Advice

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Oils?

Oil can be a big problem to dieters and it is something that I recommend all of my clients try to use less off if they are trying to lose those last 5 – 10 pounds. The harsh reality is that cooking oils are highly processed using manufacturing methods that are highly destructive to oil molecules.

According to Udo Erasmus, author of the book Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill, oils are typically pressed or solvent extracted from seeds and nuts, using a process where they are de-gummed, refined, bleached, and deodorized. The thing about this process that many people don’t realize is that valuable ‘minor ingredients’ including antioxidants, phytosterols, chlorophyll, flavor molecules, color molecules, lecithin, and other oil-soluble beneficial molecules are removed too.

how_do_you_solve_a_problem_like_oils_theflexifoodieWhat we just discussed applies to the cooking oils you may purchase in a store, or find in packaged food, or consume in French fries from a fast food restaurant. But what about when you cook at home with something like olive oil? Unfortunately, olive oil has a fatty acid composition (largely Omega-9) that’s NOT highly resistant to high heat. Meaning, its structure gets damaged and becomes partially toxic when cooked at high heat. It is also not a whole food anymore. Olives are whole foods found in nature, but olive oil is processed, with the oil separated from the fiber and rest of the whole food that it came from. While it may not be as bad as common cooking oil, olive oil is far from the ideal solution to cooking with oil. So what’s the answer?

While this fat trigger is everywhere – from cooking oil, to packaged foods, used at restaurants and more – there are some simple steps you can take to avoid it.

First, stop cooking with oil. I know that may seem radical, but it’s possible to steam your vegetables or cook grains without using oil. You can even stir fry your vegetables lightly with water or vegetable broth in a “non-toxic” non-stick pan to avoid using oil. Then, if you want a little oil with your food, you can add it later. This way, you’re enjoying the food you want, without denaturing and making the oil toxic in the process.how_do_you_solve_a_problem_like_oils_theflexifoodie2

Another option is to ONLY cook with coconut oil, which is composed largely of medium-chain fatty acids that don’t denature the same way polyunsaturated oils do. This is especially important if you must fry something or cook at high heat. It’s unarguably better to use coconut oil than cooking at high heat with a less stable vegetable oil that will break down more readily.

The third and final option is perhaps the most radical, but worth considering. It is simply to give up oils all together if you really want to lose those last 5-10 pounds. For instance, I watch the amount of oils I consume – I find that it’s too easy to overdo fat when using them, and I don’t think they’re fundamentally necessary. When I do cook with oil, it’s always coconut oil.

how_do_you_solve_a_problem_like_oils_theflexifoodie4When I want some healthy fats in my diet, I”ll have a small avocado, or some whole nuts and seeds. Or perhaps a little coconut meat. Even the dressings I make and recommend to clients are oil-free.

Whatever option you choose here, the most important thing is that you reduce this fat trigger to the best of your ability and when you do cook, use small amounts of coconut oil instead or water. You’ll automatically reduce your intake of empty calories, detox faster, feel lighter, improve your digestion, reduce acne or skin blemishes, shed weight, and just plain feel better.

34 comments

  1. I rarely use oil unless it’s a tiny amount for cooking – I stick to coconut oil, avocados and nuts for all of my fatt-y needs and I’m pretty sure that anyone I’ve cooked for hasn’t noticed!

    1. Hi Vohn, firstly thanks for visiting, I hope you’ve found my blog useful. Some research has suggested that rapeseed oil is actually healthier than olive oil, mostly because it is high in omega-3 and vitamin E. Using rapeseed oil is a really great way to get the essential fatty acids your body needs. This type of oil will also help to keep your bad cholesterol levels low and will help with brain and heart help as well as vision. You might already know that vitamin E is an amazing antioxidant and will help your body battle against free radicals. Overall, I would suggest rapeseed oil as a great alternative to other more common oils. Please let me know if you have any other questions!

