A dietitian explains the pros and cons of coconut and MCT oil | You Versus Food
Coconut oil and MCT oil: two sources of fat that are used in everything from stir-fries to dairy-free baking to Bulletproof-style coffees. Especially with the rise of the ... ♪ Co, co, coconut ♪
♪ Co, co, coconut, hey ♪ (smooth music) hi, I'm Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, a registered dietitian in New York City, and it's my job to help you figure out what to eat and why. We've got a controversial topic on You Vs. Food today, Coconut oil and MCT oil, hot topic from the tropics. You might have heard the buzz about coconut oil as a healthy fat to saute or stir-fry in. And of course, MCT oil is gaining a lot of attention as a fat that you can add to your coffee to boost your brain power and keep you feeling fuller longer. Down with MCT? Yeah, you know me! Down with MCT? Yeah, you know me! But before we go coconuts over these oils, let's crack open the truth about this tropical goo. Coconut oil and MCT oil are both forms of fat. Coconut oil is oil extracted from the meat of mature coconuts. The MCT in MCT oil stands for medium-chain triglycerides, which is a fatty acid composed of a six to 12 carbon chain. Medium-chain triglycerides, say that 12 times fast. MCT oils are digested faster than long-chain triglycerides like olive oil and canola oil.
MCT's are found naturally in coconut oil and other tropical oils, and can also be manufactured as standalone oils that you could pour in whatever you want. Talk about trendy! (smooth music) There's always been a desire amongst consumers to find the healthiest oil for cooking and baking, which is why you can see so many options on the shelves, canola, grapeseed, olive, avocado. The oil party is lit. Coconuts are a recognizable natural food, and people wanna eat natural foods. You're not nuts for wanting that. Meanwhile, MCT oil's popularity has risen along with that of the keto diet because MCT oil digests easily and goes to your liver faster, making it an attractive option for those trying to get their energy mainly from fats. Let's talk about the elephant in the room, saturated fat. Coconut oil is super high in saturated fat. one tablespoon of coconut oil has 12 grams of saturated fat. Is coconut overrated, underrated, or just plain saturated? The American Heart Association recommends less than 13 grams per day, so one tablespoon of coconut oil gets you 85% of the way there. One tablespoon of MCT oil contains seven grams of saturated fat,
less than coconut oil, but still not great. So, why don't we like saturated fat? In excess, it's extremely taxing on the liver and the pancreas to constantly be digesting and metabolizing saturated fats. Saturated head! (laughs) Plenty of studies have shown that having a diet high in saturated fat can be detrimental for your health and may increase your risk for stroke, heart disease, and obesity. And coconut oil has been found to raise your levels of LDL, bad cholesterol, more than butter or beef fat. You butter believe it. Monitoring your saturated fat intake is necessary to help mitigate those health risks. Coconut oil is perfectly fine to use externally. From the tropical to the topical! It actually contains lauric acid, which has some antimicrobial effects. Bye, germs! Other supposed benefits of MCT oil, like its ability to promote weight loss when swapped in for other oils haven't been studied enough to make conclusions on, and its brain-boosting reputation hasn't gotten much quality research or large-scale human studies, either. As much as I love me an occasional pick-me-up
from Bulletproof-style coffees, which contain MCT oil and butter or ghee, Remember, MCT oil shouldn't be the only source of fat in a day. (smooth music) The word coconut creates a healthy halo effect (celestial vocalizing) which has caused the universe to go overboard with it, hence, the coconut craze. (celestial vocalizing) and being able to throw MCT oil into your fave beverage also seems like an easy-peasy health win. But bottom line, coconut oil is a saturated fat, and excess amounts of saturated fats are proven to not be so great for your health. In my professional opinion, olive oil is the absolute best oil to use. It's rich in heart healthy monounsaturated fat and has some added bonuses like immunity-boosting vitamin E. Olive it, eh, get it? Bottom line, any kind of oil in excess is gonna add extra calories to your food. If you look for healthy fats coming from sources like flaxseed, salmon, almonds, or avocado, you'll be a well-oiled machine. And hey, I actually talked about avocados in a previous episode of You Versus Food. Go check it out.
Oh, man, I'm feeling coconuts! I'm feeling coconuts! See you next time for another episode of You Versus Food. Hey, you! Yeah, you in there! Go check out Well + Good's YouTube channel for more episodes of You Versus Food. I'm talking to you! Go!