Like many of you, I used to buy only “healthy” oils, such as avocado oil, olive oil, coconut oil, non-GMO canola oil or grapeseed oil. In my mind, I thought this was a better choice than other oils on the market. Well, that’s really not the case. There is no healthy oil.
Back in March of 2016 I went on a vegan cruise and attended one of the lectures given by Dr. Michael Klaper called From Operating Table to Dining Room Table (you can see it here). He showed a video of hamster’s blood flow after a healthy plant-based meal. The blood was flowing like water throughout the veins. Then, they fed a hamster with a high-fat meal and immediately hamster’s blood flow was moving slow like lava. Dr. Klaper pointed out that after eating a fatty meal it takes 10 hours just for your blood flow to get back to normal. 10 hours! There is no way around this, oils will clog your arteries and create plaque. Oils are processed food that is high in fat and they lack nutrition. People often say well olive oil is very healthy. Yes, olives are healthy, when you eat them in their true natural form, but once they are highly processed you are just putting empty calories and 100% fat into your body. So if you want to add “healthy oils” into your diet, eat them in their natural form. I would highly recommend that you do some research on oils. There are many accredited doctors that support and encourage oil free diet. Here are some great videos that I would suggest for you to watch and articles to read on oils:
Dr. Michael Klaper: Olive Oil Is Not Healthy
Dr. Michael Greger: Does Coconut Oil Clog Arteries?
Dr. Michael Greger: Is Coconut Oil Good For You?
Dr. John Mcdougall: Why Do You Avoid Adding Vegetable Oils?
Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn: No Oil – Not Even Olive Oil!
So with that said, how do you cook without oil?
I asked myself that same question when I started to eliminate oils out of my diet. Don’t get discouraged. There are many ways that you can cook without oil. Not hard at all. Here are some tips to help you with it.
First of all, you need to have good non-stick pans and pots to be able to sauté without any oil. I would suggest avoiding Teflon completely. There is other cookware that you can find that is Teflon free. For example, ceramic cookware or enamel coated cast iron. For baking, parchment paper will be your best friend. Just line your baking pans with parchment paper and you are good to go.
Sautéing or Stir-frying
There are two ways that you can sauté or stir-fry your vegetables. Dry sauté or sauté with water. Dry sautéing or dry stir-frying is when you add vegetables to your pan without any water or oil and cook them on low-medium heat, stirring often until veggies are browned. I usually add onions first, because they contain water which releases during cooking, then add other veggies to it. Sautéing with water is very easy too. Just add 2-3 tablespoons of water at a time to your veggies until they are cooked. Always make sure you stir to avoid burning or sticking to the pan. That’s it! It’s that simple.
Balsamic vinegar is a great substitute for oil when roasting vegetables. I use balsamic vinegar and balsamic reduction when roasting. Another alternative is lemon juice or just some water mixed with herbs.
If a recipe calls for oil just substitute it with applesauce, mashed bananas or any other fruit puree. The ratio is one to one. For example, 1 cup of fruit puree would substitute 1 cup of oil. Raw nut butter is also a great substitution for baking.
Deep frying, well baking it is your alternative. Just bread your veggies as you usually would and place them on lined baking sheet with parchment paper and bake them.
Sauces and Salad Dressings
I make my own and don’t add any oils to it. For sauces, you can puree any vegetables or use plant based milk. As for salad dressings, I use mostly apple cider vinegar, lemon or balsamic vinegar. Experiment, there are many ways that you can make sauces and salad dressings without any oil. Nowadays you can also find in many grocery stores oil-free options.
I know that sometimes it’s hard to avoid oils, especially when eating out or at friends and family gatherings. Most likely the food you get will have some oil in it. When I eat out, I try to pick the healthiest option on the menu. If I order a salad, I ask a waiter/waitress to put the dressing on the side, or instead of any dressing, I ask for lemon. Some restaurants have oil and vinegar as a dressing, just ask them to give you some vinegar. Avoid greasy and fried foods. When attending family or friends gatherings, be prepared. Bring a dish that you can eat and share with others. I also know that some recipes are hard to make without oil, for example, certain desserts. I tried to substitute oil for mashed fruit, and it just doesn’t work as well. All I can say is do your best to avoid oil as much and as often as you can.