Best MCT Oils in 2022: Product Reviews from a Dietician

MCT Oil


Low-carbohydrate diets are popular again, and the ketogenic or "keto" diet is part of the low-carb trend. Oil made from medium-chain triglycerides, or MCT oil, is often used in the keto diet. On top of being useful for the ketogenic diet, MCT oil may have many potential health benefits.

Some possible benefits include weight loss, decreased appetite, decreased body fat, and improved athletic performance. In this product review, we'll explain what MCT oil is, cover more benefits of MCT oil, how to use it, and review MCT oil product options.

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The Best MCT Oil - Our Top Picks

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Best Overall MCT Oil - BUBS Naturals MCT Oil Powder

BUBS Naturals MCT Oil Powder

SPECS

  • Serving size: 10g scoop
  • Calories per serving: 70 calories
  • Protein per serving: 0g
  • Carbs per serving: 3g
  • Fats per serving: 5g
  • Source of MCT: Highly refined coconut oil

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When the ketogenic diet was first ramping up in popularity a few years back, it seemed like the only choices for MCT oils were bottles of coconut oil liquid and capsules. But now, MCT oil powders like this one from BUBS Naturals are rising in popularity, and they offer some distinct benefits. For one, they blend more naturally in both hot (e.g., coffee) and cold (e.g., protein shakes), without adding a greasy texture. At 70 calories and 5 grams of fat per serving, this is also on the low end among MCT products but offers the same benefits for keto dieters as liquids: craving control and a boost in mental clarity when carbs are super-low.

To be clear, MCT oil powder is different from liquid oils in that it is mixed with tapioca starch to create a free-flowing powder. Yes, that means it’s not totally carb-free. But if an extra 3 grams of carbs kick you out of ketosis, well, that means you’re already riding the line. But if you’ve got your low-carb strategy under control, these carbs are worth saving room for!

What We Like

  • Mixes easily into both hot and cold liquids
  • No greasy or oily texture in coffee compared with liquid MCTs
  • Some reviewers find them easier on the stomach than liquid MCTs

What We Don't Like

  • 3g of carbs from tapioca starch, so not totally carb-free
  • Not as dense a fat source as some other MCT oils per serving

BUY: BUBS Naturals MCT Oil Powder

Best Premium - Bulletproof Brain Octane C8 MCT Oil

Bulletproof Brain Octane C8 MCT Oil

SPECS

  • Serving size: 1 tbsp
  • Calories per serving: 130 calories
  • Protein per serving: 0g
  • Carbs per serving: 0g
  • Fats per serving: 14g
  • Source of MCT: Highly refined coconut oil

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Bulletproof Brain Octane C8 MCT oil is gluten-free and non-GMO. It is made from 100 percent C8 fatty acids, or caprylic acid. The product website claims that this MCT oil may help increase fat burning, cognitive performance, and energy while decreasing food cravings.

This premium MCT oil product seems to be marketed most heavily to people on the ketogenic diet but can be used by anyone. The company suggests working your way up to the full one tablespoon daily serving to make sure you tolerate it.

What We Like

  • Single ingredient; only contains MCT oil from highly refined coconut oil
  • Flavorless, so it should be easy to add to savory sauces, coffee, or smoothies
  • The company's website has resources such as recipes to help you incorporate MCT oil

What We Don't Like

  • Lack of evidence that this particular product provides the benefits it claims

BUY: Bulletproof Brain Octane C8 MCT Oil

Best MCT Oil for Keto - Nature's Way MCT Oil

Nature's Way MCT Oil

SPECS

  • Serving size: 1 tbsp
  • Calories per serving: 130 calories
  • Protein per serving: 0g
  • Carbs per serving: 0g
  • Fats per serving: 14g
  • Source of MCT: Organic coconut oil

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Nature's Way MCT Oil is flavorless and odorless, so it can be easily mixed into the food or beverage of your choice. The label suggests taking 1 tablespoon 1-3 times daily, but it would be advisable to start with a smaller dose and monitor your GI tolerance.

This product is certified vegan, organic, gluten-free, and non-GMO. In addition, it has been certified paleo and keto.

What We Like

  • No filler ingredients; made from only organic coconut oil
  • Flavorless and odorless, so easy to mix into food and drinks
  • Certified for the keto diet

What We Don't Like

  • The serving suggestion of up to 3 tablespoons per day may cause GI distress if not carefully incorporated into the diet

BUY: Nature's Way MCT Oil

Best MCT Oil for Weight Loss - Sports Research Organic MCT Oil

Sports Research Organic MCT Oil

SPECS

  • Serving size: 1 tbsp
  • Calories per serving: 130 calories
  • Protein per serving: 0g
  • Carbs per serving: 0g
  • Fats per serving: 14g
  • Source of MCT: Organic coconut oil

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Sports Research Organic MCT oil is USDA-certified organic, vegan, keto certified, non-GMO project verified, and certified paleo. Many users state in their reviews that they enjoy adding this MCT oil to their morning coffee since it is flavorless.

