Coconut oil is an edible oil that has been consumed in tropical places for thousands of years. Coconut is the fruit of the coconut palm. The oil of the nut (fruit) is used to make medicine. Coconut oil is high in a saturated fat called medium chain triglycerides. These fats work differently than other types of saturated fat in the body. However, research on the effects of these types of fats in the body is very preliminary.