I’ve always believed and encouraged people to include healthy oils in their diets. I mean, that’s what all the experts say, right? Olive, coconut, avocado — you need these healthy fats in your diet. But after reading ]Eat to Live, a book by Joel Furman, MD, I felt compelled to give it a try.
Dr. Furman does believe we need healthy fats in our diet, but he thinks we should get them in the form of whole foods like avocado, nuts, and seeds. When you eat healthy fats in whole-food form, you get the added benefit of fiber, protein, and other nutrients. He says cooking with oil adds extra unnecessary calories — 120 per tablespoon for some oils. It may not seem like much, but I was using it every day — a couple tablespoons in my salad dressing, a couple tablespoons to roast veggies or in stir-fries, and a generous smear on toast (vegan butter). I also found oil hidden in foods I bought like tomato sauce and vegan meats, and I also used it in my baking, which I realized, really adds up.
I decided to give up oil for six weeks, as recommended in the Eat to Live Six-Week Plan. I always thought including oil in my diet made me feel better. But keep reading to learn about all the health benefits I experienced when I went oil-free that have made me want to cut down on my use of added oil as much as I can.