Consider this – all oils are 100% fat! Furthermore, as soon as they are processed, exposed to air, heat and/or UV rays, they are broken down or what’s called “oxidized.” This breakdown can lead to inflammation within the body, which Dr. David Rakel stated, “It is now widely recognized that inflammation is the pathologic mechanism underlying most chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, chronic pain, asthma, inflammatory gut disorders, degenerative diseases, obesity, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease1.”
Using my personal experience with my weight loss/corporate wellness clients, I have found that we tend to over-do oils. Due to the deceiving marketing strategies, most people believe that olive oil is healthy and should be used as often as possible. However, one of my first lessons that I teach my clients is how calorie-dense all oils are.
Dr. Dea, Ornish says this about olive oil, “At 120 calories per tablespoon, it’s very easy to eat ‘too much of a good thing.’” Oil may not raise your cholesterol as much as other fats like butter, but it is still on the rise! The heart healthy fatty acid that actually reduces inflammation is called omega-3 fatty acids, which olive oil only carries maybe 1%. Olive oil does however carry a substantial amount of omega-9 fatty acids, which has been shown to impair blood vessel function2.
The average person is nearly obsessed with olive oil, and I see it every day with my clients. Make sure you realize that olive oil can become oxidized very easily. When this oxidation occurs, the oil loses its nutrients, becoming a product that the body cannot process naturally. The most common occurrence happens when the oil reaches its “smoke point” while cooking. At this smoke point, the oil will burn, smell and make your food have a funky taste. This means that extra-virgin olive oil shouldn’t be used for cooking at temperatures over 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
SO WHAT SHOULD I EAT THEN?
Since avoiding olive oil is nearly impossible, I suggest that you cook with cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil and macadamia nut oil at medium temperatures. For high temperatures, cook with coconut oil, grass-fed butter and if dairy is an issue organic/grass-fed ghee. Coconut oil is high in lauric acid, which is known to raise HDL and LDL, but has a very high smoke point3. Grass-fed butter and organic ghee also have these high smoke points, which is the reason why they are so good for cooking.
If you cannot live without oil (most people can’t), I recommend that you at least make the decision to purchase a quality one. The reason being is that a large number of olive oils also contain processed soybean and hazelnut oil3, which are very pro-inflammatory. To ensure quality when purchasing oils, make sure the California Olive Oil Council logo is on the bottle. In addition, if the oil is imported look for DOP, AOC, DPO or DO logos to confirm it as a quality oil3.
First press cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil is minimally processed, therefore it contains more nutrients3. To extend the life of the oil, make sure you store it in a cool, dark place to avoid light exposure. Additionally, try to use it within two months of when it is opened.
Ready to make lifestyle changes that will improve your health long-term? With the help of this all-encompassing guide to permanent fat loss, you can become the best you possible!
- Rakel D. Integrative Medicine. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2012. Page 795
- Robert A. Vogel, MD, FACC, Mary C. Corretti, MD, FACC, Gary D. Plotnick, MD, FACC. The Postprandial Effect of Components of the Mediterranean Diet on Endothelial Function. Journal of the American College of Cardiology . Vol. 36, No. 5, 2000.Keys, A. (84060 Pioppi (SA), Italy), A. Menotti, M. J. Karvonen, The diet and 15-year death rate In the Seven Countries Study. Am J Epidemiol 1986; 124:903 15.
- Barts S. The chemistry connecting nutrients to food. NTR 5602 Food Science week 7 lecture notes PDF