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The Facts Behind Coconut Oil is 'Pure Poison' Claim

The Siianid is a poison. The venom of the rattlesnake is a poison. Some household products can be a poison. But coconut oil? A professor seems to think of it right in front of  consumers, who believe that it is good for them.

For some health food stores and wellness websites, it's a remedy for anything; from bad hair and mental dizziness to obesity and hemorrhoids. But the carefully designed image of coconut oil as a cure for many diseases was completely rejected by a professor in Harvard.

Karin Michels, an epidemiologist at Harvard TH Chan Public Health, poured motion superfoods and honored the bland coconut oil especially calling the component such "pure poison".

"Coconut oil is one of the worst things you can eat," Michels said. While others get a more measurable view, some just not buy it. A 2016 poll in the New York Times has suggested that 72% of Americans believe coconut oil is healthy, compared to 37% of nutritionists who were analyzed.

Michels made his comments in a recent interview entitled "Coconut oil and other nutritional defects" at the University of Freiburg, where he holds a position as director of the Institute for Tumor Prevention and Epidemiology. He gave his warning about the high level of saturated fat found in coconut oil, which is known to increase the level of so-called LDL cholesterol, and thus increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Coconut oil contains more than 80% saturated fat, more than twice as much as lard and 60% more than in meat.

Last year, the American Heart Association investigated the evidence for coconut oil along with other foods. While three-quarters of the US public is considered healthy coconut oil, only 37% of nutritionists agree, according to analysis. "Because coconut oil increases LDL cholesterol, a cause of CVD, and no one knows the removal of unwanted side effects, we do not recommend the use of coconut oil," the review concluded.

Similar warnings were issued by other organizations. "The coconut oil can be included in the diet, but with its high saturated fat, it should only be consumed in small amounts and as part of a healthy, balanced diet," says British Nutrition Foundation. "There is currently no strong scientific evidence to support the health benefits of coconut oil."

The American Heart Association says it's better on the skin,  recommending that not more than 5% or 6% of your daily calories come from saturated fat - about 13 grams each day. The association will also promote the substitution of coconut oil for "healthy fats", such as polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats, those found in rapeseed and olive oil, avocado, and fish. Coconut oil is "probably not quite as bad as butter, but not as good as olive oil," Kevin Klatt, a molecular nutrition researcher at Cornell University who is studying the metabolic effects of coconut oil, previously told CNN.

Klatt warns that we should not accept an opinion from them without additional data.

Coconut oil is extracted from pulp and increases LDL cholesterol, commonly known as "bad" cholesterol, which is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. But coconut oil also increases HDL, the "good" cholesterol, especially when carbohydrates are replaced in the diet. This may be due to its high content of fatty acids known as lauric acid. "Coconut oil is half of lauric acid, which is slightly different," says Klatt, because acid seems to increase the HDL's other fatty acids and are rarely found in high-quality foods. Although the HDL increase in coconut oil consumption can compensate for some of the disease risk, it is still not as much as unsaturated oil consumption, which increases not only HDL but also LDL, according to Willett. The things that are complicated are the fact that we still do not know what exactly the definition of HDL is in terms of health risks.

While high LDL levels are used as a marker for predicting cardiovascular risk and do not always lead to heart attacks, experts say this is still a concern.

A 2015 Cochrane study found that lowering the level of saturated fat also reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease to 17%. However, the risk of death has not changed, and these fats could not be replaced by spices.

Other research in coconut oil explores its effects on metabolism, appetite, and cognitive functions. "Oil is a simple way to supplement the density of energy of a food. Things like almonds are fatty, but it's easier to eat pure oil than pure almonds," says Klatt.

However, in small quantities, coconut oil can take a place in a person's daily diet. Experts recommend vegetable oils such as olives, rapeseed or soybean oil, with peanuts and seeds as the main source of fat in foods.

"You should not completely avoid coconut oil, but restrict on needing it as a special flavor, such as in Thai food or cooking a special dessert," says Willett.

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