You’ve probably seen—and totally related to—those memes satirizing the seemingly endless wellness benefits of coconut oil: It can transform your morning coffee into a metabolism turbo-booster, fight off bacteria and save your strands from split ends are just a few of the claims we can think of off the top of our heads. Well, a lot of dreams were crushed when USA Today reported that coconut oil might not exactly be the magical ingredient everyone thought it was. The article cites a recently released report from the American Heart Association which found that coconut oil was surprisingly high in saturated fats (even more so than pork lard and butter), and that it increased cholesterol levels in the majority of the controlled trials conducted.
Now before you launch into a full-blown panic and toss out the tubs you have in every room, this news might not be as scary as it sounds. Many respected wellness gurus have already jumped to coconut oil’s defense, saying that consuming saturated fat doesn’t necessarily lead to heart disease. Besides that, there is proof that fats like coconut oil can still help your body absorb nutrients, and fats high in medium-chain triglycerides can actually help some people lose weight. With respect to what we’re hearing from both sides, our takeaway is everything in moderation, so if you’re gonna slather the stuff on something, maybe focus on your hair and skin. And that occasional bulletproof coffee probably isn’t going to kill you.