SARASOTA – If you’ve been using coconut oil as a substitute for butter, this may come as a shock. A new study suggests it’s actually bad for you.

“Coconut oil has one of the highest amounts of saturated fat, actually much more than butter and much more than lard,” says Cardiologist Chippy Nalluri.

So it’s no surprise the American Heart Association is now calling coconut oil unhealthy, but Dr. Nalluri isn’t entirely convinced. “I’m having a little bit of a dilemma with this primarily because coconut oil is a plant-based oil,” she says. “Although it is high in saturated fat, you can also consider that these plant-based oils also have antioxidants.”

Nalluri says more research needs to be done, like a study that looks at healthy individuals on a plant-based diet to learn the true impact of coconut oil.

Nalluri also says it’s not so much the saturated fats, but the trans-fats we need to worry about. “Trans-fat without a doubt and unequivocally is an unhealthy fat, in fact if you just intake 2 percent of trans-fat in a day you increase your risk of heart disease by 23 percent,” she says.

It all comes back to eating things in moderation. Nalluri suggests that we avoid fast food and eat a more plant-based diet. “High amounts of legumes, beans, whole grains, fruit as desert, and try to definitely limit processed meats and processed foods,” she says.