There's not a single study showing any significant health benefits to coconut oil consumption; in fact, coconut oil is more risky than lard according to Michels, as it nearly exclusively contains saturated fatty acids - acids that can clog the coronary arteries.
While this makes coconut oil controversial in the sense of is it healthy or not-health experts say the bottom line is coconut oil is still a saturated fat.
"Coconut oil is pure poison", she stated during her lecture on "Coconut Oil and other Nutritional Errors" at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health last month.
Love coconut oil? Not so fast, because the world's superfood and miracle cure-all might not be so awesome after all.
Dr Michels just simply doesn't agree - she says it's even worse than lard (that thing you might remember from your granny's pantry, made from fat from the abdomen of a pig - gross we know).
In regards to other foods like acai and matcha that have also earned the prestigious title of "superfood", Karin nothing bad to say yet simply suggested that their claimed nutrients are most often "sufficiently supplied" in more accessible foods like carrots, cherries, and apricots. This review had shown that coconut oil can raise the levels of HDL cholesterol but also raises total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides over and above unsaturated fats such as those contained in olive oil. "But a recent meta-analysis found that a diet rich in saturated fats doesn't necessarily increase the risk of heart disease so now everyone is on a sat-fat kick".
Last year, the AHA updated its guidelines, to recommend people avoid the saturated fatty acids found in coconut oil. The group said to "opt for naturally occurring unhydrogenated vegetable oils such as canola, safflower, sunflower or olive oil".
The saturated fat content of that much-maligned ingredient?
"Coconut oil is about 86% saturated fat, about one-third more saturated fat than butter", said Victoria Taylor, a senior dietician at the British Heart Foundation.
But whether it has benefits or not, coconut oil is still pure fat with about 100 calories a tablespoon.