What type of fat does coconut oil contain?

Keri Glassman, MS, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics
Coconut oil contains a beneficial type of saturated fat called medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), which have been shown to improve HDL cholesterol levels. Watch registered dietitian Keri Glassman, RD, explain why coconut oil is good for heart health.
Although it’s been given a bad rap due to its saturated fat (the type of fat known to raise cholesterol levels and increase risk for heart disease), coconut oil contains a different type of fat than most other saturated fats, like those in meat and dairy. Dairy fats are made up of short chains of fats, and animal fats are made up of long chains of fats. But coconut oil is made up of medium-chain fatty acids (known as MCTs for medium-chain triglycerides), which are more easily metabolized by the body and tend to be used for energy more quickly -- instead of being stored as fat -- compared to the shorter- and longer-chain fats.

Continue Learning about Fats


At 9 calories per gram, fats can add up quickly in your diet, yet experts recommend that you get only 7% of your calorie intake from fat. Fats also affect your cholesterol, and there are both good and bad fats. The best kind of fa...

ts are called unsaturated fats, and can be found in oils like olive and canola oils, nuts and seeds. These fats can help your body get rid of cholesterol. Saturated fats often have had hydrogen added to them to make them more solid. Other saturated fats are found in cream, butter and meats. They can raise your blood cholesterol. Its wise to learn which is which and check nutrition labels to make proper choices.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.