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What The American Heart Association is Not Telling You: The Truth About Coconut Oil

 

“Coconut oil isn’t healthy. It’s never been healthy.” I really appreciate the American Heart Association confusing you more than ever before, with its June’s 2017 report on saturated fats being bad for your health.

In the 80’s, the American Heart Association claimed that all fats were labeled BAD. This led to all fats were bad except omega 3’s. Researchers then said all red meats were bad, failing to mention the difference between factory farmed and grass-fed meat. Yes, this is the same American Heart Association that once recommended trans-fats and hydrogenated oils being healthy for you.

In the past, the AHA also disastrously recommended dietary guidelines of eating low-fat processed foods such as margarine and other low fat foods loaded with refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, colors, preservatives, HFCS and other toxic ingredients that we can barley pronounce.

Now, we are hearing that we need to be alarmed about consuming saturated fats. This includes coconut oil which is made up of 90% of saturated fats. AHA claims that coconut oil is “as unhealthy as beef fat and butter, “and that “coconut oil isn’t as good for you as you might think”.

What is going on?

The report goes on to demonize Coconut Oil while recommending pro-inflammatory vegetable oils such as corn and soy oil.  The organization’s Industry Nutrition Advisory Panel has members from non-heart healthy corporations such as The Sugar Association, Coca-Cola, the United Soybean Board and the US Canola Association.

The AHA continues to focus on cholesterol and saturated fat as a leading cause of cardiovascular disease, when recent studies show that inflammation and oxidation of cholesterol molecules are the true cause.  What causes inflammation in our diet?  The Standard American Diet (SAD) which is full of processed foods, refined sugars and simple carbs.  Who creates these products?  Those members that happen to be on the AHA’s Nutritional Advisory Panel.

Being an advocate of your own health and not believing everything you read and see will help you really take control over your life.

I have been promoting and personally consuming organic coconut oil for years. I have seen amazing results with myself and my clients by adding coconut oil to our diets.

The issue here is that it’s not that simple and I disagree with this recent report by the AHA. What is even more alarming is what the AHA is telling you to replace coconut oil with is extremely harmful to your health…vegetable oils.

Shockingly, the AHA claims that experts recommend eating more vegetable oils, like corn and soy oil to optimize your health..hummm I wonder why? ….this makes me want to scream.  We have to ask ourselves why would they promote GMO corn and estrogenic soy oils that weaken our immune system, imbalance our hormones, lead to chronic inflammation, sickness, diabetes 2, cancer, weight gain and disease.

More than 90 percent of these crops are genetically modified. Norwegian researchers even found U.S. soy contains “extreme” levels of glyphosate, the main ingredient in the herbicide Roundup.  Did you know it’s actually inside our foods and cannot be ‘washed off’.

A 2016 review study published in the British Medical Journal looked at the effects of removing saturated fats (coconut oil) out of their diet and replacing with vegetable oils that the AHA is recommending. Those who were eating more corn oil, vegetable oils and margarine rich in polyunsaturated fats, increased a person’s risk of coronary heart disease and death from all causes.  (1)

I love the feeling of vegetable oils, made from grain, that clog my arteries, causing inflammation and free radical damage to my organs….

Corn, soy and other vegetables oils are high in omega 6 fatty acids. Although our body needs only very little omega 6 fats, the American diet consumes way too many omega 6 fats to omega 3 fats, which we need more of.  Diets rich in omega 6 can increase the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women and prostate cancer in men. (2)

I would definitely trust the American Heart Association seeing that the Soybean board and U.S Canola Association are in the American Heart Association nutrition advisory panel. I guess they were the masterminds convincing us that trans fats and hydrogenated oils were good for us.

Let’s talk cholesterol. The AHA advises against the use of coconut oil because it increases LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol and “has no known offsetting favorable effects.”

This is true and at the same time misleading. Yes, coconut oil can raise LDL levels. But the report fails to mention coconut oil can also raise HDL, or “good” cholesterol levels, too. (3, 4). This is a prime example of why we need to do above and beyond research to find out the truth and missing pieces to the puzzle.  You actually need cholesterol for optimal brain health.

Did you know that organic extra-virgin coconut oil not only helps increase health HDL cholesterol, but helps people suffering from cardiovascular disease to loose body fat, thus protecting the heart? (5)

In addition, mainstream health has pushed an obsessive focus on cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is not the end all be all in measuring heart disease. The reason the American Heart Association is advising against coconut oil is because the organization says LDL cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease. But a study of more than 12,000 people found low cholesterol — not high —actually increased a person’s risk of dying early. (6)

Are your wheels turning yet? Are you still trusting everything you see and hear?

What we really need to focus on is decreasing chronic inflammation in the body, which is the CORE ROOT to heart disease, weight gain, and most illness and disease (7, 8, 9)

Dr. Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS, who is a certified doctor of natural medicine, doctor of chiropractic and clinical nutritionist explains the following: In order to improve heart health, the focus must shift from high cholesterol as the biggest risk factor for heart disease and instead focus on reducing inflammation and oxidation via diet. It’s all about getting to the root cause of disease. Your liver starts to produce cholesterol as your body’s repair substance. This happens because inflammation and oxidation is taking place in your arteries. Imagine your arteries as pipes in your home. If your pipe is damaged and springs a leak, you need to go and patch and repair the area. The problem isn’t high cholesterol. That’s merely the cause of an inflammatory lifestyle.

And, if you truly want to know what your cholesterol numbers should be in regard to heart disease risk, you need to evaluate your cholesterol ratios, not the total number. What was apparent as I read through the AHA analysis is that many of the studies they pulled didn’t take into consideration HDL cholesterol levels or the ratios.

He further explains this explanation with a Harvard Medical: “The ratio of total cholesterol-to-HDL is important; the smaller the number the better. For example, someone with a total cholesterol of 200 and an HDL of 60 would have a ratio of 3.3 (200 ÷ 60 = 3.3). If that person’s HDL was low — let’s say 35 —the total cholesterol-to-HDL ratio would be higher: 5.7.” (10-11)

As you can see it is not black and white. Even with researcher studies, we have to ask ourselves do we have the whole picture as to what is really going on?

We have been misinformed to become obsessed with lab values determining our health, however lab values alone cannot determine our entire health or treat the body as a whole. If you have perfect lab values, but feel like crap, does that mean you are ok?

The claim from the AHA report that I do agree with and highly encourage is the organization promotes consuming a Mediterranean diet with foods rich in healthy fatty acids, such as wild fish, olives, avocado, nuts and seeds. I do 100% promote the Mediterranean diet, as long as it’s the foods selected are in their whole organic form vs farm raised fish, or inorganic fats and foods.

Remember when consuming good fats, and any food that is, always make sure they are cold pressed, and organic to reap the full benefit.  Yes, processed inorganic coconut oil, and any non-organic food is not good for you.  Limiting refined sugar, carbohydrates, and vegetable oils as much as possible will help you live a healthier life.

 

Resources:

  1. http://www.bmj.com/content/353/bmj.i1246
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corn_oil
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26545671
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3146349/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26545671
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21160131
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11975814
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24026779
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16472048
  10. https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/making-sense-of-cholesterol-tests
  11. https://draxe.com/coconut-oil-healthy/
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By | 2017-09-28T14:15:08-07:00 September 28th, 2017|Nutrition, Uncategorised|0 Comments

About the Author:

Laura Michelle Prestin is one of the industry’s leading internationally published fitness models in the world. Laura holds a degree as a Registered Practical Nurse specializing in health, fitness & anti-aging. Laura also attained a Bachelor of Arts degree from McMaster University. Read More About Prestin or connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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