The combination of C8 and C10 fatty acids in this oil may help with weight loss, though more research is needed to prove this benefit.

What We Like

  • This MCT oil has a single ingredient and no fillers
  • Unflavored and odorless

What We Don't Like

  • Suggested serving size of up to 3 tablespoons per day could cause GI side effects

BUY: Sports Research Organic MCT Oil

Best MCT Oil Powder - Perfect Keto MCT Oil C8 Powder

Perfect Keto MCT Oil C8 Powder

SPECS

  • Serving size: 1 tbsp
  • Calories per serving: 70-80 calories
  • Protein per serving: 0g
  • Carbs per serving: 3-4g
  • Fats per serving: 7g
  • Source of MCT: Coconut cream powder

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Unlike many other MCT products, the Perfect Keto MCT Oil C8 Powder comes in powder form. The Perfect Keto MCT oil comes in unflavored but also in many creative flavors, such as matcha latte, cinnamon toast, salted caramel, and peanut butter.

All of the MCT oil powders are gluten-free. The powder can be added to many foods and drink items, and the company's website provides recipes to try.

What We Like

  • Comes in 7 flavors plus an unflavored version
  • Powder form might be more convenient and palatable for some users than a liquid oil form

What We Don't Like

  • Contains acacia fiber which adds some carbohydrates. Some low-carb dieters might want to avoid this product as a result.

BUY: Perfect Keto MCT Oil C8 Powder

Best Organic MCT Oil - Natural Force Organic MCT Oil

Natural Force Organic MCT Oil

SPECS

  • Serving size: 1 tbsp
  • Calories per serving: 125 calories
  • Protein per serving: 0g
  • Carbs per serving: 0g
  • Fats per serving: 14g
  • Source of MCT: Organic coconuts

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The Natural Force Organic MCT Oil is certified organic, certified paleo, vegan, gluten-free, and keto-certified. On top of being organic, the product comes in a sustainable 100 percent glass bottle with recycled packaging.

This MCT oil is produced in a good manufacturing practice certified facility and is third-party tested for contaminants. This product is flavorless and odorless.

What We Like

  • Contains a single organic ingredient and no fillers
  • Comes in a recyclable glass bottle instead of plastic

What We Don't Like

  • Contains some C12 fatty acid (lauric acid) which doesn't seem to have health benefits like C8 and C10 fatty acids

BUY: Natural Force Organic MCT Oil

Best MCT Oil Capsules - Pure MCT Oil Capsules

Pure MCT Oil Capsules

SPECS

  • Serving size: 3 softgels
  • Calories per serving: 25 calories
  • Protein per serving: 0g
  • Carbs per serving: 0g
  • Fats per serving: 3g
  • Source of MCT: Coconut oil

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These Pure MCT Oil capsules are gluten-free, non-GMO, and suitable for keto and paleo diets. They contain C8 and C10 fatty acids.

The serving size is three capsules, but the company suggests starting with one and monitoring tolerance. The eventual goal is three capsules, five times per day, according to the label instructions.

What We Like

  • Capsule form is convenient for people who need to pack or take their MCT oil supplement with them on a busy day or to travel
  • No need to worry about incorporating MCT oil into a food or drink recipe since it's in capsule form

What We Don't Like

  • The label suggests taking three softgels five times per day, which may be a burdensome amount of pills to take every day

BUY: Pure MCT Oil Capsules

Best Budget MCT Oil - NOW Sports Nutrition MCT Oil

NOW Sports Nutrition MCT Oil

SPECS

  • Serving size: 3 softgel capsules
  • Calories per serving: 25 calories
  • Protein per serving: 0g
  • Carbs per serving: 0g
  • Fats per serving: 3g
  • Source of MCT: Coconut and palm kernel oil

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The NOW Sports Nutrition MCT oil is made by the well-known NOW Foods brand. Unlike many MCT oil products, this supplement comes in capsule form. It is dairy, corn, egg, soy, and gluten-free, and non-GMO.

This supplement contains a mixture of C8 and C10 fatty acids. The MCT oil source is coconut and palm kernel oils.

What We Like

  • Made by a well-known nutrition supplement company that follows good manufacturing practices
  • The capsule form is helpful for people who don't enjoy consuming MCT oil in foods or beverages
  • Has the Informed-Sport seal to show that it has been tested for banned doping substances, which is helpful for athletes

What We Don't Like

  • Label suggests taking three capsules up to five times per day, which might be an unsustainable amount of capsules to take on a daily basis
  • Made using palm kernel oils

BUY: Now Sports Nutrition MCT Oil

What Is MCT Oil?