      1. Thanks so much for the great reply Julie. Everything you’ve said is all the good stuff I’d heard about rapeseed oil but I just wasn’t sure if I was being taken in by PR. It has been my oil of choice, both for cooking and for dressings, for over a year now. Good to know you have nothing bad to say about it. Vohn x

  2. Hi Julie, thanks so much for stopping by my blog and the follow – I feel very honored! Loved this post about the oils – I have coconut oil at home but have used it more for skin care than for cooking. I use a lot of olive oil but mostly cold rather than heated…

  3. Hi Julie,
    I actually love coconut oil. Grew up on it. but virgin, cold pressed coconut oil really isn’t that great for high temperature frying. It has quite a low smoke point, about 170 C.
    There are a few things I absolutely like cooking with a bit of oil. I keep my coconut oil for low heat sauteing and to add to food after it’s cooked. If I’m making a stir-fry it’s absolutely essential to use a high smoke point oil like grape seed or rice bran. I know these are richer in Omega 6 and quite highly processed, which is why I’m still looking for an alternative. What would you recommend for high temperature frying like stir-fries and searing?

    1. That’s great 🙂 Did you find it easy to make the transition into veganism or was it hard for you? I’d LOVE to hear about your efforts at being sugar free. It’s SO good for the body to rid our diets of such things!

      1. It was pretty easy–I did it for my health. With motivation like that, anything is easy! I miss cheese sometimes, but I just imagine a glob of fat and that usually takes care of it… 🙂

        Sugar wasn’t so easy. I went on a 21 day detox plan, following Mark Hyman’ Ultra Metabolism book. It wasn’t fun at the beginning, but by the 2nd week, no more cravings. I eat sweet things now, but only in the form of natural fruits. They are sweet enough! And I used to eat butter cream frosting by the spoon-full–so we’re talking a MAJOR transformation. If I can do it, anyone can. I bake my own bread (with gluten). It smells great, but I’m not tempted because I know it’s poison for my body. If you think of these foods like poison, they lose their appeal pretty quickly. 😉

  4. I love to cook with coconut oil (when I make veggie burgers and stir-fries). I use avocado oil for my foods that don’t work with coconut. Whenever I do use oils, I use the bare minimum-you don’t need as much as you think! Great post!

  5. Hi Julie, I have to take exception to your comments about olive oil. Tons of research is available out there and I’m happy to provide links but the truth is true, extra virgin olive oil, (NOT the stuff on the grocery store shelves!) has a very high smoke point of 420 degrees and does not break down or become toxic when heated.

    This quote is from an article by Mary Flynn, PhD, RD, Associate professor of Clinical Medicine at Brown University. “Nearly every time I lecture on olive oil, people ask whether heat destroys the oil, and whether they can cook with it. I don’t know who invented this misconception (seed-oil companies?), but I’d love to dispel it once and for all. High quality extra virgin olive oil can be heated to 420°F before it reaches smoke-point (ie begins to smoke and starts to form unhealthy compounds), which is higher than nearly every other vegetable oil. Olive oil is much more stable when heated compared to most vegetable oil (16, 17). Cooking with olive oil below the smoke-point does not destroy most of its health benefits, or make it less healthy – under normal cooking conditions, most of the therapeutic minor components are retained (18-20). Some studies have subjected olive oil to high temperatures (180°C/356°F) for long periods of time (from 90 minutes to over 20 hours). These conditions do tend to decrease the content of some phytonutrients, yet even under such extreme conditions, some phytonutrients remain”

    There are many problems associated with the labeling of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the country. Most do not meet the standards set in Europe and most Americans are not aware of the amount of fraud in the industry.

  6. Hi Julie, what a wealth of information your blog is, and so beautifully presented. We try to get to yoga classes when we can and always feel the benefits. When we had a 4 month stop in a village in Mexico we were going 4 times per week. And whenever we can we rent an apartment instead of staying in a hotel – it gives us much more control over what we eat – fruit and vegetables rule!
    Thanks for following our blog. I hope you enjoy the stories of our journey, both inner and outer.
    Cheers, Alison

Leave a Reply