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The stated purpose of the AHA diet is prevention of cardiovascular disease, particularly myocardial infraction (heart attack). Its main points are:
The AHA differs from most health oriented diets in not particularly endorsing olive oil. Their theory doesn't favor monounsaturated fats over rancidity prone polyunsaturated fats. Products of rancidity are suspected of being carcinogenic but cancer isn't the AHA's venue. On the other hand, the seed oil cartels definitely favor polyunsaturated oils.
Do-gooders following AHA guidelines hounded the fast food industry into abandoning beef tallow for frying. The industry found they couldn't use the recommended polyunsaturated oils (corn, soy, sunflower, safflower, cottonseed, etc.) because they became unusably rancid in less than a day's use (beef tallow lasted a month).
Instead the fast food industry had to use more durable partially hydrogenated vegetable oils called "trans fats" which were at the time endorsed by the AHA. Further scientific research proved trans fats to be probably more dangerous than any other form of fat. The fast food industry is now trying to move to gene-modified oils that mimic olive oil and to fully hydrogenated oils. Fully hydrogenated oils are known as "saturated fats", what the AHA wanted to get us away from in the first place. The public would have been better served sticking with beef tallow.
The AHA demonizes saturated fats as the primary cause of clogged arteries and heart attacks - but it seems the scientific basis is questionable and unsupported by demographics.
Of course the AHA has studies to support its position, but lets be realistic about research - it's very expensive but doesn't generate a revenue stream to fund itself. Scientists are completely dependent on grants, directly or indirectly from people with money who want scientific support for whatever it is they make that money from. Scientists, consciously or unconsciously, are likely to frame their research and interpret their result to favor what's being paid for.
In my admittedly non-medical opinion demographics are definitive. "Do people who eat a whole lot of this stuff have the problems studies predict?" If not, there's something wrong with the studies.
All in all, increase in clogged arteries and some forms of cancer seem to track the increase in use of the very trans fats and polyunsaturated oils the Prudent Diet promoted as the cure. I refer you to the the links below so you can read them and make up your own mind.
Disclaimer: I have no medical credentials whatever. What
I've written here is gleaned from publicly available sources and is for
educational purposes only, not to to be construed as medical advice.
©Andrew Grygus - firstname.lastname@example.org - Linking and non-commercial use permitted