Nutrition Facts About Oil

Nutrition Facts About Oil

Eating a Whole Food Plant Based diet (WFPB for short) is the magic elixir of life, like an old friend you can laugh with, like a snow-day, quitting your job, winning the lottery. There are lots of reasons why eating a Whole Food Plant Based diet is the healthiest way of eating, and one of the reasons is because people who stick to a WFPB diet don’t consume processed oil. That includes olive and coconut oil.  This really freaks people out. I get it, but you will too, after you learn about the nutrition facts about oil. 

We’ve spent our lives hearing about how healthy olive oil is and how coconut oil could cure just about anything. 

Here’s the thing — oil is not necessary for cooking really delicious food. It takes some getting used to, but water-frying is delicious, and much easier to clean up than oil. You don’t need oil to saute onions, make pasta, or cook bean burgers. Trust me on this.

Some surprising facts about oil

  • Oil has the same number of calories as beef fat, gram-for-gram.
  • There’s 14 grams of fat and 120 calories in one tablespoon of oil.
  • Lard is 40% saturated fat; coconut oil is 90%.
  • You’d have to jog about 1.5 miles to burn off 1 tablespoon of oil.
  • And the worst: Arteries stiffen and their ability to dilate is impaired within HOURS of ingesting oil.

The doctors and scientists who have been studying and practicing nutrition based science for decades, suggest skipping oil completely. My favorite docs, Dr. Michael Greger, Dr. Joel Fuhrman and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, all agree that oil is too overly processed, making the ratio of calories to nutrients a very poor choice of fat.  

Plant-strong is not fat-free

The key thing to remember is that a plant-strong diet doesn’t mean a fat-free diet. We can easily get healthy fats from nuts, seeds and avocado, and we get the added bonus of fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Our bodies need dietary fat to be able to function properly, and lucky for us, plants have all we need! Did you know that broccoli, kale, quinoa, and beans have small amounts of fat?

<<< Here’s a great recipe for Glazed Vegan Carrot Cake >>>

Let’s clear up some confusion

OlivesAvoiding oil seems weird. We’re avoiding animal products, white flours and sugar, and now oil…? Taking your healthy eating to the next level requires practice, learning, adapting, experimenting and revising, until it becomes part of your routine.

So the next thing to experiment with is taking oil off your shopping list, which is a healthy thing to do in your plant-based journey!

Foods that keep our bodies healthy and lean are whole plant foods as close to their natural state as possible.  WFPB diets keep us energized and free of disease. Whole plant foods boost our immune system, and supply the body with lots of antioxidants.

They have anti-inflammatory powers, and the chemical structure of plants that offer such powerful protection against the harmful free radicals that cause cell damage.

You can still deep-fry without oil using an air fryer. A miracle! 

Highly processed

Oil, even olive oil and coconut oil, are considered highly processed foods. That’s why oil isn’t included in the WFPB diet. The original structure of the plant is compromised when turning a whole plant food into an oil form, (for example, olives into olive oil), and what’s left is a high fat, calorie-dense, nutrient-void ingredient with NO fiber and barely any trace of the original, beneficial nutrients from the original whole-plant food.

Bottom line is that avoiding oil will avoid illness and disease, and will easily reduce the amount of fat particles gunked up inside your cells. Eating a Whole Foods Plant Based diet and learning the nutrition facts about oil, means that you don’t need to count carbs, calories, or protein.

You don’t need to eat on a schedule, weigh food or count points. You are able to get in tune with your body, eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full.  No one said it would be easy. It’s a transition, and it may take a month, it may take a year.  But when you start shedding pounds, exhaustion, illness and possibly your medications, you’ll see that the nutrition facts about oil prove that oil is no longer serving you and your healthy bod…!

Come on over to my next post about stocking your plant-strong pantry…!

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26 thoughts on “Nutrition Facts About Oil”

  • Hello Amy,

    Your article is filled with great tips and tricks. This list is really very helpful and I also appreciate the guide of the “dirty dozen and clean fifteen”. I aim for buying organic food whenever possible. Fortunately, there are more and more possibilities to buy organic food also in regular stores.

    What about lentils? When visiting restaurants or when traveling abroad I love to eat a salad with lentils. I have never tried to use them myself. Having to soak them for a long time before being able to eat them, does not appeal to me. Do you have a special trick?

    The Forks Meal Planner seems to be a great option to me – all that makes life easier is very much appreciated! Have to check it out. Thanks for sharing this !!


