Fats versus Oils - VeggieBoards

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#1 Old 06-22-2017, 09:40 AM
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Fats versus Oils

When I tell people about our new way of eating one of the first things they say, or questions they ask, is in regards to oils. Not fats, oils.

Fat, as a word itself, can have a negative connotation and over the years we have been sold a bill of goods by the "food oil industry" that oils are necessary in our diets.

A sweet lady who works at my local library asked me just a couple of weeks ago.... "don't we need to eat oil so that our skin is soft and moist?". And who has done a better job recently than "big coconut" lol to convince us that coconut oil is not only healthy for us but is necessary for us to consume for ultimate health.

First it was peanut oil, which became popular during World War II because of a shortage of other oils, and then we were convinced that olive oil is the best oil to consume.

Coconut oil's popularity is relatively recent in North America and prior to our lifestyle change we were eating a lot of it, especially with eggs. I never quite understood why, when it was supposed to be so good for me, I felt slightly nauseous after eating my over easy eggs in coconut oil because it tasted so good, especially when sprinkled with my turmeric/pepper mixture. I researched why coconut suddenly became "healthy" and found an article that states:

https://www.statnews.com/2017/06/20/...ation-healthy/
"the work of Marie-Pierre St-Onge, a professor of nutrition at Columbia University. Two papers published by St-Onge’s group in 2003 showed that eating and cooking with medium chain fatty acids — a type of molecule found in coconut oil — can help dieting adults burn fat. Study participants ate specially prepared meals rich in medium chain fatty acids for four weeks. MRI and metabolic data showed that medium chain fatty acids reduced their overall fat levels and helped dieters burn energy.
But, St-Onge points out, coconut oil is only 14 percent medium chain fatty acids. Participants in her studies received 100 percent medium chain fatty acids, a custom-made concoction.
Still, in subsequent years that research has been seized upon by health food marketers. Dieting blogs praise coconut oil as a “fat-burning diet miracle” and dietary supplements containing the oil advertise their supposed weight-loss benefits on the label.

“I think the data that we’ve shown with medium chain fatty acids have been extrapolated very liberally,” said St-Onge. “I’ve never done one study on coconut oil.”


While I was writing this, I happened on a new article today... Coconut oil health claims not all they're cracked up to be, says report
‘Hype is ahead of the evidence,’ says Calgary dietitian, discussing American Heart Association review.
"If you've been stirring coconut oil into your coffee or cooking with it every day, a Calgary nutritionist says you should heed a new warning by the American Heart Association (AHA)."
The whole article follows:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgar...fats-1.4169540

Cooking without oil, vegan oil or not, is a concept that most people just can't imagine. How would you do a stir fry? what about my garlic and onions? or my vegan burger "it says to put oil in the pan".

For more about the history of the rise in 'healthy' oils you can read this article by leangreendad:

http://leangreendad.com/2017/05/18/oilisbad/

It all started back in the 1950’s. This whole thing started with a Russian researcher named David Kritchevsky. See, back in 1954, David posted two papers on fats. The first paper discussed the effects of feeding cholesterol to rabbits. In his experiment, he added a cholesterol molecule to the food of these vegetarian rabbits. What did he conclude from studying the rabbits before and after the change to their food? Well, he concluded that when cholesterol was added to vegetarian rabbit chow, it caused the formation of plaques (also called atheromas) in the heart. This lead to clogged arteries and, over time, heart disease. At that time, the only place to find this type of cholesterol was in meat, cheese, eggs, and butter.

So back to the difference between fat and oil. Fat is a necessary part of our diets, our brains need it, our organs needs it, we need it to stay warm, to help absorb nutrients and to produce important hormones. The are a variety of opinions on the amount of fat needed, on a daily basis, most experts opinions range from 10-20% of our calories, depending on our health situation and whether we are trying to increase our weight or reduce it. People with already clogged arteries may need to limit their fat intake for a period of time. Always consult a medical professional before making any drastic changes! preferrably a plant-based one if you can.

