Lately mass media has been flashing with the following headlines:
OMG, you probably thought this changes everything! Not so fast, buddy. It really doesn’t.
I’m going to cover this by listing only 9 reasons why these claims are total BS. Moreover, I’m also going to highlight the American Heart Association’s relations to BIG Sugar, and AHA’s incompetence by sprouting claims like the ones about coconut oil being harmful:
1. The BIG Sugar.
The claims about dietary fat (coconut oil included) have been thrown around for as long as I can remember. This is a leftover from an infamous series of studies done in the 50s, that were directly sponsored by some of the biggest sugar and processed carbohydrate producers (previously highlighted BIG sugar). The study results were downplaying high carbohydrate (sugar) effects on human bodies and highlighted the hazards of fat. In short: there’s nothing new here, but old, bought and recycled claims.
2. The fallacy of short term studies.
People included in the short term studies(15-90 days) did reduce their LDL (generally marked as bad cholesterol). As you know, the predictability of long-term effects by short-term observation is a moonshot.
Meanwhile, studies like the one done between 1966 and 2011 (that’s 45 years) on 2,788 participants got complete opposite results. People following a low-carb, high-fat diet had their statistically significantly lower reduction in total cholesterol. Their bad cholesterol went down, their good went up. Such prolonged studies should be the core of claims that one product is worse than others, not just 15-90 days worth of nonsense.
3. The fallacy of generalisations.
AHA is notorious at releasing bought and false statements in a form of easily-accessible-to-masses dietary guidelines. Some of these, like the ones done between 80’s and early 2000s marked red meat (e.g. beef) as one of the most dangerous products to consume. What they failed to differentiate was the source of the red meat. For example, would grass-fed free range animal meat be different than farmed, antibiotics, steroid and grain-fed animals? Of course it would.
4. AHA in a nutshell.
AHA’s lead author of advisory, Frank Sacks, M.D made a bold and moronic statement:
“I just don’t know who would recommend consuming coconut oil…” and “there’s nothing wrong with deep frying [foods] as long as you deep fry in a nice unsaturated vegetable oil.”. Any other comments needed?
Other lines went through even to this boldness: “Coconut oil isn’t healthy. It’s never been healthy.” Then there was this one: Coconut oil is “as unhealthy as beef fat and butter.” Knowing that grass-fed butter and beef are some of the most nutrient-dense substances on this planet and are full of ESSENTIAL fatty acids, this is just contributes to highlighting how good coconut oil really is.
5. Vegetable oils aka the great American sham.
It’s not a secret that vegetable oils, especially when heated (e.g. fried) tend to become heavily inflammable. This means they wreak havoc on your system, causing unnecessary damage to your cells, making your arteries crack and allowing cholesterol plaque to accumulate. Inflammation still is the root cause of heart diseases, period. AHA has been actively outspoken about vegetable oils being a superior fatty acid source. However, what they choose to ignore is its damaging effects.
6. Coconut oil vs. vegetable oils.
On to more specific terms, here’s an interesting study done in 2009: Obese women were given either coconut oil or soybean oil. The coconut oil group ended up having higher HDL cholesterol levels and an improved ratio of LDL to HDL. Meanwhile, the soybean oil women had their total cholesterol go up, as did their LDL, and their HDL levels went down. Soybeans (of which 90% are GMO) are also key offenders when it comes to glyphosate concentration – key ingredient in herbicides. Norwegian researchers were brave enough to mark it as ‘extreme’ for consumption.
7. AHA’s shady ties with Bayer aka The BIG Pharma.
When BIG Pharma enters the picture too, you know the crap is going down… Bayer, producer of variety of medications for metabolic illnesses (they make money out of heart rate disease patient numbers) has been confirmed to sponsor AHA’s campaign to reduce heart disease numbers by 2020: “Bayer also helps the AHA meet its 2020 impact goal to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent and reduce deaths from cardiovascular diseases and strokes by 20 percent. AHA’s Healthy for Good movement focuses on healthier diets, additional physical activity, blood pressure management and cholesterol control.” Oh boy, does this sound good. Are big companies finally waking up from their non-ethical slumbers, or is it just another cover up to look good?
8. Let’s just blame the cholesterol…
This blame game has lasted far too long. Cholesterol has earned a bad reputation due to moronic generalisations. Fact is, there are thousands of cholesterol types with majority being essential to your body in every other aspect. Nutritionists tend to split cholesterol into HDL (good kind) and LDL (bad kind); however, what truly matters is particle size – the smaller the cholesterol the more chances of plaque formation in the inflamed arteries. Note that inflamed arteries (usually caused by processed vegetable oil) are a critical part of this equation. Simply put: arteries that are exposed to chronic inflammation tend to crack; the small LDL particles then fill in the gaps and accumulate the plaque. You know what happens next.
9. Coconut oil: still one of the healthiest fats.
To conclude this article: coconut oil, together with grass-fed butters, extra virgin olive oil, ghee and other non-treated ESSENTIAL fatty acid sources represent the healthiest fats you can consume. Furthermore, coconut oil, just like butter, is a substance that can be cooked with and heated (not fried) without becoming harmful and inflammatory.
- Sugar Industry and Coronary Heart Disease Research. A Historical Analysis of Internal Industry Documents http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/article-abstract/2548255
- Effects of Low-Carbohydrate Diets Versus Low-Fat Diets on Metabolic Risk Factors: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Clinical Trials https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3530364/
- Red Meat: The News is Not Good. Langan Denhard and Claire Karlsson, National Center for Health Research http://www.center4research.org/red-meat-news-not-good/
- Replacing saturated fat with healthier fat could lower cardiovascular risks http://news.heart.org/advisory-replacing-saturated-fat-with-healthier-fat-could-lower-cardiovascular-risks/
- Home use of vegetable oils, markers of systemic inflammation, and endothelial dysfunction among women. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18842776
- Effects of dietary coconut oil on the biochemical and anthropometric profiles of women presenting abdominal obesity. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19437058 |
- “Extreme levels” of Herbicide Roundup Found in Food http://www.ewg.org/agmag/2014/04/extreme-levels-herbicide-roundup-found-food#.WWufctPyvPA
- Bayer and LibertyLink Soybeans Help Protect Hearts in America’s Heartland https://www.cropscience.bayer.us/news/press-releases/2017/03022017-bayer-and-libertylink-soybeans-help-protect-hearts-in-americas-heartland#.WUwKi3V5Irs.facebook
- LDL Cholesterol, Particle Number and Particle Size http://www.docsopinion.com/2013/10/20/ldl-cholesterol-particle-number-particle-size-made-easy/