Coconut oil is an edible oil that has been consumed in tropical places for thousands of years. Studies done on native diets high in coconut oil consumption show that these populations are generally in good health, and don’t suffer as much from many of the modern diseases of western nations where coconut oil is seldom consumed anymore.
Coconut oil was once prevalent in western countries like the United States. With a long shelf life and a melting point of 76 degrees, coconut oil was a favorite in the baking industry. But a negative campaign against saturated fats in general, and coconut oil in particular, led to most food manufacturers abandoning coconut oil in recent years in favor of hydrogenated polyunsaturated oils that come from the main cash crops in the US, particularly soy.