A Harvard professor has contradicted the praise for coconut oil’s health benefits as a “superfood” calling it “pure poison” and “one of the worst foods you can eat.”
Dr. Karin Michels, the director of the Institute for Prevention and Tumor Epidemiology at the University of Freiburg and a professor at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, strongly refuted any claims that coconut oil is good for you in a recent lecture given at the University of Freiburg.
Last year, the American Heart Association updated its guidelines, recommending that people try to avoid the saturated fatty acids found in coconut oil.
Michels, however, took things a step further, saying coconut oil is “more dangerous than lard” because it almost exclusively contains saturated fatty acids that can clog the coronary arteries, according to Business Insider.
Coconut oil, like lard and butter, which also contain large quantities of saturated fatty acids, remains solid at room temperature as well.
Business Insider also reports…
While Michels doesn’t describe other “superfoods” like acai, chia seeds, or matcha as harmful, at most she considers them ineffective because, in most cases, the nutrients they’re touted for are available just as readily in other foods that are more easily accessible such as carrots, cherries, and apricots.
“We are well and sufficiently supplied,” she said.
Dr. Walter C. Willett, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, agrees.
“There are many claims being made about coconut oil being wonderful for lots of different things, but we really don’t have any evidence of long-term health benefits,” Dr. Willett told CNN.
“It’s probably not quite as ‘bad’ as butter but not as good as extra virgin olive oil,” said Kevin Klatt, a molecular nutrition researcher at Cornell University who is studying the metabolic effects of coconut oil.
Klatt also pointed out, not surprisingly, that more research is still needed.
“You can’t infer from … studies what coconut oil will and will not do. We need better controlled trials,” said Klatt. “Right now, the internet is jumping the gun and going way beyond the evidence.”
The internet? Jumping the gun? No way.
Here’s Michels’ entire lecture (in German) called “Coconut Oil and other Nutritional Errors” which has now been viewed almost one million times.