Well the American Heart Association made quite a commotion last Friday.
They announced that coconut oil is harmful to your health and always has been.
Now if you are new to the eating fat game, this might not seem like that dramatic of a statement. But if you have been following the science of a high fat/low carb diet you might be feeling a little gun shy to put coconut oil in your coffee or smoothie.
Today I want to clear up the confusion.
These kinds of announcements drive me crazy, because they stir everyone up. In a perfect world, we should be able to trust everything the American Heart Association tells us. Right? After all they are the organization that are the experts on heart health. Or so we’ve been told.
But like many of these large associations, all you have to do is follow the money trail and you will see why they make these bold statements. With strong monetary ties to the Food Industry it is hard to trust that the American Heart Association has our best interests at hand.
So what do you need to know about coconut oil?
First, I just want to point out that when the AHA made their statement on Friday they forgot to look at the science.
If you are a science gal like me, then I want to know what the research is telling me.
And here’s what the science is telling us:
1. SATURATED FAT is not the enemy.
A recent Cambridge University analysis of 76 studies involving more than 650,000 people concluded, “The current evidence does not clearly support guidelines that [recommend]… low consumption of total saturated fats.”
Here is how I look at it. Just like many of our food choices, in saturated fat there is both good and bad. The good part of saturated fat is called MCT oil. MCT oil is fabulous for your brain, speeds up your metabolism, and lowers inflammation (a major factor of heart disease).
Of all the fats you can eat, coconut oil provides the highest amount of MCT oil. Grass fed butter is second highest. Both saturated fats. If you cut these fats out of your diet, you miss out on the benefits they will have on your brain and metabolism.
2. Heart disease is a METABOLIC disease
Most people who have heart attacks don’t have elevations in bad cholesterol.
Yep, you read that right.
Most people who have heart attacks have something called Metabolic Syndrome, a condition that puts you at high risk for diabetes and heart disease. Metabolic syndrome is defined when you have three of the following: high triglycerides (blood fats), high blood sugar, high blood pressure, low “good” cholesterol (HDL-C), and a large abdomen measurement (abdominal obesity).
What causes a metabolic syndrome? Sugar and processed foods.
My best heart advice? Get off sugar, grains, and fake processed foods. These foods have a larger impact on inflammation of your arteries than saturated fat.
If you are hearing the sugar heart connection for the first time and don’t know where to start, check out my book The Reset Factor and follow the 45-Day Reset I outlined in the book. Thousands of people have reported back to me that their LDLS & Triglycerides go down and HDL’s go up after 45 days on that program.
3. Get your blood work done YEARLY
This is the part of the health equation the medical world has gotten right..testing.
But I warn you, understanding your tests results can be tricky. When it comes to heart health, your LDLs is not the number that predicts whether you are going to have a heart attack or not. It’s the ratio of LDLs to HDLs that is important.
If you change your diet to a low carb/high fat diet and both those numbers go up, it doesn’t mean you are destined for a heart attack. In fact, both those numbers rising is not a bad thing at all.
To remind you how helpful HDL’s are the American Heart Association’s website states that we are to:
Think of HDLS as the “healthy” cholesterol, so higher levels are better. Experts believe HDL acts as a scavenger, carrying LDL cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver. There it’s broken down and passed from the body.
4. A congested LIVER can elevate your cholesterol
And here we are back at toxins again. If your liver is congested and struggling to handle your toxic load, you will not breakdown cholesterol well.
Remember that also, if your gut is packed with bad bacteria, fungus, or parasites, it can congest your liver.
Here in lies why I hate these bold nutrition statements that scares everyone.
All organs work together in unison. Preventing heart disease is not about eliminating coconut oil from your diet, it’s about making sure your gut and liver are healthy and that you lower the overall inflammation in your body.
When those three situations happen, your heart will be healthy.
I hope that clears up the confusion. I did do a FB live on this topic, so you can go to Dr. Mindy Pelz on FB or subscribe to my you tube channel and watch that video.
My mission is to empower you all to understand the science around your body. I want you to be the most well informed you can be.
Please reach out if you have any questions. I am here to help.
Have an awesome day!