Coconut oil is 'pure poison,' says Harvard professor


It's a dietary fad, a "superfood" and sometimes even used to remove makeup, but according to one Harvard University professor, coconut oil is nothing but poison. Like with other fatty foods, enjoying coconut oil minimally isn't going to lead to heart disease later on. As such, coconut oil works as a great remedy for atopic dermatitis and enhances the barrier of the skin as well as protects you from UV radiation. 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.

Michels and the AHA cite the tremendous amount of saturated fat contained in coconut oil, almost 82 percent.

Self-appointed "wellness experts" and "health gurus" online promote coconut oil for its immune support, digestive help and as a healthier fat for cooking.

If you're cuckoo for coconut oil, think again.

In a speech at the prestigious school, she also dismissed other so-called superfoods as unnecessary, because everyday foods give us plenty of nutrition.

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"We are well and sufficiently supplied", she said, according to a translation of her German address.

There's not a single study showing any significant health benefits to coconut oil consumption; in fact, coconut oil is more unsafe than lard according to Michels, as it nearly exclusively contains saturated fatty acids - acids that can clog the coronary arteries. This advisory came after the AHA reported a study that all forms of saturated fats are harmful for the heart.

Last year, the AHA updated its guidelines, to recommend people avoid the saturated fatty acids found in coconut oil.

Unfortunately, if you've been swapping butter out for it to keep you healthy during breakfast it turns out coconut oil is about a shocking 86 percent saturated fat - about a third more than butter, which is 52 percent.

The proponents of coconut oil often point to the healthy lifestyles of indigenous populations in India, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Polynesia, whose diets include large amounts of coconut. It's important to know the different types of fat that we're looking at: "there's saturated fat, there's unsaturated fat, The unsaturated fat is what we consider heart healthy", explained Noel Konken, a clinical dietitian with Lee Health. At this portion, any benefits could easily be negated by the adverse effects of ingesting so much saturated fat.