The Best MCT Oil

What does it mean to be the best MCT Oil?

There are a lot of MCT oil products on the market. At last count, Amazon carried over 400 different products. Before we started to compile our list of the best MCT oils, we had to decide what it really meant to be the best. We set some very high and specific standards for the MCT oils that make our list. The very best must meet 5 criteria.

Organic

First, the oil must be organic.  There are several different systems for certifying something organic, and we are not going to judge any of them, but no MCT oil deserves to be crowned as the best unless the manufacturer at least CLAIMS it to be organic. We are, for the most part, forced to rely on the integrity of the manufacturer on this until more is known about the specific source of the oil. Organic MCT oil is surprisingly rare. That is not to say that MCT oil is horribly contaminated, but there are few sources of organic coconuts available and they can’t be created overnight.

Most people would not argue that organic is better than non-organic, but how much it matters really depends on the product. Mark’s Daily Apple lists products you should buy organic and those where it just doesn’t make that much difference. Check him out.

Sourced 100% from coconuts

To receive our “best” label, MCT oil must be made exclusively from coconut oil. The other option is palm oil, and while there are claims of “rain forest friendly” or sustainably produced palm oil, these are often untrustworthy claims and palm oil production in places like Malaysia has been devastating for the rain forest and orangutan habitat. Even the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) certification has been shown in Greenpeace’s “Certifying Destruction” report to be questionably sustainable. With the level of damage being done to the forests as a result of palm oil production, we are not comfortable putting any MCT oil containing palm oil on our list of the very best.

NOTE: In March of 2020 we revisited our decision to exclude all palm oil sourced products from our best list, including those RSPO certified. This review included a visit to Malaysia and speaking with some people involved in the reforestation effort there. We are still not comfortable endorsing any MCT oil that is sourced from palm oil. To read more, see our article, “RSPO Palm Oil now acceptable?”

Non-GMO

Next, it must be non-GMO. This is easy to do since to our knowledge there are no GMO coconuts in the world. Most MCT oils on the market claim to be, and probably are, non-GMO.

Just C8 (Caprylic Acid)

C8, or caprylic acid, is widely viewed as the best MCT oil. It converts to energy faster, is very unlikely to be stored by the body as fat, and very seldom results in stomach upset. The other three common MCT oils, C6 (caproic acid), C10 (capric acid), and C12 (lauric acid) are all less effective and possess one or more unpleasant properties.

NOTE: It is almost impossible to make a pure, 100% C8 MCT oil, so we accept anything 95% or higher. The Intentionally Bare product claims 99.2% C8.

Liquid Form

Only the liquid form of MCT oil meets our high standards. There are now powdered forms of MCT oil, but they almost always contain fillers in the form of a carbohydrate. Some even contain maltodextrin which has a glycemic index equal to that of pure sugar (high glycemic index is bad…mkay).

Now that you know what makes an MCT oil great, lets actually look at the best ones. We had hoped to have a list of the top 10, but to be honest, we could not that many that met all the criteria. Not even 5. In fact, we only found 3. (UPDATE…added a 4th oil that meets our high standards)


What is MCT Oil?

Not everyone has heard of MCT oil, so let me give you a very brief description of what it is and what it does. MCT stands for Medium Chain Triglyceride and even though it comes from natural sources, there are no natural sources of pure MCT oil. Instead, we take coconut or palm oil and separate the medium-chain triglycerides from the long and short-chain. Short-chain triglycerides typically taste bad and long-chain are not very good for us (although they taste good).

MCT oil is unique because of the way our body uses it. With long chains, as you find in other saturated fats like butter, lard, and all those great tasting fatty foods, our body tends to store them as fat. MCTs, on the other hand, are converted into ketones which are readily used by the body as energy and very little is stored as fat. That makes MCT oil a great energy source without the nasty side effects of clogging your arteries.

But wait a minute, you said ketones and aren’t ketones bad? If you are diabetic or know someone that is, you probably know ketones as something bad that your body creates when you don’t have enough insulin to turn glucose into energy. In that situation, they are bad, but only because your body is being forced to create them. When you consume them, instead of your body creating them, ketones are a great source of energy that do not require insulin in order to use them and don’t get stored as fat.

