My Response to the latest Heart Foundation Statement

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This is my response to the statement released by the Heart Foundation in relation to the A Current Affair segment on the Heart Foundation petition. Their statement by the way is an absolutely perfect example of how NOT to formulate a coherent argument. Stating the opposing case with little to no evidence- ie making claims such as everything presented was unfounded and untrue and then failing to provide anything to the contrary and attacking the characteristics or authority of the person without addressing the substance of the argument. I mean they may as well have called me an asshat and left it at that.

If you missed the segment on A Current Affair last night it can be found here.

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The Heart Foundation says “We strongly refute the claims presented on A Current Affair – they are simply unfounded and untrue.”

So all of the claims we made were simply unfounded and untrue? I see.. ie one of these such claims was that the Tick is not a healthy choice, the basic foods such as vegetables and eggs etc are acceptable however many of the packaged foods simply don’t deserve a health recommendation as they are pretty much all based on sugar, processed grains, vegetable/seed oils, additives, preservatives, colours, flavours etc and cannot possibly be considered a health choice and in actual fact are quite damaging to the human body in many ways. I did a post about the foods with the tick a few weeks ago which can be found here.

Cyndi O’Meara also made the claim that the more sugar and carbs we eat the more weight we put on. This has been shown time and time again in medical literature and evidenced by the huge amount of obesity we are currently seeing, ie 2/3 of Australian’s who are over consuming both highly processed carbohydrates and sugar- the very foods you recommend we eat.  Now you claim that this is completely unfounded and untrue but refuse to actually back this up with any evidence whatsoever. Here are a few very interesting and very well referenced articles linking to study upon study showing that it is far more complicated than calories in, calories out, that we need to understand the role of fructose, insulin resistance and many other factors coming into play.

http://authoritynutrition.com/4-ways-sugar-makes-you-fat/, http://authoritynutrition.com/6-graphs-the-war-on-fat-was-a-mistake/, http://authoritynutrition.com/top-13-nutrition-lies-that-made-the-world-sick-and-fat/

It was also discussed in the segment that we shouldn’t be swayed by products just because they are low in fat or cholesterol, one only needs to look at the studies and even more important the actual results, look around!! 2/3 of Australians are overweight or obese, young children are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, heart disease is the number one killer!! How can you say that this advice is working, especially since prior to the introduction of a low fat, high carbohydrate diet, these issues and many others were virtually non-existent. I don’t need a study to show that, it is the most obvious picture to have ever been painted.

Cyndi O’Meara stated in the segment “Margarine is an industrialised fat; it has to be chemically made. Then it doesn’t taste like butter, so they have to put butter flavouring in, which has 48 chemicals in it, and they have to add colour to it, because it is not yellow, so they are saying let’s give the tick of approval to this, when butter is cream churned, and that’s it. No colours, no flavours, no nothing, that’s it.” Is this statement unfounded and untrue? No, it is a fact plain and simple.

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In the segment links were also made between eating highly processed foods and Alzheimer’s, obesity, autoimmune disorders and even heart disease. Again, unfounded and untrue or something that needs to be taken into very careful consideration indeed, I tend to think the latter.  More medical professionals are starting to understand the importance of the gut, brain connection and neurologist’s such as Dr Perlmutter are showing the role of grains in disease propagation. Every day more and more research comes to light linking grains, sugars and highly processed foods with all these conditions and more, another very well referenced article pointing to numerous studies and information on the subject can be found here http://chriskresser.com/9-steps-to-perfect-health-1-dont-eat-toxins.

The main point in the segment was that if you want wonderful health you’ve got to go back to real foods, the foods that our body evolved to eat- hardly an outrageous statement to make, pure common sense it would seem..

“The online petition featured on the program clearly misrepresents the recommendations of not only the Heart Foundation but the Australian Government’s Dietary Guidelines and the wider medical and scientific communities.”

I am not sure how the petition clearly misrepresents the recommendations of the Heart Foundation and the Australian Government’s Dietary Guidelines. The petition does however strongly refute the recommendations given and requests that the recommendations be reviewed based on the current evidence.

