We're still recovering from more than 20 years of the low-fat fad, which forced us into the carb-heavy diet and forbade foods like olives, nuts, and avocados. Finally, the scene has shifted. Most people regularly enjoy good-fat plant foods, few recoil in horror from olive and canola oils, and almost everyone — even, finally, our government — realizes that trans fats are detrimental to our health.
Now for more big fat news: Certain saturated fats aren't the heinous health offenders we once thought. Some health experts even admit there's no conclusive evidence that naturally occurring saturated fats, which have been part of the human diet for thousands of years, cause cardiovascular disease or anything else. For example, coconut oil, a saturated fat, is actually healthier than the polyunsaturated fats found in sunflower, safflower, sesame, corn, soy, and peanut oils, which contain pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids, says Lieberman. “Pure, nonhydrogenated, organic, cold-pressed coconut oil is a rich source of lauric acid,” she says, “which is anti-inflammatory and antiviral.” Overall, extra-virgin olive oil and coconut oil are great choices. As with all things, of course, use in moderation.