Once demonized as a harmful “bad” fat, coconut oil is now a popular item on grocery store shelves. Nothing has changed about the composition of coconut oil—it is still contains about 90% saturated fat—but experts say that the substance is okay in small amounts. However, vegetable oils such as soy, olive, and canola are still the best choice for improving heart health because they lower “bad” LDL cholesterol as well as boost “good” HDL. In baking, coconut oil gains a slight edge over these oils as a substitute for butter or margarine because of its solid consistency at room temperature.
To continue reading this article, you must login
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.