(CNN) - Coconut oil is all the rage these days but a Harvard professor recently called coconut oil "pure poison" for its saturated fat content and threat to cardiovascular health.
During a lecture at a German university, Karin Michels said health claims surrounding coconut oil are "absolute nonsense."
Coconut oil increases low-density lipoprotein cholesterol - commonly known as "bad" cholesterol - because it's associated with increased risk of heart disease.
But coconut oil also raises high-density lipoprotein, the "good" cholesterol.
So what's the truth?
The answer probably lies somewhere in the middle.
Many health experts would agree coconut oil is fine occasionally.
But for day-to-day use, experts recommend cooking with vegetable oils like olive, canola, or soybean oil instead.