Superfood fans take caution.

The American Heart Association recently released a report advising against consuming coconut oil.

Coconut oil has seen a growing following in recent years as fans viewed it as an almost miracle-like fat and butter alternative, particularly with the paleo set. Touted as a superfood, cooking with the waxy white solid was said to burn fat, kill harmful microorganisms, curb hunger and improve cholesterol levels.

But researchers recently found that coconut oil increased LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in seven out of seven trials, and they failed to see a difference between coconut oil and other popular oils high in saturated fat like butter, lard and beef fat. In fact, 82 percent of the fat in coconut oil is s saturated, while butter (63%), beef fat (50%) and pork lard (39%) contain less.

Frank Sacks, lead author on the report, said he has no idea why people think coconut oil is healthy — I’s almost 100 percent fat, USA Today reports.

Saturated fat isn’t always a dirty word. The AHA warns against consuming more than 6 percent of your calories from saturated fats, but people who cut it out completely don’t always succeed in lowering their risk for heart disease. That is because many people will then fill that void with empty calories like sugar and white flour. Additionally, some fat in our diets is necessary to help the body absorb nutrients.

But before you throw out your expensive coconut oil, know that it’s still a great moisturizer for skin and nails and works as a great hair conditioner. When it comes to your body, consider sticking with olive oil and butter on the inside, and coconut oil on the outside.


Shop coconut oil alternatives at everybodycravespantry.com.

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Meghan is a full-time writer exploring the fun facts behind food. She lives a healthy lifestyle but lives for breakfast, dessert and anything with marinara. She’s thrown away just as many meals as she’s proud of.