MCT Oil vs. Coconut Oil: What’s The Difference For Ketogenic Diet?
“Include MCT oil such as coconut oil in your diet if you want to get into ketosis faster” This is what you must have read again and again while gathering information about ketosis diet.
I appreciate your efforts to get into the depth of ketosis and learn such intricate details about the foods to eat and avoid. However, the information might have left you feeling confused as to what exactly is MCT oil and is coconut oil and MCT oil the same?
You would like to know why MCT oil or coconut oil could help you get into ketosis and which among these would be better.
An all-encompassing information that will help you understand is coconut oil and MCT oil the same and the differences and similarities between both.
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What is MCT oil?
MCT oil refers to the oils containing medium-chain triglyceride, which are found in abundance in coconut oil. There are basically four forms of fatty acids: capric, caprylic, caproic, and lauric acids.
MCT oil offers a concentrated dose of these fatty acids. That’s not all… What makes MCT oils superior is that they are devoid of the unhealthy long-chain fatty acids, which are commonly found in most vegetable oils such as coconut oil.
So, this is where MCT oil scores over coconut oil when finding the truth about is coconut oil and MCT oil the same.
This is also the most important aspect of both coconut and MCT oil as these fatty acids can support your efforts to get into ketosis by providing healthy fats to your body.
However, there are a few differences in coconut oil and MCT oil that you must understand before you start using either of them.
MCT vs Coconut Oil
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The primary difference between these 2 oils is MCT oil is artificially manufactured while coconut oil is natural.
Pure coconut oil is extracted from the white substance present along the inner side of the shell of coconuts. It contains all the four MCTs. Additionally, it also contains a small amount of long chain fatty acids.
On the other hand, MCT oil is not found in nature. It is manufactured in the industrial set-ups where the medium chain fatty acids are separated from the rest of the coconut oil through a process called fractionation.
In short, MCT oil is coconut oil minus the long chain fatty acids!
The logic that MCTs are healthier and devoid of long chain fatty acids might make you think it can help you get into ketosis faster. It is this popular belief, which has made MCT oils more popular than coconut oil.
But is this true? Let’s get deeper with our understanding of MCT oil and coconut oil to determine which is better.
Advantages of Coconut Oil over MCT oil
Our logic that MCT oils are more effective for getting into ketosis than coconut oil is based on the assumption that it contains all the four MCTs. However, this is not a complete fact!
MCT oils do not possess all the 4 MCTS. Most MCT oils usually possess only capra fatty acids, which include capric, caprylic, and caproic acids.
Lauric acid is often missing! Even when it is present, it is in a very small amount. Therefore, the assumption that MCT oils offer a fractionation of coconut oils, from which the longer chain fatty acids are removed, leaving ALL the MCTs from the coconut oil, is false.
So, it is not just the longer chain fatty acids, but even the Lauric acid that is missing in MCTs. This difference between coconut and MCT oils can have a huge influence on your ketogenic diet.
Lauric acid is the most effective keto-supportive component of coconut oil, which is absent in MCT oils. It is the most valuable fatty acid of coconut oil, without which MCT oils cannot be as effective as the former in promoting the state of ketosis.
So, can we conclude that Coconut Oil is better than MCT Oil? Well… Yes, to some extent. Let me explain further.
Is Coconut Oil Healthier and More Effective than MCT Oil to Get Into Ketosis?
Lauric acid comprises of almost 50% of the fatty acids in the coconut oil. Hence, it is considered unique to this natural oil. Coconut oil offers the richest natural source of lauric acid. Hence, if you want lauric acid, as in when you are on a keto diet, coconut oil is where you can get it.
In short, MCT oil, though extracted from coconut oil, is not a pure form of it. Since it contains a very little amount of or no lauric acid, you cannot expect the same results by including MCT oils in your keto diet as you would gain from coconut oil.
Importance of Lauric Acid in Keto Diet
The presence of lauric acid in coconut oil is of high importance especially for those on a keto diet. It can be converted into a source of energy much faster.
Hence, your body can use Lauric acid more easily compared to the other MCTS as a source of energy in the absence of carbs in your diet.
Lauric acid can help your body switch to using fats as its fuel much faster thus stimulating the production of ketone bodies in a shorter duration. Hence, using concoct oil is highly recommended when you are on a keto diet.
Some More Benefits of Coconut Oil over MCT Oils
- In addition, to the MCTs, coconut oil also contains other beneficial fatty acids such as stearic acid, linoleic acids, and oleic acid. These fatty acids can provide a quick source of energy for the body and help you get into ketosis faster.
- Let me tell you another fact to determine is coconut oil and MCT oil the same. Coconut oil contains healthy doses of vitamin A and vitamin K, and iron. These nutrients can improve your overall health while also deriving the benefits of a ketogenic diet.
Overall, while MCT oil can provide great benefits for getting into ketosis. The absence of Lauric Acid can make it less effective than Coconut oil. However, I must admit that both these oils are the best healthy oils. It’s just that the list of benefits of MCT oils is slightly narrower than that of coconut oil. So, the answer to is coconut oil and MCT oil the same, is if coconut oil is the first choice; MCT oil could be the second!