The American Heart Association released a report warning against the use of coconut oil due to the high amounts of saturated fat it contains; this goes back to the current debate over the health of saturated fat and eating fat.
It is important to look at the whole picture rather than an isolated ingredient.
Indeed, high saturated-fat consumption in a diet that is low in fibre and leafy greens, and too high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
However high fat consumption from clean sources such as mono-unsaturated fats (olive oil) and even saturated fat (organic coconut oil) eaten alongside a healthy diet that is low in refined foods and sugars, and high in vegetables and fibres, has in fact been found to improve cholesterol composition, and be heart protective.
Coconut oil is unusual as it contains medium-chain triglycerides that have been shown to speed up metabolism and assist in fat loss, as well as lauric acid, a component found in breastmilk, which is anti-microbial.
In essence coconut oil is a great health food that can be used for cooking as it has many benefits, however it needs to be consumed as part of a healthy diet in order not to cause additional inflammation in the body.