Coconut oil is definitely the latest fad food product to hit the market. It seems that everybody is now desperate to consume coconut in as many different forms as possible, whether it’s coconut milk in your coffee, coconut oil in your omelette, or coconut water instead of an electrolyte drink at the gym.
As coconut products have become increasingly popular – and demand for them has surged – a new line of products have started to emerge: MCT oils.
MCT oil is held up by some supplement manufacturers as a miracle product. If you check the packaging of some of the best MCT oil supplements on sale right now, you’ll see that they claim to do an incredible array of things for their users, including:
- Increasing energy
- Reducing hunger and food cravings
- Enhancing cognitive performance
- Increasing peak power output
- Promoting a healthy body weight and body fat levels
Sounds pretty amazing right?
It’s certainly clear that coconut oil manufacturers aren’t making these same claims.
So what is the difference between MCT oil and coconut oil?
Which is better? Should you use MCT oil supplements, or just stick to regular coconut oil?
Coconut Oil vs MCT Oil
Coconut oil is – obviously – oil extracted from coconuts. While coconut oil is the usual source of MCT oils (MCTs are also found in palm oil), there is a lot more in coconut oil besides MCTs.
In fact, medium chain triglycerides make up a tiny percentage of coconut oil’s composition.
Besides a relatively small amount of medium chain triglycerides, coconut oil also contains a very large amount of saturated fatty acids, some water, and a small amount of plant material. Up to 97% of your average coconut oil is saturated fat, of which a fraction is valuable MCTs.
MCT oil is – by contrast – nothing but medium chain triglycerides.
Some MCT supplements are better than others of course, but a high quality MCT oil should provide nothing but medium chain triglycerides and a few natural agents to make it easy to use, palatable, and easy to store. The best MCT oils will actually provide only the most beneficial MCTs – C8 and C10 fatty acids – rather than all four MCTs (C6 and C12 are known to cause gastric problems).
So which is better – MCT oil or coconut oil?
That depends in part on what you want to achieve.
If you want a cooking ingredient that acts as a dairy-free alternative to butter, then coconut oil is a fantastic option.
However, for almost every other circumstance, we think MCT oil is better.
A high quality MCT oil delivers all the benefits of coconut oil but without all of the less useful saturated fats that come with it. The best MCT oil supplements will also contain nothing but the best medium chain triglycerides.
Learn more about MCT oil: