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Coconut oil isn't healthy. It's never been healthy.

USA TODAY
The American Heart Association recently released a report showing the health hazards of coconut oil.

Corrections & clarifications: An earlier version of this story misstated Marie-Pierre St-Onge’s title.

The American Heart Association recently released a reportadvising against the use of coconut oil.

The reviewed existing data on saturated fat, showing coconut oil increased LDL ("bad") cholesterolin seven out of seven controlled trials. Researchers didn't see a difference between coconut oil and other oils high in saturated fat, like butter, beef fat and palm oil. In fact, 82% of the fat in coconut oil is saturated, according to the data— far beyond butter (63%),beef fat (50%) and pork lard (39%).

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"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 the .

, lead author on the report, said he has no idea why people think coconut oil ishealthy. It's almost 100% fat. Pastmight be responsible.

“The reason coconut oil is so popular for weight loss is partly due to my research on medium chain triglycerides," Marie-Pierre St-Onge, associate professor of nutritional medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, . "Coconut oil has a higher proportion of medium-chain triglycerides than most other fats or oils, and my research showed eating medium-chain triglycerides may increase the rate of metabolism more than eating long-chain triglycerides.”

The problem isSt-Onge's research used a "designer oil" packedwith 100% MCTs. Traditional coconut oil only contains about 13 to 15%. Another study she published showed smaller doses of MCTs doesn't help with .

The AHA recommends eating as part of total daily calories for those who need lower cholesterol.

Before you trash your coconut oil, know that saturated fat is a loaded term. While the AHA warns against it, people who cut saturated fat out of their diet might not necessarily lower their heart disease risk, a 2015BMJ review suggested. That's because some people fill the void with sugar, white flour and empty calories. Also, some fat is important to help bodies absorb nutrients from other foods. Many have said butter has gotten a bad reputation.

Still, it might not be a bad idea to optfor vegetable oils or olive oil, Sacks said. Plus, coconut oil can still be an or hair conditioner.

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

Related:

Cutting saturated fat doesn't necessarily reduce heart disease risk

Always keep these foods in your house for healthy eating

These foods get a bad rap, but are actually good for you

Ashley Mayis currently engaged in a coconut oil debate with her mom. Follow heron Twitter: