Is Coconut Oil Really ‘Pure Poison’? Here’s What Science Says

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The use of coconut oil is questionable, but the harm is obvious, says Professor of public health, Harvard University Karin Michels.

A high intake of sat-fats is linked to increased non-HDL cholesterol levels in the blood, which can lead to health complications such as clogging of the coronary arteries, making heart attacks and strokes more of a threat.

Interestingly, a video of her speech which was uploaded on YouTube has now received over 900,000 views.

"I can only warn you urgently about coconut oil", she says.

People living in South India frequently use coconut oil as a medicine and it has really some benefits.

This will be a shock for some people who regularly use coconut oil in their food. The AHA recommended that the public should opt for naturally occurring vegetable oils such as canola, safflower, sunflower or olive oil.

Last year, the American Heart Association reviewed the evidence about coconut oil and other foodstuffs. Now we all have to think twice about coconut oil. In fact, it has more than 80 percent saturated fat, according to the United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service (USDA).

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"There is to date no strong scientific evidence to support health benefits from eating coconut oil".

Anyway, the worrying news that we've all been cooking with coconut oil believing it to be healthy "good fat" has caused a number of experts to come out swinging too, though no one else is calling it "poison" per se.

Despite the advice, promotions from health food shops such as Holland and Barrett, and celebrity endorsements from Gwyneth Paltrow and others, have helped United Kingdom sales of coconut oil surge in recent years. A 2015 Cochrane review found that cutting back on saturated fats also lowered the risk of cardiovascular disease by 17% - but it didn't change the risk of dying, and there was no benefit to replacing these fats with protein or starchy foods.

It has proved to be hard to rank all the different types of oil.

In the USA, coconut oil sales appear to have peaked in 2015 at $229 million, according to the market research firm Spins. And, unfortunately, this sort of research takes time in order to see what the long-term effects of consuming coconut oil are.

One tablespoon of coconut oil contains more than 11 grams of saturated fats, according to the Federal National Nutrient Database.