5 Reasons Why Oil is NOT a Health Food

Oil is commonly marketed and advocated as a health food.  However, oil -- even olive oil, can really impede on your health goals.  I always avoid it as do leading health experts.  Here's five reasons why...

1. Oil is very low in nutritional value.

It has no minerals, no fiber, no protein, no carbohydrate and minimal vitamins.  However, it does have a heck of of a lot of calories and fat.

One tablespoon of olive oil is a hefty 120 calories.  Not only is it incredibly calorie dense, it also has 14g of fat in one tablespoon!  And 2g of that fat is saturated which we should avoid.  Olive oil does have trace amounts of vitamin E, vitamin K and phytosterols.  But so what!?  So do other whole foods, like the olives themselves!

For 120 calories of oil, I could eat 1.25 baked sweet potatoes.  I'd also get 0.2g of fat, 5g of fiber, actually feel like I ate something, get calcium, magnesium, Iron, phosphorous, potassium, vitamin C, B vitamins, folate, carotenoids, lycopene, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K, all of the amino acids or protein and much more!

Looking at oil's nutritional profile, it really is nothing but pure liquid fat.

2.  Oil makes you fat.

It’s difficult for most people to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight when oil is a regular part of the diet.  Again, one tablespoon of oil is 120 calories.  I could eat 1.25 medium sweet potatoes for that may calories. 

But which of these foods is going to fill me up more?  The sweet potato of course. 

It has more bulk -- I’ll actually feel it sitting in my stomach; it has more fiber, which also helps us to feel full; and it’s full of nutrition that tells our nutrient receptors in our stomachs that we’ve gotten enough nutrition and it's time to stop eating.

Oil doesn’t do that.  It doesn’t make us feel full.  It just adds 100s of extra calories to your diet.  You’ll eat the same amount or quantity of food in a day whether there’s oil on it or not.  Or, you'll actually eat more because the fat makes it taste better.   

Oil is the most calorie dense food in the planet.  

3.  Oil damages your endothelial cells.

Our endothelial cells are a single layer of cells that line our blood vessels.  Our endothelial cells produce nitric oxide which helps our blood flow throughout our bodies. Oil damages those endothelial cells.  Thankfully, according to Dr. Esselstyn, the endothelial cells begin to heal themselves once you take the damaging foods out of the diet and start to eat a low-fat plant-based diet (1, 2).  Especially with lots of greens!

So start to get the meats, dairy, oils and refined foods out of your body!  Work on getting whole-grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes in your belly to start healing your artery walls ASAP!

4.  Heart disease has been reversed without oil. 

Dr. Esselstyn has successfully reversed severe heart disease with a low-fat, oil-free, plant-based diet.  Dr. Esselstyn eliminated all oils, meat, dairy, high-fat plant foods and refined foods in his patients.  In their place, he prescribed a diet of fruits, vegetables, whole-grains and legumes (3).

5.  Oils don't lower cholesterol.

This is only true if you replace saturated fats like butter and lard with unsaturated fats -- most vegetable oils.

However, if someone like me who doesn’t eat any oils, starts to do so, my cholesterol levels will increase.  

Likewise, if you were to stop eating saturated fats and vegetable oils, your cholesterol would decrease even quicker!  (especially if you're eating a whole foods, plant-based diet).

Take Control Now

How many times each day do you consume oil?  What is one way you can begin to cut oil out of your diet?

Sources: 1, 2, 3.