    • Hi Pernilla! Lentils are a great option, and I don’t have time to let them soak, so I buy them in a can, organic, of course. Just pop it open and done…! I like to drain the liquid out and rinse them off, just to be sure, but it can’t get any more convenient than that. The Forks Meal Planner is a great option, as it makes everything so easy — no need to stress over meal planning. Let me know how you like it! /a.

  • What an eye-opening article! I have always used oil in my cooking and to hear it may be bad for you in the long run is surprising. I use avocado oil in my cooking as it has a high cooking point and olive oil in my salads. Does this article account for the processing methods of the oils you mentioned? Or is ALL oil, even if organic, raw and unprocessed is bad for you? Thanks for the interesting read.

    • Hi Theresa! I have always used oil in my cooking as well, but after reading so many articles about how oil is just fat, I have learned to do with less and less. I don’t think that it matters how it was processed — oil is oil, and if it is cold-pressed or not, it is still oil, and that translates to artery-clogging fat. Having said that, a little spritz here and there over grilled or roasted veggies, can’t hurt. Just don’t pout it into your fry pan…! Water frying is just as delicious! Thanks for writing!

  • Good informafion.. Oil is the basic in our foods but as mentioned in the post it also has high calorie and concists more fat than few other products.. Air fryers are a good option but according to me we can substitute to olive oil is more better option…

  • Wow!… ok so I usually use butter to fry up eggs or saute onions and olive oil when cooking meats in the oven.
    Also, would that mean that olive oil in salads is bad for you or only when fried/cooked?

    • Hi Agnes— so olive oil or any oil isn’t healthy in salads or anything. Having said that, a little bit here and there is okay… but overall the school of thought is no oil at all.
      You’d be amazed at how delicious foods taste when not covered in oil. There are lots of oil-free dressings out there that are delicious!

  • I just bookmarked your page. Great information!
    Regarding the hot air fryers, we started out with the T-Fal fryer but that rotating arm inside beat the heck out of any coated foods. It worked good on frys and stir-frys good though. Now we have a Kuraidori and love it.

  • Great information I have been considering buying an air fryer because I am hugely guilty of eating fried foods. I learned some interesting facts thru your site. Thank You

  • This one is going to be hard for me. I am strictly an olive oil user and I only fry foods on occasion, barely once every couple of weeks. I mainly use it to cook pasta dishes and dressings for salads. It took me two years to cut out the fatty, creamy dressings, now I have to cut out the oils as well? Oh, the agony! All in all, a well-written article that will have me over-analyzing for the rest of the day.

    • Hi William! Definitely try the air fryer that I reference in my article. It’s amazing because everything comes out just as crispy — without oil…!
      Thanks for writing!

  • Wow what an eye-opening article! My wife and I used to cook with vegetable oil, and we switched to cooking with coconut oil this year because we actually thought that it was the healthy thing to do…I guess you learn something new every day.

    I will certainly show my wife your article tonight, I am sure that she will be as surprised as I was. I mean everyone who’s healthy even swears by cooking with olive oil too.

    I’m happy to say that we will be switching some things around in our diets because of your post lol

    All the best!

    -Mike Duhamel

    • Hi Mike and thanks for writing! You may want to check out Dr. Esselstyn’s blog and videos. He has done extensive research on the Whole Foods plant based diet without oil. Also check out the book, The China Study — pretty amazing and groundbreaking info about nutrition. Thanks!

  • This is the first time that I learn about WFPB diet. It is very interesting to know how much oil can affect your health, even olive oil. We use a lot of olive oil, now I must reconsider knowing how much oil contributing to the well being of our body. The scariest thing is to learn how quickly oil affects your arteries within an hour of digesting.

  • Great article, when I was reading your article I was thing whaaat? how is that possible cooking without oil, I use coconut oil for my cooking I was told it’s one of the best oils to cook with, but now I’m thinking I will try no oil for a week, maybe sometime soon invest in a air fryer.

  • What a great post, whilst my diet is generally healthy and I don’t use a lot of oil, I suppose I haven’t really thought too much about it. Thanks to you, I will now try oil free completely and see how it goes. Thanks

  • I found this article very interesting. I didn’t realise olive oil was actually bad for you. As you said, we are told oh so much that it is the healthiest oil to cook with etc. Thank you for this information. I will think twice before purchasing olive oil now!

  • Great information! I recently started using an air fryer and am amazed at how many foods can come out crispy and delicious without the use of oil! It’s also so easy to use. My air fryer is really helping my husband and I on our weight loss journey.

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