From a radio Q and A on which I was the guest:
You list coconut oil in your first tier of food choices. What are the advantages of coconut oil?
First of all, let’s be clear about which coconut oil I recommend.
Refined, bleached, deodorized (RBD) coconut oil is actually an exceptionally unhealthy food. Virgin coconut oil is an exceptionally healthy food.
RBD coconut oils are made from copra, the “meat” of the coconut. The coconut is split open, and the milk drained for other uses. The copra is allowed to dry in the sun without sanitary protection. It is eventually shoveled into open trucks and taken to the coconut oil plant, where is it is soaked in hexane to remove the coconut oil. The oil is heated to boil off the hexane solvent, and then treated with a nickel catalyst to make it shelf-stable.
Virgin coconut oil is made from the milk of the coconut, not the meat. The coconut milk is allowed to ferment for 24 to 36 hours, causing it so separate into oil and water fractions. The clear oil drawn off and bottled, usually under highly sanitary conditions. It is never heat-treated or exposed to solvents or heavy-metal catalysts.
Virgin coconut oil is 50 to 55 percent lauric acid. This fatty acid stops microbial growth. As a result, food cooked in coconut oil taste better longer. Coconut oil stays fresh at room temperature for up to a year. Although too much of a good thing is possible with coconut oil as it is with any food, moderate amounts of coconut oil stimulate thyroid function and encourage weight loss, so much that Asian farmers avoid feeding coconut to farm animals they want to fatten up. Using coconut oil in moderate amounts, up to about 2 tablespoons (30 ml) a day, in place of other oils, may help you lose weight (about 1 pound or half a kilo a month) even if you eat the same portions of other foods.
You may be interested in my article on virgin coconut oil for diabetes.