Is Coconut Oil Really Poisonous? This Is What Our Health Experts Have To Say

In a shocking observation, Karin Michels, a Harvard professor, mentioned that coconut oil is poisonous and one of the worst foods you can eat. Our health experts opine on this observation and tell more about health benefits of coconut oil.

Is Coconut Oil Really Poisonous? This Is What Our Health Experts Have To Say

Coconut oil has recently been called pure poison by a Harvard professor


  1. Karin Michels pointed out the saturated fat content in coconut oil
  2. Consumption of any oil is safe as far as it is done moderately
  3. Coconut oil has good medium-chain triglycerides

Since time immemorial, coconut oil has been a part of our daily lives. Our grandmothers used it not just as an ideal therapy for hair care but also used it as a cooking oil and this continues even today. Nutritionists and health experts have been upfront about health benefits of coconut oil and its high fat and medium-chain triglycerides content - both of which are extremely good for health and may even help in weight loss. It was all fine until a Harvard professor fired shots at coconut oil health benefits and called it "pure poison". Karin Michels, professor at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, stated that coconut oil is one of the worst foods you can eat.

In a video, professor Karin pointed out on the saturated fat content in coconut oil, which can even be linked to LDL (bad) cholesterol. It has been long since dangers of saturated fat have been questioned. Factors such as history of smoking and genetics are more likely to increase risk of cardiac events and heart attacks.


Coconut oil was recently called pure poison by a Harvard professor
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: 4 Reasons Why Coconut Is The Ultimate Fruit For Weight Loss

Furthermore, professor Karin raised concerns about calories in coconut oil. 1 tablespoon of coconut oil has as many as 117 calories. Hence, it has to be noted that consumption of coconut oil is fine as far as you do it in moderation.

But this is the case with most oils, where only their extra virgin or unprocessed versions are suggested. The claim of coconut oil being pure poison has been questioned by our health experts, who believe that they have never heard about coconut oil being unhealthy or not suitable for people on a weight loss regime.

Celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar took to Instagram to talk about this claim on coconut oil. This is what she wrote in her post, "Making a food into a hero and then a villain is a tried and tested strategy of the food and weight loss industry. The latest controversy is on coconut. The golden rule though is - if it has been consumed in your region for ages and has multiple and varied uses, its a superfood."

In 2017, an American Heart Association (AHA) report stated that coconut oil increases LDL (bad) cholesterol, which can cause cardiovascular diseases. It has no known offsetting flavorable effects and thus they advise against its rule.



In her post, Rujuta shares a link to the interview she gave on this study. On being asked what she thinks about such kinds of reports which are continuously released by AHA, Rujuta said the following things, "As the public, we should always look at who funds the associations that serve public health. Is it food corporations and pharma? Then we should take all advice with a pinch of salt, don't you think?" More excerpts from the interview can be found in this link shared by Rujuta on her Instagram. 

Also read: Coconut Water Or Coconut Milk; Which One Is Healthier?

Health coach Luke Coutinho has something very similar to say. He took to Facebook to share his views about the aforementioned observation in a lengthy post. Here are some excerpts from his post, "Any oil in excess, refined, wood churned, cold pressed, virgin, will cause damage to the heart. IN EXCESS... I think doctors and pharmacists are afraid that coconut oil used in the right proportions with the right nutrients and trace minerals is actually repairing underactive thyroid glands, boosting liver enzyme health, working for better T3 and T4 conversion in the liver, boosting immunity and so much more... obviously if you belong to the 'herd' that participated in every fad that comes your way and you start drinking coconut oil and adding it to coffee and over doing it without balancing your total daily intake of oil and fats, it WILL CAUSE A PROBLEM."


Coconut oil has been considered to be good for heart health
Photo Credit: iStock

Luke has never been against pharmaceutical and drug companies. He endorses the simple idea of living healthy and eating clean. "People are going back to the roots of living where lifestyle disease was scarce, they are moving back to spices, traditions, wisdom of the elders, etc," he says in his post, which continues, "And here you have an article thrashing an oil that is being sold at high prices and termed as a superfood across countries... if it kills, the FDA would be the first to ban it."

Also read: Health Benefits Of Coconut Oil You Simply Cannot Miss

Nutritionist Nmami Aggarwal tells DoctorNDTV that she has always known that coconut oil is healthy cooking oil which has good medium-chain triglycerides. "I have always asked my clients to use coconut oil since it has a lot of health benefits. Medium-chain triglycerides in coconut oil are good for your heart and overall health. Coconut oil is also good for treating epilepsy," she says.

Ask her about the recent observation about coconut oil and she says, "There is a lot of information doing rounds on internet. We should try not to get confused by this over-information and neither should we get blinded by it."

So, as far consumption of coconut is done in moderation, it can be considered to be safe for the human body. More details and facts are still needed to call coconut unhealthy or poisonous. 

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