I have read Dr McDougall and others such as Dr Esslysten talk about not using a drop of oil especially for those who have had heart diease and want to reverse it.
I understand that some oils may contain saturated fat which is bad as it gets converted into Cholesterol. Oils are also high in calories so it will be difficult to maintain healthy weight at the same time keep consuming oil which is high in fat (1 tbsp = 14 g = 140 Calories)
Now what if if someone is consuming oils which are very low in saturated fat and high in mono and polyunsaturated fat and used in a very low quantity such as say less than a tbsp?
My question to you is, why oil?
Due to very effective marketing and advertising, we have become convinced that oil is not only a food, but a health food. This is crazy. To be a food, something must be able to support healthy life and be of some benefit.
Oil is a highly refined processed and extracted food "product". It has no protein or essential amino acids (which we need), it has no carbohydrates, or sugars (which we need), it has no fiber (which we need), it has no minerals (which we need) and has virtually no vitamins (which we need) except for a small amount of Vit E and some phytosterols.
But, on the other hand, it is pure fat and the most calorie dense food on the planet. While all oils have a mixture of mono, poly and saturated fat, most oils are very low in the essential fat omega 3 (which some of us may need more of), very high in the omega 6 (which most of us need to lower) and most oils also have high ratios of omega 6 to omega 3 (which most all of us need to lower).
So, basically you are getting lots of calories (oils has almost 2.5 x more calorie per TB than sugar). lots of omega 6s, some saturated fat (depending on the oil) and virtually no nutrients.
The definition of a junk food is a food that is high in calories (and/or fat, sugar, salt) and has little if any nutrient value at all.
IMHO (and by definition), Oil, is more of a junk food than sugar. And, I hope that in a few years, we will all come to understand it and see it, as such.
So we can conclude that if oil is used liberally it will raise cholesterol levels, weight gain and other associated problem such as high blood pressure, diabetes etc etc.
I do not conclude that. I conclude that oil will significantly increase the calorie density and significantly decrease the "overall" nutrient density of any diet it is added to, which are the exact opposite goals most people are working towards.
Diets with increased calorie density can lead to obesity and obesity does increase your risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and many others.
Some oils, depending on the percent saturated fat they contain may directly increase cholesterol levels.
Here is something to think about... right now the typical American diet is 10-12% saturated fat. Olive oil is around 14% saturated fat. The AHA is now recommending that Americans reduce the percentage of saturated fat in their diet to below 10%, if not below 7% (for those at risk, which is just about everyone is America). I think below 5% is optimal.
So, Olive oil = 14%
American Diet = 12%
AHA = 7-10%
Optimal = < 5%
How much of something 14% Saturated fat, can you add to something that is already 12% saturated fat to get the total saturated fat below 10%? let alone below 7%, let alone below 5%?
By, the way, guess how many oils have a saturated fat level below 10%? let alone below 7%, let alone below 5%?
Can you please explain why oil even in small quantity is prohibited on reversal diet? Should we treat fat from oil equivalent to other fats or there is something beyond fat in an oil which is nutritionally dangerous?
We should treat oil for what it really is (junk food) and the same way we treat other foods in the same category.
Oil is junk food. Pure and simple. Treat it like the junk food it really is.
If you choose to include a small amount of junk food in your diet, that is up to you. I am sure most people, if they otherwise have an optimal diet, could get away with around 5% of their calories from junk food and not be harmed by it.
However, you would probably want to choose the junk food that is going to do the least harm and has the best overall picture But, I am not going to recommend one, or try to figure out which is the best junk food for you.
Jeff Novick, MS, RD
PS, OK, I will. The only oil, that comes close to the criteria I mentioned is canola oil. It is the lowest in saturated fat, one of the highest in omega 3s and the only one with a ratio of omega 6: omega 3 that is less than 4:1. Now, to be clear, I am not recommending you consume canola oil, but in comparison to all other oils, I think it has the best overall picture.