Now the American Heart Association are trying to tell us to not eat it, and I wonder what the real reason is….
The Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease advisory reviewed existing data on saturated fat, showing coconut oil increased LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in seven out of seven controlled trials.
“Because coconut oil increases LDL cholesterol, a cause of CVD [cardiovascular disease], and has no known offsetting favorable effects, we advise against the use of coconut oil,” the American Heart Association said in the Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease advisory.
Frank Sacks, lead author on the report, said he has no idea why people think coconut oil is healthy. It’s almost 100% fat.
They are claiming that as coconut oil is full of saturated fat, and that high saturated fat intake is linked to heart disease (you will find out in this article that the new evidence shows saturated fat actually does not cause heart disease), we should not eat it.
What is even more concerning is they advise people to reduce saturated fats by not cooking with coconut oil or butter, but with canola, or corn oil or soybean oil, or extra virgin olive oil.
Should we really be listening to the American Heart Association and who is this Frank Sacks anyway?
You would think a government organisation would be a trustworthy source for advice, but unfortunately when you take a closer look you begin to see how ugly the truth really is.
Follow The Money
Dr. Sacks is Professor of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health.
Dr. Sacks is active in national and international committees and conferences in dietary and drug treatments of dyslipidemia, and nutrition and health guidelines. He was Chair of the American Heart Association Nutrition Committee which advises the AHA on nutrition policy.
The New York Times reports:
Harvard Medical faculty members receive tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars a year through industry consulting and speaking fees. Under the school’s disclosure rules, about 1,600 of 8,900 professors and lecturers have reported to the dean that they or a family member had a financial interest in a business related to their teaching, research or clinical care. The reports show 149 with financial ties to Pfizer and 130 with Merck.
Harvard should be embarrassed by the F grade it recently received from the American Medical Student Association, a national group that rates how well medical schools monitor and control drug industry money.
Why The Coconut Oil Report Is Such Bad Science
The American Heart Association (AHA) state: “Because coconut oil increases LDL cholesterol, a cause of CVD [cardiovascular disease], and has no known offsetting favorable effects, we advise against [its] use.”
AHA’s Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease Advisory reviewed existing data on saturated fat, showing coconut oil increased LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in seven out of seven controlled trials.
In fact, 82% of the fat in coconut oil is saturated, according to the data making it less healthy than even butter (63%).
So what they are saying is saturated fat is linked to higher total cholesterol numbers, and coconut oil that is high in saturated fat is also shown to raise total cholesterol as well as LDL. So to support the high cholesterol causes heart disease theory, coconut oil must cause heart disease.
Firstly 7 trials is hardly a conclusive number to make a such a serious statement.
Also what about the effect on HDL which is considered ‘good cholesterol’?
There are also numerous studies showing how coconut oil actually raises HDL, and lowers cardiovascular disease risk factors compared to vegetable oils.
They also did not take into account the other lifestyle factors such as sugar and carb intake, exercise and stress.
This pubmed paper about coconut oil consumption and heart disease risk makes a clear point that the current research is not very conclusive and that more research is needed.
Does Saturated Fat Even Cause Heart Disease?
In 2011 I investigated into whether cholesterol causes heart disease and presented my findings to the Traditional Yoga Association in the UK.
Part 1: The Truth About Cholesterol
Part 2: What Really Causes Heart Disease
The conclusion of my investigation, that was heavily inspired by the work of Dr Malcolm Kendrick and his book ‘The Great Cholesterol Con”, is that the medically accepted view that high cholesterol and saturated fat causing heart disease, is one of the biggest crimes against humanity that has ever happened.
Actually the opposite is true, that low cholesterol is a higher risk factor for heart disease, and that the real cause of heart disease is inflammation caused by other factors. Not saturated fat or cholesterol.
The cholesterol hypothesis that has led to the movement towards low fat foods is that:
A (saturated fat in the diet) leads to B (high cholesterol levels) that causes C (heart disease)
This is the cholesterol hypothesis, or the lipid hypothesis, and it has driven medical thinking for the last sixty years.
A recent article that backs up my research from 2011 published in the prestigious British Medical Journal (BMJ) states:
Saturated fat does not clog the arteries: coronary heart disease is a chronic inflammatory condition, the risk of which can be effectively reduced from healthy lifestyle interventions.
The idea that high cholesterol is the cause of heart disease has also been refuted in recent years with many doctors taking people off statin drugs that causes serious side effects.
According to the BMJ, increasing A was conclusively shown to have no effect on C which means saturated fat has no effect in reality on rates of heart disease. So its not saturated fat or cholesterol that even causes heart disease, and so that equation has been proven totally wrong.
Cholesterol is essential to growth of new cells and is part of the inflammatory response. High cholesterol may be a sign of internal inflammation, but it is certainly not the cause, in fact it is essential to the healing process and lowering it can lead to disastrous results as many statin users have unfortunately found out.
According to Kendrick and the current research there is two types of LDL, and it is oxidised version of LDL that is the real issue and coconut oil is actually shown to reduce oxidization of LDL in studies.
The whole story of how the world got duped into low fat diets and taking statin drugs is full of conspiracy, doctored statistics and very bad science that seems to have been orchestrated by the government as far back as the Nixon presidency, in cahoots with big business who clearly have a completely inhumane vested interest in keeping you sick, fat and dependent on drugs for life.
There is absolutely no clear evidence that saturated fat causes heart disease, and the conventional view has changed dramatically over the years, as many new studies confirm that the opposite is actually true – saturated fat actually protects you against heart disease, it is the highly processed trans fats, vegetable oils and sugar that you really need to worry about.
