Coconut oil not as healthy as thought, study says


One benefit the study did point out about coconut oil: it's the holy grail for hair and skin care. In fact, it's not healthy at all.

A new American Heart Association Report advises people not to use coconut oil in their food. While certain vegetable oils, like olive oil or sunflower oil, have more unsaturated fats, AHA says that 82% of the fat in coconut oil is saturated, well above the amount in butter (63%), beef fat (50%), and pork lard (39%).

In the report, the AHA says that coconut oil is nearly made entirely of saturated fat - 82 percent, to be exact.

Health experts say that the misconceptions surrounding coconut oil likely originate from general perceptions of dietary fats.

Olive oil and vegetable oil may be better options.

The American Heart Association recently released a report advising against the use of coconut oil.

Increased levels of LDL cholesterol, considered "bad" cholesterol, was found in coconut oil in seven out of seven trials, according to the report.

Studies comparing coconut oil's and other saturated fats' direct effects on cardiovascular disease rates have not been reported, the authors note.

Coconut oil has a lot of external uses.

- Treat cuts: Coconut oil contains antioxidants that can help cuts heal faster.

"You can put it on your body, but don't put it in your body", Sacks said.

Some studies have suggested that lauric acid, which makes up about half of coconut oil's saturated fats, does have some unique health benefits: It's antimicrobial, doesn't break down at high temperatures the way other fats can, and may have metabolism-boosting properties. That's because some people fill the void with sugar, white flour and empty calories.