Coconut oil has received its fair share of praise over the years, but a recent report is warning people against the popular product.
The American Heart Association said the oil doesn’t live up to the hype, labelling it as high in saturated fat and on par with butter and beef fat.
Conducting seven controlled trials, the results of each one showed consuming coconut oil increased low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL), also called "bad" cholesterol.
Now the association is advising against using coconut oil.
"Because coconut oil increases LDL cholesterol, a cause of CVD [cardiovascular disease], and has no known offsetting favourable effects, we advise against the use of coconut oil," the American Heart Association said in the Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease advisory.
The concern around the level of saturated fats in coconut oil isn’t new.
An article published on the ABC in 2014 said: "It's about 91 per cent saturated fats and only 6 per cent mono-unsaturated fats — virtually the opposite from olive oil which is 14 per cent saturated fats and 72 per cent mono-unsaturated fats.”
“They are very strongly associated with bad blood cholesterol levels and heart disease.”
But not everyone agrees, with many using the oil has a healthy alternative to other oils.
Despite this, the Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting foods containing saturated fat.
"Replace high-fat foods which contain predominantly saturated fats such as butter, cream, cooking margarine, coconut and palm oil with foods which contain predominantly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats such as oils, spreads, nut butters/pastes and avocado."