“Many of the signatories to the petition are from outside Australia where the food supply chain and food processing is vastly different. For example, in the United States many margarines still contain trans fat, whereas in Australia they are virtually trans fat-free.”

The very large majority of the signatories of the petition are Australian, the fact that other countries have rallied behind this petition as well shows that it is a worldwide issue. The food supply chain is NOT vastly different, Australia has some of the poorest standards in the world, many chemicals that are illegal in many countries around the world are widely used in Australia and in fact America are currently pushing to ban trans fats all together as they are so detrimental to health, ‘virutally’ trans fat-free quite frankly isn’t good enough. Man made fats are an entirely different kettle of fish to the natural trans fats found in normal, nourishing foods which the Heart Foundation also fails to recognise as an issue. Christine Cronau summed it up perfectly this morning when she posted about this statement.

“In my opinion, virtually trans fat-free is not good enough; any industrial trans fats is too much. And, how have we made those margarines “virtually trans fat-free?” 

We have simply replaced trans fats with interesterified fats. Instead of being partially hydrogenated, they are fully hydrogenated and the molecular structure is rearranged. It technically does not create a ‘trans’ fat, however, it creates a fat molecule that DOES NOT EXIST IN NATURE, and studies are already showing similar effects to trans fats. Essentially, a wolf dressed up in sheep’s clothing.

And, if you check the ingredients, these altered fats are NOT listed; they will simply be listed as vegetable oils.

Any product containing any type of ‘vegetable oil’ as an ingredient is likely to contain either trans or interesterified fats.

And, just like the old-fashioned margarines, these new ‘low trans’ versions are still full of the hexanes and chemicals used to solidify the oils. Not to mention the bleach, deoderisers, preservatives, colours, and flavours needed to make a grey, smelly concoction ‘buttery.’ And, remember, these do not have to be included on the label either; they are not an ‘ingredient,’ simply part of the PROCESS!”

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“By her own admission, the petition author is not qualified to give health or dietary advice and we would encourage people to seek such advice from qualified professionals.”

Wow, I am very disappointed that the Heart Foundation would stoop so low as to attack my credentials rather than the extremely important debate at hand and the science and reality behind what we are talking about, stick to the facts people, last time I checked a qualification was not necessary to start a petition, to employ critical thinking, to review research and to question what is clearly not working for people.

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I notice that you don’t bother attacking Cyndi O’Meara who is a qualified nutritionist and has been discussing these issues for two decades. Nor are you attacking the many, many others involved with the petition or discussing the same ideas, many of whom are extremely highly qualified such as Dr Eric Westman, USA; Dr Andreas Eenfeldt, Sweden; Dr Malcolm Kendrick, UK; late Dr Barry Groves, UK; Dr William Davis, USA; Dr Gary Fettke, Australia; Dr Ross Walker, Australia; Dr Perlmetter, USA, Zoe Harcombe, UK; Dr John Briffa, UK and Dr Chris Kresser, USA. JUST TO NAME A FEW. There are many and I mean many others.

“While there has been much public debate around saturated fat and cholesterol – this is another example of the extreme views of a noisy few who show astonishing disregard for the scientific evidence.”

18,869 signatures to date is not a noisy few, and wanting guidelines to return to what has nourished humans and maintained health for 2.5 million years is not an extreme view. There are many experts around the world realising these ideas and adopting these views based on the CURRENT scientific evidence, not the outdated, extremely biased, fear mongering propaganda that has been debunked again and again.

In recent decades, many studies and investigators have illustrated that natural, saturated fats are not associated with heart disease, nor are elevated cholesterol levels. More details can be found in this prominent meta-analyses published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition which reviewed over 21 studies and with over 340,000 subjects in total illustrating this simple truth: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2010/01/13/ajcn.2009.27725.short.

Image After the Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment finished its review of over 16,000 studies on saturated fats and heart disease and found that there is no connection between the two, an entire country has turned the dietary recommendations on their head and recommended that its people consume a diet high in natural, healthy saturated fats and limit consumption of carbohydrates.

