The controversial and misleading information on oils is often debated and you might be wondering how you could go oil free in a world of trans fat this and that. But you CAN. Oil is harmful for a number of reasons.
- Oil is 100% fat
Oils including avocado, coconut, vegetable, sesame, grapeseed etc. although extracted from whole foods are not whole foods in the oil form because they are processed to get to this concentrated form. In only a couple tablespoons you intake so many calories, making oil the most calorie dense substance around. Therefore, oils have no nutritional value to the consumer. Although eliminating oil from your lifestyle completely might seem a challenge it is ideal to do so but if not at least reduce your intake. Minimizing your intake of pure oil is essential to thrive in any healthy diet and it will help your waistline/figure too.
2. Oil is nutrient lacking and processed
Although these oils are from plants once they are extracted they are now considered processed. The good nutrients like vitamins, phytochemicals and fiber that the plant originally offered are stripped away. If you are going to buy oil, make sure to purchase raw and cold-pressed oils as they aren’t heated to high temperatures during the extraction process. This means they are able to preserve more of the nutrients, making it a higher quality option. I would buy cautiously. You can go with out processed oils and I will show you how.
3. It’s best not to isolate a single nutrient
I love what Glowing Fridge has to say about oil, “When looking at the nutrients in whole foods, we know their effect is greatest when they are working together in conjunction with the other nutrients. That is the idea behind the “whole foods” diet. Eat the whole food and you get the whole package. But traditionally, we’ve been taught to take supplements that single out specific nutrients such as fish oil supplements for omega-3 fatty acids. According to plant based expert Dr. Esselstyn, “Fish oil is not essential. Fish get their omega 3’s from plants. It is difficult to be deficient in omega 3 if you are eating 1-2 tablespoons of ground flax seed and green leafy vegetables at several meals. There is also research suggesting those who eat plant based become highly efficient in their own manufacture of omega 3. Patients on fish oil are at increased risk for bleeding.” Dr. Esselstyn recommends a low-fat plant based diet with about 10% of your total calorie intake coming from fat. He also recommends using NO OIL in your diet because of the saturated fat which injures the endothelial lining in your arteries.
Replacing supplements with specific nutrients from actual food is a much healthier option. So instead of adding flax oil to a smoothie, just add 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds and call it a day. The same goes for a supplement like vitamin C. Instead of taking a pill, eat some strawberries as they are packed with vitamin C and other beneficial nutrients.”
What about Coconut Oil?
There are many views on coconut oil now a days. Many people recently are advocating for coconut oil, even in health conscious, vegan and vegetarian recipes. The health community seem to view coconut oil as a miracle worker while others say it has negative properties. Although it is able to help in weight loss, speeding up your metabolism and a great beauty remedy but is it as good as people say it is? I am not so sure of that. Surely the raw, organic, cold-pressed unrefined coconut oil is the better option, contrary to refined. I believe we should consider it as any other oil and avoid or minimize our intake.
Coconut oil’s harmful properties are found in the concentrated saturated fat as Walter C. Willett, M.D. states. “I’ve also noticed that coconut oil seems to be catching on these days. Coconut oil is about 90% saturated fat, which is a higher percentage than butter (about 64% saturated fat), beef fat (40%), or even lard (also 40%). Too much saturated fat in the diet is unhealthy because it raises “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, which increases the risk of heart disease.” I therefore treat coconut oil just as I would any other and avoid it all together.
How To Incorporate Healthy Fats?
Healthy fats including Omega-3s, Monounsaturated fat and Polyunsaturated Fat. Healthy fat is essential for cognitive functions but the source of the fat is the most important aspect.
Consume healthy fat is in whole plant food:
- Leafy greens: Kale, Spinach, Collard Greens
- Seeds: Hemp, Sesame, Chia, Flax (1-2 tablespoons)
You might be wondering what about cooking and baking without oil, well there are MANY alternatives. For cooking, for example instead of sauteing your vegetables in oil simply use water, vegetable broth or better yet eat them raw for exceptional nutritional value. For baking, I use ground flax seeds, organic all natural or homemade apple sauce or mashed bananas. As for eating at a restaurant food look for stemmed vegetables and plain rice are usually safe options.
Check out a great resource for alternatives for oil in all occasions! Oil Alternatives
What are your thoughts about oil? What do you think of coconut oil? How do you eliminate or minimize oil in your lifestyle?
For Further Reading Resources:
Why to go oil free
Oil free lifestyle