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The REAL truth about coconut oil – Don’t believe the propaganda

 

By: Cat Ebeling 
Co-author of the best-sellers:  The Fat Burning KitchenThe Top 101 Foods that Fight Aging & The Diabetes Fix

Just as I thought mainstream medical, the American Medical Association, and the American Heart Association were starting to actually ‘get’ the fact that saturated fats do not cause heart disease and diabetes, and that sugar, processed carbohydrates, and vegetable oils do, they did an about face and the AHA (June, 2017) came out with this information:

This American Heart Association presidential advisory on dietary fats and CVD   [Cardiovascular Disease]… concludes strongly that lowering intake of saturated fat and replacing it with unsaturated fats, especially polyunsaturated fats, will lower the incidence of CVD…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…”

So what the AHA is saying is this:

  1. Saturated fats [all kinds] increase LDL cholesterol
  2. An increase of LDL causes cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Let’s talk about both of these.

First, not all LDL cholesterol is ‘bad’, although we have been taught to believe that. In fact, LDL is made up of several different types of particles, not all of which are bad or tied to CVD. Increases in LDL that come from eating more saturated fats in the diet are associated with a healthier version of LDL, the larger, fluffy particles of LDL, which is generally what coconut oil increases. Additionally, LDL has important functions in the body, delivering nutrients to various types of cells, protecting the cell membranes, the building blocks for important hormones (namely, increasing testosterone in men), and strengthening the immune system.

Very Small Particle LDL is the harmful type. So, increasing LDL is only bad when it is directly tied to Very Small Particle LDL or VSLDL. But, of course, the AHA left that vital information out of their report. VSLDL is increased by eating high sugar, high starch diets often accompanied by high triglycerides.

More than 17 studies and analyses have been unable to establish a clear link between saturated fats and CVD. And the American Heart Association cherry-picked their studies–some of them as old as 50-60 years old to use for their latest report. Tell me, does that make ANY sense?

Well, do you know anything about the American Heart Association? This organization is a non-profit organization made up of cardiologists and other medical professionals. The American Heart Association (AHA) is an organization with a mission to “build healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke.” In their 2011-2012 financial statement, the AHA noted $521 million in donations from non-government and non-membership sources and many well-known large drug companies, including those who make and market statins, contribute amounts in the $1 million range.

A quick look at some of their funding sources includes:

  • Amarin (Pharmaceutical Company)
  • Amgen (Pharmaceutical Company)
  • AstraZeneca (Pharmaceutical Company)
  • Eli Lilly (Pharmaceutical Company)
  • Glaxo-Smith Kline (Pharmaceutical Company)
  • Merck (Pharmaceutical Company)
  • Pfizer (Pharmaceutical Company)
  • Regeneron/Sanofi (Pharmaceutical Company)
  • Takeda (Pharmaceutical Company)
  • California Walnut Commission (incentivized to undermine saturated fats)
  • Ag Canada and Canola Oil Council (incentivized to undermine saturated fats and promote vegetable oils).
  • (More funding sources here)

In addition, the AHA takes in millions from big food companies, who—besides their donations– also pay $5-7,000 per product to gain the ‘heart-check mark’ that goes on the labels for advertising. These foods merely have to be low in fat and saturated fat and cholesterol. Doesn’t really matter how refined or how much sugar is added. Take a look at some high sugar cereals in the supermarket and you will see that they have the ‘heart-check’ mark, in spite of the fact they are one of the biggest causes of obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Hmmm.

It doesn’t take a genius to see that there may be a (not-so-hidden) agenda, as in:

…take statin drugs, eat more vegetable oil like canola oil, and only eat the AHA ‘approved products’. Isn’t that the advice that increased heart disease and created a country of overweight, unhealthy adults?

