'One of the worst foods you can eat'

A professor from Harvard university in the U.S. has described coconut oil as 'pure poison'.

Dr Karin Michels says the product - which is championed by many health food advocates - is 'one of the worst foods you can eat' due to the damaging effect the saturated fatty acids in the coconut oil can have on your body.

In a speech at the prestigious school, she also dismissed other so-called superfoods as unnecessary, because everyday foods give us plenty of nutrition.

The Irish Heart Foundation says we should be cooking with vegetable oil instead of coconut oil. Spokesperson Janis Morrissey says: 'coconut oil is 86% saturated fat and there is proven evidence to show that a diet high in saturated fat increases blood cholesterol levels and that increases you risk of heart attack, that's why we recommend using vegetable based oils like rapeseed oil or sunflower oil instead'.

Coconut oil has had its profile boosted in recent years by health food advocates who claim it is healthier than other forms of fat, but experts says there's no research to back up the claims.

The Body Coach Joe Wicks uses coconut oil in many of the recipes he posts online: