Why Olive Oil Is Not As Healthy As You Think

Written by Kate Murray

Let's talk about oil, the biggest culprit in our industrialized food chain, since some folks still believe that sautéing in olive oil is a healthful way to cook.

Sometimes I think this widespread misunderstanding is actually fueled by lazy journalism, which seems to be the biggest source of misinformation about food for the average American.

Did you know that two tablespoons of olive oil has more than three times the saturated fat of a 4-ounce chicken breast?

Olive oil is a mono-saturated fat, and the omega-3 to omega-6 ratio is so far off in one tablespoon, it actually negates any potential benefit. To boot, that one tablespoon also contains 120 calories and 14% saturated fat.

Yes, the human body does need healthful fatty acids for brain development, mental stability, and cell regeneration, but the fatty acids must come from naturally occurring sources such as nuts, seeds, or avocados, not refined oils.

Vegetable oils, including sunflower, safflower, and yes, olive oil, are typically refined under heat and pressure. This process of partial hydrogenation is what changes the molecular structure of the oil, damages the omega-3 fats, and produces eruct acid and trans-fats during this refining process.

Sometimes we refer to these as the free radicals, and they're absolutely devastating to our health. There have been countless epidemiological studies over the last 20 years suggesting that coronary heart disease can be prevented, arrested, and even reversed by maintaining total serum cholesterol levels below 150mg/dL.

Translation? When we hear the term processed foods, we automatically think of spam, hot dogs, or the cheese sold in individually wrapped cellophane paper. People don't often think of oil as a processed food, but it is.

So what's the solution?

Eat food that sustains you. Pure and simple. For a viable alternative, try sautéing your vegetables in Braggs, vegetable broth, or water instead. Your heart will thank you. For more wellness inspiration and plant-based recipes, visit: my blog.

Ready to learn how to fight inflammation and address autoimmune disease through the power of food? Join our 5-Day Inflammation Video Summit with mindbodygreen’s top doctors.

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