Whilst many are holding onto the terribly outdated and dangerous advice, more and more professionals are coming forward, even Dr Oz who has always peddled the low fat garbage came out recently and said “Incidentally, cardiologists like myself are starting to buy into this idea, because I think you’re right. What makes us die from heart disease and stroke and Alzheimer’s is inflammation in the body and that’s not caused by fats that we’ve been eating for two and a half million years. It’s caused by new changes in our diet…”.

Another cardiologist in London, Dr Aseem Malhotra, wrote a piece in the respected British Medical Journal entitled Saturated Fat is not the Major Issue has come out and said “the obsession with lowering patients’ total cholesterol with Statins, and a public health message that has made all sources of saturated fat verboten to the health-conscious, have failed to reduce heart disease.” Not only have they failed to REDUCE heart disease, they “HAVE PUT PEOPLE AT GREATER RISK.”

In response to the backlash that the ABC Catalyst program created and medical professionals asking for it not to be aired as it ‘could kill people’ Dr Ross Walker, a cardiologist here in Australia stated that he had “never seen anyone die of a Lipitor deficiency”. Former AMA President, Professor Kerryn Phelps tweeted “If you are on a statin, particularly if you do not have heart disease, you are female or elderly, ask your doctor about ceasing it.”

The evidence against the outdated claim that saturated fats and cholesterol cause heart disease is steadily becoming undeniable, despite claims from various professionals and health authorities who are largely sponsored by multinational corporations such as Nestle and Pfizer and their puppets in groups like the Heart Foundation.

Feel free to continue to do your own research and make up your own mind as we are all free to do so, you could also start with this massive compilation of relevant studies that Christine Cronau has kindly put all in one place for us http://christinecronau.com/studies/.

We must also understand that correlation can never equal causation which is what a lot of studies try to claim, for example Ancel Keys initial study claiming that the correlation between saturated fat and heart disease meant that saturated fat caused heart disease, not to mention he also cherry picked his data to show this.

I don’t really understand why people are so obsessed with the need for studies and are quick to diminish any anecdotal evidence. Its seems blindingly obvious to me that for two million years people ate saturated fat and cholesterol and would have had no idea of their cholesterol levels, yet there was no issue with heart disease. Today heart disease is our number one killer and most everyone has swapped the intake of saturated fat for a massive intake of carbohydrates, vegetable and seed oils and sugar. Evidently we don’t need said studies to show us that we are doing something very, very wrong indeed.

“The Heart Foundation Tick has been helping Australians make healthier food choices for over 20 years. We achieve this in two ways:

1. As a trusted, independent cost-recovery program, Tick works with food manufacturers to improve the nutritional profile of the foods we eat. Tick does this by setting nutrient criteria standards for foods that manufacturers are encouraged to meet by reformulating their products. Once a food has met the standards it is allowed to include the Tick logo on its packaging. This means that all Australians when shopping can easily identify and choose foods that have been reformulated to be lower in saturated fat, trans fat, sodium (salt) and kilojoules (energy), and to contain more beneficial ingredients like fibre, calcium, wholegrains and vegetables. 

2. Tick also aims to remind consumers of the importance of including foods like vegetables, legumes and fruit, breads and cereals, reduced fat dairy products, lean meats and mono- and poly-unsaturated fats and oils as part of a healthy diet. All fresh fruit and vegetables, plain grain foods and eggs are eligible for the Tick, even though they might not carry the logo. The Tick also appears on a range of healthy, everyday foods like bread, reduced fat milk, pasta, rice, breakfast cereals and canned fish.

The Heart Foundation makes recommendations based on good quality, strong scientific evidence. Our evidence papers are all available on our website and they are the basis of our recommendations. We are continually reviewing research as it is published and our recommendations will continue to be decided by sound science and nothing else.”

