The Heart Foundation’s Response to My Petition

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Below is the letter from the Heart Foundation in relation to my petition requesting that they stop promoting margarine and processed foods.

Heart Foundation is blue, I’m red. Gotta say I was expecting more of an argument than this..

Hi Jessie

Thanks for getting in touch with us so quickly. We recognise that this is a subject that people feel passionately about and clearly it is one that the Heart Foundation and yourself disagree on.

We believe it is fair and reasonable that the Heart Foundation’s position is represented on the petition page.

The Heart Foundation recommends switching from butter to margarine as one way to reduce the amount of unhealthy saturated fat in our diet.

Our recommendations are based on good quality scientific evidence. The vast body of evidence shows that saturated fat raises bad cholesterol levels, clogs the arteries and increases the risk of heart disease. We need to reduce the amount of unhealthy saturated fat in our diet and replace it with healthier fats.

This really, really baffles me. Firstly there is absolutely no evidence that saturated fat causes heart disease so I don’t understand why they keep referring to saturated fat as unhealthy. It has also been shown repeatedly that higher cholesterol does not collerate with heart disease and in fact lower cholesterol is linked with higher mortality rates and a whole host of unpleasant side effects. Please read Zoe Harcombe’s brilliant response to this letter here.

The advice to move unhealthy saturated fat makes absolutely no sense.Here is a massive meta-analyses published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that found no link between saturated fat and an increase of cardiovascular disease. Here is a another huge compilation of studies debunking both the saturated fat and cholesterol myths. Here is another fantastic and very well referenced article from Authority Nutrition outlining why there is NO REASON to fear saturated fat and another to show the many reasons we should avoid vegetable/seed oils. So you have as all replacing a perfectly healthy, natural fat with one that is man made and extremely damaging. Great…

We believe that the research on the health benefits of coconut oil is inconclusive, but we do know that coconut oil, milk and cream are all high in unhealthy saturated fat.

More like if you admitted coconut oil and it’s accompanying products had so many proven benefits based on peer reviewed research all your precious seed oil affiliates would go broke and your precious Tick of Approval would mean NOTHING. Again you are putting the word unhealthy before the words saturated fat- purely for fear mongering without providing ANY RESEARCH WHATSOEVER. Here is a fantastic site showing loads of research and news in relation to the benefits of coconut oil, including truly amazing discoveries like reversing Alzheimer’s. It’s a shame that this is completely ignored by a body like the Heart Foundation who could really be helping bring this great news to people. Here is another very well referenced article on the benefits of Coconut Oil.

We agree that trans fats are especially bad for your heart health, because they increase our bad cholesterol and lower our good cholesterol. It’s important to realise that there are naturally occurring trans fats in some red meats and dairy products, including butter.

It is a deep shame that you yourself have not taken the time to research the immense difference between naturally occurring trans fats found in red meats and dairy products- which are actually anti inflammatory and have cancer protective properties. Compared to artificial and very dangerous man made trans fats.

Here is a fantastic and disturbing extract from Cyndi O’Meara- Changing Habits report, Margarine, Fat Lot of Good it Did.

“A trans fat produced as a result of partial hydrogenation of a vegetable oil has devastating effects on the body including: increase in cancer, diabetes, and obesity, and an increased chance of heart disease. It has also been implicated in the increase in multiple sclerosis, learning dysfunction in children, and macular degeneration.

The health risks of trans fats have been linked to the following body systems: brain and central nervous system, hormone production, immune system function and cell membrane function. When trans fats make up the bulk of the cell membrane, cell function is badly disrupted in ways that are not fully understood. What we do know is that it changes the permeability of the cell membrane and disrupts the uptake of vital nutrients by the cell. Without the proper nutrients going into the cell, the cell is unable to make more cells (hair, healthy liver, heart and kidney cells), or create energy; it also affects many more processes vital for health and life.”

When looking at the fat content in butter, 50% is saturated and 4% is trans fat. In comparison, margarines with the Heart Foundation Tick contain a maximum of 28% saturated fat and 1% trans fat (and most contain only 0.1 or 0.2% trans fat). 

Again Cyndi O’Meara explains in her report that even a 2% increase in man made trans fats in the diet creates a whopping 23% increase in cardiovascular risk. “The latest evidence now points to the fact that there is no safe level of trans fats. So even if the Australian public, as deemed by Foods Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ), is eating just a small amount of trans fats, in my opinion it is still too much.”

Foods with the Heart Foundation Tick are a healthier choice compared with similar foods and have to meet our strict nutrition standards. Food companies pay a licence fee only once their product has met these standards. The Tick program runs on a cost recovery basis and the fees are used to manage the activities of the program, including random audits to ensure products meet our criteria.

This is really, really disappointing. The heart tick is marketed in such a way that everyone I speak to in the general public, PARTICULARLY the vulnerable and elderly who rely on the Heart Foundation’s ridiculous advice for their health. They are merely a ‘healthier choice’ compared to similiar foods which is a complete load of garbage as its all based on cash, smaller business who wouldn’t have the money for the Tick of Approval would miss out. Check out my post the Heart Foundation Tick of Death for a review of many of their products.

For more information, visit:

http://www.heartfoundation.org.au/healthy-eating/fats/Pages/butter-margarine.aspx

and

http://www.heartfoundation.org.au/healthy-eating/heart-foundation-tick/Pages/smart-shopping.aspx

Kind Regards,

Kerry

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