Verify: Is coconut oil worse for you heart than other oils?

Is cooking with coconut oil a trend worth keeping? GETTY IMAGES  ISTOCK

Is cooking with coconut oil a trend worth keeping? GETTY IMAGES ISTOCK

In fact, it's not healthy at all.

An AHA survey found that 72 percent of Americans considered coconut oil a health food. Researchers compared the oil to others high in saturated fat, like beef and butter. A chart in the document shows that coconut oil has more saturated fat than lard, canola oil or even butter.

The dream that coconut oil is a healthier oil has been shattered and a new study advises against using the oil altogether.

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

The advisory suggests olive oil and vegetable oil as alternatives to coconut oil.

While the report doesn't contain any new scientific findings, lead author Frank Sacks, MD, professor of cardiovascular disease prevention at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, says it was important for the American Heart Association to take a close look at the available data.

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In an unpleasant surprise for many health food devotees, research showed that coconut oil increased LDL ("bad") cholesterol in seven out of seven controlled trials.

People who replace saturated fats with carbohydrates or foods high in sugar, for example, don't see reductions in heart disease risk. It also seems to boost levels of HDL "good" cholesterol, which may be protective against heart disease.

The AHA says coconut oil also increases LDL cholesterol, that's the bad kind - the kind that clogs your arteries.

Coconut oil has a lot of external uses.

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

The debate on saturated fats has been going on for years.

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