[WEEK FOUR – REFINED OILS + UNHEALTHY FATS]
This week, avoid all refined and hydrogenated oils.
This means reading all food labels and avoiding the following:
- Vegetable oil
- Cottonseed oil
- Soybean oil
- Corn oil
- Canola oil
- Sunflower oil
- Safflower oil
- Partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oils [trans fats]
Where you commonly find these oils:
- Store-bought chips, crackers, cookies, etc.
- Pre-made sauces and dips
- Salad dressings
- Frozen meals
- Store-bought soups
- Restaurants and fast food
HELPFUL TIPS FOR SWAPPING REFINED OILS FOR HEALTHY FATS:
- Avoid store-bought snack foods when possible
- Have healthy snacks on hand like: raw nuts and seeds, guacamole + veggies, fruit + nut butter, homemade muffins, avocados
- Eat out less
- Cook more at home using healthy fats like: unrefined coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, grass-fed butter and ghee
- Read all ingredient labels and avoid products that contain refined oils
- Make your own salad dressing using olive oil or avocado oil; or try these healthier store-bought versions: Tessemae’s® or Bragg’s®
- Remove any and all refined oils from your kitchen cabinets
- If you like baking, use melted coconut oil instead of vegetable oil in your recipes
Make no mistake, I want you to get fat in your diet, I just want to make sure you’re choosing healthy fats and avoiding the inflammatory and chronic disease promoting processed oils listed above. Fat can be a scary word for some. And sadly there are many people that still believe that dietary fat is what leads to excess body fat and poor health. While this might be true if you’re over consuming unhealthy refined oils, including plenty of healthy fat in your diet is incredibly important for overall health [and even weight loss if that’s your goal].
I’ll be the first to admit that completely eliminating refined oils from your diet is next to impossible, however, it is very possible to make a conscious effort to eat less unhealthy fats. It takes some dedication to label reading and cooking at home, but it is entirely worth it for your health!
Why are refined oils so bad for you?
Refined oils are highly processed and pro-inflammatory. Here are just a few steps of the oil refining process to be aware of which is what makes these oils so unhealthy for you:
- The seeds [sunflower, rapeseed, etc.] are gathered and crushed
- To start the oil extracting process, the crushed seed mixture is heated and pressed
- This mixture is then added to hexane gas where more oil is extracted [note here that hexane gas can be extremely toxic!]
- Next, the hexane-treated oil is separated from what is leftover of the seeds. The oil goes on to further processing and the seed leftovers get used in things like animal feed.
- The oil is put through additional refining processes including degumming, deodorizing and bleaching to mask/remove discoloration and odors that may still be present, i.e. the smell of hexane gas.
- What you have now is a cheaply made, highly processed and unstable oil that is used in most processed foods and even might still be in some of your kitchens.
It’s important to note that this refining process is essentially damaging the fats which creates very unstable oils that can go rancid quickly when exposed to heat, light and air. Rancid oils can cause damage to the body in the form of inflammation. And we know that inflammation is at the root of many chronic health conditions including: diabetes, arthritis, obesity, autoimmune diseases, etc.
On the bright side of things, include plenty of these healthy fats in your diet this week:
- Grass-fed butter or clarified butter [ghee]
- Unrefined coconut oil [my personal fave!]
- Avocado oil
- Raw nuts + seeds [and natural nut + seed butters]
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Grass-fed meats
- Grass-fed dairy [whole or 2% plain yogurt, milk, cheese]
- Supplement with a high quality fish oil [ask me if you need recommendations on a high quality brand!]
For even more information on fats, check out my free nutrition guide “5 Reasons to Eat More Fat.”
RECIPES WITH HEALTHY FATS –
GOOD LUCK THIS WEEK!
I want to see how you’re doing this week, so be sure to post pictures of your meals on Facebook or Instagram. Use the hashtag #fabulousyoufallchallenge or #nutritiouslyrooted. I can’t wait to see them!
Much love to you all! I sincerely thank you for being a part of the Nutritiously Rooted community
live happily + healthfully,
Foodie + Health Enthusiast