Suebee wrote:I don't want to stir up controversy with this post. I am NOT in favor of using oil. Please understand this. I want an honest answer to this question. I've read Dr. McDougall's answer and wasn't satisfied. It seemed to brush the findings aside. I am hoping you can shed more light on this subject, Jeff. There was a study done and published in 2004 (Am.J.Clin.Nutr. 2004, Aug80(2);396-403). Carotenoid bioavailability is higher from salads ingested with full-fat than fat-reduced salad dressings as measured with electrochemical detection. It showed clearly that the full-fat salad dressing containing 28 g canola oil (that's 280 calories from fat) showed substantially greater absorption than even the lower fat salad dressing that had only 6 g of fat from canola oil versus almost NO absorption with the no fat salad dressing used. I know all the reasons why fat is bad (including the popular olive oil). If this is true and I don't see how to refute it, can we then conclude that if we want to absorb all these nutrients we should AT LEAST add some avocado, some nuts or tofu dressings? And I've read elsewhere (sorry I don't have that on hand) that in order absorb Vitamin E, Vitamin D and I think Vitamin K we all need fat in our diet. Yes, I know you will say there is some fat in most foods, including lettuce, but it certainly wasn't enough in this case, i.e. salads, which also included raw carrots. So is the answer to cook everything? Even lettuce? Or blending them? Please do not think I'm trying to be contentious. Thank you very much.
I am always amazed at the studies that get so much attention and are always used to endorse or defend or to rationalize unhealthy habits. And, the marketers and advertisers are sure to get right behind them and keep these studies in the news.
This is one of them
We just never see people put this same effort and attention into, or try to defend, the studies than regularly come out supporting good healthy habits. Imagine if this much effort and energy was put into eating more fruits and vegetables every day, which are continually shown to be the healthiest change people can make.
First off, you absorb plenty of nutrients from the food you eat. The main reason the typical person is lacking in nutrients is not because they don't add enough oil
, but because they eat a highly refined and processed junk food diet , do not eat enough unrefined plant foods, and do not chew their food properly. In fact, most people already add to much oil
to their diet and they still are nutrient deficient.
Many studies, other than this one, have shown humans absorb the nutrients and phtyochemicals in foods just fine. For instance, this is how the ORAC scale was developed. If this was really true, that without oil
, you absorb no nutrients, there would be a major health campaign about it and I for one, would be pouring oil
all over my foods. BTW, I use not oil
, and have had my carotenoid levels checked and they are out the roof. Amazing.
is a relatively new phenomenon in human history, Relatively speaking, it is only recently we figured out how to extract oil
from foods, stabilize it and use it in the food supply. So, somehow, humans have been able to absorb the nutrients from the foods they have eaten for centuries. We also know of many native cultures that still live on traditional diets that are less than 8% fat, and do not use oil
, and have excellent health and very low disease rates.
Third, the math is misleading.
If you want to beleive what they say, you would then have to look at the total absorption per calories as the oil
may increase absorption rates, but it also adds LOTS of calories lowering the overall nutrient density.
Lets say you have one medium tomato, which is 20 calories. And you measure, the absorption. Then you add a TB of oil
, which is 120 calories
And it increases absorption. It would have to increase absorption over 600% to matter. Why? Because for the same 120 calories, I could have eaten 6 more tomatoes
The olive oil
would have supplied virtually no other nutrients, other than a few phystosterols and a little vitamin E (1.9 mgs) some vit K (8.1 mcgs) and virtually no minerals . It would have added no fiber, and it would have added almost 2 grams of saturated fat.
Now, on the other hand, adding in the 6 tomatoes
(for the same 120 calories) would have increased the amount available to us of every single nutrient 6x. In other words, the 6 tomatoes
Protein 6.0 gms
Fiber 8.1 gms
Vitamin A 5635.2 IU
Total Carotenoids (26748 mcgs)
apha carotene 708 mcgs
Beta Carotene 3147 mcgs
lycopene 18039 mcgs
lutein & Zeaxanthine 862 mcgs
Folate 101.5 mcg
B1 (Thiamine) 0.3 mg
B2 (Riboflavin) 0.1 mg
B3 (Niacin) 4.0 mg
B5 (Pantothenic Acid) 0.6 mg
B6 (Pyridoxine) 0.5 mg
Vitamin C 85.9 mg
Vitamin E 3.7 mg (double what is in 120 calories of olive oil
Vitamin K 53.4 Âµg (over 6x what is in the 120 calories of olive oil
Calcium 67.6 mg
Copper 0.4 mg
Iron 1.8 mg
Magnesium 74.4 mg
Manganese 0.8 mg
Phosphorus 162.4 mg
Potassium 1603.3 mg
Zinc 1.2 mg
In the study, they used 2 TB of olive oil
, so we have to double all numbers, which only makes the tomatoes
look even better.
Which do you think is healthier for you from an overall picture? Adding two TB of oil
, or eating 240 calories of more tomatoes
(or other vegetables)? Adding in 3.6 grams of saturated fat from the olive oil
, or adding in 16 more grams of fiber from the tomatoes
? Increasing the percent absorption of 3992 mcgs of carotenoids (that is in the original one tomato), or adding in 53,000 mcgs (from the additional tomatoes
I am going for the tomatoes
Novick, MS, RD
are around 8% fat. Romaine lettuce is around 15% fat, strawberries are around 9%.
Maybe I should cut back on my romaine consumption