Is coconut oil poison? A recent lecture on YouTube has gone viral after Harvard professor Karin Michels made grand comments about coconut oil: it’s “pure poison!” Michels, a professor at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and director of the Institute for Prevention and Tumor Epidemiology at the University of Freiburg, further commented saying coconut oil “is one of the worst foods you can eat.”
Is coconut oil poison? Here’s what we know:
It’s a saturated fatty acid
Coconut oil is loaded with saturated fatty acids. Why are saturated fats bad for us you ask? From Harvard:
“A diet rich in saturated fats can drive up total cholesterol, and tip the balance toward more harmful LDL cholesterol, which prompts blockages to form in arteries in the heart and elsewhere in the body. For that reason, most nutrition experts recommend limiting saturated fat to under 10% of calories a day.”
That is a ton of negative information and our hearts can’t take it! We’re already supposed to be limiting our saturated fat intake, so coconut oil (which is overflowing with saturated fats) is something we should be avoided as part of ongoing good heart health practices.
It’s not a “superfood”
According to the American Heart Association, we should avoid saturated fatty acids, which coconut oil is filled with. Even more so than lard. That’s right, LARD! Let that sink in. Lard is hardly a superfood. There are better alternatives for cooking like olive and rapeseed oil.
Can I have any coconut oil?
Is coconut oil poison? Like most things, moderation is key. Most dietary professionals suggest taking it easy when it comes to adding saturated fats to your diet. As long as you stick to a balanced diet (and keep saturated fat intake below 10%), you should be just fine. A study last year even suggests a higher fat intake can lead to lower mortality rates. But remember, you want the “good” (monounsaturated) fats, not the nightmare fat found in coconut oil.