Gary Taubes, noted science writer and author of several books, including “The Case Against Sugar”, says this:

[T] he AHA concludes that only four clinical trials have ever been done with sufficiently  reliable methodology to allow them to assess the value of replacing SFAs with PUFAs (in practice replacing animal fats [with] vegetable oils) and concludes that this replacement will reduce heart attacks by 30 percent …

      These four trials are the ones…the AHA experts have systematically picked through…and found reasons to reject all that didn’t find such a large positive effect, including a significant number that happened to suggest the opposite…including among the rejections the largest trials ever done: the Minnesota Coronary Survey, the Sydney Heart  Study and, most notably, the Women’s Health Initiative, which was the single largest and most expensive clinical trial ever done. All of these were…rejected from their analysis.”

But wait! This is 2017, and we have already discovered that Ancel Keys’ study on cholesterol and diet in the 50’s and 60’s was extremely flawed, and the results were ‘cherry picked’ to show what his head researcher wanted to show. Keys tried to show that dietary saturated fats contributed to heart disease, ignoring the fact that processed carbs and sugar were major contributors to heart disease. When researchers have gone back in and looked at the data from all of the countries, there actually was no link between fat consumption and heart disease deaths, and there was no consideration of other factors such as smoking rates, stress factors, sugar intake, exercise frequency, or other lifestyle factors. So his conclusions were not actually even valid!

Unfortunately, Keys’ faulty study has been followed for the last 5 decades to the major detriment of modern society.

After the world replaced meat, butter and eggs (which were staples of the American diet back when heart disease wasn’t even on the map yet back in the early 1900’s) with processed margarine, grains, and vegetable oils, we watched as populations grew obese, heart disease increased, and diabetes and other inflammatory diseases increased dramatically over the last 50 years. Instead of improved health, Americans have just gotten fatter and sicker. Heart disease rates increased, even though people have been eating what the AHA suggests is a heart-healthy diet. So if the AHA’s advice didn’t work 65 years ago, WHY would it start working now?

The REAL causes of heart disease are these:

  • Trans fats (artificially hydrogenated oils) proven to be major contributors to heart disease
  • Heavily refined inflammatory vegetable oils such as soy, canola, cottonseed, corn oil, etc. Read more about healthy cooking oils vs unhealthy cooking oil here
  • Too much refined sugar, especially high fructose corn syrup
  • High intake of carbohydrates such as ‘whole grain’ bread, packaged cereals, snacks, crackers, etc
  • Smoking
  • Stressful lifestyle
  • Lack of exercise

Clearly we are not headed in the right direction—at least if we let the AMA and the AHA (mis)guide us. The point is, saturated fat CAN good for us, or at worst, it’s just neutral. Many primitive tribes in Africa have subsisted on high saturated fat diets with almost no heart disease.  The Masai, and the Samburu, and Fulani tribes ate mostly raw whole milk, red meat, and cows’ blood. And the Kitavans and The Tokelau people really did show zero signs of heart disease despite eating a diet high in coconut fat. They actually started getting fat, heart diseased, and diabetic after they started eating a more modern diet full of wheat, sugar, and vegetable oils. Not only were these primitive tribes extremely healthy, they were lean and had very little disease or health issues.

So, yes, American Heart Association and USA Today and everyone else–coconut oil is STILL HEALTHY for you! Coconut oil has been a dietary staple of many civilizations for years and years, and it provides healthy, high quality fat that benefits your health. It helps support healthy thyroid function, boosts your metabolism, balances blood sugar, and is an excellent low glycemic, ketogenic fuel to use for energy.

The ketones that coconut oil stimulates your body to make are actually the preferred and more efficient type of fuel for your body to use, especially healthy for blood sugar, and also prevention of Alzheimer’s, and heart disease. The medium chain triglycerides (MCT’s) in coconut oil are very easy for your body to metabolize, and utilize immediately as fuel, making it an effective ‘fat-burning’ fuel, that doesn’t raise blood sugar or insulin or stimulate fat storage.  MCT’s from coconut oil do not have to be broken down or semi-digested in order to be utilized by the body, unlike most other fats (Long Chain Fatty Acids) that do.

