The dietary advice that is generally followed nationally and internationally closely follows the Dietary Guidelines for Americans which was first published in 1980 and which has been through eight editions. All of the editions of the Dietary Guidelines recommend a diet that is low in fat, and most editions recommend the replacement of saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat. This recommendation is based on the saturated fat-cholesterol-heart disease hypothesis that was first proposed by Ancel Keys in the 1950s. Coconut oil was labeled as unhealthy because of its high saturated fat composition. However, this label is unwarranted. Re-analysis of the work that Keys undertook reveals that he used some inappropriate assumptions that invalidate his hypothesis. Keys undertook a large controlled feeding study, called the Minnesota Coronary Survey (MCS), to prove his hypothesis but he did not publish the results of this work. A recent re-analysis of this work has shown that his results do not support his hypothesis. Further, historical documentary evidence has revealed the significant involvement of the American sugar industry in influencing dietary policy by blaming saturated fat for heart disease. Populations that have adhered to the low-saturated fat dietary recommendation have become significantly overweight and obese. In contrast, populations that continue to follow their traditional diet which includes coconut have not had high rates of obesity. The Keys hypothesis needs to be abandoned.
Dayrit, F.M. (2017/09). The Dietary Guidelines and its Implications for Coconut Oil. Philippine Journal of Science, 146(3), 305-314.