In a recent lecture held in Germany, Karin Michels; an epidemiologist from Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health has spoken out about the superfood, stating the high saturated fat in coconut oil is causing more harm than good.
Her lecture; which can be watched on YouTube, is called ‘Coconut Oil and Other Nutritional Errors’ and was held at the University of Freiburg, where Michels holds a second academic position as director of the Institute for Prevention and Tumour Epidemiology.
The speech; which was delivered in German, has now been watched nearly a million times on YouTube and is receiving a lot of attention in the media and field of nutrition.
The research behind Michels new study of coconut oil is based on the high proportion of saturated fat in coconut oil; which has been known to raise the levels of LDL cholesterol in the body, hence increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Her research showed coconut oil contains more than 80 per cent saturated fat, which is more than twice the amount of saturated fat found in animal fat.
Michel’s isn’t the first person to speak out against this so-called superfood.
Last year, the American Heart Association undertook reviewed the evidence on coconut oil and whether it was good or bad.
Their evidence concluded, that not only did 37 per cent of nutritionist agree it was bad, multiple studies concluded the use of coconut oil did in-fact raise the levels of cholesterol in the body, which resulted in heart disease and advised the use of coconut oil in any diet.
And the British Nutrition Foundation has said, there is to date no strong scientific evidence to support any health benefits of eating coconut oil.
However, Victoria Taylor; a senior dietician from The British Heart Foundation has stated, they have been aware of the high cholesterol in coconut oil for some time and believe the superfood is not poison and no more dangerous than the consumption of butter in anyone’s diet.
“Coconut oil is about 86 per cent saturated fat. Which approximately one-third more saturated fat than butter,” said says.
“We know diets high in saturated fats are associated with heart disease. However, there have been many studies which back the claim, saturated fats present in coconut oil may be better for the body that that of many other saturated fats; such as animals fats.
As there is not enough quality research to provide a definitive answer on the benefits or risks of digesting coconut oil, I believe it’s fine to use it every now and then,” she says.
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