Apparently, coconut oil, which is lauded for working wonders as a skin moisturizer and hair conditioner, isn't really all that healthy for cooking purposes.
In fact, the American Heart Association recently released a report that advises against using coconut oil for cooking because it's 82 percent saturated fat. Studies have shown that it raises "bad" cholesterol levels as much as butter, beef fat or palm oil, according to an advisory from the American Heart Association.
"Because coconut oil increases LDL cholesterol, a cause of CVD [cardiovascular disease], and has no known offsetting favorable effects, we advise against the use of coconut oil," the American Heart Association said in its Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease report.
Frank Sacks, the lead author of the advisory, said the tipping point that led to this advisory was a "well-publicized 2014 study that concluded that the amount of dietary and saturated fat had no bearing on the risk of heart disease."
Sacks noted that the major flaw in that study was that it didn't consider what people eat in place of saturated fat.
"The people who were eating low saturated fats were eating a lot of junk food carbohydrates," he said. And trading bad fat for bad carbs isn't going to decrease a person's risk for cardiovascular disease.
Sacks said the best way for people to reduce saturated fats is by cooking with canola, corn, soybean or extra virgin olive oil instead.