So why not oil? If you haven't already read the article referenced above by leangreendad then I will quote more from his article rather than reinventing the writing wheel:

Let’s talk about how this stuff is made. First, it takes approximately 1,000 olives that are pressed and squeezed and smashed to release all of their oils…to make just one liter of olive oil. So what’s left behind when you squeeze all the fat out of the olive? Fiber, antioxidants, nutrients, and everything else that goes along with eating an olive to keep you healthy. You are so much better off eating the olive itself, rather than eating the extracted saturated fat from it. But here’s what you don’t see on your oil label. When the oil is being processed, it is hydrogenated. What does that mean? It means that it is heated under pressure to not only increase its shelf life, but also to help it stay more stable under high heat. What happens to oil under high heat? It turns to trans fat. Trans fat is also known as trans fatty acid, or it’s popular shelf name, partially hydrogenated oil.

and then goes on to quote from Rip Esselstyn's book:

In his book “Plant Strong,” Rip Esselstyn quotes Dr. Ray Peat, who says, “All oils, even if they’re organic, cold-pressed, unprocessed, bottled in glass, and stored away from heat and light, are damaging.” This goes for coconut oil too. Stay away from it all. It is all a concentrated source of saturated fat that is laden with calories that will contribute to obesity and heart disease.

Much of what I have learned about the dangers of too much oil in our diets comes from watching Dr Michael Greger's research videos and here are a few of them if you have time to watch:
https://nutritionfacts.org/video/oli...tery-function/
https://nutritionfacts.org/video/doe...clog-arteries/
https://nutritionfacts.org/video/doe...re-alzheimers/


Kalamata olives - 4-tablespoon serving of Kalamata olives, roughly 8 large olives or 10 small ones, has 39 calories per serving, negligible amounts of protein, 3.6 grams of total fat and 1.1 grams of dietary fiber
vs
Olive oil - 1-tablespoon serving has 120 calories, 14 grams of fat and no fibre and few/if any other nutrients

Generally it takes over 1,000 olives weighing between 4 and 8 kilograms to make one liter of extra virgin olive oil. A large tree can yield enough olives to produce five 1 Liter bottles of olive oil.


This is another comparison that always astounds me:



This picture leads to a whole discussion of satiety (or feeling full after eating) which I will leave for another day.

So back to the question that sparked this article - my librarian asking me if we need oil for our skin. Oil is not hydrating, water is hydrating. We need to consume water and some fats in their original form in food. There are fats in avocadoes, olives, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains and as skin care from the outside is highly personal I am not going to comment on that as it is a whole topic on its own.

There are a number of videos out there that talk about the incidence of heart attack and strokes and other diseases in some vegetarians and vegans that are more common to meat eaters.... IMO it is related to the amount of oil consumed, the amount of 'fake vegan' meats and cheeses that are consumed as they are so high in oils and in soy isolate proteins and all manner of other unpronouceableable ingredients that they are not really eating a healthy diet just because it is labelled vegan. Should we allow ourselves some of these foods? of course! but a steady diet of fake food is exactly that, fake food and our 'whole' bodies would prefer whole food plant-based options with minimal added oils/salts/sugars.

As I have mentioned before I watch a lot of YouTube, mostly vegan, and when I watch someone new and they pick up the oil to cook with... the stop button is pushed immediately. There are too many great "what I eat in day" videographers that don't cook with oil to waste any time watching those that do.

So how do I cook without oil? in non-stick pans with the vegetables natural liquids and the lid on, or I add a bit of vegetable stock, or olive brine, or lemon juice or just plain water. I add mushrooms to lots of stir fries and they provide lots of moisture. I bake root vegetables, and onions and garlic too sometimes. I read labels and try to buy as few processed foods with oil in them as possible. There is really little reason to use oil as a vegan or vegetarian or starchivore or whatever label you prefer. Challenge yourself to cut back and your body will thank you.

Emma JC
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#2 Old 06-22-2017, 10:00 AM
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I've pretty much cut out added oil/fats because I'm following Dr. Fuhrman's protocol. My new go-to thing is homemade veggie broth. I googled for a recipe, realized you literally cannot mess it up and proceeded to dump a bunch of random veggies/mushroom bits n' pieces into my large crockpot with water and a bit of salt. Cooked it on low overnight, skimmed off the bits n' pieces, portioned it into pint containers and froze them. I use this for sauteing, in rice/pasta etc etc.

