The Real Difference Between MCT Oil And Coconut Oil

MCT oil is gaining popularity in the wellness sphere because it offers several health benefits that many traditional oils don't. Coconut oil also has its advantages, but there are several differences between the two worth noting.

The reason for the popularity of MCT oil comes from how it is processed. Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) are derived from either coconut or palm kernel oil. Most fats, including most oils, contain long-chain triglycerides (LCT). Interestingly, almost all fats found in natural sources such as avocados, fish, and nuts are also primarily long-chain triglycerides. The body breaks down medium-chain triglycerides much quicker than it does long-chain triglycerides, delivering them to the liver faster where they are then converted into energy. (via The Healthy).

Coconut oil comes from the meat of coconuts, and while it contains medium-chain triglycerides, it also has long-chain triglycerides. Even so, it's possible that coconut oil might still help improve levels of good cholesterol, otherwise known as high-density lipoprotein, or HDLs. With antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, coconut oil promotes heart health and helps moisturize skin and hair. It also helps build and maintain muscle (via Eat This, Not That!).

MCT oil is ideal for people on a keto diet and for those who want to lose weight

Because the body breaks down MCT oils faster than other fats, it is popular among people on a keto diet. But there are other reasons why people may want to switch to using MCT oil too. One reason is that the oil is easily digested by people with fat absorption disorders, such as celiac disease, cystic fibrosis, and irritable bowel syndrome. A 2015 study also showed a link between the use of MCT oil and weight loss. Furthermore, it helps the body metabolize sugar and improves athletic performance (via The Healthy).

But MCT oil is not for everyone. Mary Onwuka, M.D., from AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City, told USA Today that people with uncontrolled diabetes should avoid using the oil because it can aggravate problems associated with the disease. Since the liver metabolizes MCTs, people with liver diseases should also opt for another oil instead of MCT oil.