A nutritionist explains why people are so damn obsessed with MCT and coconut oils


Photo: Getty Images / Julia Dudnitskaya


Let’s face it: Oil is having a moment. It’s stocked in our pantries, fridges, bathroom cabinets, and even our coffee. It’s hard to believe there was a time when our culture was afraid of it (and every other fat).

With healthy fats making a major comeback, registered dietitian Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, RD, took to another episode of You Versus Food to give us the low-down of what’s really true about the health benefits in coconut oil and MCT oil.

If you’re sitting here wondering what even the difference is between MCT oil vs coconut oil: MCT oil (which stands for medium-chain triglyceride) is a fatty acid composed of a 6-to-12 carbon chain. MCTs are often found in coconut oil (which contains both MCTs and other types of fatty acids) but can also stand alone.

“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,” says Beckerman.

However, both coconut oil and MCT oil are packed with saturated fats. One tablespoon of coconut oil has 12 grams of saturated fat (85 percent of your recommended daily consumption), she says, and MCT oil has seven grams. “In excess, it’s extremely taxing on the liver and the pancreas to constantly be digesting and metabolizing saturated fats,” Beckerman says. “Plenty of studies have shown that having a diet high in saturated fat can be detrimental to your health.”

That doesn’t mean you should throw out your MCTs. But if you have high LDL cholesterol (the bad kind), she advises using coconut oil externally only (like, on your skin) as it has anti-microbial properties and serves as an awesome natural moisturizer.

So, with all of this conflicting information, how do we know if these oils are actually healthy for us? Check out the full video above. We dare you to try and not laugh at Beckerman’s rendition of Naughty By Nature’s “O.P.P”.

Speaking of super trendy foods, here’s what Beckerman thinks about turmeric. And ACV

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