A Harvard professor’s lecture on coconut oil, calling it poison at least three times in the video, has garnered much attention on social media.
In a talk titled “Coconut oil and other nutritional errors”, Karin Michels, who is an adjunct professor of epidemiology at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, says coconut oil is not healthy. “I can only warn you urgently about coconut oil,” she said during the lecture at University of Freiburg in Germany, according to USA Today. “This is one of the worst foods you can eat.” The video of the lecture was posted in July, and has received over 10 lakh views.
Michels said coconut oil has a high proportion of saturated fat, which is known to raise levels of so-called LDL cholesterol, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, reported The Guardian. Michels called coconut oil “pure poison”.
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.
As the video went viral, Twitter users found humour in Michels’s claims.
Coconut oil has emerged as a superfood with several celebrities claiming that drinking the oil will cure bad breath and even digestive disorders, BBC reported.
In 2017, the American Heart Association reviewed the evidence on coconut oil and found that while three quarters of the US public considered coconut oil to be healthy while just 37% nutritionists agreed.
Actor Kabir Bedi was among several others who tweeted in support of using coconut oil.
The Asian and Pacific Coconut Community too has come in support of using coconut oil, saying there was no evidence linking heart disease, obesity to the consumption of coconut oil.
A Twitter user pointed out that Michels’ claims will confuse people since it is “clearly not poisonous”.