Why The Australian Heart Foundation is doing us wrong

Why The Heart Foundation is doing us wrong


I’m stepping out on a limb here but I’m going to say it. There’s no heart in The Australian Heart Foundation. If there was, it’s no where to be seen right now and I swear I might have even seen it floating around in one of the toilet bowls, not quite wanting to be flushed, at the train station the other week. Some of their responses to the flurry of media attention they’ve been receiving of late have been anything but heartfelt.


So what am I going on about?


There’s a petition on change.org going around at the moment from a passionate young lass by the name of Jessie Reimers (a fellow Brisbanite – woot!) who’s campaigning for The Australian Heart Foundation to seriously reconsider it’s advice and dietary guidelines. And by seriously, I mean HALT giving out falsified information based on flaky and unproven science. Recently, ABC’s Catalyst show aired a two-part series that you can catch up on here and here, debunking the cholesterol and saturated fat myth. You know the one, how these two things have been reportedly pinned down and linked to heart disease. Enter the Statin. Not Stalin, Statin – the supposed ‘miracle’ cholesterol lowering prescription drug. I highly recommend you take and hour of your time to watch the series. It shines a light on the sad debacle the medical industry has plummeted into.


In response to all this, The Heart Foundation has left little room for themselves to wriggle out of. With the story finally going mainstream, I think the wider public are slowly having their eyes peeled open to the deception and being provided with the other side to the story that’s been hidden from their knowledge all these years. I’ll go so far as to say that, in their response, The Heart Foundation may have hired a Chimp to sit at a typewriter and regurgitate their website copy? Needless to say, it left me feeling, ummm, how to put this nicely… %@#$ed over!


I’m a HUGE advocate for what Jessie is getting up to. I think her response to their response lays it out quite clearly. As a *ahem*, dare I say, somewhat of a self-proclaimed ‘poster child’ for promoting a natural and sustainable lifestyle, the current guidelines set by The Heart Foundation are HIGHLY aggravating to me. For an institutional body in such a position of authority to blatantly be taking monetary donations from both the public and private sectors to the amount of millions each year whilst continuing to shovel out deceptive messages, is infuriating and shameful to say the least. For the public to continually be taken advantage of and led to believe that the ‘heart healthy tick’ on foods actually means something, is injustice at its best. The ‘tick’ means squat. I’m sorry, but when an ingredient label (of a certain margarine brand) that reads as in the below image, sits alongside butter as being ‘heart healthy’ because it has the much lauded Heart Foundation’s tick of approval, I can’t help but question the agenda behind the scenes. Namely, who’s paying who for what.


Which one would you prefer to eat? Butter or Margarine?


If you don’t know already, the official guidelines of the Heart Foundation support a diet that’s low in saturated fats but abundant in grains, processed products and refined vegetable and seed oils that are high in polyunsaturated  fats. Does this sound heart healthy to you? Too bad for them it’s totally contrary to the evidence. Sadly, this is not an innocent mistake that can easily be scrubbed clean from the whiteboard. Their instistence on maintaining this stance is simply engraving their mistake into their tombstone. But when people’s lives are at stake, this is NOT okay. The innocent, both young and old, are blindly following their advice as a supposedly trusted independent organisation.


Sure, from the outside, they appear to run a noble cause,

“Our purpose is to reduce premature death and suffering from heart, stroke and blood vessel disease in Australia.”

From the inside though, who knows how much dirty plaque is actually building up in the interior from their ulterior motives.

 Heart Foundation advice


If only they based this research of their’s on real scientific fact, rather than sketchy, outdated science from over 50 years ago, we wouldn’t be here arguing their advice. Such advice led me down a sick path for many years. I fear that many are walking down the same path led by the advice of the giant white tick.


The Heart Foundation Tick of Disapproval

More fitting, no?

