Coconut oil can take higher temperatures than other oils without degrading. It imparts a subtle sweet taste to vegan baked goods, along with giving them a wonderful, flaky crust. And health-wise, the main cooking oil of South India is coconut oil, and the people over there are not dropping like flies to heart disease. There's evidence that one of the main constituents in coconut oil, lauric acid, actually has a heart protective effect. But this is for *non-refined* coconut oil.
When I lived in Miami, I thrived on coconut milk, non-refined coconut oil, coconut shreds, the works! My arteries were and are just fine. My cholesterol is 118. Coconut oil can totally be a part of a healthy vegan or vegetarian diet.