Consumer Guidelines & Information:
“The Truth About Coconut Oil“ published on WebMD.com, by Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD; March 10, 2011 includes the following points of information:
– Pure virgin coconut oil, containing no hydrogenation (the process of adding hydrogen to make a liquid fat hard), contains 92% saturated fat — the highest amount of saturated fat of any fat.
– Like all fats, coconut oil is a blend of fatty acids. Coconut oil contains an unusual blend of short and medium chain fatty acids, primarily lauric (44%) and myristic (16.8%) acids. It is this unusual composition that may offer some health benefits.
– Neither the American Heart Association (AHA) nor the U.S. government's 2010 Dietary Guidelines suggest that coconut oil is any better or preferable over other saturated fats. Coconut oil, like all saturated fats, should be limited to 7%-10% of calories because it can increase risk for heart disease, according to the AHA and 2010 Dietary Guidelines.
Conclusion: if you plan to add coconut oil to your diet, consult with your physician to determine if, and how much, coconut oil is right for you.