Coconut oil also contains lauric acid that helps to increase your healthy HDL cholesterol, and boost the immune system. Palmitic acid is another component of saturated fat and increases HDL as well. Higher HDL is linked to protection from heart disease. A higher HDL to cholesterol ratio is also one of the best protective factors against heart disease. Coconut oil is also scientifically proven to not only increase cardioprotective HDL, but it decreases waist circumference (a risk factor in heart disease) and decreases body mass in patients with coronary artery disease.

Coconut oil is also very beneficial to the hair and skin for a healthy scalp and to ease skin irritations, as well as being an excellent moisturizer. Coconut oil reduces cavities when used as a tooth brushing aid, and the lauric acid it contains has powerful antimicrobial effects, even on toenail fungus.

So, in the long run, coconut oil is GOOD for you, and will not kill you or cause heart disease. Yes, it does raise LDL cholesterol and can raise overall cholesterol (many studies show higher total cholesterol leads to longer lives in elderly, and lower cholesterol leads to increased death), but don’t believe the AHA when they say that you will have a heart attack from coconut oil. Heart disease is caused primarily by inflammation in the blood vessels, brought on by inflammatory, highly processed (that’s most all of them) vegetable oils, sugars, and starchy refined processed carbohydrates.

So keep doing what you’re doing: eat healthy saturated fats from coconut oil, grass fed butter and grass fed meats. Slather on the extra virgin olive oil, eat nuts and avocados. Enjoy your free-range, pasture-raised eggs cooked in butter, and savor that raw, unpasteurized cheese. Hey, the French enjoy lots of butter, cheese, and eggs and have much lower heart disease rates than Americans!  Avoid the sugar, avoid the refined grains, and avoid the processed foods and vegetable oils. Your body will thank you!

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References-
Geary, Kevin (June 2107). Is the American Heart Assocation a terrorist organization. Medium. Retrieved from https://medium.com/@kevinmgeary/is-the-american-heart-association-a-terrorist-organization-f1c8c98d28ea
Geary, Michael (2013) Retrieved from http://www.truthaboutabs.com/saturated-fat-is-not-evil.html
Hyman, Mark, MD (2016) Is coconut oil bad for your cholesterol? Retrieved from http://drhyman.com/blog/2016/04/06/is-coconut-oil-bad-for-your-cholesterol/
 Mercola, Joseph (2017) http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/07/05/aha-avoid-saturated-fats.aspx
Sisson, Mark (June 2017). Coconut oil is going to kill us all or maybe not. Retrieved from http://www.marksdailyapple.com/coconut-oil-is-going-to-kill-us-all-or-maybe-not/

About The Watchdog

Mike Geary has been a Certified Nutrition Specialist and Certified Personal Trainer for over 15 years now. He has been studying nutrition and exercise for almost 25 years, ever since being a young teenager. Mike is originally from Pennsylvania, but has fallen in love with mountain life and now resides in the picturesque mountains of Utah. Mike is an avid adventurist and when he’s not spending his time skiing, mountain biking, hiking, or paddleboarding on the lake, he has enjoyed skydiving, whitewater rafting, piloting an Italian fighter plane (seriously), scuba diving, heli-skiing, and traveling all around the world, enjoying learning about different cultures. At the age of 40, Mike now feels healthier, stronger, and more energetic than when he was 20... All because of a healthy lifestyle and great nutrition!

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28 comments

  1. Excellent article … makes sense of so much seemingly contradictory information. Thank you.

  2. Isn’t it sad that agencies and associations can be bought like this? Akin to the global warming drama queen hysteria. Give me more money and I’ll say whatever you want me to say.

  3. Bravo….EXCELLENT article!!

  4. So on point about the AMA, AHA and Big Pharma! Thank you for your article.

  5. wow……an eye opener……excellent info. thank you;

  6. I am unsettled on whether Coconut oil is good for me, or bad. I went for my annual cardio appt year before last and was told my blood lipid panel was absolutely perfect.

    I wanted to drop some tummy fat so I began using organic coconut oil in some cooking and taking about one TBS daily of organic cold pressed coconut oil from Mercola.com.

