Does MCT Oil Break Your Fast?

Human Window Staff
By Human Window Staff
Updated on February 11, 2020

Does MCT Oil break a fast? In this article, we’re going to take a detailed look at whether MCT Oil can be used in conjunction with intermittent fasting without breaking your fast or not.

If you’re reading this article, then the chances are that you already practice intermittent fasting or are looking to learn more about it.

If you’re serious about getting the most out of your intermitting fasting protocol, it’s incredibly important to know which foods and drinks will bring you out of a fasted state.

There is some debate about certain ingredients and whether they can be consumed during a fasting window or not.

In this article, we’re going to take a close look at MCT Oil and where it can fit in when used in conjunction with intermittent fasting.

We’re also going to explain the basic principals of fasting and see what other substances you should and shouldn’t be consuming while practicing fasting.

So, with the introductions out of the way, it’s time to start taking a closer look at intermittent fasting and MCT Oil.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

If you’re looking into MCT Oil and Fasting, then the chances are that you already know the basics about intermittent fasting, but let’s cover them quickly anyhow.

In case you didn’t know, the term ‘intermittent fasting’ simply refers to an eating protocol in which you are splitting you day into periods of eating and not eating.

Intermittent fasting has become pretty popular in recent years, mainly because it is said to bring about a number of potential health benefits.

As well as potentially being good for you, practicing intermittent fasting in a safe and sensible way can also help to improve your relationship with food and teach you about the feelings of hunger you have on a daily basis.

Intermittent fasting may sound complicated, but it can actually be pretty simple. For example, some people may choose to start out by simply performing a 12-hour fast every day, and ensuring that they eat their food during a 12-hour ‘eating window’.

Another popular example is the 16:8 method. This involves a 16-hour daily fast, with an eight-hour eating window.

One of the reasons why intermittent fasting has become so popular in recent years is because it is attempting help people move back towards what is sometimes seen as a more ‘natural’ way of eating.

In modern society, it is not uncommon for us to be eating at very regular intervals throughout the day and into the evening.

Intermittent Fasting

(Photo: Adobe Stock)

The theory is that humans have not always eaten this way, and that food, generally speaking, would have been much more scarce during most of human history.

By restricting the time window in which you’re eating, you can potentially allow your body to take a rest from continuously digesting food and focus some of its energy elsewhere.

If you want to learn more about intermittent fasting in general, then be sure to check out our guide to intermittent fasting put together by 2 Meal Day founder Max Lowery.

The Bottom Line: Intermittent Fasting is simply a general term for various eating patterns that involve fasting (not eating) for short periods of time. One popular intermittent fasting protocol is the 16:8 method, which involves fasting for 16 hours a day, and eating food during an eight-hour window.

What is MCT Oil?

If you’re familiar with Bulletproof Coffee or the Ketogenic diet, then you probably already know what MCT Oil is.

In case you didn’t know, MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides. MCT are medium-length chains of fats called triglycerides.

Most fat from food is made up of long-chain fatty acids, which contain 13–21 carbon atoms. Short-chain fatty acids, meanwhile, have less than six carbon atoms.

And the medium-chain fatty acids in MCTs have six to 12 carbon atoms.

Because of their shorter length, it is claimed that MCTs are more easily digested by the body and they are linked with a number of potential health benefits.

In case you didn’t know, there are four main types of medium-chain fatty acids:

• C6: Caproic acid or Hexanoic acid
• C8: Caprylic acid or Octanoic acid
• C10: Capric acid or Decanoic acid
• C12: Lauric acid or Dodecanoic acid

One of the most common sources of MCTs is from coconut oil. Indeed, more than 50 per cent of the fat in coconut oil comes from MCTs

MCT Oil is one of the key ingredients in Bulletproof Coffee, which was invented by Dave Asprey.

The Bulletproof Coffee recipe involves blending high quality coffee together with grass-fed butter or ghee and MCT oil.

Performance Lab MCT Oil

Performance Lab MCT Oil (Photo: Human Window)

The idea behind the drink is that by providing your body with easily digestible fats, it can help to provide a stable energy source, while also reducing the speed at which the Caffeine from the coffee is absorbed into your system.

MCT Oil has earned a reputation as a health food in recent years and is sold as a supplement. Most MCT oils are derived from coconut oil.

The Bottom Line: MCT Oil is an oil containing medium-chain triglycerides (medium-chain fatty acids). MCT Oil is usually derived from coconut oil and it is claimed to have a number of potential health benefits.

Does MCT Oil Break Your Fast?

So, does MCT Oil break a fast or not? There is some debate and confusion around this seemingly simple ‘yes or no’ question.

The answer can be simple – but it depends on how strict you are being with yourself when it comes to your intermittent fasting protocol.

Generally speaking, most people would agree that if you are looking to ensure that you are 100 per cent guaranteed to stay in a fasted state, then you should only be consuming water and nothing else during your fasting window.

Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Things like black coffee and green tea are often mentioned as potential drinks during a fast because they only contain a minimal amount of calories.

Anything that contains a considerable amount of calories is going to cause your body to start digesting it, and therefore bring you out of a fast.

MCT Oil is pretty high in calories, and it contains around 14 grams of fat per tablespoon. One tablespoon of MCT oil supplies around 115 calories.

So most people would assume that because MCT Oil contains a decent amount of calories, it will bring you out of the fasted state.

While this is technically true, there are some people who claim that because MCT Oil is so easily digestible and doesn’t contain any carbohydrates or protein, it will have a minimal effect in the body and you can get away with consuming it during your fasting window.

However, as we mentioned above, if you are looking to be 100 per cent sure of remaining in a fasted state, then we would recommend sticking to just water during your fasting window.

The Bottom Line: MCT Oil is high in calories, and so if you are strictly sticking to an intermittent fasting protocol, it will technically break your fast. However, many people choose to consume it during their fasting because it is very easily digestible and contains no carbs or protein.

Anything Else To Consider?

You should not try intermittent fasting without having discussed it with a certified medical professional first.

It is not for everyone and it should only be practiced after having discussed it with your doctor.

Intermittent fasting can be a great way to change and improve your relationship with food, but we always recommend that you ensure that you’re sticking to a varied, balanced and healthy diet first before thinking about making any major changes.

It’s also always important to ensure that you’re getting enough quality sleep and have a good exercise routine before making any other changes to your lifestyle.

Wrapping Things Up – Our Final Thoughts

So, that brings us to the end of our look at whether MCT Oil breaks a fast.

Sadly, there is no official answer to this question. What we can tell you is that MCT Oil contains quite a lot of calories from fat, meaning that technically it will bring you out of the fasted state.

However, that does not stop many people from consuming it during their fasting window, because of the fact that it is easily digestible and does not contain any carbs or protein.

Ultimately, the decision rests with you and how strict you are planning to be with yourself when it comes to your intermittent fasting practice.