Photographed by Ashley Arpel Greenwald
Living an SOS-Free Life — Cutting Out Oil
Hello curious readers! Welcome to the second installment of a three-part series on how to live SOS-free!
Together, we’re talking about how to cut added salts, oils, and sugars out of your diet — and all of the benefits that come with this amazing lifestyle!
Today I’m going to discuss the “O” in the equation: oil!
But Eydie, you might ask, how can I live without oil? It’s in everything! And don’t I need it for my skin and hair?
Not to worry! I’m here to give you the scoop on why added oil is bad news, and how you can start making delicious dishes without it.
What’s the Problem with Oil?
We all know that too much oil isn’t great for us, but many people are unaware that ingesting all types of oils are really unhealthy. Oil is 100% fat, which means it’s the most calorie-dense food in existence, weighing in at 4,000 calories a pound!
The idea that olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, or other so-called “natural” oils are healthy is a complete myth!
All oils — regardless of what they’re made of — are concentrated fat. They clock in at around 120 calories per tablespoon, which means that the “healthy” low calorie salad you think you’re eating could have anywhere from 360-480 extra calories coming from the vinaigrette, alone!
Also, oil doesn’t contain any fiber or water to help us feel full, making it so easy to overeat fatty foods and gain weight!
Oil clogs our arteries! As it enters the blood, it damages blood vessels, slows circulation, and forms plaque, which can lead to heart disease the number one killer of Americans).
In fact, just one high-fat meal has been shown to lead to chest pain. Our poor hearts!
Here is how it works: The lining of our blood vessels produce a miracle molecule called nitric oxide. Normally, the fast moving blood within our blood vessels is able to pick up the nitric oxide molecules and send them to all of the organs and tissues in our body, repairing and regenerating them. That’s how we stay healthy. However, fat slows down the blood, preventing nitric oxide from reaching our tissues and organs. Pretty sad, right?
Healthy Fats in Moderation
Healthy fats are an important part of our diets — but always in moderation!
Only around 10% of calories should come from healthy fats like avocado, nuts, tofu, and seeds.
Research has shown that any amount of trans fats (mostly derived from junk food and animal products), saturated fat ( mostly derived from dairy products, meat and chicken) and cholesterol ( mostly derived from eggs, cheese, organ meats, sardines and shellfish) is bad for you.
Read those labels people!
The vast majority of our calories should come from healthy, complex carbohydrates like fruits and vegetables, potatoes and yams, whole grains, beans and legumes.
Cooking Without Oils
For many people, cooking without oil seems impossible. After all, most recipes call for oil of some kind or another — even if just to prime the pan or saute some veggies.
But, cutting out oil is easy once you’re armed with a few techniques!
In most cases, salt-free vegetable broth, water, and even chickpea liquid are amazing substitutes. Check out my recipe for Garden of Eydie House Vegetable stock! I like to make a batch and freeze it into ice cube trays for easy access.
Lemon or lime juice, orange juice, nut milks, and vinegar can also be added to many recipes in place of oils. Even creamy foods like mango and white beans add a wonderful “mouthful” to your dishes.
Some of my favorite recipes that utilize alternatives to oil include Cucumber, Dill, and Mustard Dressing; Quinoa Bread with Raisins & Rosemary; and Smoked White Bean Hummus. Try them and let me know what you think!
The more you cook this way, the more you’ll fall in love with an SOS-Free lifestyle — and the newfound energy, vitality, and joy that comes along with it! I promise!
And your pants may get a little looser, to boot!
Stay tuned for part three of this SOS-Free series, where I’ll talk about why you should avoid added sugar/sweeteners!
Just Plants, No Pills,