Coconut oil labeled 'pure poison' by Harvard professor

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The American Heart Association in June 2017, released an advisory stating the coconut oil when consumed in large amounts is detrimental to health.

Dr Karin Michels says the product - which is championed by many health food advocates - is "one of the worst foods you can eat" due to the damaging effect the saturated fatty acids in the coconut oil can have on your body.

During a 50-minute lecture held in Germany last month, which has since gone viral on YouTube, a Harvard professor bashed one of millennials' favorite superfoods - coconut oil.

Coconut oil has more saturated fat than beef fat, but is it still healthy?

The speech was called Coconut Oil and other Nutritional Errors.

In an advisory released past year, the AHA added that coconut oil has "no known offsetting favorable effects", and could increase LDL ("bad") cholesterol, a known cause of cardiovascular disease.

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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.

However, if coconut oil is something you would struggle to give up completly, the best step you can take is to moderate how often you indulge and lower your portions.

She says most of the beneficial nutrients in them can be easily found in more common foods like carrots, cherries, and apricots. "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.

According to the AHA report "The Skinny on Fats", the new guidelines urge consumers to limit both saturated and trans fats. This means that it has captured the interest of thousands of people who are conscious about what they eat. "Coconut oil is great for your face and your hair, but maybe not so much eating a bunch of it", said Konken.

Health experts believe grapeseed and flaxseed oil, which contain lots of unsaturated fatty acids; and soybean, sunflower and corn oil, which are made up of polyunsaturated fats, are good alternatives.

But, saturated fat is a loaded term. Most global dietary guidelines recommend enjoying saturated fats in moderation. It's just that you have to be aware that most health claims about this food have been greatly exaggerated.

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