Meta first: I'm quite turned off by this kind of discussion. The reason I'm occasionally in this forum, is because I want to make the soundest choices based on the best available evidence. If this forum is however mostly about in-group cohesion, where there are the believers on one side and on the other side the paleo-people that argue against the evidence or are poor blinded victims of the powerful coalition of coconut exporting countries and in between the doubters that need to be rescued it seems less and less likely that this forum stays a good place for carefully evaluating evidence. Then its just a place where the believers reassure and celebrate themselves.
After strictly following the recommendation against saturated fats for 4 years I posted on another thread on coconut oil just a bit more than one year ago because in my lay understanding a study used as evidence against saturated fats actually said that saturated fatty acids shorter or equally long as palmic acids are associated with a better disease outcome.. Here's the post:https://overcomingms.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3923&start=20#p43443
As nobody corrected my understanding of the study (all I got was an inquiry on what would drive my heresy) and because I wanted to experiment with low-carb and even ketogenic diet I started using coconut oil again. Now after 4 years of following the OMS diet with regards to sat-fats I had a fairly good HDL value of 1.32 mmol/l after one year of eating quite a lot of coconut-oil I had the excellent HDL value of 1.73 mmol/l. Of course this is just a single experience and of much less value compared to a paper that "reviews all current evidence" like the one quoted in the article. Even though hearth diseases are not my primary concern it made me nevertheless curious so I had a closer look.
Looking at the paper (available here: http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/early/2017/06/15/CIR.0000000000000510.full.pdf?download=true
) one gets a more nuanced picture that doesn't seem to support the statement that all saturated fats are (equally) evil. Figure 5 is very informative: it shows on one hand that replacing sat fats with poly- or mono-unsaturated fats, or with carbs reduces the bad LDL-cholesterol but especially when replacing them carbs it also reduces the good HDL-cholesterol. Specifically looking at replacement of carbs with the lauric coconut fat shows that this will lead to a slight increase of the bad LDL but a much more significant increase of the good HDL. So to summarize: between unsaturated fats and coconut oil the winner clearly are the unsaturated fat, but when comparing coconut oils and carbs there is no clear winner. For me the choice to use more coconut oil and less carbs had effect on the cholesterol that seem positive: the bad LDL slightly increased by 17% but remains in the optimum range (1.7 to 2 mmol/l) while the HDL value increased by 31% lifting me from the good range to the best range (1.32 to 1.73 mmol/l).