Over the weekend, a news story based on the American Heart Association’s tired, worn-out and scientifically obsolete war on healthy fats went viral, claiming that coconut oil was somehow bad for cardiovascular health. Remember, the AHA is the same nutritionally illiterate organization that, for decades, told heart attack victims they could eat unlimited processed sugar and artificial sweeteners as long as they didn’t consume a single gram of fat. All fats were declared unhealthy by the AHA, including plant-based “good” fats like the kind found in avocados, flax seeds and chia seeds.
Now, the AHA is at its old “retread” tricks again, declaring war on coconut oil for the simple reason that coconut oil helps millions of American avoid the need for prescription drugs made by the very companies that funnel millions of dollars to the AHA. As coconut oil has become more mainstream, it’s cutting into the profit model of the corrupt “heart attack industry” which depends on people getting sick and staying sick by eating heavily processed foods devoid of real nutrition.
But the AHA’s propaganda effort is thinly veiled. Almost no one is fooled, and only the most nutritionally illiterate people believe anything the AHA (or the AMA, for that matter) has to say about nutrition, health or disease prevention. Any organization funded by Big Pharma is, by definition, nothing more than a group of prostitutes and shills for pharmaceutical interests.
In fact, holistic-minded doctors are raging against the AHA’s ignorant, dangerous advice that’s actually designed to promote heart disease rather than prevent it. Along those lines, I’m publishing an exclusive commentary piece authored by Jack Wolfson, DO, FACC, author of The Paleo Cardiologist and founder of TheDrsWolfson.com. Here’s what he has to say about the AHA’s mindless attack on coconut oil…
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The Conspiracy Against Saturated Fat
by Jack Wolfon, DO, FACC
Have you heard the latest study showing coconut oil increases heart attacks? That’s right. You haven’t. Because it doesn’t and there is no such study.
But the American Heart Association (AHA) keeps trotting out the same message from the 1970’s: Saturated fat is the villain when it comes to cardiovascular disease.
The news media eats it up as the news relies on advertisers.
We can blame the fake news on Corporate America. It is the corporations who control the lobbyist groups like the AHA. That’s right. I said it. The AHA is a lobbyist group. They collect nearly 1 billion dollars every year to push the agenda of Big Pharma and Big Agriculture.
The small coconut oil vendor and grass-fed beef farmer don’t have much of a lobby.
Enough of the political and capitalist manifesto.
What is saturated fat
First, I want to explain exactly what saturated fat is. What we think of fat is really a tiny particle called a triglyceride. Tri means 3. So, 3 fatty acids are attached to a glycerol backbone. These fatty acids can be monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, or saturated. For some reason, the mono’s and the poly’s are safe, yet the sat fat is dangerous.
Yes, that is the same saturated fat found in the mammary gland of all nursing females: humans and animals alike. Yes, that is the same saturated fat found in eggs, the nourishment that brings birds and reptiles to life (try raising a chicken on oatmeal).
Second, humans have been eating saturated fat for millions of years. As hunter-gatherers, all humans in history ate meat and/or seafood. All animals eat meat, seafood, or insects.
When did sat fat become bad for us?
In the mid-20th century, doctors looked at coronary plaque in the heart arteries. In the plaque was cholesterol. Cholesterol comes from animals. Therefore, don’t eat animals. Cholesterol was found at the scene of the crime and branded guilty without a trial.
Well, there actually was a trial based on cherry-picked data by Dr. Ancil Keys. Corporate America ran with this fake science and pushed sugar, artificials, and large amounts of grain into our lives.
America’s health has suffered.
Enough science? Is saturated fat bad for us?
In 2010, a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition was published. This is the biggest nutrition journal in the world. They looked at over 500,000 people regarding saturated fat. The conclusion: saturated fat is not linked to coronary disease. (1)
Fast forward to 2016. Same journal, more evidence…. Turns out that saturated fat actually LOWERS cardiac risk. (2)
In 2015, the AJCN reported saturated fat IS linked to heart disease, unless the saturated fat came from fish, dairy, or plants. From those sources of food, saturated fat is not an issue. (3)
Here is what the study authors concluded about their results.
“It should be acknowledged that other dietary components in the food sources containing SFAs may have played a role in the observed associations, such as refined carbohydrates in pastries or salt in processed foods.” Essentially, it’s the other crap in the food, not the saturated fat.
A side note from this 2015 study: The more fat you ate, the lower your heart attack risk and the chance you had of dying. (So much for the low fat gurus)
What About Cholesterol?
The recent statement by the AHA asserts that saturated fat raises LDL-cholesterol (4) and further asserts that LDL is the cholesterol that causes arterial blockage. That’s right, they say CAUSES, when LDL does NOT cause and has not been proven to cause heart disease. That is Big Pharma speak.
Why would all animals produce LDL? To cause heart attacks? Preposterous. LDL has many functions, most of which science is clueless to explain. LDL delivers nutrients around the body, is an anti-inflammatory, an anti-oxidant, and works for the immune system.
The fact that LDL works for the immune system is demonstrated by the fact it is found in plaque. Coronary disease is autoimmune. Wrap your head around that paradigm, cardiologists.
When it comes to LDL, size matters. Small, dense particles when elevated are strongly correlated to heightened risk of heart disease. Previous studies measure total LDL. That data is irrelevant. What matters is the ratio of LDL versus HDL. The more HDL particles versus LDL, the better. That science is settled.
Sadly, the average cardiologist missed that lecture from the drug reps.
When my patients replace starchy carbs and sugars with fat, they feel great, they look great, and their lab tests are great. LDL particles go lower. HDL particles go higher. Inflammation is lower. Blood sugar is better. They lose weight and feel great.
How many times are we going to hear this same retread story? When will the AHA get their head out of the sand? Probably never. After all, the AHA, American Diabetes Association, and other disease-oriented societies all live off sickness.
In the end, you decide what diet is right for you: the diet of our ancestors over millions of years or the diet advice of any organization run by paid shills from Big Ag and Big Pharma.
For more, check out my book, The Paleo Cardiologist, The Natural Way to Heart Health.