The rise in popularity of bulletproof coffee brings the desire to experiment with various fat sources that we can add to our daily cup of joe. “Healthy fats” ranging from grass-fed butter to VCO have been used to create what most tout as coffee taken to the next level. With this, the MCT oil has also gained much popularity. But, what exactly is MCT oil and how is it different from VCO?
Virgin Coconut Oil or VCO is harvested from mature coconut meat. Depending on the extraction process described, VCO can be harvested through the “wet-milling” process, wherein coconut milk is extracted from the wet meat of a coconut. This milk is then heated until it curdles and sinks, and the oil naturally separates.
The “no heat” method, on the other hand, extracts oil from dried coconut meat. Both processes do not use chemicals like hexanes during extraction for the end product to be classified as Virgin Coconut Oil.
MCT oil or Liquid coconut oil is refined, usually via fractionation, from coconut oil. The process separates the Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) from VCO. This is done with the belief that, since MCT is healthy, taking more of it means better benefits. The question is, what do you lose or gain when you take processed MCT oils?
The Purpose and Benefits
Virgin Coconut oil is considered a superfood because of its many health benefits. It is rich in Lauric Acid, which the body converts into monolaurin. Monolaurin has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties. VCO is usually taken for general health.
MCT oil, on the other hand, is mainly used to get the precious medium-chain triglycerides into one’s daily diet. Some people also use it as a source of energy.
Here lies the problem: in order to separate MCT from VCO, it has to undergo a process. This process includes fractionation and treating the oil with solvents and chemicals in order to extract MCT from coconut oil. If your bottle of MCT oil does not specify a hexane-free, chemical-free, or solvent-free extraction process, you cannot be sure that they don’t use these harmful stuff in the process of making MCT oil. What does that mean? It means you are drinking the chemicals and solvents as well!
If you can find MCT oil that is not processed with solvents, chemicals, and the like, then that might be great to use in your bulletproof recipes (i.e. coffee). However, in the absence of such MCT oil, just opt for VCO. VCO can be used topically, as a food supplement, for oil pulling, and for food preparation as well.
Article also appeared here: http://www.thefatkidinside.com/post/mct-oil-better-vco