Coconut oil is ‘pure poison’ – Harvard professor

Coconut oil is ‘pure poison’ – Harvard professor

- Coconut oil has been preffered by many worldwide

- But a Havard professor, Karin Michel, has said coconut oil is ‘pure poison’

- She said the oil could lead to diseases including cardiovascular

A professor of Harvard University, Karin Michels, has revealed that unlike the popular notion that coconut oil is the best, it is actually a pure poison.

According to her, though coconut oil is feted as a healthy choice, it is high in saturated fat, and is ‘one of the worst things you can eat’.

The oil has over the years been reported to be one that helps everything from bad hair and mental grogginess to obesity and haemorrhoids, but Michels has rejected that notion.

Coconut oil. Photo credit: Getty Images

Coconut oil. Photo credit: Getty Images

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Karin Michels, an epidemiologist at the Harvard TH Chan school of public health, was speaking in a recent lecture entitled “Coconut oil and other nutritional errors” at the University of Freiburg, where she holds a second academic position as director of the Institute for Prevention and Tumour Epidemiology.

The speech, which was delivered in German, has reportedly been watched nearly a million times on You Tube, obviously because coconut oil is popular and has been accepted by many for many years.

According to Michels, coconut oil has high proportion of saturated fat, which is known to raise levels of so-called LDL (bad) cholesterol, and so the risk of cardiovascular disease is very high as compared with other oils.

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Coconut oil contains more than 80% saturated fat, more than twice the amount found in lard, and 60% more than is found in beef dripping,” she warned.

Interestingly, last year, the American Heart Association reportedly reviewed the evidence on coconut oil among other foodstuffs.

While three quarters of the US public considered coconut oil to be healthy, the review noted that only 37% of nutritionists agreed.

The authors attributed the gulf in perception to the marketing of coconut oil in the popular press.

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Because coconut oil increases LDL cholesterol, a cause of CVD (cardiovascular disease), and has no known offsetting favourable effects, we advise against the use of coconut oil,” the review concluded.

Other organisations have issued similar warnings.

Coconut oil can be included in the diet, but as it is high in saturated fats should only be included in small amounts and as part of a healthy balanced diet,” the British Nutrition Foundation said.

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