If its advocates are to be believed, coconut oil is one of the healthiest foods you can eat. It may contain the highest level of saturated fat of any variety of oil, but it's not just any type of saturated fat. It consists of medium-chain triglycerides, which are much easier on your body than the long-chain fatty acids found in other saturated fats, and may, in fact, encourage weight loss.
Many people swear by coconut oil's curative, regenerative properties. It's often used to alleviate asthma symptoms and has even been credited with improving the lives of people living with autism. Some dieters use coconut oil as an appetite suppressant, and anecdotal evidence suggests it's a cure for heartburn and acid reflux. Coconut oil is frequently used as a topical treatment for wounds and back pain. But here's the rub: There hasn't been enough research done to validate many of these claims, so use coconut oil with discretion.
Coconut oil can be used as a substitute for any type of cooking oil. Like olive oil, it also makes a great salad dressing or topping for bread. Try mixing it into coffee or tea as a flavorful additive.