Coconut oil is now being recognized as a therapy for poor cholesterol levels, obesity and hypothyroidism. Even though it contains saturated fat, research shows that coconut oil’s chemical structure is different from animal-derived fats. Because of this, it can increase fat metabolism and improve the ratio between good (HDL) and bad (LDL) cholesterol. This may explain why another traditional diet, that of Polynesia, leads to relatively low rates of heart disease. Start using coconut oil when you sauté, stir-fry or bake. It has a completely neutral flavor and is a good alternative to butter, margarine and shortening for medium heat cooking. To reap its health benefits you should strive for a tablespoon per day. It is available in health food stores.