With heart disease steadily increasing over the last 50 years, is it some strange coincidence that this is around the same time that Dr Ancel Keys released his study apparently linking saturated fat to heart disease. Not only was this study later found to be based on cherry-picked data, it’s scientifically been proven to be doing more damage than good. Simply because Western diets are closely linked to higher rates of heart disease, a conclusion cannot immediately be drawn from this saying that saturated fats cause heart disease. Demonizing a significant basis of human nutrition across centuries of traditional cultures is highly misleading the public.


Rule #1

Correlation does not imply causation.


Here’s some food for thought on this ‘delicious’ seed oil that I doubt anyone would actually choose to eat because it tastes like motor oil mixed with mildew drippings (dry-retching just thinking about):

“What was garbage in 1860 was fertilizer in 1870, cattle feed in 1880, and table food and many things else in 1890.” (Source)


Give me succulent lard, coconut oil and butter over this stuff any day of the week.


A brief recap on the History


So who in their right mind would create such product like vegetable oil? Well, sadly, the scientific evidence wasn’t around at the time to refute the health claims of the product. A German chemist came to Proctor and Gamble in the early 1900’s with a new chemical process intended for soap manufacturing. This was the advent of manufacturing hydrogenated vegetable oils. No wonder such statements have stuck ever since. The million dollar moment came when they took this product, highly processed it to resemble the popular cooking fat of the times, lard, and lebelled it as the cutesy and infamous ‘Crisco’ brand – The Healthy Oil Expert. This all occured during an era where there were no laws surrounding health claims on food products. Basically, it was free reign! They were let loose to say and do as they pleased. No wonder such statements have stuck with a whole generation or two ever since.


Proctor and Gamble soon patented this vegetable oil concoction, describing it as:

“…a food product consisting of a vegetable oil, preferably cottonseed oil, partially hydrogenated, and hardened to a homogeneous white or yellowish semi-solid closely resembling lard. The special object of the invention is to provide a new food product for a shortening in cooking.” (Source)


Bulging with $$$$$, they marketed the hell out of their new product, making claims that it was healthier than lard, offering free recipe books. Soon enough, the money was rolling in by the millions. Of course, there was no science to prove their statements at the time. Nor did they care. If they did, it was not about heart health and cholesterol. Business was booming into a multi-billion dollar industry.


Where are we now?

Thankfully, we are now being educated by science that all is not well in the land of rancid seed oils. Not only are they found to be highly inflammatory to the body and anything but good for you, the science is mounting in favour of saturated fats, and is slowly hacking away at the sketchy link between cholesterol and heart disease.

Fat gives things flavour - Julie Child


It just makes logical sense that food from the earth that’s been as minimally processed as possible (better yet, untouched!) as possible is what we should be eating. A REAL food diet based on pasture-raised meat, an abundance of vegetables, fruits, whole nuts and seeds (not highly processed hydrogenated seed oils), raw dairy and yes, even our humble saturated fats will have far more benefits for your health than highly processed, sugar-laden, carbohydrate-heavy, wheat and grain products, and refined seed oils (all heart healthy recommendations by the Heart Foundation of course!). Oh sorry, should I seek approval from some higher standing ethereal body to get that statement medically proven? The same medical body that did not exist back in the day to credit (or discredit more to the point) the claims and statements made by Proctor and Gamble when they were selling vegetable oil to the masses? *cough cough*. Or maybe I should seek medical advice from the likes of Dr Keys who sparked half a centuary of villanising saturated fats?

It’s time to end this war and just get on with eating real, good food!

If you want to show your support, stand up for your rights for accurate and safe medical advice and kick some good old fashion lard, then come sign the petition. We need your support!


Sign the petition by clicking here
Image Credit: maya picture
via freedigitalphotos.net

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support!

Posted on by Emily Uebergang Posted in Health & Beauty

About Emily Uebergang

Urban hippie by day, wandering gypsy by night. Emily is all about sustainable living and writes like she's out to try and save the world or something. Follow on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Google+