The controversy surrounding coconut oil is back, as a Harvard professor said in a lecture that the ingredient is not healthy — describing it as "pure poison."
There have been several studies on whether or not coconut oil is healthy, with varying results. The Harvard professor, however, is hoping to end the debate once and for all.
Coconut Oil Is 'Pure Poison'
A 50-minute German lecture headlined by the claim that coconut oil is not healthy has gone viral, racking up over 900,000 views at the time of writing.
The lecture, titled "Coconut Oil and other Nutritional Errors," was delivered by Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health professor Karin Michels, who is also the director of the University of Freiburg's Institute for Prevention and Tumor Epidemiology.
Michels was very clear in her stance against coconut oil. She did not only recommend avoiding the ingredient, but also went as far as saying that "coconut oil is pure poison" and that it "is one of the worst foods you can eat."
According to Michels, there is no definite study that shows significant health benefits for consuming coconut oil. In addition, coconut oil is actually more dangerous than lard due to being made up almost completely of saturated fatty acids, which are responsible for clogging up the coronary arteries.
Michels' lecture challenges advice being peddled online by so-called health gurus, which has caused confusion among the public if coconut oil should really be considered as "superfood."
Coconut Oil: Good Or Bad For You?
Studies such as the one from University of Cambridge researchers claim that coconut oil has health benefits such as reducing the risk of heart disease and the chance of suffering a stroke.
However, the American Heart Association previously released a statement against coconut oil, recommending against the ingredient and claiming that it increased bad cholesterol. According to the AHA, 82 percent of the fat in coconut oil is saturated, and diets high in saturated fats increased the levels of LDL, or bad cholesterol, in a person's blood.
In comparison, butter has 63 percent saturated fat, beef fat has 50 percent saturated fat, and pork lard has 39 percent saturated fat.
Harvard School of Public Health's Frank Sacks, said that the public may have been too quick to believe in diet trends, such as the one that painted coconut oil as healthy. Michels' lecture follows this line of thinking, with the Harvard professor hoping that the trend of consuming coconut oil dies down.