    My next test had my LDL up and my total Cholesterol to 240. So on lipitor now. I don’t know the partical size but my cardio doc was not pleased. Now I don’t know what to think.

    • Ronald Gruberman

      I would try to cut your coconut oil and track your improvement if it goes down in numbers at least you’ll have a place to start. If nothing changes it may not be the coconut oil. On the other hand
      Slight higher numbers may not equal a problem
      Most doctors no little of nutrition. And recite the same dogma from the 50s with little success with heart disease. In my experience
      They are now deceptive with pills regimen.
      Pushing you into a program of pills which
      Has not proven to cure anything.

    • Smaller cholesterol particles are not good for
      the body.
      There is a test to determine the cholesterol particle
      sizes. Speak to your doctors.

    • Dr. Georgie, MS,ND

      I am not surprised Ella Greene, since your BLOOD IS WATER !!! and ALL OIL IS BAD !!!! OIl is the most processed food. And all fat, triglycerides packaged with cholesterol as a Chylomicron is deposited at the Subclavan vein (blood vessel) and goes directly to the aorta of the heart. Coconut oil is HALF long chain fatty acids, only half is mediium chain, and alot of the long chain is PALMITIC acid. So not surprised you LDL went up since it your LDL Cholesterol that is the TRANSPORTER for the Chylomicron. And cholesterol of 240 is HIGH. Heart attack PROOF cholesterol level is BELOW 150mg/dl. Also Dr. Esselstyn, MD not OD like Mercola, has REVERSE HEART DISEASE at the Cleveland Clinic with NO OIL, vegan diet. Can view the ANGIOGRAM on his website.

      • I doubt you are a doctor. Though their handwriting is often bad their use of language is not. Besides, your information is false. All oil is not bad. Period.

  7. Indeed. Excellent explanation!
    We are mislead and deceived already many years by a lot of food organisations, who are interested only
    to make us more addicted to their products with the intention to make more profit.
    Whether this article will convince people to change their opinion? I am doubtful but keep hope.
    Most of them (including MD’s …) even do not want to read the truth. Even if you send them more of such articles, f.e. from Healthy Life, Paleohacks, from the HSI and from Mike Geary.
    But slowly on some people take the time to read those articles, examinate and test it out.
    Fortunately for them!

  8. Thank you for the very informative article!

  9. Just had my annual physical yesterday. We have been eating a whole food diet for the last 2 years. I use coconut oil and olive oil exclusively for cooking. I put coconut oil in my coffee and smoothies. I do not use any refined sugars…only honey, maple syrup and coconut crystals. My total cholesterol was 260, my HDL was 155….crazy! Triglycerides were 58. Doctor was very happy! I do not have any confidence in traditional medicine.

  10. Great article,
    Which coconut oil is best to buy?
    Organic cold pressed or organic unrefined?
    Thanks

  11. The only thing I would disagree with in this article is the comparison to the French cuisine: a cuisine LOADED with refined white flour/carbohydrates. If anything I would use diets like those of the Arab/greeks as a comparison to the US diet.

    • I am French, born and lived in Paris for twenty years. Nobody is my family was ever fat and no heart disease. My grandmother lived to a 110….. but it was all in moderation. We occasionally has a pastry at the end of Sunday dinners. We had lovely meals. We never overate . Yes French bread is huge in carbs…not if you only have a slice or two a day. I gained weight ..which I lost when I came to the USA….because of isolation and stress. I am very Health and nutrition aware. This aricle is reassuring . I do take MCT oil. I totally agree that Greek diet is healthy….but tomatoes and eggplants are inflammatory. Tough choices.

  12. You do not have to ingest it to get the benefits of “organic” coconut oil. There are other uses for it. I use it as a moisturizer on my face, legs and arms. I also use it for oil pulling, and you can make a toothpaste out of it too. I do not put it in my food because I don’t like the coconut flavor in my food.