Actually it would appear that the Heart Foundation’s recommendations are based on poor quality evidence and profits, given they continue to ignore any current evidence published no matter how large the study and the extent of the findings. Again the question must be asked why, if your advice is so brilliant, after 20 years is heart disease still the number one killer in this country, why are we surrounded by chronic degenerative disease? Why is obesity and type two diabetes rampant? Why do people struggle so hard to lose weight and gain health following these recommendations? Why is it that when people start eating real food, nourishing fats and eliminating grains, sugar and processed rubbish does their health return? Why does eating in this way reverse insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, why do the people moving forward on these new findings not struggle to MAINTAIN weight loss and health by embracing a traditional diet? Why do we need highly refined foods like bread, reduced fat dairy and vegetable and seed oils in our diet when they were never there in the past and humans were optimally healthy without them? Why do you fail to understand the importance of saturated fat and cholesterol in maintaining health and cellular function? Why are you obsessed with salt and fat and the important of ‘heart healthy wholegrains and fibre’ but fail to understand the needs of the human body on a far more complex level? WHY ARE PEOPLE DYING FOLLOWING YOUR ADVICE????? All questions which appear to remain unanswered. Which is why I will continue to spread the word and promote the petition to give the Australian public and people from around the world a chance to review the evidence for themselves and question the mainstream ‘accepted’ medical practice and advice.

The only reason we got this segment aired on A Current Affair is that I asked all my followers and signatories to the petition to write in and ask that they run the story. People power truly works! To keep the momentum going I am now asking that everyone email the Today show at today@nine.com.au asking if they will do a follow up story to the segment in relation to the petition. I would love it if you got involved and helped get this issue even MORE publicity!!

Thanks again to all the people involved with this petition and to those who have supported me and rallied around me, we couldn’t have done this without you!

If you would like to follow the progress of the petition on facebook I can be found at http://www.facebook.com/getafreshstart

If you are in Brisbane and would like to hear more about my story and why I started the petition against the Heart Foundation please come along to this talk on December 1 with the amazing Christine Cronau. Details can be found here.

20 thoughts on “My Response to the latest Heart Foundation Statement

  1. Well done Jessie! Clint and I have shared this on our pages, I’ve bulk emailed everyone I know to tell them all about it so they can see ACA, your page, the petition etc (I hate bulk emailing but is important!!) and we’re fully supporting your campaign.

    OH and I wrote to the Heart Foundation myself with a lengthy complaint hehe

    So glad to see it on mainstream media finally, and here’s hoping the news spreads and more people become aware of the dangers of following the advice of the Tick.

    Thanks for all of your efforts, you’re an inspiration and a total superstar!!

  2. Derick

    Well done Jessie, keep up the pressure. With any fight like this, you have to follow the money. So I suggest everyone simply stop buying all products that contain the tick of approval. Take the profits away, and watch them change at the speed of light. #takethemoneyaway

  3. Madeleine Read

    I remember wondering,as a late teenager in the seventies,what sort of mutations/illnesses we would eventually breed into people who consumed the highly processed food of the time. Just the rambling thoughts of a young girl ?!!!

  4. The Heart Foundation does not like being questioned. I have also crossed swords with them over statin medications.
    “Has it been a Fat Lie” is on my blog at http://www.drjoetoday .com
    You are right in that sugars are the problem, not saturated fats. Well done for making a stand and promoting real food.

  5. As one of your signatories and a qualified nutritionist I am happy to continue to lend my support to this campaign. I have recently embarked on a HFLC diet as I have failed to lose weight on any of the Low fat approaches I have tried and I am determined to live beyond 100 years. BTW Heart foundation, regardless of ‘reformulation, Milo Duo cereal is neither food, nor a suitable breakfast for a child or anyone else even, as you have stated on your Facebook page, a ‘treat food’. Food should never never be used as a reward or a ‘treat’ (unless it is a healthy food) as that way ill health and obesity lies.

