Claims from a Harvard professor that coconut oil "pure poison" and "one of the worst things you can eat" led to a fierce debate about the benefits of the health product.
Dr. Karin Michels, who spoke at the University of Freiburg in Germany, suggested that the oil contains harmful saturated fatty acids.
Her lecture, "Coconut oil and other nutritional errors", was widely watched on YouTube and expressed doubts about the fashionable "superfood", often considered a remedy to help with a wide range of ailments, from dry hair to hemorrhoids and obesity.
So how worried should you be about the presence in your diet?
Coconut oil contains more than 80 percent fat, which is 60 percent more than the dripping of beef and twice that with lard.
Dr. Michels is particularly concerned about the tendency to raise levels of poor LDL cholesterol in the blood, and both the NHS and the American Heart Association (AHA) generally agree, and recommend using less saturated fatty acids. because exposure to high amounts increases your risk of development. coronary heart or cardiovascular disease.
Other foods with a high content of saturated fat to be on their guard include butter, cheese, sausage and meat pies.
Those such as Dr. Michels who advocate the exclusion of such items emphasize the importance of foods with high unsaturated fat, including oily fish, nuts, seeds and avocado. It has been proven that vegetables, sunflower or olive oil paste help lower LDL cholesterol.
But the merits of a diet with mainly low fat content is a subject that still divides.
As the benefits of coconut oil are in the treatment of Alzheimer's, a claim for the ingredient requires experts to say more research to substantiate.
About the benefits of the product in general, previously hyped by Gwyneth Paltrow and Holland & Barrett, the British Nutrition Foundation stated: "There is to date no strong scientific evidence for the health benefits of eating coconut oil."
Only 37 percent of nutritionists said they believed the oil was good for you when they were questioned by the AHA in 2017, compared to 75 percent of consumers.
In the UK, the sale of coconut oil has grown enormously in the last four years, with sales increasing from £ 1 million in 2014 to £ 16.4 million in 2018, according to research group Kantar.
"It is only recently that the UK has gone crazy with coconut oil, with so many claimed health benefits of immune-enhancing properties that it is being praised as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease," said nutritionist Lily Soutter. The independent.
"However, we must not forget that coconut oil is almost all saturated fat and if you consume it in addition to a diet rich in saturated fats, you could consume the 20 g per day for women and 30 g per day for men by the government."
Moderation now appears to be the safest way, instead of completely cutting out the intake.