a hand pouring a oil from a glass bottle

Don’t try this at home! My nightmare with MCT oil.

Here’s what not to do if you’re trying to replace one ingredient with an untested alternative!

My goodness I thought I was being so clever. I’m normally you’re archetypal over thinker. I usually thoroughly research changes in the food I eat. After 10 years of experiments to resolve health issues I’m usually up to date on health supplements and individual ingredients. But not this time.

As I’m now in perimenopause I’ve been presented with a new health challenge. Namely my skin which has been a constant palava since birth. But not for the past 10 years since as I got rid of the inflammatory things I used to eat. I’m like the canary in the mine if something causes a flare up in my skin it’s 9 times out of 10 something in the food.

And I’ve recently had a flare up. Only on the skin in my hairline, it’s not the eczema, I cured that 10 years ago, but it is dry as hell and driving me mad as to how to resolve it.

So, trying to find a solution and recently focussing on the dangers of vegetable/seed oils (quick version they are killing you) I became worried that using light in colour olive oil was the culprit. So I went in search of an alternative. Big mistake!

My biggest problem is that I love mayonnaise (Click here for my super easy 5 minute recipe). I make it at least once a week and manage to get through it. I usually make it with light in colour olive oil, but due to my worries that its linked to my skin problem I swapped to extra virgin olive oil. But the flavour is much stronger. So, I was on the hunt for a flavourless alternative.

Brainwave! What about MCT (Medium Chain Triglyceride) oil? Yes, I thought I’d found the perfect replacement. I’d never fully looked into it but was aware that it was touted as a ketogenic wonder, and a quick Google search showed that it was indeed flavourless, great. But a major drawback was the exorbitant price. This should have given me pause to research it further, but it didn’t. My thinking was that it must be even better for you!

I found some on special offer, but as it was still seriously expensive, I made half my usual amount and figured I’d have to eat it less often. I used approx. 165ml in this batch and was gratified to find it did exactly what I need it to, it made perfect mayo. After which I used about two thirds to make a big bowl of tuna coleslaw.

For my evening meal I ate it with a spinach, rocket and watercress salad and it was delicious. Tasted as good as my original light in colour olive oil recipe.

Sated and happy I settled down to watch the penultimate episode of The Marvellous Mrs Maisel (one of my all-time favourite shows). All was well until about 30 minutes in……

My god, my stomach, the pain! What the hell? I felt sick and so bloated. What was going on?

So of course, I turned to Dr Google and typed in MCT oil and stomach pain and was rewarded with article after article telling me of the side effects of consuming MCT oil. With wide eyes (which should have saved me this trouble) I read that short and medium chain triglycerides can cause bloating, cramps, nausea, diarrhoea and constipation due to them being absorbed much faster in the gut. The maximum you should consume especially if you’re new to it is, wait for it, one teaspoon or 5ml. And I had consumed well over 100ml!!!! What an absolute wally.

No blooming wonder I was in such a state. But I suppose it does highlight just how food can impact you fast in both good and bad (very bad) ways.

Needless to say, that after suffering for about 7 hours until my digestive system processed it, I will not be using it again. I don’t care about the other benefits it may give me, the experience has put me off for good.

I have since found out that light in colour olive oil isn’t so bad after all. Although it is refined and some of the benefits of extra virgin olive oil get lost in its processing, the main type of fat is monounsaturated and is still far better than the dangerous polyunsaturated fats in seed/vegetable oils. Plus I removed it from my diet for 2 months and it didn’t make a bit of difference. Damn you perimenopause!

And if you want to know about the benefits of MCT oil? Google it!

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