Coconut oil 'pure poison,' says Harvard professor

Ways to use coconut oil

(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.

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