Is coconut oil the ultimate superfood or pure poison? According to professor Karn Michels, director of the Institute for Prevention and Tumor Epidemiology at the University of Freiburg and a professor at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, it may be closer to the latter. She recently gave a controversial talk on the subject and posted it on YouTube.

Coconut Oil Is Under Attack

The YouTube video quickly racked up over 400,000 views. Michels’ recommendation is clear: stay away from coconut oil! In a nutshell, she says that coconut oil isn’t healthy. But wait, isn’t coconut supposed to be one of the healthiest foods of all time?

The American Heart Association (AHA) is on Michel’s side. They’ve been recommending people to stay away from coconut oil for the last several years. They categorized coconut oil with other saturated fats that clog arteries and increase the risk of heart disease.

The Debate About Saturated Fats

Not all saturated fats are in the doghouse. Most research indicates that olive oil can be part of a healthy diet. Linseed oil also has some substantial benefits.

According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who consume a lot of cheese do not have a higher risk of stroke, heart disease, or any other serious illnesses. A study from The Lancet found that people you eat a high fat, low carb diet have a 23% lower risk of death. It’s obvious that not all saturated fats are evil.

Is Coconut Oil Poison?

According to Michels, “coconut oil is pure poison” and “is one of the worst foods you can eat.” She says that the hype around coconut oil as a transcendent superfood has been made out of thin air.

No studies show significant health benefits from eating coconut oil. Michels says that coconut oil is worse than eating straight lard. Instead, she recommends olive oil or rapeseed oil. Flaxseed oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids and is critical to brain health.