  6. Roy Fulloon

    More power to you, Jessie. The standard ‘establishment’ response is to shoot the messenger, as you have noticed. Witness the hatchet job done by Paul Barry of ‘Media Watch’ on Maryanne de Massi’s ABC ‘Catalyst’ programs regarding saturated fat, titled ‘The Heart of the Matter’. Critical thinking is not wecome in our manipulated world.
    I have been saying for years (to anyone who would listen) that the ever increasing obesity rates prove the ‘low fat, no fat’ regime is a failed 50 year experiment, now it is in mainstream media, why doesn’t the medical profession see it?
    l have discovered over many years that neither medical drugs, supplements or herbals have much, if any, benifit for me. Adequate nutrition through correct diet seems to be the way to go, and the only sound philosophy l have found is the one that informs the ‘paleo’ diet. Western reductionist science or emotion just doesn’t cut it.
    At age 75 l’m happy to say that l avoid doctors, have never had cholesterol or blood sugar or any other tests , nor use any medication, but am still fit, active and pain free. l know it is not luck or ‘good’ genes. Take control of your health.

  7. Vince Houston

    For health :
    minimise sugar
    minimise carbohydrate
    minimise vegetable oils with omega 6 (almost all)

    The danger of omega 6 seems the best keep secret of all.
    Most of the diseases of the late 20th century are linked to out of balance messenger chemicals made by the body called eicosanoids. They are only made out of omega 3 or omega 6. The omega 3 are the moderating and control signals.
    The omega 6 line contain inflamation, blood clotting, immune supressing and factors. We are talking about allergies, arthritis, cancer, heart disease, stroke and too many more to list. They are caused by excess eicosadoids produced by the body to excess from omega 6 in the vegetabke oils and to a lesser extent grains.

    I know this is a very painfull message as it means multi-billion dollar food industries are making food products that are killing us and they are providing the funds for research so the results of the research are corrupted by the money and can not report the truth or the funding will stop for the research establishment that says the truth.

    Vince

  8. electhor

    Without doubt, the lipid hypothesis is one of the greatest, if not the greatest medical con of all time. Saturated animal fats are full of nutritous and essential vitams such as Vit A, D and K2, that work synergistically. One just needs to review the work of Weston Price from the 1930′s and realise that all healthy, traditional hunter gatherer societies had diets high in Vtamin A and D and ‘activator x’ which has now been proven to be Vitamin K2.

    In addition, saturated fat and cholesterol are needed for hormone production, production of bile salts and are essential for the myelin sheath to stop electrical signal leakage…not to mention it providing integrity for our cell walls!

    It is strange that the NHF and others, promote saturated animal fat as unhealthy, when it has a balanced omega 6 : omega 3 ratio (if grass fed). It is well established that vegetable oils are grossly high in omega 6′s and promote chronic inflammation in one’s body, leading to CVD, CHD and contributes to all chronic/auto immune diseases due to the ensuing inflammation. Vegetable oils are doing untold damage to everyone who consumes them. They however, kill you slowly.

    If one reads the data, there is no link between saturated fat (+ cholesterol) and CVD/CHD – high consumption of low fat foods ‘filled’ with high levels of sugar/carbohydrates is the problem. Ever since the low fat/high carb diet was adopted, the population has got fatter and sicker at younger and younger ages – the evidence is staring the policy makers in the face, but they are too blind to see it. The so called ‘obesity epidemic’ did not suddenly appear out of nowhere…look at the change in dietary guidelines instituted in the late 1970′s and the cause is obvious! At least Swedish researchers are bright enough to review the data and see the cause and alter dietary guidelines accordingly.

    If saturated fat is so bad, why does our body store excess energy in the form of saturated fat? Is our biology that stupid to store a poison for later use….or is it the policy makers who have poisoned their minds with falsehoods?

    I guess it is hard to admit that the guidelines of the last 4 or so decades have been accelerating mortality rates from all causes. Look at the “Sydney diet heart study” 1966-73 – recently re-evaluated in the BMJ – those placed on vegetable oils following heart ‘events’, had an increased rate of mortality from all causes (http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.e8707).

    The demonising of saturated fat and cholesterol is a complete and utter fallacy perpetrated on the populace via agribusiness and advertisers lining their pockets with $$$! In turn, being supported by pharmaceutical companies who have no concern for your health, only how much money they can make from ill health. It’s a complete disgrace!

  9. nianbo

    and check the hf response on FB they use the same generic, boring, repetitive, mindnumbingly dumb response every single time it’s like as if they were just automated robots programmed to produce the same response every single time

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