Coconut Oil Won’t Kill Us, but The American Heart Association Will

Our friends at the American Heart Association recently announced that coconut oil wants to kill us. This news comes as a complete shock to the tens of thousands of Americans who have been using dietary coconut oil for years and enjoying the health benefits that the AHA now says don’t exist.

Let’s list a few specifics before I begin questioning the integrity of our American food and health industries:

·         Far from being a wellness society, the AHA is a financially successful entity with a reported $774 million in revenue in 2014. It enjoys countless ‘corporate relationships’ (this verbiage comes from the AHA website), and affiliations with government-related agencies.

·        The AHA for decades promoted the consumption of margarine, possibly the most incredibly unstable food product on the market, which is widely known to increase inflammation and free radical damage in our cardiovascular systems. For years, the AHA has endorsed foods containing hydrogenated oils and trans fats – literally, the worst foods for our hearts.

·       Under the purview of the AHA, today, 1 in 2 Americans will have heart disease in their lifetime. This doesn’t ignore the fact many Americans – particularly the disadvantaged -  eat appalling, animal-product laden diets; no, this considers the fact that among those 1 in 2 are Americans who conform to AHA dietary guidelines.

·       With our non-tropical climate, the U.S. doesn’t grow much in the way of coconuts. Therefore, there isn’t a tremendous amount of money to be made for U.S. agriculture in the currency of coconuts. However, what the U.S. does have is tons of farmland that’s great for growing corn for corn oil, soy for soybean oil, and canola for canola oil.

·       The U.S. Soybean Board and the U.S. Canola Association sits on the advisory panel of the AHA.

I’m certain you see where I’m headed with this. Like the American Cancer Society and the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association is an entity that may have had its start many years ago as a concerned six-man watchdog and research group, but has since blossomed into a monster of a money-making machine.

The AHA, the ACS, and the ADA take dollars – huge dollars - from agricultural and other corporate industries in return for endorsing their products to the American public. It sounds nightmarish, doesn’t it? You would think that this kind of public exploitation in the name of money would be prohibited by a government that ought to exist to safeguard its citizens.

The U.S. agricultural industry has lots of money to be made from selling vegetable oils. But its profit margin has been under threat lately by the non-domestic competition of coconut oil. Because the soybean and canola associations sit on the AHA advisory panel and therefore help determine what to tell the American public to eat, it’s safe to say that the AHA will release whatever ‘report’ will generate money for the soybean and canola folks who, in turn, provide the AHA with a steady flow of income.

The noble business people at the American Heart Association want us to know that coconut oil wants to kill us. And they would like it if we would conform our thinking to what we’re told to think, so that they may continue to enjoy the windfall of hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

The AHA is one company whose advice I’ll never follow. Ditto the ACS and the ADA, or any other entity that dispenses health advice with one hand while taking inducement dollars with the other.

Enough. It’s time for us all to adopt plant-based diets that include small amounts of plant fats like coconut oil. Our parents and grandparents blindly submitted to the authority of the AHA, and put margarine and hydrogenated oils on the dinner table and meat on our plates. My dad died of a massive heart attack: my mom suffered from chronic gall and kidney stones, and painful angina.

We should be making food choices based on information we’ve gathered ourselves from nonpartisan sources that are not funded by agribusiness or any other national or multinational corporation. And please, beautiful people, just ignore the AHA altogether. Our best interests are the last thing on its agenda.

Much love,
Barbie xo

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