The update, published Thursday, says that 82 percent of the fat in coconut oil is saturated fat, which is known to raise “bad” cholesterol levels and lead to blockages and plaque build up that can cause strokes and heart attacks.
USA Today reported that the advisory found the percentage of fat in coconut oil is more than that in butter, beef and pork fat, which have fat percentages of 63 percent, 50 percent and 39 percent, respectively.
“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 AHA said.
The AHA recommends that people not consume more than 6 percent saturated fat as part of their total caloric intake each day.
Frank Sacks, lead author of the AHA report, has a simple suggestion for fans of coconut oil.
“You can put it on your body, but don’t put it in your body,” Sacks said.
The AHA recommends replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fats such as soybean oil, sunflower oil and corn oil.