Coconut oil may not be as healthy as many people think it is

Health-conscious consumers would do well to skip coconut oil when cooking, according to Karin Michels, an adjunct professor of epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. During a recent lecture in Germany, Michels cautioned that coconut oil contains high amounts of saturated fatty acids and said that it poses a greater risk to heart health than lard.

An August 22, 2018 Boston Globe article noted that Michels’ comments sparked a lively debate online and that the American Heart Association (AHA) issued an advisory last year that recommended against the use of coconut oil.

Frank Sacks, lead author of the advisory and a professor of cardiovascular disease prevention at Harvard Chan School, told the Globe that he was surprised by the backlash the AHA faced from this recommendation. He said the fact that coconut oil is not good for you should not be news.

“The coconut industry — or some other industry — is promoting coconut oil,” Sacks said. “People are gullible and will listen to advertising, especially when it comes to foods.”

Read the Boston Globe article:  Harvard expert’s criticism of coconut oil widely shared online

Learn more

Setting the record straight: It’s best to swap out saturated fats for healthier fats (Harvard Chan School news)

Coconut oil (The Nutrition Source)