Do you often use coconut oil when cooking? Beware, because the ingredient could be harmful to your health, according to a new report.
Karin Michels, of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, recently delivered a German-language lecture titled "Coconut Oil and Other Nutritional Errors."
During the 50-minute talk, she debunked several myths that the popular product, which has been hailed as a superfood, helps with weight loss and brain function.
In fact, she said, "Coconut oil is pure poison," according to a translation by Business Insider. "It is one of the worst foods you can eat."
She said it is more dangerous for our hearts than lard because it is almost entirely made up of saturated fatty acids, which may block our arteries. Plus, there is no known study showing the health benefits of coconut oil.
This isn’t the first time coconut oil has been touted as unhealthy.
In 2017, the American Heart Association conducted a study that found that 82 percent of the fat in coconut oil is saturated fat, which is known to raise "bad" cholesterol levels and lead to blockages and plaque buildup that can cause strokes and heart attacks.
"Because coconut oil increases LDL cholesterol, a cause of CVD (cardiovascular disease), and has no known offsetting favorable effects, we advise against the use of coconut oil," the AHA wrote.
The organization recommends people consume no more than 6 percent of saturated fat as part of their total caloric intake each day.
Health experts believe rapeseed and flaxseed oil, which contain lots of unsaturated fatty acids; and soybean, sunflower and corn oil, which are made up of polyunsaturated fats, are good alternatives.