Will Consuming MCT Oil ‘Break’ My Fasting?
One of these is for religious practices designed to cleanse and purify the body, such as Ramadan in the Islamic faith. There is also a weight management schedule known as intermittent fasting, where followers only eat in an 8-hour window per day, and their body must use fat stores for ‘fuel’ instead of carbohydrates (known as ‘ketosis’) in the remaining 16-hours, potentially offering a range of health benefits. Many fasters also regularly consume MCT oil for its many benefits, and are concerned this will ‘break’ their fast.
What is MCT Oil, How Does It Work, and What Are Its Benefits?
Medium-chain triglyceride oil (or more commonly known as MCT oil) are a group of essential fatty acids, derived from foods such as coconuts and dairy products. Given the lower amount of carbon present within MCT oil, it can be more easily ingested by the body, travelling through our blood and into the liver, to be converted neatly into energy. Studies have shown MCT oil benefits us by elevating dietary induced thermogenesis, improving how we burn calories and therefore:
- Store less excess fat
- Improves weight loss
- Enhance brain function
- Decrease hunger
- Improves gut health
- Controls blood sugar levels
How Does MCT Oil Affect the Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?
MCT oil health benefits can be found in just 1-2 teaspoons per day, converting directly to energy within your body and making it easy to burn fat over glucose. For this reason, MCT oil will not directly disrupt the health benefits of intermittent fasting. With minimal dosages, your blood sugar will not spike (prompting an insulin response), and nor will your caloric intake be impacted. Certain products actually assist with ketosis, including a range of product options from Melrose Health:
In terms of religious fasting, however, consuming these products will naturally fall to the preferences of those participating in the practice.
When is the Best Time to Take MCT Oil When Fasting?
If you have decided to continue consume MCT Oil throughout your fasting period for the continued health benefits, it is common to wonder when the best time would be to take it. For many, that will depend on the type of fasting schedule you are following. The typical 8-hours to eat versus 16 hours of fasting ratio utilises the time when we are asleep, meaning the best time to take MCT oil is first thing in the morning, perhaps alongside a cup of tea or coffee. After all, this is the time when we need to be refreshed and energised the most to get an accelerated start to the day. Given that MCT oil will not directly ‘break’ a fast, however, there is no ‘best’ time for consumption. Whenever you feel you most need that extra injection of energy throughout your day, MCT oil can be the perfect solution to get you through until the end of fasting.