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Fats? Yes. But no Oil

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Fats? Yes. But no Oil

May 19, 2024, 11:01 AM IST 

In a plant-based whole food (PBWF) diet and lifestyle, the use of oil is discouraged. Instead, it is recommended to consume butters made from nuts and seeds. Humans evolved over millions of years consuming natural foods, which our bodies adapted to digest and absorb efficiently. Processing and refining these foods alters their composition, forcing the body to adjust and compensate, often leading to chronic illnesses. Here are the primary reasons why oils are unhealthy and should be avoided:

1. Increased Triglycerides

Consuming oil, stripped of the fiber it was embedded in, quickly raises triglyceride levels in the blood, making it more viscous. This forces the heart to pump harder, raising blood pressure (BP). High BP can damage the kidneys and capillaries in vital organs like the brain and lungs over a few hours. This higher BP is not the same thing as the one caused by atherosclerosis which leads to hypertension. This higher BP is only for a few hours while your body is trying to get rid of the triglycerides by putting them into your fat cells.

If you were to just have one oily meal in a week and be done with it, not much harm would be done. But if you are having three oily meals a day and snacks in between, day after day, this harm becomes chronic.

2. Imbalance of Fatty Acids

Most cooking oils contain high levels of omega-6 fatty acids compared to omega-3. Omega-6 is pro-inflammatory and can disrupt cardiovascular health when out of balance with omega-3, leading to cardiovascular diseases.

3. Endothelial Dysfunction

Oils impair the function of endothelial cells—lining the blood vessels—by inhibiting their ability to release nitric oxide, which is crucial for smooth blood flow. This can increase blood pressure.

4. Increased LDL Cholesterol

The body produces the amount of cholesterol it needs. Inflammatory responses from excess omega-6 require more cholesterol for healing, elevating blood levels.

5. Insulin Resistance

Oils contribute to the accumulation of lipids in muscle cells, hindering insulin’s ability to deposit glucose, which necessitates increased insulin production by the pancreas, leading to insulin resistance—a precursor to type-2 diabetes.

6. Oxidative Stress

Excessive omega-6 fats can make cellular functions more reactive to oxygen causing oxidative stress.

7. Trans Fats

Despite the FDA banning all hydrogenated trans fats in the U.S. as of June 2018, they may still be available in other countries. Dalda in India and Crisco in US are two examples of such fats. Trans fats are extremely harmful.

8.Artery Clogging

Saturated fats in oils can directly block arteries, potentially causing strokes and heart attacks, especially in individuals with atherosclerosis.

9. Gastrointestinal Damage

Oils can damage epithelial cells that line the gastrointestinal tract, weakening it and leading to a “leaky gut,” which is the foundation for various autoimmune diseases.

As outlined, the consumption of oils not only raises the risk of cardiovascular diseases but also contributes to diabetes, cancer, strokes, asthma, arthritis, and many autoimmune diseases.

Exceptions Allowed for Oil 

Before discussing allowances, it’s crucial to understand that lifestyle diseases develop on a continuum, beginning when a child is weaned from breast milk. One method to evaluate health is by examining five metabolic markers:

1. Waist (abdomen) size exceeding half of one’s height.

2. Blood pressure above 130/85.

3. Triglycerides over 150.

4. HDL cholesterol below 40.

5. Fasting glucose above 100.

If an individual exhibits three of these conditions, they are diagnosed with Metabolic Syndrome. Without any of these conditions, a person is generally considered healthy. The exceptions allowed depend on one’s age and health status, as indicated by these markers. Here are the oil/ghee allowances:

1. Under age 30 with no chronic diseases or metabolic markers: 6 teaspoons of oil/ghee.

2. Over age 40 with no chronic diseases or metabolic markers: 5 teaspoons of oil/ghee.

3. No chronic diseases but one metabolic marker: 4 teaspoons of oil/ghee.

4. No chronic diseases but two metabolic markers: 3 teaspoons of oil/ghee.

5. Previously had chronic diseases, now reversed and off medications for at least two years: 3 teaspoons of oil/ghee.

6. Chronic diseases recently reversed and off medications: 2 teaspoons of oil/ghee.

7. Suffering from one or more chronic diseases: No oil/ghee allowed.

To maintain adequate Omega-3 intake, consume one tablespoon of flaxseed, chia seed, or hemp seeds daily.

Weaning off oil: Practical suggestions

1. Use freshly made nut or seed butters and coconut butter instead of oil.

2. For those who employ cooks, instruct them to mix some water with mustard oil and ghee. Explain that this mixture, prescribed by a doctor, should be shaken well before use. This technique allows for continued recipe use while reducing total oil/ghee consumption. Start with a 50/50 mixture and gradually increase the water percentage.

3. Calculate the total monthly oil/ghee allowance and provide only that amount at the beginning of the month, instructing that it must last until the end. Many members of my health groups have successfully implemented these strategies.

Here is a video by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn of Cleveland Heart Clinic on the subject.

No Oil Not Even Olive Oil

To Read this article on Times of India click here

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