But in her German-language talk "Coconut Oil and Other Nutritional Errors", which is nearing 1 million views on YouTube as of Wednesday, Karin Michels, an adjunct professor at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, calls coconut oil "pure poison" and "one of the worst foods" she can name.
Coconut oil has taken the health world by storm for the last few years with fitness and nutrition fans hailing it a healthy fat.
Coconut oil has been making headlines lately, thanks to a lecture given by a Harvard professor that's gone viral.
"Because there aren't a lot of long-term studies on coconut oil use and health, we'd recommend moderation - we typically recommend no more than 10-15 percent of calories coming from any source of saturated fat", says Schwartz.
When it comes to cooking, experts recommend olive or rapeseed oil as alternatives given they contain more unsaturated fatty acids.
While Michels isn't wrong about the whole saturated fat thing - coconut oil contains 12 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon - the coconut oil conversation is more nuanced than Michels' statement is leading people to believe.
The study participants who ate the medium-chain fatty acid diet burned fat quicker than the controls.
"I think Americans, in general, like to look at something independently, and we can't look at any food like that", she said.
"Coconut oil is somewhere in the middle of the spectrum in terms of types of fats". Why would they cook their vegetables and meat in pure fat?
According to the British Heart Foundation, coconut oil is nearly 86% saturated fat, which is even higher than butter (52%).
In contrast, there are many studies showing that unsaturated fat, especially olive oil, may lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
It is true that coconut oil has some intriguing qualities that, at first glance, make it seem like it's a healthy food.
The proponents of coconut oil often point to the healthy lifestyles of indigenous populations in India, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Polynesia, whose diets include large amounts of coconut.