Coconut Oil Is ‘Pure Poison,’ Harvard Professor Claims

Coconut Oil Is ‘Pure Poison,’ Harvard Professor Claims

Coconut Oil Is ‘Pure Poison,’ Harvard Professor Claims

But in her German-language talk "Coconut Oil and Other Nutritional Errors", which is nearing 1 million views on YouTube as of Wednesday, Karin Michels, an adjunct professor at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, calls coconut oil "pure poison" and "one of the worst foods" she can name.

Michels and the AHA cite the tremendous amount of saturated fat contained in coconut oil, almost 82 percent. The American Heart Association advises against high consumption of saturated fats due to their association with cardiovascular disease - still the leading global cause of death at 17.3 million per year. For her lecture, the researcher spoke at length about the many health myths surrounding coconut oil and while it's basically not healthy at all.

In 2017, the American Heart Association (AHA) released a report aiming to shed light on the long-running debate over the healthiest fats.

Is it healthy?"While coconut oil isn't a superfood, it isn't inherently problematic either", she told Global News. Each tablespoon of coconut oil provides 130 calories.

Other organisations have issued similar warnings.

Coconut oil's rise to fame began after two studies by Columbia University which looked at medium-chain fatty acids, a type of fat present in coconuts. Plus, there is no known study showing the health benefits of coconut oil.

United Kingdom sales of coconut oil have surged from £1m to £16.4m in the past four years.

Experts note that many people believe cooking with or consuming coconut oil to be healthy because it has been marketed that way, with companies touting supposed benefits such as anti-aging, prevention of dementia, and cardiovascular health. In the U.S., coconut oil sales appear to have peaked in 2015 at $229m, according the market research firm Spins.

A study conducted past year shows that over 80 percent of fats in coconut oil are saturated, meaning that eating a lot of the stuff could lead to increased chances of cholesterol. While the AHA warns against it, people who cut saturated fat out of their diet might not necessarily lower their heart disease risk, a 2015 BMJ review suggested.

"This important paper reaffirms the scientific evidence that saturated fat raises LDL cholesterol, a leading cause of atherosclerosis", Rachel Johnson, Ph.D., R.D., a professor of nutrition at the University of Vermont, said in a statement on the AHA's website at the time.

Related news