Tuesday, February 28, 2012

As requested.. a little note about oil and why we're not using any!

Facing a major health cross roads, we weren't a cute couple looking for a new faddy diet to try. By way of introduction, we were ready for a major change to save his life.

For the in-depth specifics on why oil is such a no-no for people with heart disease I recommend reading Dr Caldwell Esselstyn's book, "prevent and reverse heart disease", or check out his website www.heartattackproof.com

To paraphrase, he believes oils are extremely low in nutritive value, containing no fibre, no minerals and are 100% fat calories. (1 Tablespoon of olive oil alone contains 14 g fat!) Above all they contain saturated fat which immediately injures the endothelial lining of the arteries when eaten. It doesn't matter what kind of oil. In other words, if you have heart disease oil is a really bad idea! French fries or tempura battered vegetables just cannot be on the menu if you want to save your life.

Being very health conscience before starting this diet i would have sworn black and blue that i didn't use much oil compared to most. I never deep fried things. I always used extra virgin olive oil or fancy pant oils like walnut or avocado! I never used corn oil. However, it's only when you cut it out altogether that you realize just how much you were actually consuming. I think the no oil thing has been crucial in his losing so much weight.

Instead of using oil i cook with either broth or a little wine, or water. For sautéing onions or garlic you just have to watch they don't burn by stirring them more often, or putting the lid on to create a little steam to prevent sticking, or adding that broth or wine or water.

Eradicating oil cuts out things like making pancakes (although you can easily come up with an oil free pancake batter, frying them in the fry pan without oil just does not work - i've tried a variety of non stick pans and even things like putting baking paper inside the pan with the pancake on top... but alas, nothing worked! Cakes similarly are no longer on the menu. However, with all the amazing health changes going on, these major benefits have completely dwarfed issues like, "oh wouldn't it be lovely to have a pancake?"

As well as no longer cooking with oil, i am now vigilant to check the ingredient panels, as oil creeps into many things you wouldn't expect, like bread and certain types of soy and rice milks.

Ok, i think that's enough on the subject of oil... I will post an oil free hummus recipe and the yummiest eggplant recipe i've made up so far, as making eggplant delicious without the aid of some oil was a bit tricky.

over and out for now :)


  1. Argh... I do and don't want to read that heartattackproof site. Is there any value/point in reducing one's oil consumption, I wonder?

  2. Sorry, to clarify, I mean I wonder whether ust reducing but not eliminating oil altogether would do any good, or would it be pointless not going the whole hog?

  3. No oil becomes important when you're on death's door and trying to avoid going under the surgeon's knife. This no oil plant based way of eating was designed to save the lives of patients who had already had quadruple heart by-passes and stints that were still failing and had been told by everybody else, "get ready to die"! We weren't at that stage, thank god, but my husband's doctor was jumping up and down saying he needed to be on about 5 different medications if he wanted to avoid a heart attack... and as one last serious attempt to turn the game around to avoid being on heavy duty medication for the rest of his life, we decided to try this oil free plant based diet with our ears back, so to speak!

    If you are relatively healthy, i'm sure a little oil from time to time wouldn't hurt, however eliminating it altogether makes it easier to avoid foods that ultimately aren't doing you marvelous amounts of good - i.e. any deep fried food - you already instinctively know that french fries or tempura vegetables aren't going to be good for you.
    It's all a matter of how severe your health situation is. My husband was a ticking time-bomb getting ready to blow, so we felt ready to go the whole way. So much so that it became a relief when we weren't eating it, you'd be surprised how easy it is to cook and eat without it. I also think this was one of the major factors that made the weight seem to just fall away. Just remember 1 tsp of oil contains about 14 g fat! And usually, it's natural to cook with more than just a tsp! But i don't wanna sound preachy.. you have to decide on the state of your own health :) Hope that helps