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Coconut Oil is 'Pure Poison' says Harvard Professor

A Harvard University Professor, Karin Michels while addressing a seminar on nutritional errors at the University of Freiburg in Germany claimed that Coconut oil is “pure poison”.

Abha Toppo
Coconut and its oil in the jar
Coconut and its oil in the jar

Karin Michels, a Harvard University professor, declared that coconut oil is "pure poison" while speaking at a conference on nutritional blunders at the University of Freiburg in Germany.

Coconut oil includes artery-clogging saturated fat, which raises total cholesterol as well as LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of heart stroke and attack. On the other hand, it also reduces HDL (good) cholesterol, which protects the heart.

According to facts, 82 gm saturated fat is present in a 100 gm coconut oil whereas butter has  62 gm in 100 gm. Healthy oils like mustard oil contain 12 gm of saturated fat, sunflower has 12 gm, Canola oil has 7 gm and safflower contains just 8 gm.

Moreover, the red meats also have less fat saturated fat -  100 gm of mutton has 9 gm of saturated fat whereas 100 gm pan-fried bacon has 14 gm.

According to a 2010 research in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, medium-chain triglyceride oils like coconut and palm oils were good for weight loss.

It also mentioned that consuming 18–24 g/day will not cause a risk of heart problems. Diet cults like Ketogenic diet and Caveman diet which includes lean meats, vegetables, fruits, fish, nuts, etc mainstreamed the findings by suggesting cold-pressed coconut oil for its anti-inflammatory weight-loss advantages.

But last year all these findings were by the American Heart Association (AHA), which warned people not to use coconut oil as it increased the LDL (bad) cholesterol levels like red meats and animal fats.

“A latest systematic review found seven controlled trials that compared coconut oil with monounsaturated or polyunsaturated oils. Coconut oil increased LDL (bad) cholesterol in all seven trials, drastically in six of them. The seven trials did not see a difference in raising LDL cholesterol between coconut oil and other oils high in saturated fat like beef fat, butter or palm oil. As coconut oil raises LDL cholesterol, a reason for cardiovascular disease and has no offsetting positive effects, we advise against the use of coconut oil,” said the advisory, published in the journal.

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