A Harvard professor has criticized the image of coconut oil as being a superfood, stating that this oil is instead just “pure poison” for one’s health. Karin Michels, who is an epidemiologist at the Harvard TH Chan school of public health, attacked this trend of using coconut oil for many conditions, saying that this substance is actually “one of the worst things you can eat”.
Coconut oil – worse than lard
Michels made these statements based on the high proportion of saturated fat that can be found in coconut oil, which can increase the levels of the LDL cholesterol, thus increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. The composition of coconut oil has more than 80% saturated fat, which is an extremely high percentage, being more than twice the amount that is found in lard, as well as 60% more than the one found in beef dripping.
The professor talked about this subject in a lecture that took place recently at the University of Freiburg and her speech was delivered in German. The video with the talk was posted on YouTube and so far has been watched by more than a million people.
Several organizations already advised against the use of coconut oil
In 2017, the American Heart Association looked at the evidence on coconut oil amongst other types of food. The review indicated that only 37% of nutritionists considered coconut oil to be healthy, even though three-quarters of the U.S. public believed it to be so. This huge gap in perception, according to the authors, was due to the marketing of coconut oil in the press. The conclusion of the review was that people should not consume coconut oil, as it increases LDL cholesterol, which is a cause of cardiovascular disease, and because it does not have any “known offsetting favorable effects”.
There are other organizations that have warned against the use of coconut oil, advising people to be careful with the amounts they consume. The British Nutrition Foundation has mentioned before that there is no evidence that can actually show the health benefits of eating coconut oil.