Updated: Jan 20, 2022
If you add coconut oil to your morning coffee or tea, will it break your fast? Today, we're diving into the details of coconut oil and Intermittent Fasting.
Does Coconut Oil Break a Fast?
Short answer: it depends on the type of fasting that you're using. If you're opting for a "true" fast, then anything other than water, electrolytes and unsweetened coffee or tea will break a fast. If you choose to go for the "fasting mimicking" approach, coconut oil will not break a fast. This is because the "fasting mimicking" approach focuses on keeping the storing hormone insulin from spiking during the fast. (Nearly) anything that doesn't spike insulin can be consumed during a "fasting mimicking" fast. Food sources that spike insulin are those that contain protein and carbohydrates. Pure fat sources (such as coconut oil) do not spike insulin. You can check out the details of what breaks a "true" vs. "fasting mimicking" fast with THIS blog post.
Pssst - wondering what type of fasting is best for your goals? Click below for my free Intermittent Fasting Schedule quiz to find out!
Is Coconut Oil Good For Intermittent Fasting?
Even though you can have coconut oil during certain types of fasting... should you? It turns out that coconut oil is a rich source of medium chain triglycerides (aka MCT). MCT's have been found to boost satiety and aid in achieving a weight loss goal.(1) However, the more isolated form of MCT oil has been studied to be a bit more effective than coconut oil alone.(1) But if you're looking for the MCT perks from a more whole food source, coconut oil is a great option.
Because MCT has been found to boost satiety (the sensation of fullness after eating), it can be a great tool to use with Intermittent Fasting, especially as a beginner. Over time, Intermittent Fasting has been found to reduce hunger.(2) However, when you first start using Intermittent Fasting, you might experience some hunger during the fast as you transition to I.F. This is where adding a bit of coconut oil (or MCT oil) into your morning coffee or tea can help to ease your transition into Intermittent Fasting by reducing hunger.
Does Coconut Oil Break Ketosis?
Ketones are formed as a by-product of fat breakdown (fat burning). Because coconut oil is a pure fat source, it will help the body stay in this "fat burning" state during the Intermittent Fast. That is, as long as you are not consuming any carbohydrates or proteins along with it.
Will Putting MCT Oil In My Coffee Break My Fast?
MCT oil is an isolated (and more processed) oil that typically comes from coconut or palm oil. MCT is a pure fat source, just like coconut oil, so adding it into your coffee will not break a fast. Because MCT oil is derived from coconut/palm oil, it is more processed than the original coconut/palm oil options. If you are looking for a more whole food (albeit, less concentrated) source of MCT, you can opt for adding coconut oil into your coffee instead.
you can test out three of my Keto Coffee recipes for free HERE.
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Autumn Elle Nutrition