Cooking without oil can be a challenge at first, but once you learn how to make the correct substitutions it truly becomes second nature. Also, your taste buds will begin to adapt and change within just a few weeks, reducing your preference for oil. If you are you looking for quick and easy responses when someone asks about oil, here are some of my favorite responses:
- Empty Calories: There are no nutrients in a tablespoon or even a cup of extracted oils, only empty calories. There are 9 calories per gram of fat as opposed to 4 calories per gram of carbohydrate or protein. That’s more than double the calories without any nutrients, just added calories which contribute to weight gain, obesity, and a host of other diseases.
- Whole Foods vs. Processed Foods: Extracting individual components of a food is not the goal and much like converting corn to corn syrup, avocados to oil (1 tablespoon = about 1-2 avocados), or olives to oil (1 tablespoon = about 40 black olives). Removing the fiber and stripping a food of its valuable nutrients to reach one small component of a food is not the goal. Nature packages plants in their whole form and the closer we stay to the original plant the healthier we are.
- Fat is an essential nutrient: Our bodies need fat to survive and it’s easy to get plenty of the necessary fats by consuming a variety of whole plants. Nuts, seeds, olives, avocados, soybeans, spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, corn…. and many other plants contain fats. Some plants have more than others, but when eaten in their whole form you can receive ALL the nutritional benefits of that plant. I have yet to read or hear about someone experiencing a “fat deficiency” by eating a whole food plant based diet”.
- Oil free does not equal fat free: The phrase “fat free” is so often thrown around in the food world in a misleading way. Campbell does not advocate a “fat free” diet since many plant-based foods contain fats. He advocates a whole food, plant-based diet without refined oils added back in.
- Oil Free Cooking is without flavor: There are so many strategies for building great flavor without using oil. As your taste buds and cooking skills begin to change, you will find this way of eating very satisfying. Check out my last blog “Cooking Without Oil” to learn strategies for oil free cooking.