Let’s talk oil! A debated subject online it seems. Some people are for it and others against…. me, I’m neutral.
Oil gets an incredibly bad rep when really it isn’t so bad. First off, it is not necessary to consume. Oil isn’t something you *have to* eat, however in moderation it is fine to eat. It won’t harm you if you eat it in moderation and it won’t harm you if you don’t eat it.
The important thing however is to get your essential fatty acids i.e omega 3 and omega 6 everyday, and certain oils can help with with. For example walnut oil or flaxseed oil are a source of omega 3 and rapeseed oil is a source of omega 6. Also olive oil has antioxidants which can help against oxidative stress! Not to mention that oil helps with taste and texture when cooking and can keep food from sticking and burning on the frying pan if you don’t have a nonstick pan.
It seems that most arguments against oils are based on that 1) Oil is pretty much 99,9% fat and some vitamin E and K and some antioxidants, 2) it is a dense energy source which in todays society most people need less of, 3) it can clog your arteries HOWEVER it is too much saturated fat which can have negative effect on your cardiovascular health, i.e too much butter, lard, cream, cheese, palm oil. If you use unsaturated fats such as vegetable oils – olive oil, rapeseed oil, sunflower oil it doesn’t have the same effect. But once again, it is all about moderation and having a balance in your fat intake. Just because you eat butter on your sandwich doesn’t mean you will end up with heart disease just like you won’t end up with heart disease if you fry your food in oil. However if you eat deep fried food daily as well as consume alot of trans and saturated fats, then the risk will increase… but you have to remember that it is about a balance. The recommendation for saturated fat (in the nordic countries) is at MAX10E% i.e (say you eat around 2000kcal daily, that would be 200kcal of saturated fat i.e around 22g saturated fat around 3 tablespoons butter (80% fat) a day.) However somedays you may eat more saturated fats and other days less… it’s the balance. And NO… you don’t have to sit and count your calories and fat intake, if you are very worried go to a dietician so that you don’t have to end up getting caught in numbers and feel like you have to track your calories to stay healthy. Just an overall balance in your intake. You need carbs, protein, fat, fiber and all your vitamins and minerals everyday. Somedays you may eat more of certain food and other days less of certain food groups, its ok. Remember that when it comes to illnesses it can be due to genetics and risk in the family genes, lifestyle based and 3) due to certain habits/diet over a long time.
So…. yes oil has more calories per gram than carbohydrates or protein but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. Infact or you are struggling to gain or maintain weight, then adding oil can help with that. But even if you just want to stay the same weight or lose weight you can still consume oil – in moderation of course! Deep frying food may not be the best for anyone, but using some to fry your food or add to roast veggies or potatoes isn’t something to worry about.
Use oil if you want. Don’t use oil if you don’t want to. But don’t be scared of it!!!