Coconut, Saturated Fat, and Your Heart

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Check out this saturated fat and heart health infographic! We designed it because of a long-time reader and dietitian named Sonja Angelone, MS, RDN, CLT. Sonja asked...

I'm sure everyone else is as confused as I am! I have been working with people with CVD for over 20 years, and I just can't figure out why there are two such polar camps regarding saturated fats and heart disease. Would it be possible to have some response from Dr. Kenny?

Of course we took her question to Dr. Kenney right away. He explained...

The people who are anti-carb to the exclusion of all else often reject actual science and embrace pseudoscientific ideology instead. Their beliefs are faith-based and not reason-based, so one cannot change their minds with quality data and reasoned arguments. The anti-carbers, from Atkins to Taubes to the paleo proponents and Mercola adherents all make pseudoscientific arguments and insist that there is some vast conspiracy against foods high in saturated fat and/or cholesterol. Check out for a systematic debunking of the anti-carb teams.

Our next step was visiting Plant Positive and reading through the claims ourselves. It's pretty entertaining and makes the good point that "natural" is not always the most desirable. Then we put together a list of evidence-based resources and their statistics. Check out the views on saturated fat from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, the American Heart Association, and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, all of which discuss evidence-based, well-documented science. The information adds up and one thing quickly becomes clear -- saturated fat is BAD for your heart and general health.

For more information, check out our Diet and CVD overview paper (and CPE course) that has been in the works for over 15 years. It has over 250 references! You can also read through Nutrition Unplugged by Janet Helm, RD, who has a great blog article on red coconut oil.


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