Do you ever struggle with making oil-free salad dressings that are creamy enough to make you LOVE salad? Oil-free salad dressings, sauces, and dips are much healthier than their oily counterparts. However, it does take knowing some tricks to be able to create delicious oil-free salad dressings. They can easily end up totally tasteless, or not creamy enough in texture, forcing you to throw out an entire bowl of raw veggies. Has that ever happened to you? Research shows that vegans are much less likely to get heart disease than meat eaters. However, heart disease still plagues vegans. Why is that, you may wonder? For the same reason that your beautiful, colorful raw salad may be unhealthy. It is due to oil. Olive oil in a salad dressing, and cooked vegetables in coconut oil, make this otherwise nutritious food, unhealthy. In this guide, I will cover the main reasons why oil is unhealthy, how to replace it in cooked dishes, and how to make truly healthy, oil-free salad dressings that have just as much nutrition as your salad itself, and will help protect you from heart disease.
5 Reasons Why You Should Stop Eating Oil
- Oil is a processed food. Many people recognize that white sugar is processed, and remove it from the table. However, they continue to hail oil as a health food.Oil is processed because it is only a part of what was once a whole food. Oil has no carbohydrates, protein, fiber, or other nutrients. These nutrients were present in the original fruit or vegetable that the oil was extracted from. For example, take a look at this comparison of coconut flakes and coconut oil. Take note of the differences in vitamins and minerals at the bottom, and the fat, carbohydrates, and proteins as well.
- Oil is extremely high in fat. In fact, it is 100% pure fat. This not only contributes to weight gain, but also causes disease (see point 5), and is again, only providing us with a single macronutrient out of 3.
- The caloric density of oils crowds out other important nutrients from your diet. Oils are extremely high in calories (about 100-200 calories per tablespoon and very low in nutrients.Hence, they take up precious space that could be filled with other, much more nutrient-dense foods. As Dr. Joel Fuhrman argues, “health equals nutrients divided by calories” (H = N/C). In other words, the more (micro) nutrients you can get in the fewest number of calories, while still eating whole foods (per #1, above), the healthier you’ll be. This means that eating oils does not drive us closer to our goal of ultimate health.
- Unless you eat only flax, chia, or hemp oils,
eatingoil will lead to an imbalance of omega 3 to 6 essential fatty acid ratio.Omega 3’s and omega 6’s are both essential fatty acids that must be consumed through food,and are attained from nuts and seeds, avocados, and coconut in a plant-based diet. Most plant oils are very high in omega 6’s, especially plant oils used in processed foods. Our ancestors’ diet included a ratio of no more than 4 times the amount of omega 6’s to 3’s. It is important to keep this ratio because we only have 1 enzyme that converts these essential fatty acids to their active components, which our body needs. This enzyme prioritizes the fatty acid that we have more of. And if we have more omega 6’s, then we will not get the conversion of omega 3’s to the long-chain fatty acids EPA and DHA. Omega 6’s are also pro-inflammatory, and omega 3’s are anti-inflammatory in the body. So the point is,if we consume oils like olive, coconut, or canola oil, and many others, we may end up deficient in EPA and DHA.
Researchesstrongly link oils to heart disease. Oils raise LDL cholesterol, a leading cause of heart disease. See this. Yes, coconut oil raises LDL less than butter does, but it STILL raises LDL. And so does olive oil.
How Do I Replace Oils in Meals?
Many doctors and researchers recommend against eating oils, including Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Dr. John McDougall, Dr. Michael Greger, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, and many more. Not eating oils does not equal to not eating fats. Oils are merely the processed products derived from healthy, whole food fats. You should definitely enjoy whole food fats in your diet. There are many ways to cut out oils in cooked plant-based dishes:
Download My 3 Most Favorite Oil-Free Salad Dressings, Dips, and Sauces
Want to see how good oil-free salad dressings are for yourself? These 3 recipes are insanely simple and easy to make, yet take every meal up about 300 notches! Download my 3 favorites here.
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