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Coconut oil has more BAD fat than beef and butter: American Heart Association dietary recommendation

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Coconut oil has more BAD fat than beef and butter: American Heart Association dietary recommendation

Coconut oil raises ‘bad’ cholesterol in the same way as other foods high in saturated fats like butter and beef, according to the American Heart Association.

Indeed, butter and beef drippings have less saturated fat that raise levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the bad kind of cholesterol that can build up in blood vessels and lead to clots and heart attacks, according to new AHA dietary recommendations. Coconut oil is 82 percent saturated fat, compared with 63 percent for butter and 50 percent for beef fat.

Instead of coconut oil, people should cook with so-called polyunsaturated fats like corn, soybean and peanut oils, the AHA advises.

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“Replacing saturated with polyunsaturated has a two-fold effect because a fat that causes heart disease is lowered and a fat that prevents heart disease is increased,” lead author of the advisory Dr. Frank Sacks, a researcher at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, said by email.

Coconut oil raised LDL about as much as other oils high in fat like butter, beef and palm oil in seven out of seven studies reviewed by the AHA for its advisory published in the journal Circulation.

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Replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated vegetable oil reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by about 30 percent, the AHA concludes from its review of trials that used the scientific gold standard for research – randomly assigning some participants to get the intervention being tested and others to receive an alternative or no treatment.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 17.3 million fatalities a year, researchers note in the advisory.

Studies in many populations showed that lower intake of saturated fat coupled with higher intake of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat is associated with lower rates of cardiovascular disease.

For optimal heart health, the AHA recommends the Dietary Approaches To Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet or a Mediterranean-style diet. Both diets emphasize unsaturated vegetable oils, nuts, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, fish and poultry and both limit red meat, as well as foods and drinks high in added sugars and salt.

Even eating like this some of the time may help, said Dr. John Potter of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

“Small changes may be relevant,” Potter, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email.

These might include cutting saturated fat with one meatless dinner a week, reducing sugar by eating one less cookie or drinking one less can of soda, having one less glass of alcohol or getting a few extra minutes of exercise every day, Potter suggested.

Portions also matter, said Dr. Lennert Veerman of the Cancer Council NSW in Sydney, Australia.

“Baking with coconut oil may not raise heart disease risks as much as, for example, a generous amount of butter on a 12-ounce steak, not to speak of the steak itself,” Veerman, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email. “But then again, a small reduction of risk every day adds up, so replacing coconut oil with olive oil may be an easy way to reduce risk a bit.”

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Source: Reuters

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  1. user
    Komaralingam Balakrishnan July 3, 2017, 8:04 pm

    This is purely a pharma/agro combination lobby in the west. They started with sunflower and safflower oils to support the multi million dollar industry, loaded patients with statins to support the pharma Giants with kick backs. When more and more reports come out against what was earlier advocated, it shows that we scientists talk like 5 blind men and elephant story, each sticking to their view points !

  2. This is pure humbug. The opinion keeps changing according to the need of the vegetable oil producers. How many Americans do use coconut oil? Not many.
    The Americans eat a lot of beef and butter. Nobody is speaking against these. Why would they single out coconut oil? Have they conducted double blind randomized clinical trials on the effect of taking coconut oil? Have they compared the effect of coconut oil versus other kind of edible oils?
    Some years ago the same lobby tried to twist facts in favour of palm oil. Later they changed the opinions in favour of coconut oil. Just because it comes from American Heart Association we need not buy their opinion. They are also not above bribes from different lobbies.
    Do some proper research in our own settings and come to some reproducible conclusions. Till then treat this as rubbish.

  3. user
    Ramesh Chandra Gupta June 29, 2017, 7:40 pm

    Instead of rubbishing American researchers, why don\’t we conduct such studies? Are Indian Cardiologists and Nutritionist incapable of undertaking double blind randomized trials??

  4. user
    K Thomas Bose, MD June 30, 2017, 7:52 am

    UN fortunately yes. In the past 15 years the number of medical colleges of poor quality has doubled in India. Very little research comes out. The Government and Deans of Medical Institutions do not encourage fundamental research or funding. It is a great shame for example most tropical diseases and the new mosquito born fevers are researched in UK and in Atlanta !
    We do not need more guns and fighter planes as much as we need stop the outward flow of good scientists. Improve medical education and research.The coconut oil business is unsettled. But do not blame Americans for suggesting coconut oil and other saturated fats are bad. Americans are not worried about the coconut production in Kerala. They use these oils in beauty products, world wide. So trade story here.

  5. user
    Sujith Raj S. July 1, 2017, 3:42 pm

    We at AIMS-Kochi, with support of CDB, did clinical study on effect of Coconut Vs Sunflower oil as cooking medium; in CVD patients on standard treatment, and found no significant difference in biochemical as well as clinical parameters over 2 years.

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