We’ve partnered with Nutiva to help you understand the amazing health benefits of MCT oil vs Coconut oil.

Coconut oil has been a key fat in the plant-based diet, yet MCT oil is currently making its big debut—and for good reasons.

Today, I wanna compare and contrast these two plant-based healthy fats to help you understand when to use each one and what the health benefits are. You can watch the video we made below to understand how they both work and when I like to use them. You can also continue scrolling and read the entire article where we break it down for you as well.

Is Coconut Oil the same as MCT Oil?

I know, it’s confusing: both products have only coconut on their labels. So what’s the difference between them (and why is one so much more expensive)?

MCT oil vs coconut oil

Honestly, both oils are a good source of healthy fat, yet they do have their differences.

MCT oil is a concentrated source of coconut oil with only the medium-chain triglycerides. To separate out the “MCTs” from the other fats naturally found in coconut oil, it goes through a process called fractionation … or refining the oil to get what we want out of it.

This process can be done a few ways: with chemicals, high heat… or my favorite way — the cold-pressed expeller method. This is what Nutiva does to retain the natural goodness found in the MCTs, which is why I really admire their organic line of MCT oil and coconut oil. 

Below is a break down sharing more features of the two awesome oils…


  • higher heat point: can be used in baking + cooking
  • more affordable per ounce
  • has a slight coconut-taste
  • solid at room temp
  • used in larger doses


  • low heat point: best in coffee, smoothies + salad dressings
  • higher amounts of MCTs
  • flavorless
  • liquid all the time
  • used in small doses

Both oils are often promoted as aids to weight loss, however, MCT oil greatly reduces cravings and overall food intake throughout the day according to one recent study. Other studies say that MTC oil is a great source of energy and helps with mental clarity.

What is MCT Oil?

First, let’s get a little science-y. MCT stands for medium-chain triglyceride. This is a specific type of fatty acid commonly found in coconuts. LCTs, or long-chain triglycerides are also found in coconuts, but they require enzymes for absorption in our bodies.

So get this: MCTs go straight to our livers, and get processed for digestion. Because of this rapid digestion, MCT oil is less likely to be stored as fat, therefore, according to the US National Library of Medicine, it promotes weight loss more than other fatty acids. 

Coconut oil contains over 50% MCTs, while MCT oil is close to 100% MCTs.

Coconut oil has 3 different MCTs: lauric acid (42%), caprylic acid (7%), and capric acid (5%). Good MCT oil should have a higher concentration of caprylic and capric acids, as these act more like MCTs in terms of digestion, while lauric acid acts more like an LCT. 

I personally love MCT oil in my morning cup of coffee. It adds substance to my coffee, keeps me full longer and also “gets things moving.”

Coffee demo on mct oil vs coconut oil

Health Benefits of MCT Oil

MCT oil has some great health benefits when added to your smoothies or coffee according to recent studies. For starters, it…

  • Promotes digestion: Since it starts digestion in the liver, MCT oil doesn’t take the time that other oils do to break down. This gives it the unique ability to process more quickly, and take other foods with it down the digestive tract. WARNING! Adding too much MCT oil can lead to a lot of bathroom time. Start small- 1 tsp, and slowly increase intake when first consuming.
  • Is Tasteless: That’s right… unlike coconut oil, MCT oil doesn’t have that lingering coconut taste. We know not everyone likes coconut, so if this is you, give MCT oil a shot! Super healthy fat, with virtually no taste or smell.
  • Encourages Weight loss: this oil works to promote feelings of fullness in our bodies, as well keep us feeling full throughout the day.
  • Helps create a healthy gut: MCT oil encourages healthy bacteria and supports gut lining.
mct oil recipes with plant-based ingredients

How to Use MCT Oil

MCT oil is very concentrated, meaning you don’t need much of it to get the benefits. The suggested serving size of MCT oil is 1-2 teaspoons. Check out some of our favorite uses for MCT oil below:

Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

While MCT oil is growing in popularity, coconut oil will always be a winner at Simple Green Smoothies. Coconut oil also hosts many great healthy benefits:

  • Antibacterial: the lauric acid in coconut has demonstrated the ability to fight infections like staph and yeast in adults according to a study by the National Library of Medicine.
  • Aid in digestion: our bodies need healthy fats, and uses this oil to absorb nutrients, making them easily digested.
  • Antifungal and Antiviral: The fatty acid makeup of this oil also leads it to being antifungal and antiviral, so it is a great natural ingredient to add to deodorants, toothpaste, and other hygienic products.
  • High in lauric acid: Only breastmilk has a higher lauric acid concentration than coconut oil. This powerful acid actually helps increase immunity and fight infections, which makes it essential to our daily diets.

