Coconut oil is poison says Harvard professor

Faith Castro
August 22, 2018

"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", BHF dietitian Victoria Taylor said.

Michels made her comments 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.

Coconut oil in particular also contains a unique saturated fat called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), she adds.

The professor went on to say that there's no studies that show coconut oil has significant health benefits, and that saturated fatty acids can clog your arteries.

A lecture by a Harvard professor calling coconut oil "pure poison" has gone viral on YouTube, nearing 1 million views on Wednesday.

The video, which has garnered 400,000 hits, comes after the American Heart Association has advised people to avoid coconut oil. "You can identify fats that contain large quantities of saturated fatty acids by checking to see whether they remain solid at room temperature, as is the case with butter or lard", the site notes. 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.

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

In a 2016 review of 21 studies, most of which examined the effects of coconut oil or coconut products on cholesterol levels, the authors concluded that coconut oil raised total, HDL, and LDL cholesterol levels more than unsaturated fats (i.e. olive oil), although not as much as butter did.

"We know that diets high in saturated fat are associated with increased non-HDL cholesterol in the blood, and high cholesterol is a risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke".

The AHA found that replacing saturated fat intake with polyunsaturated vegetable oil greatly reduced the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, similar to the numbers achieved by prescribed drug treatment.

United Kingdom guidelines encourage people to swap saturated fats for unsaturated fats. Just choose when to use coconut oil wisely.

Michels and the AHA cite the tremendous amount of saturated contained in coconut oil, almost 82 percent. "What makes it of interest is the nature of fatty acids in coconut oil".

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