During a German lecture last month by professor Karin Michels of the department of epidemiology, Michels said coconut oil was “pure poison,” Business Insider reports.
Michels said there were no studies that showed the health benefits of eating coconut oil and added the oil was more “dangerous” than other types of fat, Business Insider continued.
Michels made her comments in a recent lecture entitled “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. The speech, delivered in German, has now been watched nearly a million times on YouTube.
Michels based her warning on the high proportion of saturated fat in coconut oil, which is known to raise levels of so-called LDL cholesterol, and so the risk of cardiovascular disease. Coconut oil contains more than 80% saturated fat, more than twice the amount found in lard, and 60% more than is found in beef dripping.
Is it healthy?
“While coconut oil isn’t a superfood, it isn’t inherently problematic either,” she told Global News. “Coconut oil is rich in saturated fat, which for years has been demonized in the nutrition media. 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.