A Harvard professor has poured hot oil onto the fiery coconut oil debate, claiming it's as bad for your health as "pure poison"
Dr Karin Michels, professor at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, labelled coconut oil "one of the worst foods you can eat" during a 50 minute German-language talk at the University of Freiburg.
She also claimed coconut oil was "pure poison", according to a translation by Business Insider Deutschland.
The title of the talk was 'Coconut Oil and other Nutritional Errors'. The video, which has amassed more than 800,000 views since being published last month, comes as debate rages over people turning to coconuts as a guilt-free fat amongst a trend of low carb/high fat diets.
However, last year the American Heart Association released a report advising against using coconut oil. Existing data showed the fat increased "bad" cholesterol in seven out of seven trials, just as butter, beef fat and palm oil.
In fact, the fat in coconut oil is far more saturated (82 percent) than butter (63 percent), and beef fat (50 percent).
Lead author on the report Frank Sacks says he has "no idea" why people think coconut oil is healthy, when there's no evidence it's better than any alternatives.
Mr Sacks says it still could be effective to put "on your body" as a moisturiser, just not "in your body".
Lily Soutter, a London nutritionist, told the Independent that it's "only recently" the world has gone mad for coconut oil, "with so many claimed health benefits from immune boosting properties to being hailed as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease".
"However, we have to remember that coconut oil is almost all saturated fat and if consumed alongside a diet high in saturated fats, you may be consuming well over the government recommended 20g per day for women and 30g per day for men," she said.
Despite this, Ms Soutter stated that there's nothing wrong with consuming coconut oil when done in moderation.
"Claiming that any one food is a poison can be dangerous as it instils fear around food. It's important to remember that no one food is inherently all 'good' or all 'bad'," she said.