Weighing the coconut oil health claims

Coconut oil ‘pure poison,’ says Harvard professor

Coconut oil ‘pure poison,’ says Harvard professor Karin Michels said the product is one of the worst foods you can eat

To add to the accusations, the professor stated that coconut oil could be worse than lard given the fact that it comes with an overwhelming ratio of the saturated fat.

In her words, any product that contains coconut oil, awful for the cardiovascular system because it contains huge amount of cholesterol carried by low density lipoproteins (LDL).

Interestingly, a video of her speech which was uploaded on YouTube has now received over 900,000 views. "Just don't jump on superfood bandwagon with your coconut oil pastas, coconut oil lattes, coconut oil brownies yeah?" food writer Sejal Sukhadwala tweeted in response to Michels' claim.

It's not "poison", but American Heart Association data has shown more than 80 percent of the fat in coconut oil is saturated - far beyond butter (63 percent), beef fat (50 percent) and pork lard (39 percent).

For years, we have heard about the benefits of coconut oil. While three quarters of the USA public considered coconut oil to be healthy, the review noted that only 37% of nutritionists agreed. "It's probably better than partially hydrogenated oils, [which are] high in trans fats, but not as good as the more unsaturated plant oils that have proven health benefits, like olive and canola oil", Willett has previously told CNN. But the carefully-crafted image of coconut oil, as a cure for many ills, has been roundly rejected by a Harvard professor.

Despite the advice, promotions from health food shops such as Holland and Barrett, and celebrity endorsements from Gwyneth Paltrow and others, have helped United Kingdom sales of coconut oil surge in recent years.

The answer is somewhere in the middle. However, coconut oil also helps to raise HDL cholesterol, which is the "good" kind. The organization reveals that reducing saturated fat intake and replacing it with unsaturated fat lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease. It not only use in food but also used in cosmetics (against the last administration, scientists do not mind). And, unfortunately, this sort of research takes time in order to see what the long-term effects of consuming coconut oil are.

"Coconut oil is about 86% saturated fat, about one-third more saturated fat than butter", said Victoria Taylor, a senior dietician at the British Heart Foundation.

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