Coconut oil is considered a superfood due to its incredible health benefits, though it is still a saturated fat, and should be consumed in moderation. The recommended daily amount of saturated fat for women is 20 grams per day, and 30 grams per day for men. 1 tablespoon of coconut oil contains 15 grams of saturated fat.

Plant based recipes using coconut oil

How to use Coconut Oil

Coconut oil specifically has such a wide range of uses, food and otherwise, making it a great addition to our quest for a more natural lifestyle. Some of our favorite recipes that use coconut oil are:

About the Author

Jen Hansard

I went from exhausted mama to running across the Grand Canyon, riding & hiking to the top of the tallest waterfall in North America with my kids. How? I fell in love with the smoothies and plant-based meals you can find on my blog.

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  1. 5 stars
    Dan,I like the way you explain everything also I would like to know what is a good collagen to use and I don’t drink coffee so can I put it in tea .

    1. We recommend This Grass-fed Collagen or you can find a plant-based collagen alternative. Any beverage works for adding collagen — coffee, tea, and smoothies are great options!

    1. That’s a great question Patty, and it will partially depend on what you are using it for. If you’re using it for some of the health properties you can use avocado oil, hemp oil or fish oil. If using it for cooking you can try avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil.

  2. 3 stars
    No one seems to discuss the actual liquid coconut oil. Regular coconut oil is solid at room temperature because of the C12 (lauric acid) content. But liquid coconut oil has most of the C12 removed so the remaining C6, C8 and C10 remain and are in a liquid state. Granted there is still C6 and C10 which most MCT oil has reduced but seems like it would still be a possibly cheaper source of MCT oil overall. After all, there are benefits to the C6 and C10, aren’t there?

    1. I’m sure there are, Tony. It seems regular coconut oil and MCT oil are easier to come by which I believe is why we discuss those as opposed to liquid coconut oil. 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    This is truly a question I ask all the time— is mct oil worth it? It’s always so expensive! Now i know how to use it and what the results will be. Thanks for finally making it black and white for me.

  4. i do take mct. every so offen , just a teaspoon, it upsets my stomach but true it does curve my appetite

  5. Thanks for this informative video! . I do use your coconut smoothie ice cubes.

  6. Recently I followed the KETO diet. I enjoyed their Bulletproof coffee-same as the MCT Oil/butter coffee you show each morning. I had terrific results. List 20 pounds and felt full from the morning coffee. However, after about 3 months My cholesterol nearly tripled!! I stopped the coffee, and threw out all the high fat meats and dairy and began following a more basic low carb diet. I began to add back in some fruits and veggies that I had been missing. I still have about 10 more pounds to lose. I’ll have my cholesterol rechecked in about 6 weeks. I loved what that MCToil and butter coffee did for me each day. Will I ever be able to go back to starting my day with it???!?

    1. Linda, we suggest speaking with your health care practitioner and/or nutritionist regarding something this specific. They know you + your body best. 🙂

  7. This is great info! And after watching that video, I now need this coffee in my life. Can’t wait to try the powder too… I am not the biggest fan of the taste of coconut, and this solves that!

    1. Awesome! So glad we can help you find something that’s going to work for you!

  8. When adding coconut oil to smoothies do you have to melt it first or just drop in solid?

    1. Renee, you could do it either way. I think if you have a high-powered blender you could just drop it in solid but if don’t, you may want to melt it to a liquid first.

  9. Very helpful and informative.
    I’ll try both of them ..
    It’s was new information for me..
    Thank you.!

  10. I am so glad I watched your video all the way to the end. I love how you broke down all the ways you use coconut oil, mct oil, and liquid coconut oil… that one always confused me! Quick question: is there an alternative to using grass fed butter in the coffee? I am trying to go dairy free and was curious if you have a suggestion.

    1. Hey Dani!You can definitely swap out the grass fed butter for another high fat creamy option like coconut cream or full fat coconut milk from the can. Both of these would still create a creamy, smoothie result and keep the fat content high, which is part of the goal with this coffee. At first, I was scared to eat so much fat… but I honestly feel really good when doing this and no longer get the coffee jitters and do feel like I work with more focus. Hope you try it!

    2. Dani, I’d suggest using MCT oil in place of grass-fed butter. Many folks who are trying to avoid dairy use it and love it in their coffee!