Which is Healthier: Coconut Oil vs. Butter

coconuts surrounding healthy coconut oil

In the quest for making healthy choices for ourselves, the argument for coconut oil vs. butter has been a long and confusing journey. With different health histories and physical concerns, what might be good for one person could turn into a disaster for another. There is no simple answer whenever someone asks, is coconut oil healthier than butter? Instead, let’s dive into the benefits of organic coconut oil and let you decide for yourself which is the healthier option.

Organic Coconut Oil

A quick rundown about organic coconut oil is that it’s an essential nutrient made up of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) which are shorter than long-chain triglycerides (LCTs). This is important because MCTs metabolize much quicker in the body than LCTs which means they don’t accumulate in the body as fat. Instead, they are processed through the liver and used for energy. But more importantly, coconut oil contains 50% lauric acid which is proven to have powerful antifungal and antimicrobial agents, both cancer fighters. Butter has similar properties, but when you compare coconut oil vs. butter, the former has the advantage of being a lactose-free, vegan-friendly oil since it is derived from processing the coconut’s flesh. In addition, many people enjoy the added flavor coconut oil lends to their dishes, though a more refined product is tasteless for those who don’t. 

Improve Your Cholesterol Levels

Coconut oil and butter both affect your cholesterol levels. However, while coconut oil increases HDL or high-density lipoprotein, the good kind, butter, on the other hand, increases LDL or low-density lipoprotein, the bad kind. One study compared the effects of cholesterol levels in coconut oil vs butter along with safflower oil and concluded that coconut oil both lowered LDL levels and boosted HDL levels. 

It’s widely known that an increase in HDL cholesterol can improve your heart health and prevent heart disease. LDL cholesterol, on the other hand, can cause plaque buildup on the walls of your blood vessels. Over time, this can slow down and even block the blood flow to and from your heart, resulting in chest pains, or even worse, a heart attack. This certainly adds to the argument that coconut oil is healthier than butter.

Butter Alternative Popcorn Oil

Antioxidant Factor

Some might argue that coconut oil is healthier than butter because virgin coconut oil is known to be rich in antioxidants due to being a plant-based oil. Antioxidants are substances that fight free radicals, which are linked to diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, in your body. Virgin coconut oil rises to the top of the list as being beneficial because it is not as heavily processed as its competitors, which preserves the antioxidants contained within it. The minimal process by which we produce our virgin unrefined coconut oils, like this Cold Pressed option and this Centrifuge Extracted oil, results in a high-quality product that can’t be beaten!

Weight Control

No product is a magic wand that will cause you to lose weight just by eating spoonfuls of it, coconut oil included. However, the MCT (aka medium-chain triglyceride) in coconut oil has been proven in studies to be a weight-loss-friendly food component that may aid in weight management and even reduction. Its properties have been shown to increase metabolism and help regulate thyroid function. In addition, research has shown that coconut oil might help you feel more full and regulate your appetite. Then again, butter also keeps you satiated longer, and they are both similar in fat and calories. So, in the debate of coconut oil vs. butter in terms of weight control, the fruit oil appears to edge out its competitor.


Much to many people’s dismay, dairy products like butter that are relatively low in lactose content, and often fine for some lactose intolerance sufferers to consume, can send others over the edge. The fact that you can use coconut oil in lieu of butter when cooking or baking, or as a topper on foods such as popcorn, might make the argument that coconut oil is healthier than butter, especially when you’re someone who is highly lactose intolerant!

water pouring into open cracked coconut half

Healthy Skin

Not only is coconut oil a great and delicious ingredient to cook with, but also people worldwide use it to improve the skin’s overall health and appearance. In short, coconut oil increases the moisture content of dry skin. One study found that applying approximately 6-8 drops of virgin coconut oil on your hands and leaving it on overnight can be a highly-effective way to prevent dry skin resulting from frequent usage of alcohol-based hand sanitizers. It also improves the skin’s function by keeping moisture inside while keeping various chemicals and allergens out. Meanwhile, consuming dairy products such as butter can elevate oil production, which leads to blocked pores that exacerbate skin problems like blackheads and acne breakouts.

In Conclusion

There is no fast and set rule in the debate of coconut oil vs. butter that defines one winner over the other. While the argument can be made that there are more health benefits to consuming antioxidant-rich coconut oil than there are to consuming butter, both are still high-fat foods that you should eat in moderation. Your priorities regarding health will help you determine whether coconut oil is healthier than butter for you. Keep in mind that Wildly Organic Butter Alternative may be an excellent solution for those of you looking to replace butter in your diet. And isn’t it wonderful to have an alternative to butter for those suffering from lactose intolerance and dairy allergies?

Whichever way you choose, Wildly Organics has a top-notch array of natural coconut oils to please all preferences, including those of you who can’t resist that butter flavor! Sign up for our email list to get 10% off your first order today!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Previous article What’s the Skinny on Fat? Breaking Down the Fatty Acid in Coconut Oil

Wildly Organic is an independent source for wholesome, organic foods and natural, raw foods and ingredients, the building blocks of a healthy life.