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Others believe the oil prevents gingivitis.

The 50-minute German-language talk, titled "Coconut Oil and Other Nutritional Errors" debunks the popular belief that the ingredient is a waistline-slimming, brain-boosting superfood.

There's not a single study showing any significant health benefits to coconut oil consumption; in fact, coconut oil is more risky than lard according to Michels, as it nearly exclusively contains saturated fatty acids - acids that can clog the coronary arteries.

In the speech given at the University of Freiburg, Dr Michels stated that coconut oil is "one of the worst foods you can eat" due to the damaging effect the saturated fatty acids in the coconut oil can have on your body.

A Harvard professor made some controversial comments concerning coconut oil in a lecture on YouTube.

Dr Michels just simply doesn't agree - she says it's even worse than lard (that thing you might remember from your granny's pantry, made from fat from the abdomen of a pig - gross we know).

The video, which has garnered 400,000 hits, comes after the American Heart Association has advised people to avoid coconut oil.

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Dr Michels also said consumption of so-called superfoods was unnecessary because we already get enough nutrition from everyday foods like carrots, cherries, and apricots.

This warning could come as a shock to advocates of the thick, fatty stuff, who use it not only for cooking but also blend it into their morning cup of coffee.

It's true that coconut oil is rich in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are the most healthy type of saturated fat. "People think of the benefits of coconut oil, thinking it has fewer calories, helps you lose weight, some people like the flavor of it, but we still have to consider it as a saturated fat", she said. "But a recent meta-analysis found that a diet rich in saturated fats doesn't necessarily increase the risk of heart disease so now everyone is on a sat-fat kick".

Michels' claims follow similar remarks passed by the American Heart Association, which highlighted the dangers of consuming excessive amounts of coconut oil.

United Kingdom guidelines encourage people to swap saturated fats for unsaturated fats.

The proponents of coconut oil often point to the healthy lifestyles of indigenous populations in India, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Polynesia, whose diets include large amounts of coconut.

USA Today reported 82 percent of the fat in coconut oil is saturated, which is way above that in butter (63 percent).


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