Coconut oil is 'pure poison,' says Harvard professor

Dr Karin Michels who also heads up the tumor research center at the University of Freiburg made the statement in a 50-minute talk in German last month

A Harvard professor just busted the myth that coconut oil is good for you, calling it 'pure poison'

While the occasional splashy study argues that saturated fat is actually healthy, the preponderance of evidence supports the same old conclusion: Saturated fat, and coconut oil by extension, just isn't that good for you.

According to Michels, coconut oil is more risky than lard because it nearly exclusively contains saturated fatty acids, the kind that can clog the coronary arteries. Not unlike lard, at room temperature Coconut oil is solid and that's due to its high sat-fat content.

"It's not a hard topic, scientifically", said Frank Sacks, a professor of cardiovascular disease prevention at the Harvard School of Public Health and lead author of an AHA advisory on dietary fats released past year.

During the low-fat craze a few decades back, coconut oil was something dieters wouldn't touch in a million years.

The video, which has amassed more than 400,000 views since being published on July 10, will add fuel to the fiery debate over the oil's nutritional properties; many have turned to coconuts as a guilt-free fat, but even the American Heart Association has urged consumers to restrict their use.

For example, a 2008 study out of Columbia University found that regularly consuming 100 percent medium-chain fatty acids causes the body to burn fat and leads to weight loss.

Registered Nutritionist Laura Thomas has also previously questioned the health benefits of coconut oil.

But experts can't seem to agree on how much saturated fat people should consume in a healthy diet, or if it should be avoided altogether.

A study conducted previous 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. Indulging in a bit of coconut oil, of course, won't kill you.

While scientists never reached any conclusions that should have elevated coconut to its extreme superfood status, what they found wasn't all bad - and it certainly wasn't poison. "I've never done one study on coconut oil".

Health experts believe grapeseed and flaxseed oil, which contain lots of unsaturated fatty acids; and soybean, sunflower and corn oil, which are made up of polyunsaturated fats, are good alternatives. "It is one of the worst foods you can eat".

In fact, she said, "Coconut oil is pure poison", according to a translation by Business Insider. Each tablespoon of coconut oil provides 130 calories.

We can't say we are surprised at Michels's findings - there was always something slightly unsettling about how solidified coconut oil looked.

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