This article compares the differences and benefits of 2 nutritional supplements made from fats, fish and MCT oil.
Unlike most ‘vs.’ articles, this one doesn’t have a clear winner. After reading you will know how both fish and mct oil can benefit you. You’ll also know why, how, and when to take each.
MCT vs Fish Oil
- One’s vegetarian, the other isn’t
The MCT oil you get from a supplement is made from coconut or palm oil. This makes it plant based or vegan, whichever you prefer. Fish oil, as the name implies comes from fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies.
So, if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, MCT oil is okay for you to take. Fish oil (link), not so much. The best way for plant based eaters to get the fats found in fish oil is to use a plant based supplement like flax or hemp seed oil. They’re not as good a source of omega 3 fats but will help you get more into your diet.
MCT And Fish Oil Work Differently
When you take a spoonful of MCT oil, it skips the normal digestive process of other fats. Instead it’s quickly shuttled from your small intestines to your liver. Once in your liver it’s converted to compounds called ketones.
These ketones are then used by our brains, muscles, and hearts as a form of instant energy.
Fish oil, on the other hand, is digested and utilized like other fats. They’re absorbed by our small intestines and then go to work in our cells. The could even potentially be stored as fat whereas MCT is not.
Both Help You Lose Weight
Research finds both MCT and fish oil are good for fat loss. But they do it differently. There are 3 ways fish oil can help you lose weight and excess body fat.
- The first is that it gets our body to burn more calories throughout the day.
- It’s also shown to literally kill fat cells, blowing them up so they’re gone for good.
- The third way is that it can help send signals to our brain that we’re full so we eat less.
MCT oil, on the other hand get their weight loss benefits from the ketones they help make. It helps you lose fat and excess weight in these ways.
- They have an appetite suppressing effect.
- There’s also data that shows they ‘speed up’ your metabolism so you burn more calories throughout the day.
- MCT oil produced ketones help you quickly shed excess water weight.
You Need Different Amounts To See Results
When you take fish oil, you’ll need to take between 1-3 grams a day to see the results. The amount needed will be based upon your health, diet, how active you are and other factors. MCTs on the other hand require a dosage of 1-3 tablespoons (15 or more grams). Again the amount you need to take is dependent on your own needs and goals.
MCT And Fish Oil Work Differently In Your Body
When you take fish oil, it integrates into the cells of your body. From there, it sets off a variety of mechanisms that help to reduce inflammation throughout your body.
This is how it then helps reduce joint pain, with fat loss, keep your heart healthy, etc.
MCT Oil on the other hand works by increasing the amount of compounds called ketones in your bloodstream. They are an alternate source of energy from sugar, our normal energy source.
Ketones are like high test fuel and can be used by the brain, heart muscles, and other organs. When their levels increase they help to decrease our appetite, make us more mentally focused, and make the transition to burning fat for fuel much easier. This why so many of us following a ketogenic diet use them.
MCTs Work Immediately, Fish Oil Can Take Weeks
When you take a serving of MCTs you’re likely to feel the benefits very quickly. I just took one about 20 minutes ago and I’m on fire. My body is warm, my mind is focused, and I have a ton of energy. It’s the ultimate pre-work and workout supplement.
Fish oil on the other hand doesn’t kick in so fast. It took me about 2 weeks to begin noticing a difference. I have arthritis in one of my elbows and other nagging joint pain. Taking fish oil helps but it took longer to notice a difference. The results were also more subtle at first and improved the longer I’ve been taking it daily.
They Come From Different Sources
As you can guess, omega 3 fats come from fish. Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and anchovies have the greatest amounts. MCTs are found in the highest amounts in coconuts and palm kernels. They’re also present in butter and other high fat dairy foods.
MCT Oil Tastes Much Different Than Fish Oil
Fish oil tastes just like you’d think, like fish. This is why we take it in capsule form. It’s why I take it in capsule form so I don’t have to taste it at all. Storing it in your refrigerator also helps lessen the capsules’ fishy taste.
MCT oil on the other hand is totally flavorless. This makes it great to add to shakes and drizzle over your food. I actually think it enhances the richness and flavor of the food I’m eating when I cook with it or drizzle it over before I eat.
You can cook with MCT Oil
The fats in MCT oil are heat stable. This means they can be used for cooking up to 350 degrees. This is its smoke point, the temperature at which it burns and becomes unhealthy.
Try using them instead of your normal oil the next time you sauté or roast vegetables. It’s what we use in our home regularly. Just don’t go over 350 degrees.
Fish oil, on the other hand isn’t good for cooking at all. The first reason is that it becomes rancid at a pretty low temperature. This will turn its healthy omega 3’s into unhealthy and potentially harmful fats.
It’s fish flavor isn’t going to make your food taste very good either. Even when you add it to fish.
Fish And MCT Oils Can Work Together
There’s research showing combining these fats makes a great combination. When taken together, MCT oil helps increase the level of omega 3s from fish oil in your blood. Studies show this makes the benefits of these fats even more apparent.
Give it a try and see what it does for you.
This is just one of the reasons to take both MCT and fish oil. Another is that they both have such different benefits that it’s not even a choice as to which is better. Both will help you in their own way.
Listed below are the benefits of each supplement for you to see for yourself.
MCT oil’s benefits
- They get you into nutritional ketosis faster.
- MCTs decrease the side effects of the ‘low carb flu’ which happens when you first start the diet.
- They’re proven to help you lose excess weight and body fat.
- MCTs keep you feeling full between meals.
- They’ll Increase your mental energy and ability to focus.
Fish oil’s benefits
- Help you lose weight and excess body fat.
- Reduce inflammation throughout your body.
- Diminish pain in your joints, neck, and back
- Lower your blood pressure.
- Protect your heart and brain
- Help you recover faster between workouts.
Recommended MCT Oil
When it comes to MCT oil, my favorite is MCT Edge. It’s a product that I developed for my wife and myself. After testing dozens of products and our own formulation for more than a year, we began to sell it in our store.
Every serving gives you nothing but pure, pharmaceutical grade MCT oil. It uses the two most powerful of the four types of medium chain triglycerides. All you need to take is a tablespoon to see results fast.
Recommended Fish Oil
My favorite fish oil is MyOmega. Every 3 softgel serving gives you 2 grams of EPA and DHA, the fatty acids that give fish oil its benefits. Myomega also contains CoQ10 and astaxanthin. Both of these compounds are antioxidants that help your body fight off damage due stress from the environment, what we eat, etc.
Kondreddy VK, Anikisetty M, Naidu KA. Medium-chain triglycerides and monounsaturated fatty acids potentiate the beneficial effects of fish oil on selected cardiovascular risk factors in rats. J Nutr Biochem. 2016 Feb;28:91-102. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26878786/
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