Live Heart Healthy. Live Well & Live Long

American Heart Association Presidential Advisory on Dietary Fats

Coconut oil and Ghee are out

Alarmed by the recent growth in unhealthy fat consumption, the American Heart Association (AHA) took the unusual step of issuing a “presidential advisory on dietary fats”.  The confusion created by some studies coupled with marketing tactics has resulted in a rapid rise in the use in cooking of previously considered unhealthy saturated fats specifically coconut oil and Ghee worldwide.

American Heart Association is the single largest and oldest nonprofit organization with worldwide membership and volunteers running into several thousands of people, dedicated to the singular purpose of prevention of heart attacks and strokes.  The policy decisions, guidelines and advisories are issued after a great deal of methodical scientific research. The AHA guidelines are at the core of every step in the management of heart disease and strokes all over the world. Considering heart disease is the leading global cause of death, accounting for 17.3 million deaths per year, this advisory needs to be followed closely. The research published in June 2017 finds cutting saturated fats which includes coconut oil and ghee in food could reduce cardiovascular disease up to 30%.

“This advisory is based on careful scientific review — it has been organized in a very systematic way, involving experts from a wide range of fields who have looked very carefully at the literature,”  said Dr. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts and president of AHA. He goes on to say, “Then the recommendations have been thoroughly vetted and questioned through multiple levels of peer review and scientific advisory committees across the entire AHA.

Among the experts who were not part of the study, who strongly endorsed the AHA advisory,  Dr David Jenkins of University of Toronto is quoted as saying “It is very important that they have issued this statement,  The AHA president called for this to be done because things were getting out of hand. The AHA is restating the obvious. The message is consistent with what we have always believed. It has been preserved through stormy waters because it was right in the beginning.”

The bottom line, coconut oil and clarified butter (ghee) are actually saturated fats; make no mistake about it. The use of saturated fats has been demonstrated in multiple studies as compiled by AHA to increase bad cholesterol (LDL) which in turn promotes cholesterol build up in the arterial system. Their use needs to be strongly discouraged. A 30% reduction in heart disease in no small matter and should be taken very seriously.

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