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Coconut oil: poison or superfood?
Video footage of a speech in which Harvard professor Karin Michels calls coconut oil "pure poison" went viral. To understand how right she is, here are the opinions of several nutritionists.
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Video footage of a speech in which Harvard professor Karin Michels calls coconut oil "pure poison" went viral. The lecture was delivered in German, later quoted in English by Business Insider. The latter called this lecture "Coconut Oil and Other Nutritional Errors."
Currently, many experts are really skeptical about such an increase in the popularity of this product, although they do not take such a radical position. Here are the positions of nutritionists who spoke about coconut oil earlier in the pages of the New York Times.
The image of coconut oil has been transformed in recent years, with many natural food stores taking it into circulation. "Despite the big buzz around it, there is nothing to back it up scientifically," says Dr. Alice H. Lichtenstein, a professor at Tufts University.
Coconut oil is high in saturated fat, recognized by professional cardiology organizations as an important risk factor for heart disease. According to American recommendations, their amount in the diet should be reduced to 20 grams per day on a diet of 2000 kilocalories.
Dr. Liechtenstein notes that there is little research on the benefits of coconut oil, and today we cannot talk about its special beneficial properties.
It is noted that olive oil is clearly superior to coconut oil when it comes to cooking. A teaspoon of the latter contains about six times the amount of saturated fat, nearly reaching the American Heart Association's daily value.
“Of the two oils, olive is clearly the better because its monounsaturated fat may have beneficial effects on heart health,” says nutritionist Annessa Chumbley, a spokesman for the American Heart Association.
Some researchers have linked the essential saturated fatty acid of coconut oil, lauric, with the formation of "good cholesterol" - high-density lipoproteins in the body. But a recent large study showed that this is not the case, and lauric acid leads to the formation of "bad cholesterol" (low-density lipoproteins) in the same way as palmitic acid in butter. They contribute to the development of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.
Coconut oil advocates insist on being high in beneficial antioxidants. This is true for virgin oils, but the market is more likely to sell refined oils that do not contain as many antioxidants.
"The effects of saturated fat outweigh the benefits of antioxidants," says Professor Qi Sun of Harvard Medical School.
There are several types of coconut oil, the most recommended being virgin oil. The latter may be less hazardous than highly refined oils. Refined, bleached and discolored oil can be stripped of many beneficial substances. Dr. Tom Brenna of Cornell University told the NYTimes that using virgin oil is important. He added that you need to remember about moderation in the use of this product.