Coconut Oil Not as Healthy as You Think, New Study Finds

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So much for coconut oil being the magic healthy fat.

Delish reports that a new study by the American Heart Association has found that coconut oil might just be as bad for you as butter or even beef fat when it comes to cholesterol levels.

MORE: 6 Ways to Use Coconut Oil as Part of Your Beauty Regimen

The study, originally published in the medical journal Circulation, also notes that perception about how healthy coconut oil is varies widely. The study cites a survey that found that 72 percent of Americans consider the oil healthy compared to 37 percent of nutritionists.

Most of the fats in coconut oil are saturated, a full 82 percent of them, and according to the study, people who consumed coconut oil showed increased levels of the "bad" LDL cholesterol compared to those who consumed olive oil and safflower oil.

The study further found that coconut oil isn't much different from butter, beef fat or palm oil when it comes to impact on LDL levels. This leads researchers to recommend against using coconut oil.

"Because coconut oil increases LDL cholesterol, a cause of [cardiovascular disease], and has no known offsetting favorable effects, we advise against the use of coconut oil," the report reads.

However, it's not all bad news about coconut oil. The report only cautions against consuming the fat source. Using coconut oil for cosmetic purposes is just fine according to the report's lead author, Frank Sacks.

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

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