There is no single answer to this question. For the most part, there are conflicting views on the effect that dietary oils have on us. On one hand, we got studies that suggest that using oils that are rich in poly saturated fatty acids (PUFAs) helps in lowering heart risk. But if you are planning to stick to a plant-based diet then, you have to do away with these.
Is There Any Nutritional Value To Oil?
Oils have high caloric density, which essentially means that compared to other plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits and nuts, the amount of calories per pound of oil is significantly higher. Oils comprise of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, and a few other nutrients such as Vitamin E and K. The amount of saturated fats is different for different types of oil- coconut oil consists of 90% of the total fat content.
What Happens When You Consume Oil?
Foods that are high in fats, causes an intense reaction within the confines of the brain and the body. This can also point to the addictive quality of fried foods. The initial reaction from consuming oily foods is pleasure and happiness, but once the body leaves that ‘high’ your body becomes anything from good.
- The digestive enzymes such as the stomach acids, bile and others work considerably slower in breaking down fats. You feel bloated for longer.
- The endothelial function drops, which leads to the reduction in the blood flow for several hours
- The excess fats are converted to triglycerides and cholesterol and are stored in the body as a source of ‘future fuel’. Chances are that you are not in the forest hunting for food, and that ‘future fuel’ will remain exactly where it is.
- Consuming oils also do a round on healthy gut bacteria. It lowers the richness and diversity of the gut microbiome. This will cause an increase in free-radical production and increase the chances of inflammation. There is a snowballing effect, and this leads to DNA damage and depleting your body’s reservoir of anti-oxidants. This opens up your body for more health ailments down the line.
There is much to gain from using oils, but plenty to lose too. Moving away from oils and focusing on other means of cooking food is what is needed. There are plenty of ways in which you could go about doing that, and for the most part, it is healthier than and just as nourishing as regular cooking oil.