Published: Sat, August 25, 2018
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Coconut Is 'Pure Poison' Claim: Experts Weight the Facts

Coconut Is 'Pure Poison' Claim: Experts Weight the Facts

In a speech by Harvard Professor Karin Michels, he repeatedly labelled the oil as "poison" in a German talk which was titled 'Coconut Oil and Other Nutritional Errors', reported USA Today.

Yep it turns out that by choosing plant-based oils, nuts and seed butters in place of fats like palm oil, coconut oil, butter, lard and ghee, you'll be doing some very good things for your heart health.

Just how seriously should coconut oil devotees take Michels' critique?

"Coconut oil is somewhere in the middle of the spectrum in terms of types of fats", Dr. Walter C. Willett, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told CNN.

For certain health food shops and well-being websites, coconut oil is the solution for everything from bad hair and grogginess to obesity and hemorrhoids. Here's one damning statement from an AHA presidential advisory published just previous year: "A recent survey reported that 72% of the American public rated coconut oil as a "healthy food" compared with 37% of nutritionists". Coconut oil has been recommended for centuries in Ayurveda attributing several healing properties to it.

Klatt agreed, saying that coconut oil "is certainly fine to consume occasionally, when a recipe calls for it".

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The popularity and marketing of coconut oil may have obscured some important information about the fat and the variety of different labels can be confusing.

So what about coconut water to rehydrate rather than a sugary sports drink? In addition, edible liquid coconut oil has gone through processing and other chemicals may have been added.

That is almost the total daily limit of 13 grams recommended by the American Hearth Association. In fact, it has more than 80 percent saturated fat, according to the United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service (USDA). That's almost the entire daily limit the American Heart Association recommends - 13 grams. Like other saturated fats, coconut oil increases LDL cholesterol, commonly known as "bad" cholesterol, which has been associated with increased risk of heart disease. While the AHA warns against it, people who cut saturated fat out of their diet might not necessarily lower their heart disease risk, a 2015 BMJ review suggested. As CNN reports, almost three-quarters of Americans believe coconut oil to be healthful. This may be due to its high content of a fatty acid known as lauric acid.

The study participants who ate the medium-chain fatty acid diet burned fat quicker than the controls.

However, moderation is still important.

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