A professors ideas behind coconut oil is 'pure poison' claim

Coconut oil is ‘pure poison’ claimed Harvard professor Karin Michels last week. This must have come as a shock to the hundreds of millions of people in countries like India and Malaysia who have been using it in their cooking for decades

"It is one of the worst foods you can eat".

Nutrition professor Karin Michels has surprised many health buffs when she called coconut oil "pure poison", but she may actually have a point.

Central to her remarks is that there is no evidence of the long-term health benefits of coconut oil as well as the findings that the ingredient features a high saturated fat content that can elevate the levels of LDL, or "bad" cholesterol and ultimately fuel cardiovascular disease. In a video of a German-language lecture at the University of Freiburg that was posted in July, Michels dismisses coconut oil's health halo as "absolute nonsense".

"Coconut oil is somewhere in the middle of the spectrum in terms of types of fats". It can be used in moderation, according to Doctor Walter C. Willett, of Harvard's Department of Nutrition.

"There is to date no strong scientific evidence to support health benefits from eating coconut oil".

"This is ridiculous - coconut oil is NOT "pure poison"... or thousands of South Indians who use it in everyday cooking wouldn't be alive".

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In the 50 minute speech, which has over 900,000 views at the time of writing, she details the dangers of overusing coconut oil.

Michels isn't the first person to debunk coconut oil's benefits. It contains more than 80% saturated fat, 2 times more than lard, 60% more than beef, and one - third- than butter.

Most dietary guidelines suggest to restrict the amount of saturated fats you have in your daily diet, and instead opt for unsaturated oils when possible. "HDL is called the "good cholesterol" because it helps to keep cholesterol from building up in the arteries, while LDL is called the "bad cholesterol" because it's the main source of cholesterol build-up and blockage in the arteries, which can lead to heart attack and stroke". As CNN reports, almost three-quarters of Americans believe coconut oil to be healthful.

Research has found a mixed bag when it comes to saturated fats, and coconut oil in particular.

What to look for when purchasing coconut oil and how much to consume? The AHA claimed that it can contribute to higher risk of heart diseases as it is full of saturated fat.

"I like to use coconut oil in place of butter not with butter, in place of butter", said Dr. Oz.

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