Is Coconut Oil ‘Pure Poison’?


Is Coconut Oil ‘Pure Poison’?

It’s been several years since coconut oil was labelled as a superfood and became the oil of choice for everything from cooking to beauty treatments. But the bubble has burst since a recent talk from Harvard professor Karin Michels, in which she labels coconut oil ‘pure poison’. So what is the truth behind the story?

The controversial comments were made in a talk titled “Coconut oil and other nutritional errors,” by Karin Michels, who is an adjunct professor of epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She uses the word ‘poison’ several times in the speech, as she warns about the ‘superfood’ which is very high in saturated fat. “I can only warn you urgently about coconut oil,” says Michels. “This is one of the worst foods you can eat.”

But is it really, actually poison? In short, no. Karin Michels’ statements are based around the high saturated fat content as opposed to other oils, however, the link between saturated fats and heart disease has been questioned in recent years. A widely-circulated report in 2014 stated that the link was ‘unproven’. While all fats in your diet should be eaten in moderation, it’s important to remember why it got its label as a ‘superfood’ (for better or worse) in the first place.

Here are just three of the numerous scientifically established benefits of coconut oil.


Studies show that lauric acid found in coconut oil acts to decrease brain inflammation (1). Research also shows that it may assist those who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and possibly seizure disorders. One of the reasons for this is because coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids (MCTs), which are very easily absorbed and then converted into ketones. Ketone bodies serve as an energy source for the brain (2).


One of the benefits of coconut oil is the support it provides for the immune system, acting as a natural antibacterial and antiviral. It’s been shown to help fight off candida (3) and inhibit the growth of clostridium difficile (4). Furthermore, research has demonstrated that MCTs found in it support a healthy gut microbiome (5).


MCTs have been shown to increase how many calories you burn compared to the effects of longer chain fats (6). One study found that 15-30g (one to two tablespoons) of MCTs per day increased 24 hour energy expenditure by 5%, around 120 calories per day (7). The fatty acids in coconut oil have also been shown to help reduce hunger. This is believed to be due to the way the fats are metabolised, as ketones can have an appetite reducing effect

Ultimately, it’s a good idea to eat a variety of healthy fats from different natural sources. Good examples include avocado, nuts, seeds, oily fish, olive oil and coconut oil. Obviously, we shouldn’t consume excessive amounts of any one of them – variety and moderation are key.



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Sarah has worked with hundreds of clients over the past decade to help them live in a healthy body that they feel confident in.

Sarah spent a large part of her teens and 20’s as a professional dancer battling with orthorexia and an unhealthy relationship with food and her body. This created a desire to understand the human body more so she could finally cut through the confusion and end the cycle of yoyo dieting. This fuelled her passion to help other women do the same.


Sarah specialises in supporting women who are struggling to lose weight due to underlying health issues. She’s helped many women manage their weight during and after the menopause, as well as clients with thyroid disease and immune system dysfunction. Sarah loves food and sharing healthy recipes with her clients. Her aim is to ensure that clients don’t feel deprived and instead, achieve their weight loss and health goals in a positive and sustainable way.


To enquire about working with Sarah, please contact us.



Ailsa is one of our most experienced practitioners. She specialises in helping clients to lose weight, develop a healthy relationship with food and finally feel comfortable in their skin. Ailsa’s mission is for everyone she works with to enjoy the journey and that working with a nutritionist should not be a punishment, but your access to a new possibility.


Ailsa is not only an experienced weight loss nutritionist, she is also a skilled coach. She helps our clients overcome emotional eating, destructive habits and self-sabotaging behaviours that have prevented successful weight loss in the past. Ailsa has spent years in clinic working with clients who have experienced yo-yo dieting and have discovered that long term weight loss is not just about eating less until you can stand it no longer.


Working with Ailsa you will be comprehensively supported, not only in improving your nutrition and lifestyle, but also your eating habits and your relationship with food. When you work on all these elements together, the results can be truly astonishing.


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Test Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of the business. Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning. A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.



Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of th clinic.


Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning.


A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.


Stéphanie is a skilled nutritional therapist and functional medicine practitioner with additional training in eating disorders, disordered eating and obesity. She believes that working towards both physiological and mental health is key in achieving optimum wellbeing.


Stéphanie’s personal experience of emotional eating and the ongoing struggle to find the right support led her to combine the science of nutrition with behavioural coaching to motivate and empower her clients. She specialises in helping people who struggle with their weight and their relationship with food. She helps them develop a healthier and more peaceful relationship with food and their bodies.


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Inna is passionate about supporting women on their journey to improved health and wellbeing. She believes that the solution to effective weight loss does not lie in ever more restrictive diets, but a more sophisticated approach that optimises health and vitality, as well as promoting effective weight loss.


Working with Inna you will benefit from her in-depth knowledge of female health and hormones. She will support you in developing a healthy diet, lifestyle and mindset that ensures you reach your ideal weight and maintain it in the years to come.


Inna is passionate about food with a wide repertoire of delicious healthy recipes and meal ideas to ensure your weight loss journey is as enjoyable as possible!


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Ania is a firm believer that improving your health and losing weight should be a positive, empowering journey, not one centred around deprivation.


After being diagnosed with two autoimmune conditions in her twenties, Ania spent several years educating herself on the power of food and nutrition. She put it all into practise and changed her diet and lifestyle, reversing her endometriosis and thyroid disease. After experiencing such a significant improvement in her health, Ania had a big desire to help others. She embarked on a four year journey to study nutrition, graduating from the Institute for Optimum Nutrition with distinction.


Ania specialises in autoimmunity and works with clients who have underlying health issues preventing successful weight loss. Her expertise enables her to successfully support our clients with conditions such as hypothyroidsm (underactive thyroid), PCOS and diabetes. 


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