Published: Thu, August 23, 2018
Health Care | By Belinda Paul

Coconut oil labeled 'pure poison' by Harvard professor

Coconut oil labeled 'pure poison' by Harvard professor

The fact that coconut oil isn't good for you "shouldn't be news", he said.

A Harvard professor has called the supposed health benefits of coconut oil into question by saying it's as bad for your wellbeing as "pure poison".

In her talk, Michels dispels the myth that coconut oil is healthy by explaining that the oil poses a greater risk to heart health than lard, as it contains high levels of saturated fatty acids - a type of acid which can clog arteries.

"There has been speculation that some of the saturated fat present in coconut oil may be better for us than other saturated fats, but so far there is not enough good-quality research to provide us with a definitive answer".

There's not a single study showing any significant health benefits to coconut oil consumption; in fact, coconut oil is more risky than lard according to Michels, as it nearly exclusively contains saturated fatty acids - acids that can clog the coronary arteries.

Coconut oil has had its profile boosted in recent years by health food advocates who claim it is healthier than other forms of fat.

For certain health food shops and wellbeing sites it is the panacea that helps everything from bad hair and mental grogginess to obesity and haemorrhoids. This goes against the common belief that coconut oil is good for your health, as it's previously been hailed as a "superfood" that can be used in the kitchen as a component of any meal.

She says most of the beneficial nutrients in them can be easily found in more common foods like carrots, cherries, and apricots.

The lecture comes after the American Heart Association (AHA) amended their dietary guidelines for coconut oil after recognising the high level of saturated fatty acids it contains, identifiable in the way it remains solid at room temperature. The American Heart Association recommends the average person only consume around 11 grams of saturated fat per day, or about 5 percent of your total daily calories.

Coconut oil is about 86% saturated fat - about a third more than butter, which is 52%. Just choose when to use coconut oil wisely. While the scientific world is still debating whether saturated fatty acids really are the work of the devil, others say with certainty that that's the case. "Saturated fat raises the LDL or the "bad" cholesterol so coconut oil is going to have that same effect as butter and beef fat".

So what's the actual verdict on coconut oil?

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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