Steer clear of coconut oil says Harvard Professor

Health expert has claimed ‘superfood’ coconut oil is actually not healthy at all. Source GettyMore

Health expert has claimed ‘superfood’ coconut oil is actually not healthy at all. Source GettyMore

The truth is that coconut oil is full of saturated fat.

During the lecture, titled "Coconut Oil and other Nutritional Errors", Michels has made herself very clear with regards to dietary recommendations, and underlined that coconut oil is not healthy.

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.

Michels' comments are not new as the American Heart Association came down on coconut oil in 2017, claiming it was just as high as saturated fats found in butter, beef fat and palm oil. However, most of the commercially available oil has a 13 to 14 percent MCT content, which means you'd have to eat 150 grams, or 10 tablespoons, of coconut oil a day to reap the benefits. 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. "Coconut oil is great for your face and your hair, but maybe not so much eating a bunch of it", said Konken. "Coconut oil can be included in the diet, but as it is high in saturated fats should only be included in small amounts and as part of a healthy balanced diet", the British Nutrition Foundation said. "People think of the benefits of coconut oil, thinking it has fewer calories, helps you lose weight, some people like the flavor of it, but we still have to consider it as a saturated fat", she said.

Based on the fact that they contain a lot of unsaturated fatty acids, experts recommend olive or rapeseed oil as an alternative and, while it can't be used for cooking, flaxseed oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and is just as good for the body.

"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".

United Kingdom guidelines encourage people to swap saturated fats for unsaturated fats. "What makes it of interest is the nature of fatty acids in coconut oil". Some gargle or rinse their mouths with coconut oil calling it "oil pulling". "The overall effect has misled the public on the science of dietary fats". According to Dr Michels, consuming coconut oil is far more detrimental than lard, as coconut oil is predominantly made up of saturated fatty acids, as reported by "Business Insider".

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