MCT oil is often used for low-carb diets such as the ketogenic or keto diet. The ketogenic diet was primarily used to treat children with epilepsy in the past but is now sometimes used for weight loss by adults.

MCT oil has other clinical uses for illnesses that require special diets, such as liver disease or severe GI issues. As a result of the ketogenic diet increasing in popularity, more healthy people have been interested in adding MCT oil to their diets.

MCT stands for "medium-chain triglycerides." A triglyceride is the main part of dietary fats. The "medium" indicates that MCTs have fatty acid chains that contain between six and 10 carbon atoms. Long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) have greater than 12 carbon atoms on the fatty acid chain.

Long-chain triglycerides and medium-chain triglycerides are also digested differently. The different digestion of MCTs is partially why they are thought to have different benefits than LCTs.

The source of MCT oil is usually coconut oil, dairy, or palm oil. All of these fat sources are high in saturated fat. Some health experts worry that MCT oil will have negative effects on health as a result of the high saturated fat content.

How Do You Use MCT Oil?

For many people, MCT oil is fairly easy to add to their daily diet. You can use unflavored MCT oil in place of other fats and oils, such as in:

  • Salad dressings
  • Sauces
  • Soups
  • As coffee creamer
  • Added to smoothies or protein shakes

MCT oil is also available in capsule or powder forms if you don't prefer to use an oil.

Before taking any dietary supplement such as MCT oil, it would be best to check with your physician or a registered dietitian. MCT oil may have health benefits but may also be detrimental to people with some health conditions.

What are the Benefits of MCT Oil?

There are research studies that examine the benefits of supplementing with medium-chain triglycerides. However, the studies are small, and more research is needed to make sure MCT oil truly works. Also, research hasn't indicated an ideal dose of MCT oil needed to achieve potential benefits yet.

Some of the potential benefits of supplementing with MCT oil are:

  • Increased energy levels: Some people feel that MCT oil makes them feel more energetic and have less brain fog.
  • Decreased appetite: Adding more fat of any kind to the diet can increase satiety, which is the feeling of satisfaction or fullness after eating.
  • Encouraging weight loss and decreasing body fat: A review article of 13 studies showed modest decreases in weight, waist circumference, and body fat.
  • Enhanced athletic performance: More research is needed in this area, but some studies suggest possible benefits for athletes.

Despite its possible benefits, some people experience side effects when supplementing with MCT oil. Side effects of MCT oil may include gastrointestinal (GI) distress, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea in the short term. Taking MCT oil with food can decrease the risk of GI side effects. Long term, supplementing with MCT oil may lead to fatty liver or high triglyceride levels, though more research is needed.

FAQs About MCT Oil


What is the best form of MCT oil to take?

While many MCT oils are made from coconut oil, coconut oil does not seem to have the same benefits as MCT oils. MCT oils are typically made from highly refined oils and contain C8 and C10 fatty acids. Most research is done on MCT oils that contain C8 and C10, so the best form to try contains a mixture of both.

What type of MCT oil is best for weight loss?

While some studies show that MCT oil may help with weight loss, more research is needed. MCT oils that contain a mixture of C8 and C10 fatty acids have been used in studies that show some benefits. An MCT oil that contains a mixture of C8 and C10 and no C12 fatty acids (Lauric acid) would be a good choice.

Is it OK to take MCT oil every day?

Yes, it is OK to take MCT oil every day for the short term. MCT oil sometimes has side effects such as nausea or diarrhea, but if you can tolerate MCT oil and like the way it makes you feel, it should be OK and safe to take daily for the short term. The long-term effects of supplementing with MCT oil are still being studied, so check with your physician or a registered dietitian if you plan to supplement with MCT oil consistently.

What is the difference between avocado oil and MCT oil?

Avocado oil is a type of oil made from avocados. It has a high smoke point which makes it good for high-temperature cooking like frying or broiling. Avocado oil is not a good source of medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs. MCT oil is typically made from coconut oil or palm kernel oil. MCT oil is better suited for lower temperature cooking and baking under 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

About the Author

Alexandra Ginos, MBA, RD, CSP

Alexandra Ginos is a registered dietitian and board-certified Pediatric Nutrition Specialist. She believes that nutrition is a vital component of physical performance and that a balanced and healthy diet is an essential part of taking care of the body and mind.

See more from Alexandra

Alexandra Ginos is a registered dietitian and board-certified Pediatric Nutrition Specialist. She believes that nutrition is a vital component of physical performance and that a balanced and healthy diet is an essential part of taking care of the body and mind.

See more from Alexandra

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