MCT oil is a supplement made from medium-chain triglycerides—a unique type of fat. Medium chain triglycerides contain four fatty acids: caproic acid, caprylic acid, capric acid, and lauric acid. The fat is lab-manufactured to produce MCT oil.

MCT oil and coconut oil have similarities but are two different things. MCT oil is a pure concentration of MCTs sourced from coconut oil and palm oil. Coconut oil comes from the flesh of coconuts and contains around 50% MCTs.

Medium-chain triglycerides are metabolized differently from the long-chain triglycerides present in most foods. As the fatty acids in MCT oil are shorter than long-chain fatty acids, they are broken down easier and absorbed immediately into the bloodstream.

Coconut oil contains longer-chain fatty acids that take slightly longer to digest than MCT oil, although it does digest more quickly than other fats.

Consuming MCT oil has many health benefits, from improving insulin sensitivity to primarily boosting energy and banishing hunger pangs. The healthy fats quickly reach the liver and break down into ketones—an instant and alternative energy source that encourages your body to burn fat.

Curbing hunger while fasting can help you keep on track and enhance your ability to power through.

Take a
1-minute quiz

and discover how much weight you can lose with DoFasting!

4 Benefits of Taking MCT Oil During Intermittent Fasting

So, we’ve established that MCT oil won’t harm your fast. Now, let’s look at 4 additional benefits you can enjoy when you use MCT oil while fasting.

1. Promotes fat burning

MCT oil is a fat-burning product that may enhance the metabolic effectiveness of fasting. It is closely associated with the keto diet as the liver converts it into ketones, helping facilitate ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state that transitions your body into fat-burning mode.

Adding MCT oil to your fasting diet can speed up ketosis so you can start burning fat and losing weight more quickly.

2. Promotes weight loss

In promoting fat loss, MCT oil simultaneously supports weight loss.

Swapping long-chain triglycerides consumption with medium-chain triglycerides may reduce body weight. Studies also show that MCT-enriched diets can help manage obesity and other metabolic diseases.

3. Suppresses the feeling of hunger and promotes satiety

MCT oil combined with intermittent fasting can help you lose weight by promoting satiety and curbing hunger pangs. Managing your appetite is essential during a fast, as excessive food cravings increase your likelihood of breaking the fast.

By reducing your appetite, you’re more likely to maintain your fast. During the eating period, consumption of MCT oil may help you reduce the amount of food you eat by keeping you feeling full for longer.

4. Improves brain function

As MCT oil boosts ketones, it may help improve brain health. When there is no glucose, ketone bodies become a primary energy source for the brain, facilitating changes in the brain’s metabolism.

Therefore, MCT oil may help with brain fog and improve mental clarity while the brain is operating without its usual fuel source.

How To Use MCT Oil in Your Diet?

MCT oil can be taken alone or with food and drinks. To eliminate the inclusion of extra calories in your diet alongside MCT oil, it’s best to take it with a zero-calorie beverage. For example, you could add MCT oil to your morning coffee or tea.

You can benefit from taking MCTs in the morning at the beginning of your fast. That way, you can experience increased energy levels and satiety at the start of your day, which may help you power through your fast.

How much MCT oil you take depends on your fasting plan. Depending on how many calories your schedule allows, you may want to take one dose early in the day and another later to boost your energy.

Some people prefer taking it during the eating window to promote satiety before the fast begins. Ultimately, you can add MCT oil to your diet in the way that best suits you and your eating pattern.

Generally, daily consumption is considered safe as long as you limit your intake. Taking more MCT oil than you need to get the benefits can quickly lead to an overload of calories that may break your fast.

Outside of fasting, the general consumption recommendation is no more than 4-7 tablespoons per day.

Take a
1-minute quiz

and discover how much weight you can lose with DoFasting!

Conclusion

So, does MCT oil break a fast?

Technically, it does. Consuming any amount of calories in the fasting window breaks a fast. However, in the right doses, MCT oil can be an excellent addition to your periodic fasting plan. It can promote weight loss by keeping you full for longer and switching your body into fat-burning mode by increasing ketone production.

MCT oil has a fair amount of calories, so always be mindful of your overall calorie intake during fasting and eating periods. Stick to small doses, and you can reap the many health benefits of this heart-healthy fat.

Author

Profile Picture
Kasparas Aleknavičius, MD
  • Head of Medical Affairs at Kilo Health
  • Medical Doctor at Vilnius University, Lithuania
  • Partnering with the EU-funded Young50 and EUPAP projects

Kasparas Aleknavicius is a medical doctor that graduated from Vilnius University, working as head of medical affairs at Kilo Health. After nearly 5 years in the industry, Kasparas focuses on digital health and is looking for innovative ways to help people lead healthy lifestyles through digital health and wellness platforms.

You can find Kasparas on LinkedIn and follow his latest research on Medium.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

See how DoFasting will improve your life

Find out what works for you with this 60-sec quiz approved by our experts and get your personal revolutionary fasting assistant.

Start the Quiz
Image
Take a 1-minute quiz and discover how much weight you can lose with DoFasting!
Start the quiz