Olive Oil: Not as Healthy as We Think

“This is the reality: just like all other oils, olive oil is 100 percent fat, lacks a significant nutrient load, contains a whopping 120 calories per tablespoon, that’s fattening.”

Olive oil

What???

Dr. Joel Fuhrman, who I love, is a board–certified family physician who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional and natural methods. I found him when DH was diagnosed with high cholesterol (eek!) at 25 (genetics). They doctor was mercifully a “good” doctor and didn’t immediately reach for his prescription pad, telling DH to get his cholesterol down by diet. That is when I found Dr. Fuhrman’s awesome book, “Eat to Live”. Dr. Fuhrman has successfully guided many of his patients to healthier lifestyles and enabled them to ditch their drugs. I respect him greatly.

Well dear Dr. Fuhrman broke my heart today when he announced in his latest article that my beloved olive oil is not as good for me as I thought. I vaguely remember hearing that a few years ago, but I think I stuck that tidbit deep in the dark corners of my mind along with

Regardless, I am a firm believer in looking at logic and not being overly attached to food habits. So if you are like me and feeling that your gut reaction is to defend olive oil – STOP! Is it because you really have irrefutable facts about the benefits of olive oil that will solidly dispute the evidence presented in Dr. Fuhrman’s article? Or is it because, like me, you are just really attached to the way you eat now and don’t want to change? Be honest! And if you do have solid evidence to dispute Dr. Fuhrman’s article, please share 🙂

So here is the deal, I do believe that everything comes in moderation. So am I going to nix olive oil from my diet? Of course not! But I am going to reduce it because, at the very least. Dr. F’s article woke me up to how much olive oil I consume. And it is a lot.

So I did some research and here are some alternatives:

  1. For sauteing: Broth (I love Imagine’s Organic No Chicken Broth) – sure it has some oil in it, but if you think about how little you are using for sauteeing vs. dumping straight oil in the skillet, it is very little.
  2. For sauteing: Coconut oil – so far it is being hailed as a great alternative to other oils. You can get it in a flavorless form and they are reporting many health benefits. But they did that with olive oil too, so again, be sparing (and check out the other side of this debate in an article by the Mayo Clinic). Also, like olive oil, go for the extra virgin cold pressed CO.
  3. For sauteing veggies: Good old fashioned water. Yup – veggies are going to release their own yummy juices when you saute and just need a bit of water to keep them from sticking to the pan until those juices are released. Make the water more lively with some garlic, pepper and a bit of sea salt.
  4. Sauteing: Bareback it (yup, I went there) – I see a lot of people posting that they just dry saute if they know it is something that will be quick, or again, release its own juices. Never tried this, but I just might!
  5. Baking: Applesauce – apparently it can be used in a 1:1 ratio in place of oil.
  6. Dressings: Start with the same amount of hot water as you need oil and add flax seed by the teaspoon until it is the same consistency as oil. The longer it cools, teh thicker it will be.

Also, check out this cool recipe I found from the thefatfreevegan.com for “No-Oil Oil

No-Oil Oil

Source: Benton Sister’s Cookbook #3

1 cup water
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. dried basil

Whiz in blender, water, cornstarch, and salt. Pour into saucepan; stir in basil. Heat to a boil. Cool. Will have the shine and consistency of oil to use in place of oil for those certain recipes or add your own favorite exotic flavor to this no-oil oil to add that special touch to that certain recipe.

I will definitely be making a batch of this and will share with all of you!

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