I get my fat from nuts and seeds, olives and then the occasional Oreo
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#3 Old 06-22-2017, 11:14 PM
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Interesting post.
A lot (maybe most) people seem to believe that you need to add oil (eg: extra virgin olive) to your diet for health, which is bonkers. As you say, we do have need for fats (and protein and carbs), but no need for *any* extremely refined product - whether it be sugar or oil. If we did we wouldn't have survived prior to the industrial revolution.
I do add oils, but not because I think I need to, it's mainly for flavour. Though I'd be willing to try no oil and see how it tastes.
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#4 Old 06-23-2017, 01:54 AM
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You don' NEED to use added oils in a veg/n diet, they are already there.
You do need some fats/oils in your diet. Some like flaxseed/linseed oil provide omega 3 but you don't have to add oil just crush up the flax seed and eat it. Put it in a salad or a smoothie perhaps.

Polyunsaturated fas help reduce cholesterol (in some people) and some fats are needed to break down some vitamins like vitamin D and coQ10 (which is why those supplements are sold, in most cases, with oil.

But again just eat some olives or avocado or nuts or soy etc etc etc you can get all the poly or mono unsaturated oils you need.

If you do use oils then you should use cold pressed oils and you should always crush up small seeds before you use them otherwise they just pass through the digestive system and you get no benefit from them. Oh, and you shouldn't cook in flaxseed oil the heat changes it. If you want to use it use a small amount in a salad dressing.

Never use trans fats for anything.
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#5 Old 06-23-2017, 03:49 AM
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Originally Posted by BlueMts View Post
You don' NEED to use added oils in a veg/n diet, they are already there.
You do need some fats/oils in your diet. Some like flaxseed/linseed oil provide omega 3 but you don't have to add oil just crush up the flax seed and eat it. Put it in a salad or a smoothie perhaps.

Polyunsaturated fas help reduce cholesterol (in some people) and some fats are needed to break down some vitamins like vitamin D and coQ10 (which is why those supplements are sold, in most cases, with oil.

But again just eat some olives or avocado or nuts or soy etc etc etc you can get all the poly or mono unsaturated oils you need.

If you do use oils then you should use cold pressed oils and you should always crush up small seeds before you use them otherwise they just pass through the digestive system and you get no benefit from them. Oh, and you shouldn't cook in flaxseed oil the heat changes it. If you want to use it use a small amount in a salad dressing.

Never use trans fats for anything.
I recently bought a $20 coffee bean grinder for flax seed and it works great for grinding the whole seeds up! I was buying bagged flax meal from the store, until I read how it goes bad so quickly after grinding and loses it's nutrients. Now I grind a few days worth at a time and then store it in a glass jar in my fridge (whole berries are in a glass jar in the freezer). Flax seeds are a staple in my daily green smoothies
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#6 Old 06-23-2017, 07:51 AM
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speaking of Omega 3's...

Dr Greger has a number of great videos on the topic of DHA and EPA's and are well worth watching if/when you have time. Just search for omega 3 at nutritionfacts.org

After watching some of his videos I researched a good source and found Ascenta NutraVege (I had been taking the NutraSea version for a number of years). It is available in both the US and Canada and Europe also, I believe. He recommends 250 mg a day.

This is what the bottle looks like and it needs to be refrigerated after opening. Because it comes from the sea it has more of the DHA and EPA than the seed versions. IMO only.

Emma JC
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#7 Old 06-23-2017, 09:32 AM
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I keep hearing about Dr. Greger but haven't really checked out his site yet, need to do that sooner than later!
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#8 Old 06-23-2017, 04:21 PM
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Great post! I've always seen mixed feelings for oils but just couldn't fathom not using them. Education is a powerful thing however. Now to get the wife(chef) on board.
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#9 Old 06-25-2017, 12:12 PM
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One more thing that I forgot to mention in my original post is using applesauce, instead of oil, when baking.

I don't do a lot of baking in general, I do make pancakes once or twice a month and use do the chia seeds/water for egg replacement and use unsweetened applesauce for the oil replacement. If you then use a non-stick pan there are no issues at all. The applesauce can go bad if you buy a large jar and only use a bit of it so we purchase the smaller container 6 pack and just eat any leftovers or mix it in with the berries that we put on top.



non-stick - these are original sacrificial pancakes and they didn't have to be sacrificed at all



and the end result - served with frozen berries warmed in a pot with some lemon juice and maple syrup



mmmm it was delish

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#10 Old 07-09-2017, 11:29 AM
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One of the greatest things about cooking without oil is .... dishes are so easy to do. We have a dishwasher and we use it to store tupperware and the like as I dislike intensely the smell of soap that can cling to dishes from the dishwasher and because there are only two of us I prefer to wash by hand.

