There was quite the brouhaha over recent global headlines exposing coconuts as a serious threat to human health. Who knew! We have the American Heart Association to thank for bringing this matter to our attention. The AHA has incriminated coconut on account of its having an abundant supply of saturated fatty acids. Saturated fats equal heart disease, and therefore death.
First, some background. The AHA was the first to denounce saturated fat, along with cholesterol, in 1961. The evidence was shaky, and despite being questionable, remained unquestioned. Until recently, the theory that fats caused heart disease dominated dietetic thinking for decades.
Since then, a series of studies evaluating the evidence on which saturated fat was denounced has concluded that there is no evidence. There never was. There is, however, plenty of evidence to show that replacing these fats with vegetable oils – sunflower, corn, soya etc – which was the advice given by the AHA (and others) – is seriously bad for heart health. You can read about this in more detail in this recent AYCE article: Vegetable Cooking Oils – So Dangerous, They’re The New Sugar.
The AHA’s coconut warnings have been expertly deconstructed by science journalist and author, Nina Teicholz, in her commentary Saturated Fats and CVD: AHA Convicts, We Say Acquit. It’s a cracking good read.
It just so happens – and this may be a coincidence – that the AHA is funded by a number of giants of the food industry, including Proctor & Gamble, manufacturers of refined vegetable cooking oils.
So go on, cook with coconuts. Add it to anything you like. People are even adding coconut oil (and butter) to their coffees in trendy coffee houses, according to an AYCE London correspondent and trend spotter.
There is no need to gild the liquid lily, folks. Coffee is already pretty wonderful, without the fatty embellishments. AYCE welcomed headlines this week that declared that drinking a cup of coffee may add nine minutes per day to your life. This is utter tosh, obviously. These lovely but ludicrous headlines are based on two recent studies which have found that every single cup you drink reduces your risk of dying early, and dying from digestive disorders in particular. Anyone with any capacity for analytical thinking will quickly work out that, on this basis, you could live forever just by drinking copious amounts of coffee every day. If only.
Even so, coffee does have genuine health benefits.The superpower of coffee is attributed to its antioxidant phenolic compounds, which help prevent insulin resistance, lower inflammation and improve liver function. So strong is the evidence that last year the World Health Organization removed coffee from its list of carcinogens.
That still won’t keep you from dying, or the media from publishing ridiculous headlines.
This week we learned that The European Court of Justice has ruled that soya products cannot be called ‘milk’, ‘butter’ or ‘cheese’. This ruling was brought about by a German court in relation to ‘foods’ with names like ‘Soyatoo Tofu butter’. It’s good to see that there is finally some justice in this world. AYCE would like to suggest that these joyless, factory-made products be replaced with real foods that do not require clever new names to make them sound like the real thing.
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