Coconut Oil vs MCT Oil, Simplified

We were taught that all fats were bad.

We were taught that low fat diets were healthier.

We were taught to trade our bacon and butter for snack-wells and margarine.

We consumed copious amounts of bread and asked for egg whites only. The foundation of our food pyramid was built upon rice, pastas, and grains... but FAT we were told, to use sparingly.

The big fatty truth has finally surfaced and not all fats are in fact created equal. More importantly, most of the American public is lacking the saturated fats needed for optimal nutrition. Let's talk healthy fats - MCT Oil vs Coconut Oil, here's the break down. 

What is MCT Oil?

MCT stands for medium chain triglycerides. Another name for “triglycerides" is fatty acids. Therefore, MCT is also referred to as MCFA (medium chain fatty acids). Coconut Oil is chock-full of MCT’s. Roughly 62-65 percent of fatty acids in coconut oil are MCT’s.

Now, MCT oil contains 6 to 12 carbon chains. They are:

  • C6 – Caproic Acid
  • C8 – Caprylic Acid
  • C10 – Capric Acid
  • C12 – Lauric Acid

So, How is Coconut Oil Different from MCT Oil?

These strings of carbon connected to hydrogen is how fats are categorized. Medium chain fatty acids have 6-12 carbons. The one string to focus on here is C12, lauric acid. As coconut oil is naturally occurring its fatty acids are made up of 50% lauric acid, nature’s richest source of it. Since MCT oil is manufactured by machine to remove medium chain fatty acids from the rest of the oil, it’s often left with little or no trace of lauric acid.

Lauric acid is known for its immune boosting power. It possesses anti-microbial, anti-bacterial and antiviral properties. It’s also great for your skin and has been shown to clear up acne.    

Benefits from Both

That said, have a look at the benefits in all medium chain fatty acids:

  • Gives you a full feeling – excellent for maintaining a healthy weight
  • Raises your metabolic function to reduce stored body fat
  • Improves digestion
  • Supports your gut biome
  • Helps to absorb fat-soluble nutrients from various foods
  • Enhances cognitive function

A Simple Summary

To simplify things, think of coconut oil as the O.G. source of MCT’s and MCT oil as the new age concentrate of MCT’s (minus lauric acid).

With that settled the question remains, MCT Oil vs Coconut Oil - which oil is best for you?

MCT Oil: If you’re looking for fast and sustained energy, the easily digested MCT oil works well. 

Coconut Oil: For the added anti-bacterial and immune benefits of lauric acid, coconut oil should be your go-to. 

Bulletproof Tea or Coffee

Try blending coconut oil or MCT oil into your morning cup of coffee or tea for an added boost of mental clarity. This is especially effective when paired with intermittent fasting. The fats can help to satiate your hunger if you're looking to hold out until your lunch break, plus the fats will slow the absorption of caffeine in your body for a more evenly dispersed brain fuel. Try this technique with our Chocolate Hustle yerba mate blend to make a bulletproof tea that will power you through the day.

Both coconut oil and MCT oil have become a staple within the paleo nutrition community and have also become a go to nutritional source for the high-fat, low carb ketogenic diet. These high-fat diets have helped many to shed the pounds and burn fat faster. If you're curious to learn more check out, What Is Ketosis?


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    July 12, 2016 — The Wise Ape