Apr 22 2018

Is an oil free diet healthy for you?

Published by at 12:59 pm under Organic

Is an oil-free diet healthy for you?
Differing theories about nutrition abound, but another alternative approach provides food for thought.*

There are many people who swear by eating a diet which is completely vegan and free of all fats and oils. Even nuts and avocados. As with every new diet trend that comes to the forefront, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons based on what is best for your health.

So is a no oil, no fat diet good for you? What are the benefits? Is it healthy to have no oil? And why in the world would anyone want to do this? Afterall, we’ve been taught olive oil, among others, are good for us! According to Dr. Esselstyn, a cardiologist and author of Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, “…the epidemic of so-called “healthy fats” is contributing to heart disease…” Lauren Bernick, of wellelephant.com, who follows his program, dropped her cholesterol 110 points and lost 20 pounds, without medication by following this oil free, vegan way of eating. You can read her story on her website.(1,2)* 

Healthy oils come from olives, avocados, walnuts and corn plus other nuts. They are extracted from whole foods, making them a concentrated source of calories. With over 4,000 calories per pound, olive oil is a very calorie dense food. Therefore, adding olive oil to any food or meal dramatically increases its calorie density. If you are trying to lose weight, this is an important fact. (3,4)*

Researchers are finding out that just because monounsaturated fats, those found in olive oil, may be better for us than saturated fats, it doesn’t mean they are good for us, rather a lesser of two evils. Findings show that too much of even the good fats can lead to diseased arteries. Scientists have found through studies involving monkeys, who react similarly to humans, that a diet rich in monounsaturated fats can lead to extensive atherosclerotic plaque in coronary arteries. And while a monounsaturated fat diet can result in lower LDLs and higher HDLs, than a saturated fat rich diet, damage to the arteries is the same. Bottom line is that these studies are showing that it doesn’t matter if you’re consuming saturated or monounsaturated fats. If you’re eating too much of them, they can be equally damaging when it comes to blood lipid levels and heart disease. For people with high cholesterol and heart disease, or a family history of these conditions, this is noteworthy. (3,4)*

There are studies which show that after a fat rich meal, the increased fat in the blood can cause inflammation and injure arteries, thus promoting heart disease. After a meal high in olive oil, the ability of people’s arteries to dilate is significantly impaired. Impaired  endothelial function in the short term, usually contributes to clogged arteries in the long run. (3,4)*

Additional research in animals and humans such as the Stanford Coronary Risk Intervention Project, have demonstrated that diets very low in total fat and cholesterol can not only prevent atherosclerosis but actually shrink plaque and reverse atherosclerosis.3*

So what about the Mediterranean diet? “…In the 1950s Ancel Keys and fellow scientists observed that people living in the Mediterranean, especially on the isle of Crete, were lean and heart disease-free. And true, their diet consisted of olive oil, but it also had an abundance of fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices, coarse whole-grain breads, beans, and fish. And they walked about nine miles daily, often behind an ox and plow. But much has changed on Crete – and throughout the Mediterranean – since then. Today, the people of Crete still eat a lot of olive oil, but their intake of whole, natural foods has gone way down, as has their physical activity. The island’s new staples are meat, cheese, TV, and the Internet. Today, more than 60% of Crete’s adult population – and an alarming 50% of its children – are overweight…”3*

 According to the FDA, “Limited and not conclusive scientific evidence suggests that eating about 2 tablespoons (23 grams) of olive oil daily may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease due to the monounsaturated fat in olive oil. To achieve this possible benefit, olive oil is to replace a similar amount of saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day.”  The key here is to replace, not add!3*

 

The American Heart Association recommends aiming for a dietary pattern that achieves 5% to 6% of calories from saturated fat. For example, if you need about 2,000 calories a day, no more than 120 of them should come from saturated fat. That’s only about 2 tablespoons of olive oil per day.5*

It is argued that many of the most valuable nutrients found in olives, nuts and avocados such as the omega 3 fatty acids, phytosterols, polyphenols and Vitamin E are not only present in these oils, but they are more concentrated than if you were to eat a whole avocado or olive or eating whole foods. But a mere tablespoon of olive oil delivers a hefty 120 calories for a mere 30mg of polyphenols/plant sterols. But you can get the same amount of polyphenols/plant sterols with only 11 calories from green leafy lettuce. And while these oils can offer Omega 3 fatty acids, we don’t need that much according to The National Academy of Sciences. They say that women only need 1/4 of a teaspoon while men only need 1/3 of a teaspoon of them daily.(3,4)*

Other dieticians advocate for oil, that it helps us absorb more nutrients from the foods we eat, especially vegetables. Fats stimulate the release of gastrointestinal hormones which slow the absorption of carbohydrates in our meal which leads to steadier blood sugar levels, and helps us feel full. Combining veggies with healthy fats are a winning combination for weight control according to many. If roasting vegetables in olive oil and drizzling a little on a salad makes vegetables more palatable, than its better to eat more vegetables than not. 5*

So the bottom line is that most of us are going to eat oil in our diets…it is hard to avoid. But with this research it may open our eyes to choosing oils wisely, and not loading them on thinking they are “good” for us, because they came from an olive or avocado. If you have a history or family history of high cholesterol or heart disease, limiting your monounsaturated fats as well as saturated fats may make a big difference.  For many, just avoiding processed junk foods, processed meats, salad dressings, fried foods and sugary desserts such as cake and cookies, is a starting point. All signs point back to a whole foods, primarily plant based diet, chocked full of organic vegetables, fruits, nuts and legumes. And of course, everything in moderation is a good mantra. *

“…The people on earth with the longest life expectancy and the least heart disease do not eat diets rich in olive oil or any other fat. They do eat a diet rich in whole, natural foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans…”3*

Keeping our gut healthy is our primary goal. Do the best you can given your personal circumstances. Eating this way will keep your gut healthy and these good foods serve as food for your good bacteria. Continue to supplement with Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ to ensure you are getting the friendly bacteria you may be missing. *

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

 

www.bodybiotics.com

 

 

Resources:

  1. https://www.wellelephant.com/
  2. http://www.dresselstyn.com/site/
  3. https://www.pritikin.com/your-health/healthy-living/eating-right/1103-whats-wrong-with-olive-oil.html
  4. https://nutriciously.com/is-oil-good-for-you/
  5. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/should-you-eliminate-oil-from-your-diet/

 

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