Misconceptions about Olive Oil

This is a direct copy from Dr Fuhrman’s “Eat to Live Cookbook” and shows up yet another myth perpetuated by vested interest and poor science.

Eat to Live Cookbook

“No oil should be considered a health food. All oil, including olive oil, is 100 percent fat and contains 120 calories per tablespoon. Oil is high in calories, low in nutrients, and contains no fibre. Add a few tablespoons of oil to your salad or vegetable dish and you’ve added hundreds of wasted calories. It is the perfect food to help you put on unwanted and unhealthful pounds.

Oil is a processed food. When oil is chemically extracted from a whole food (such as olives, nuts, or seeds), it leaves behind (loses) the vast majority of micronutrients and becomes a fragmented food that contains little more than empty calories.

Foods rich in monounsaturated fats, like olive oil, are less harmful than foods full of saturated fats and trans fats, but being less harmful does not make them “healthful”. The beneficial effects of the Mediterranean diet are not due to the consumption of olive oil; they are due to antioxidant-rich foods, including vegetables, fruits, and beans, as well as lots of onions and garlic. Eating a lot of any kind of oil means you’re eating a lot of empty calories, which leads to excess weight and can also lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and many forms of cancer.

You can add a little bit of olive oil to your diet if you are thin and exercise a lot. However, the more oil you add, the more you are lowering the nutrient-per-calorie density of your diet, and that is not your objective, as it will not promote health and longevity”

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8 Responses to Misconceptions about Olive Oil

  1. uberdish says:

    When I learned this in my plant-based nutrition course last year, I was floored! In my house, we were adding a drizzle of olive oil or coconut oil on our food (more so in the beginning as a butter replacement). Now, I use a lot less, as you can easily fry onions, etc., in water and make salad dressing without.

  2. Pingback: Easy Tex-Mex Brown Rice Salad | uberdish

  3. You can see why the average person is confused when it comes to things like this. Many studies: http://www.cpnc.dk/olive.pdf show the possible benefits of olive oil.

    Often these results can be interpreted in different ways – maybe whole olives would provide even better results than the olive oil? Results are also sometimes sensationalised (perhaps unintentionally) by the media. People will read in a magazine that olive oil is good for them, and it’s backed by a study so must be true…

    On the other hand, olive oil is as you said, pure concentrated fat, pretty void of nutrients.

    Although fat is important in the diet, we would do much better getting it in the whole unprocessed form, along with all the nutrients intended to accompany it – maybe by eating whole olives instead of olive oil…

    • Well said Hero. Anything that is highly processed surely becomes devoid of the full nutrient benefits that can be derived from the whole food. Hence the need to eat a largely Whole-Food, Plant Based diet to maximize health and minimize the chances of falling prey to most, if not all, of the common diseases usually attributed to the aging body.

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