"Coconut oil is pure poison", she said, adding that it is "one of the worst foods you can eat".
Michels made the statement in a recent lecture titled "Coconut Oil and other Nutritional Errors" at the University of Freiburg, where she holds a second academic position as director of the Institute for Prevention and Tumour Epidemiology.
However, a Harvard health professor has denounced coconut oil as a "pure poison" for its saturated fat content, which exceeds that of lard. Dr. Michaels claims that coconut oil is even worse than lard (fat rendered from hog fat).
While there is still a debate in the scientific community with regards to the effectiveness of coconut oil, users can still consume it in moderation but do not expect any miracle from the same.
The British Nutrition Foundation have also admitted similar findings, and confirmed: "Coconut oil can be included in the diet, but as it is high in saturated fats should only be included in small amounts and as part of a healthy balanced diet".
Coconut does have some unique qualities that explain its alleged health benefits, but the evidence to support those claims is very thin. A 2016 survey in the New York Times suggested that 72% of Americans think coconut oil is healthy, versus only 37% of nutritionists polled. The danger of high cholesterol have been proven. In fact, it has more than 80 percent saturated fat, according to the United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service (USDA).
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. He said rigorous clinical trials and observational studies both show that replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats helps reduce heart disease and related deaths.
Yes. Coconut oil contains fatty acids with known health benefits.
The study participants who ate the medium-chain fatty acid diet burned fat quicker than the controls. Experts warn that consuming large amounts of coconut oil will not benefit those at risk for cardiovascular disease. So just how seriously should you take those claims?
"It's not that you have to absolutely avoid coconut oil, but rather limit coconut oil to where you really need that special flavor, like for Thai food or for baking a special dessert", Willett said. "Ideally, cook with plant-based oils like olive, canola and avocado".