Over the past 10 years or so, coconut oil has become a mainstay as both a food and a personal care product. Goop mentions it in at least 168 articles, even going so far as to recommend it as a lubricant for sex. It’s also been recommended in the mainstream media for everything from cooking to skin care and even oil pulling, a technique involving swishing the stuff around in your mouth like a mouthwash for cleansing. It’s become a darling of the so-called clean eating movement.
But a professor just declared that “coconut oil is pure poison” and “one of the worst foods you can eat.” Karen Michels, an adjunct epidemiology professor at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the director of the Institute for Prevention and Tumor Epidemiology at the University of Freiburg in Germany, made this statement during a lecture in German in July.
(To be clear, she was talking about eating it, not using it as a hair mask. For the moment, no one has suggested it will make your hair fall out or anything.)
Business Insider seems to be the first outlet to have stumbled upon it; the YouTube video of her lecture now has close to 1 million views.
This isn’t the first time the health benefits of coconut oil have been questioned, but Michels essentially looked at past coco-phobes and said, “Hold my lager,” before dropping her hyperbolic descriptor. Michels’s is the latest shot in a long-running war about the healthiness of coconut oil in particular and saturated fats in general. Read more