Olive oil and coconut oil are often shared as heart-healthy options. Did you know these oils are actually hiding dangers to your overall health? In fact, there is a great deal of misinformation out right now about oil.
Using oil doesn’t hold the health benefits you might think it does. So let’s investigate why that is.
Is Olive Oil Heart Healthy?
When you are trying to make better choices for your heart health, it can be tempting to switch to olive oil. After all, many people celebrate it as a heart-healthy alternative.
While it may be promoted as beneficial to your overall health, it actually has little to no actual value to your health. Here are a few facts about olive oil to consider.
Olive Oil is a Large Source of Empty Calories
When making better choices for your heart health you want to make sure the foods you consume have value. When you squeeze the oil out of olives to make olive oil, you end up with a concentrated source of calories that is almost one-hundred percent fat.
Olive oil is also devoid of almost all vitamins and minerals. A single tablespoon of olive oil contains roughly one hundred and twenty empty calories, and a single tablespoon of olive oil is the fat equivalent of about forty-five olives.
Olive Oil Doesn’t Have as Many Vitamins as You Might Believe
Olive oil is often promoted as a great source of vitamin E and K. Olive oil does have trace amounts of those vitamins. However, you would have to consume roughly ten tablespoons of olive oil in order to meet your daily requirement for vitamins E and K.
If you were consuming olive oil with the goal of reaching your daily Omega-3 intake requirements, you would need to consume half a pound of olive oil! That doesn’t sound like a beneficial item to consume in the grand scheme of things.
Olive Oil is Not Heart-Healthy
Olive oil will often have a label that is marked as “heart-healthy.” While olive oil might be slightly better than corn and canola oil, it does not make it healthy. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that olive oil significantly hindered the ability of arteries to dilate.
To put it simply, olive oil restricts blood flow to and from the heart. This means that your “healthier” alternative could actually be working against your health.
Let’s Talk About Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is often regarded as another option for making better health choices. In fact, coconut oil has been so heavily promoted that it has taken over parts of the store it never used to be.
While coconut oil can seem like a tempting alternative, it doesn’t hold the benefits you think it might. In fact, it could actually be working against your health goals.
Coconut Oil has No Nutritional Value
When you are choosing your food ingredients, you might move to coconut oil for the promised benefits shared everywhere. Coconut oil is stripped of nearly all nutrients the coconut contained.
Coconut oil is actually packed with saturated fat which can have inflammation-promoting properties. Coconut oil is 92 percent saturated fat! That is more saturated fat than butter, lard, or even beef fat. This promise of a heart-healthy alternative has been proven to be anything but!
What Do You Consume Instead of These Oils?
Reading about some of these oils can leave you a bit overwhelmed. After all, you thought you were making a “heart-healthy” choice here! Don’t let this discourage you.
While these oils may not be the alternative you need, there are better ways to take care of your health and your heart. Here are a few ideas to consider:
- Opt for oil-free chilis and stews - When you are shopping for stews and chilis to cook for yourself or for a get-together, it can be tempting to just grab what looks good. Take a few minutes to not only think about what is packed with flavor, but what is not packed with harmful oils. For instance, the PLANTSTRONG chilis and stews are oil-free and have very low saturated fat in each serving!
- Simplify your broths - Many broths used for cooking don’t have a great deal of flavor or add an enormous amount of sodium. This can cause you to offset them with a bit of oil. While it can seem like a great option, it is working against your health goals. Instead, opt for broths that are low in sodium, oil-free, and packed with flavor!
- Change up pizza night - Did you know that most pizza crusts have added oils in them? In fact, it’s not uncommon to see harmful oils added to pizza crusts you might buy. You don’t have to make your own pizza crusts in order to avoid these oils though. Instead, choose an oil-free pizza crust option that will be the perfect addition to your family pizza night!
What Can be Substituted for Oils in Baking and Cooking?
Are you hoping to make food from scratch? Making your own food items can be more time-consuming. With oil as a primary base ingredient in most recipes, cooking can get a bit frustrating.
The good news is, added oil is usually not needed. Most of the time it can be replaced with options that are better for you. Here are a few replacement options to consider:
- Applesauce - Typically most beneficial for baked goods. Choose unsweetened to avoid adding unnecessary sugar to a recipe.
- Banana, ripe and mashed - This is a great add-in for most baked goods. Note that it will add the flavor of the banana to whatever it is cooked with.
- Cauliflower – unseasoned, cooked, and pureed - This can be used for a variety of recipes and will keep minimal flavors of its own.
- Pumpkin, cooked and pureed - This is a great addition for baked goods, soups, and chilis.
- Zucchini – unseasoned, cooked, and pureed - This is perfect for baked goods, casseroles, and other savory dishes.
For more information on oils, you can read more in The Engine 2 Seven-Day Rescue Diet by Rip Esselstyn.