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Is coconut oil ‘pure poison’? Harvard expert’s claims spark debate with hashtag #coconutoilcontroversy

Hell broke loose on the internet when a Harvard professor called coconut oil a 'Pure Poison' three times in her video.

India TV Lifestyle Desk Written by: India TV Lifestyle Desk New Delhi Updated on: August 24, 2018 16:34 IST
coconut oil controversy
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Is coconut oil ‘pure poison’? Harvard expert’s claims spark debate with hashtag #coconutoilcontrovery

Coconut oil is everywhere, be it in beauty tips or a healthy diet. A wide range of uses can be attributed to this single pleasant-smelling oil. Ever since we’ve landed in this world, we have always heard about hundreds of health uses of coconut oil, but never for once did someone told that this oil is ‘detrimental’ to our health. Recently, a Harvard professor Karin Michels has sparked a debate on the internet by calling coconut oil a ‘pure poison’ not once but many times throughout her lecture.

Michels debated that due to extremely high level of saturated fats, coconut oil can be nothing but a villain for our cardiovascular health. For those who don’t know, saturated fats increase the levels of low-density lipoproteins in our blood, hence causing the arteries to narrow, subsequently restricting blood flow.

The video which crossed over a million on YouTube is being debated on the internet. This has particularly piqued many Indians who have always included coconut oil in their health and beauty regime.

Famous celebrity nutritionist who have worked with many Bollywood stars including Kareena Kapoor Khan tweeted, “The questions we should be asking are -

1. Why are we so keen for West to approve of our traditional foods? Ghee, turmeric, coconut, etc.

2. Why is there not even a passing reference to native foods, regional cuisines in our syllabus?


“Coconut - Superfood or poison?

The golden rule is - if it has been consumed in your region for ages and has multiple and varied uses, its a superfood,” she added.

Here’s how the internet is divided over #coconutoilcontroversy

This whole debate which started with coconut oil and its adverse effects on health, took an East vs West direction. A new form of whataboutery started on the internet with people taking jabs at Avocado which comes from the west and contains an equally high amount of fats. 

British Nutrition Foundation jumped in to clarify Ms Michels statements that left the internet divided.

“Coconut oil can be included in the diet, but as it is high in saturated fats, it should only be included in small amounts and as part of a healthy balanced diet,” said the British Nutritional Foundation.

Last year, American Heart Association also spoke about the ill-effects of consuming coconut oil. Dr Frank Sacks, a professor in the Nutrition Department at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said while talking to media, “Coconut oil is very high in saturated fat, and that raises your LDL cholesterol — bad cholesterol.”

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