So why on earth would The American Heart Association promote such bad science that is so outdated too?
Are Big Pharma getting desperate as the population is waking up to what really causes heart disease?
Are companies who sell highly processed vegetable oils freaking out at the huge movement towards healthy oils like coconut oil?
The Problem With Meta Analysis – Swapping Bad For Bad
A meta-analysis is when you pool together data from various studies to create a more statistically powerful conclusion.
Many government policies increasingly rely on conclusions drawn from meta-analysis. If you have been prescribed a medication or treatment in the past then it is very likely meta-analysis of various studies was used to validate whether it should or should not be recommended.
John Ioannidis, a highly respected researcher at Stanford University, states that “the large majority of produced systematic reviews and meta-analyses are unnecessary, misleading, or conflicted.”
Overall, Ioannidis found that only a tiny sliver of systematic reviews and meta-analyses about 3% that are both correct and useful.
This is because quite often the studies have an overwhelming bias because many are industry-sponsored with studies that do not support the claim being left out.
So who do you trust. Perhaps even the BMJ are using flawed research when stating saturated fat does not clog arteries?
Are Canola, Corn Oil, Soybean Oil, or Extra Virgin Olive Oil Better?
Canola oil was first created in the early 1970s as a natural oil, but in 1995, Monsanto created a genetically modified version of canola oil. From 2009, around 90 percent of canola grown in the U.S and Canada. is GMO. Do you really want that in your body?
Partially hydrogenated soybean oil is actually one of biggest sources of extremely harmful trans fats in the Western diet. It is the hydrogenating process that really harms soybean oil and it is necessary to increase its shelf life.
Research has shown that excessive levels of omega-6 fatty acids, relative to omega-3 fatty acids, can increase the probability of a number of diseases. Corn oil has an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 49:1. The optimal ratio is thought to be 4 to 1 or lower.
Virgin Olive Oil
Olive oil is actually pretty good for your health if uncooked. However when cooking it, toxic substances are formed that can lead to cancer forming chemicals.
Coconut oil actually contains no Omega essential oils. Instead it is rich in medium chain fatty acids (MCT) that are actually a healthy form of saturated fats that your brain and body loves. Coconut oil also contains lauric acid that has been shown to have numerous health benefits in studies. Coconut oil has a relatively high smoke point, making it safer for cooking at high temperatures.
The Renegade Pharmacists Verdict
I was way ahead of the curve when I first made my presentation in 2011 claiming saturated fat is not the cause of heart disease. Now more and more in the medical community are waking up to this truth and no longer promoting statins and low fat diets.
My conclusions were also drawn upon the mechanism of how heart disease is actually formed as explained by Dr Malcolm Kendrick in his book, The Great Cholesterol Con.
The main cause of this is stress that leads to a response to injury causing inflammation. This is caused by stress of various forms such as emotional stress, high blood pressure and other physical stressors from substances like drugs, food, lack of exercise, poor lifestyle choices, and with sugar and processed foods being the major dietary culprit.
I would also like to add if you were to follow the government’s advice of eating a low fat diet and taking statins you are not only more likely to get heart disease but you are also more at risk from degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Your brain is 60% fat and cholesterol is essential to growth of new brain cells.
We the people must look deeper into who exactly is funding ‘research’ and making these sorts of claims. What is their real motive?
I would take any advice from the government and groups like the American Heart Association with a pinch of salt, as they are mostly always funded by corporations who only care about their bottom line. I would also take meta-analysis with a pinch of salt too for the very same reason.
I have also seen first hand complete transformations when advising people suffering from metabolic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity to try a low carb, high fat diet like the ketogenic or paleo diet, proving to me that it is not the fat that is the problem, its the processed carbs and sugar!
As with anything in life finding a balance is the way forward, and also really listening to your own body, as we are all unique and different.
So having a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil in your diet a day is probably still a good thing, as long as you also stick to a healthy nutritious diet that is low or free from processed sugars, carbs and other factory based foods.
I personally prefer to use Ayurvedic ghee or grass fed butter to cook with, as it tastes much better than coconut oil and has a much higher smoke point.
The key is to eat as close to nature as possible, and really enjoy what you eat too!
I like to use the mantra ‘Minimum Human Intervention’ MHI – the more stages of processing a food has gone through by humans, the less likely to beneficial it will be.
If you want to read more about the amazing uses of coconut oil beyond its use in food, check out this article:
Saturated fat does not clog the arteries: coronary heart disease is a chronic inflammatory condition, the risk of which can be effectively reduced from healthy lifestyle interventions
A COCONUT EXTRA VIRGIN OIL-RICH DIET INCREASES HDL CHOLESTEROL AND DECREASES WAIST CIRCUMFERENCE AND BODY MASS IN CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE PATIENTS.
Harvard Medical School in Ethics Quandary
Meta-analysis: pitfalls and hints
The man who made scientists question themselves has just exposed huge flaws in evidence used to give drug prescriptions
About the Author: The Renegade Pharmacist
I am an ex-community pharmacist turned ‘renegade’ after recovering from a chronic illness without medication, when conventional medicine had given up hope. This site will share what has worked for me and the latest research in holistic healthcare.
I am Luke Miller, content manager at Truth Theory and creator of Potential For Change. I like to blend psychology and spirituality to help you create more happiness in your life.Grab a copy of my free 33 Page Illustrated eBook- Psychology Meets Spirituality- Secrets To A Supercharged Life You Control Here.