  13. But it’s also just the thing for endurance athletes whho arre required quick
    muscle recover time. All I know would be that tthe cpmp plan is named unilevel,
    along with basic information regarding ways to get paid.
    Cotton, however, wants a lot of agricultufal chemicals to thrive and uses half ftom the pesticides sprayed inside world.

  14. My elderly husband had vascular dementia, according to our internal medicine doctor. I read about coconut oil being helpful on the internet and began giving him a tablespoon or two in his cereal every morning. It is practically tasteless and he didn’t mind it. In one month his paranoia left and didn’t return. For three years until his death at nearly 89, I continued giving it to him and his dementia never got very severe as I hear some do.

  15. I have used cold pressed organic unrefined coconut oil for over 6 yrs. I eat a big tablespoon every day. I do the oil pulling and my Dentist is all for it. Never have cavities also my blood tests are always great. My doctors have me get a blood test two times a yr. I am 76 yrs old and fell like I am in my 60s. People can’t believe how old I am. My HDL was over 100 a few months ago and my triglycerides were great. I also put a drop in my eyes . I have no eye problems. I uses it as a body lotion. I uses it for everything also my weight is 117. I contributes it all to coconut oil. I love it and recommend it to everyone.

  16. Erm…. hang on though? Aside from all the truth regarding LDL, saturated fats and coconut oil benefits which is great info you are providing- you are cherry picking yourself, vitally leaving out or possibly even opposing the damning truth that ANIMAL PRODUCT consumption is also a massive factor in modern diseases including heart disease. In addition we need to stop eating the carcasses and serums of animals!

  17. In India Kerala State using Coconut oil as vigitable in their regulerly for the last hundreds of years without any bsad simptoms .

  18. I would refer you to the (extensive) video work/selection on Youtube of Plant Positive for a rebuttal to this article. And while it’s reassuring to have your favorite foods “legitimized” (bacon, cheese, coconut anything) I do feel that it’s always more about excess of anything that is not favorable.
    And to hold out a foreign culture or people as an example of how to eat or live a lifestyle for average Americans is misleading in the true sense of the word. That some peoples appear(ed) on the surface to have thrived (or merely survived) on extremely limited, high fat or otherwise diets is more a testimony to the incredible adaptability of the human body to survive and less an endorsement of an idlilic future we might experience following a similar path.
    On the contrary: we have now at our disposal most of the year an incredible array of fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and other straight -from-Nature foods than ever in the history of the human race. That we still eat the high fat, animal-based foods is more habit and conditioned taste than a real choice on our part for a lifestyle that not only supports us body, mind and souls but also does the same for the planet. This is not something that can be said for animal-based eating if you are really honest and look at the eco science of it…

  19. In 1952 a VERY well known company approached the American Heart Association through Dr. Ancel Keys, who was associated with both organizations, with an offer of somewhere in the vicinity of 1.7 million dollars to plant the idea that butter, cream, eggs, cholesterol, saturated fats, etc. were dangerous and unhealthy. They proposed instead that the AHA promote vegetable oils and margarine as healthier choices so they could increase sales of their products. I remember my mother changing from butter to margarine because she was told it was healthier. The medical profession is still being taught that today. It would appear the AHA is for sale to the highest bidder and does not have the best interests of the public in mind.

  20. Coconut oil is not good for everyone. Saturated fats are good for everyone.
    If you are not from an islander / coastal culture you will not necessarily, bio-adapted to consuming coconut oil. Just as there are people who may have trouble metabolising dairy, fish oil, avocado, nuts etc.
    Perhaps those with a healthy gut flora may be able use it.
    Go for good fats, they are what we need.

  21. The issue today is one of who do you trust? We ow have unmoving polar opposites in politics and nutrition. As others experienced, my body weight has gone down but in one year’s time my lipids went way up, with triglycerides stable. I’m still on the side of coconut oil and butter are good, but everything in moderation. I read and listen widely: Esselstyn, Hyman, Ornish (his study was very small as I understand it), Kahn, Willet – and no one will budge. The FDA is worse than useless, and the CDC keeps adding more vaccines to the infant-toddler schedule. We’re on our own, folks.

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