Saturday nights are the one night that we allow ourselves a small amount of olive oil for making Aglio Olio and today's sink of dishes was disgusting - I couldn't even make it through the whole batch of dishes without refreshing the water and that was just a tiny amount of oil. Last night may be the last night for Aglio Olio as the look of the sink really drives home that oil isn't good for us.

We really don't need the oil as this time we added sundried tomato tapinade (sundried tomatoes rehydrated for a few hours with some olives, walnuts, etc blended together) and that made it plenty moist.

Emma JC

ps hehe after I posted this I realized that my avatar is "post appropriate" - it seems that I have been washing dishes in the sink for most of my life
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#11 Old 07-09-2017, 02:13 PM
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One of the greatest things about cooking without oil is .... dishes are so easy to do. We have a dishwasher and we use it to store tupperware and the like as I dislike intensely the smell of soap that can cling to dishes from the dishwasher and because there are only two of us I prefer to wash by hand.
Exactly. I laugh at the television commercials which lament the difficulty of washing dishes with "baked-on grease". My dishes haven't had baked-on grease for 26 years.
.
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#12 Old 07-09-2017, 03:36 PM
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What kind of fat should you get for your nutrition macros? Their is so much misleading information out there. From people advocating an super ultra low fat vegan diet to those promoting 90% fat vegan keto. I don't know anymore and I have only been vegan for about a month. My current diet is carbohydrate based.
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#13 Old 07-09-2017, 04:10 PM
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IMO and in the opinion of many good plant-based doctors, you should get your fats from the whole foods that you eat so that you get the fibre and nutrients along with the fat. If you are not trying to lose weight or you don't have any specific cholesterol based health issues then having some nuts and seed and avocado is fine. If you are trying to limit fats for weight loss or health issues then the fats in beans and grains and seeds may be sufficient. Eat olives instead of using olive oil, eat some coconut instead of using coconut oil and so on....

Cronometer is a free online service that may help in this regard.

Congrats on your decision to go to whole food plant-based lifestyle - we tend to call ourselves starchivores, like Dr McDougall, so carbs/starches are a big part of our meals. I love tahini so I often add a bit of it as a drizzle on soups or chili or potatoes and that has plenty of fat.

As far a the ratio? again it depends on your situation and some recommend 10% others 15% and some 20%. I don't think there is a perfect number as everyone has different activity levels and health statuses.

Dr Greger has an app "daily dozen" and that can help keep you on track also.

Emma JC

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Last edited by Emma JC; 07-09-2017 at 04:10 PM. Reason: spelling
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#14 Old 07-09-2017, 04:24 PM
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Thanks. I'm also concerned about the recent trend to blame carbohydrates for diabetes and heart disease instead of fat. Refined sugar is obviously terrible for you. But I don't know what to make of those promoting a higher fat diet. Then again these sources are almost always not vegan.
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#15 Old 07-09-2017, 04:38 PM
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Are you familiar with Dr Greger, Dr Barnard or Dr McDougall? All of them appear in "What the Health" which is now available on Netflix and YouTube and they have great explanations about the role that high fats play in diseases of all types. In Dr Barnard's case he is one of the foremost experts on type II diabetes and the role that fat "in the muscle cells" plays in this dis-ease as opposed to sugar/carbs. I agree completely with your opinion of refined sugar.

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#16 Old 07-09-2017, 04:52 PM
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Yes I heard of them good advice. Currently their is a trend of blaming sugar as the cause of all heart disease and that fat and cholesterol should be eaten. I know refined sugar causes inflammation but these people say it is ok to eat meat as long as you don't eat sugar. Seems like a dumb excuse aka" Wheat is poison, eat more meat". lol as if carbohydrate has not been a vital part of the human diet for thousands of years.

I wish money and industry interests did not cloud and distort the truth when it comes to health and nutrition. Seems like every five seconds health and nutrition recommendations change. No wonder some people just throw up their hands and say "Whatever I'll just eat what I want".
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Last edited by Iridium; 07-09-2017 at 05:11 PM.
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#17 Old 07-09-2017, 11:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iridium View Post
Seems like every five seconds health and nutrition recommendations change. No wonder some people just throw up their hands and say "Whatever I'll just eat what I want".
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