A dietitian explains the pros and cons of coconut and MCT oil | You Versus Food

A dietitian explains the pros and cons of coconut and MCT oil | You Versus Food

November 8, 2019 23 By William Morgan


♪ 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!