That said, MCT is not a miracle. It is still an oil and represents a lot of calories. The best use of MCT oil is to replace some of the unhealthy fats in our diet. Use it in salad dressings or replacing other oils in baking. Or here is a tip. Make your peanut butter event healthier. Do you buy that natural peanut butter that has all the peanut oil sitting on top of it? Instead of mixing it back into the peanut butter, pour it off and replace it with MCT oil.

MCT oil should not be used for frying as it burns at a very low temperature. Many people use it in coffee, instead of cream, by placing MCT oil and hot coffee in a blender creating a creamy appearance with the healthy energy it provided.

Consider using a good, organic, pure C8, sourced from coconuts MCT oil in your diet. When possible, replace other less healthy oils. You will be surprised at how good they will make you feel.

We have 4 products that make our list of the best MCT oil. All are organic, non-GMO, sourced from coconuts instead of palm oil, and are pure C8 (the best type of MCT oil). For our specific recommendations read The Best MCT Oil.

For more information on what MCT oil is, checkout Healthline® or WebMD®.

RSPO Palm Oil now acceptable?

If you read our initial story, “The Best MCT Oil“, you saw that 1 of our 5 criteria for selecting the best oils was that it must be sourced 100% from coconuts. Because of the environmental destruction taking place when rain forest is cleared in order to raise palm, we simply could not endorse products made from palm oil. In that story, we also noted that the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) had created standards for the sustainable farming of palm, but we were not ready to accept that those standards were having any significant impact on the industry. Now we feel it is time to revisit this topic.

RSPO was established in 2004. When their 2013 criteria for the production of sustainable palm oil were reviewed by the World Wildlife Fund, the endorsement was not exactly glowing. In 2018, the RSPO released an updated version of the criteria of which the WWF said, “With the 2018 revision of the RSPO’s Principles & Criteria, the RSPO Standard now represents an essential tool that can help companies achieve their commitments to palm oil that is free of deforestation, expansion on peat, exploitation and the use of fire.” For more of the WWF’s position on sustainable palm oil production, go HERE.

You can download the 2018 RSPO certification criteria HERE.

Then Came Malaysia…

After looking at many comments and reviews of the 2018 RSPO standards, and writing the first part of this article, we were ready to consider MCT oil products created with RSPO certified palm oil for inclusion in our list of Almost the Best MCT Oil. Then I visited Malaysia and spoke with some people involved in the reforestation efforts there. They know what it is like on the ground. They are intimately familiar with RSPO. After speaking with them we remain opposed to any MCT oil created from any palm oil, even those created from palm oil meeting RSPO standards.

Call to Action

We call for immediate additional RSPO criteria that require palm plantations, at a level commensurate with their current acreage under palm production, to carry out the following:

  • Actively/financially protect the remaining forests of Malaysia.
  • Commit to no future deforestation or peat destruction, or the purchasing of land that was forest or peat prior to 2020.
  • Purchase carbon offsets for 50% of all former peat and forest acreage that has been brought under palm production in the past 20 years.
  • Financially support wildlife rehabilitation and repopulation.

Without such provisions no set of standards is acceptable.

Almost the best MCT Oil

If you read our post The Best MCT Oil Products, you know the criteria we used to select what we feel are the best MCT Oils. You also know that we found only 3 products that actually met the criteria of best. However, there are a number of others that deserve honorable mention.

To briefly recap our selection process, the best MCT Oil must meet the following 5 criteria:

  • Organic
  • Sourced 100% from coconuts
  • Non-GMO
  • Pure (or nearly so) C8 or Caprylic Acid
  • In liquid form

As we also stated in that original article, finding truly organic MCT Oil was difficult. There were plenty that did not claim to be organic but did meet our other criteria. If you believe Mark’s Daily Apple, organic coconuts don’t offer much benefit over non-organic. For this list of almost the best, we will lower our standards just a bit and include those that meet all our standards except for being organic.

Keep in mind, there are lots of reasons that a product does not meet the requirements of organic, but might still be a good product.

Almost the Best MCT Oils