Coconut oil has surged in popularity in recent years. That's largely thanks to more people following diets that call upon a healthier alternative to olive oil, or using an oil that's higher in fat. The latter is more appealing to those following a Keto diet, while the former is the reasoning for those on a Paleo diet, or are doing the Whole30 program. Still, coconut oil stirs about strong feelings from people — it's either the greatest thing ever or the worst food item you could consume.
One Harvard professor has recently revealed her negative thoughts on coconut oil. Karin Michaels- a professor from the university's Epidemiology department in the T.H. Chan School of Public Health- referred to the food as, "pure poison" in an interview with Business Insider. Her biggest reasons for this has to do with there being no study showing the health benefits of coconut oil, and its saturated fat content is high enough to cause clogged arteries in the future.
Michaels' claims that coconut oil isn't a wise food choice shouldn't come as a big surprise to consumers. Last year, the American Heart Association issued a warning to avoid coconut oil due to its high levels of saturated fat. With all that said, it's easy to understand why Michaels voiced such a negative opinion on the use of coconut oil.
Despite this, other professionals do not see coconut oil has a horrible food item. It has been said that medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs)- found in coconut oil- is different than other types of saturated fat. It can even balance hormones to help fat loss efforts. Some have even suggested that consuming some amount of saturated fat can bring about a few positive health benefits.
When you take everything into account, it's clear that there needs to be more research conducted on both the benefits and the risks of coconut oil. In the meantime, worried consumers can swap coconut oil for either extra virgin olive oil, or avocado oil as healthier alternatives. But if you can't give it up, just remember to use coconut oil in moderation to avoid consuming too much.