This Professor Called Coconut Oil 'Pure Poison.' Is She Right?

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While three quarters of the United States public considered coconut oil to be healthy, the review noted that only 37% of nutritionists agreed. "This disconnect between lay and expert opinion can be attributed to the marketing of coconut oil in the popular press", the report stated.

"Coconut oil is pure poison", the professor claims, via Business Insider.

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.

As it turns out, Michels' assessment of coconut oil is a lot closer to what the scientific evidence has to say about the fat than what acolytes claim - though "poison" may be a bit of stretch. Other foods rich in saturated fats include hard cheese, ghee, meat pies, sausages etc. Foods with high content of unsaturated fatty acids include nuts, seeds, oily fish, vegetable oils, soybean oil, sunflower oil, corn oil and avocado etc.

The organization recommends people consume no more than 6 percent of saturated fat as part of their total caloric intake each day.

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 from about £1m to £16.4m in the past four years, according to the consumer research group Kantar.

While the AHA did not say that coconut is one of the world's worst foods, Michels did.

'We are well and sufficiently supplied, ' she said.

Good news for lovers of the alleged superfood - although some institutions have warned against over-consumption, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) says there just isn't enough not enough "good-quality research" to provide a clear answer to the debate over coconut oil being better for you than other saturated fats.

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.

"The coconut industry - or some other industry - is promoting coconut oil", he said. Most worldwide dietary guidelines recommend enjoying saturated fats in moderation. "Saturated fat raises the LDL or the "bad" cholesterol so coconut oil is going to have that same effect as butter and beef fat".

When it comes to cooking, experts recommend olive or rapeseed oil as alternatives given they contain more unsaturated fatty acids. And while there's no question that downing spoonfuls of coconut oil on a daily basis is a bad idea, if you like the taste, there's no reason to ditch it altogether.