Is a low oils diet the same as low fat? - Healthy Eating

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Is a low oils diet the same as low fat?

andyswarbs profile image

I sometimes see articles advocating low-fat alternatives such as low-fat milk, yoghurt. My whole food plant based approach which emphasises a low-oils approach would not recommend foods that have such "reduced" fats in them. These reduced fat products are still processed, and as with many on this forum of all complexions processed foods are not recommended in whatever form.

The low oils component of a plant based dietary approach is about reducing intake of all refined oils including spreads, sunflower, olive oil, and even the extra-virgin varieties. It even excludes things like high-end oils such as coconut, walnut, flax seed oil. And yes it excludes fish oils. Whatever oil it is, it is out.

The reason for this is in two parts. Firstly the refining process removes almost all of any nutritional value, leaving the highest calorific foodstuff on the planet. The second is the consistent research showing how oils are inflammatory to the human body.

For anyone interested in removing oils from their diet, I recommend to migrate slowly. There are new cooking methods to learn. And unless you have specific health challenges then slow adoption is best.

14 Replies

I enjoy unrefined oils in my diet, including avocado, nuts & seeds, & olives, which contain natural anti-inflammatory oils including omega 3. I find these helpful for my present health conditions & as preventative measure for those I may develop.

I would recommend avoiding anything that is supposed to contain fat that's sold as a low fat version as they're not natural. These food-like substances contain processed often artificial substitutes such as thickening agents or sweeteners to supposedly improve the taste or texture of a food that's been altered, & dupe people into thinking they've bought real food. I'm amazed so many people fall for the advertising!

My friend is on a strict anti inflammatory diet for her body, through a qualified practitioner, she is allowed, olive oill, avacardo oil, flax seed oil, walnut oil, coconut oil.

She is also allowed to eat chicken(breast only), turkey, cod, halibut, lamb, Pollock, salmon, trout to.

She is like me, we listen to our own bodies as to what it sees as good or bad and work with qualified practitioners.

If anyone wants to remove anything from their diet its best to see a qualified practitioner who actually tests you, & then gives you a diet/healing plan

BadHare profile image
BadHare in reply to xOceanx

andyswarbs went through a very lengthy process to find the diet that suits him best, & he seems to have cracked it with regard to remaining symptom free.

I'd personally not pay anyone to do what I'm able to myself, & am informed enough to know what to add & what to remove. It can be just as lengthy to experiment with what may or may not work for us without paying someone to tell us. Every person & practitioner has their own bias with regard to food tolerance, let alone preference & availability!

I like what Chris Kresser & Mark Hyman have to say with regard to eating unadulterated/clean food. However, both are pro-paleo & I'm vegetarian, so I work around my boundaries. :)

andyswarbs profile image
andyswarbs in reply to xOceanx

I consulted a registered dietitian on several occasions. She recommended a Mediterranean diet with fish and "quality" oils. I heeded some of that advice but began to be suspicions when I came across research linking fats & oils to inflammation.

Whatever I still consumed oils for some months, possibly five, I guess. This was leading up to summer 2016. At the end of beginning of September I found my recover was stalled and simply I could not progress. That month or so was very painful and I had to dig very deep and re-evaluate every food that was going into my mouth. By the beginning of October I had my last oil and as if by magic my health started to improve again.

I say improve, because when recovering from being in a wheelchair with rheumatoid arthritis it is a long slow hill climb with a narrow path, go either side of the path and that fall is steep and quick.

Whatever I decided that was my moment to give up oils and I did. So out of the window went one of my only treats, dark 70% chocolate. And in general I had to rethink what it meant to cook food.

So lots of practical problems, not least of which was explaining to my wife what I was about.

By the end of October, well October 18th 2016 I was well enough to drive to my first Bikram yoga class. I was frightened that when I got to the car park I would not find a space close enough to the yoga studio. I hobbled in and have never looked back.

I now consume small amounts of oil when I am out at a restaurant and there is no other choice.

But at home, then I am in control. I still have next to the cooker a half-used bottle of sunflower oil, a bottle of extra virgin olive oil, and a jar of coconut oil. They remain as they were in September 2016. They are reminders to me how far I have come, and the hard work I put in to listen to my body.

By January 2017 my inflammation marker showed normal and my doctor was recommending I phase out my methotrexate and related arthritis drugs. My last tablet was July 2017. My inflammation markers stay normal to this day.

in reply to andyswarbs

Inflammation markers don't mean much in some people. Mine never goes up. Inflammation is often in the tissues, "evidence" isn't floating around in the blood especially if you are eating "clean" without any rubbish. Drs use it because it's convenient/cheap tool. If you are reacting to so many food groups that much, your GI must be affected. Mine certainly is and seems to get worse. In certain conditions, inflammation never stops and is progressive.

andyswarbs profile image
andyswarbs in reply to

You are certainly right that variability / sensitivity of inflammation markers varies across people. I am taking about C-reactive protein which some people find intolerable when it goes over, say, 20. Mine at its worst was around 177. Whether my pain at the time was more or less than someone else's we shall never know. This is why phrases such as "taking 20 minutes to walk from bed to bathroom," a walk that now takes me 10 seconds give a clearer picture.

Interesting that you think my GI is affected, by which I assume you mean gastro-intestinal rather than glucose index. Certainly I cannot eat foods that I used to, now I consider myself allergic to them. That said my recovery process (largely over a year Apr16 to Apr17) was spent on healing my gut biome. A key moment was being able to eat (non-GF) oats again. As well as providing slow-release energy oats are such a cleansing food for the gut. Another step change in improvement was coming of my meds.

suramo profile image
suramoStar in reply to xOceanx

Also ghee, palm kernel oil, mct, mustard oil. Evoo is better as dressing and also for cooking.

Turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, garlic also good.

your choice.

If you had severe RA, you could have had the much better treatment options, good enough to keep enjoying food you once loved. But, your belief system is different (clearly). Us, autoimmuners are not quite the same as average peeps. Autoimmune diseases affect us sometimes profoundly, especially in your case, you had some grief over the loss etc. we all go mad after having had beyond what can take. Maybe, your strategy is to heal yourself. RA is very tricky, it attacks anything, not just your hips.

andyswarbs profile image
andyswarbs in reply to

According to my doctors, arthritis attacked most every joint in my body -and that was in 1976. I have not knelt down since - until after 4 months of daily yoga in early 2017 I said to myself **** it and dared to get onto my knees for the first time. It is now a year and a half of yoga on most days and I am getting closer to kneeling comfortably on my haunches. This is a journey. It ain't easy, some days I hate that yoga studio, there are times I have felt in such pain. But I am improving, albeit very slowly.

in reply to andyswarbs

i have read somewhere that you no longer on any medicine and through your new diet you was pain free?

andyswarbs profile image
andyswarbs in reply to

I still get reactions to foods that I accidentally eat. For instance I had a pizza from Prezzo. Unfortunately most of their pizza dough has egg in it. The waiter/ress did not alert me to this. Six hours later the pain started and it took two weeks to recover.

Also as my health has returned I have challenged my body with a wider range of foods. Some of these have not had good outcomes. So now I avoid peanuts, cashews and soya. That is unfortunate because cashews are a great cream alternative. Peanuts make a great nut roast. Soya sauce isn't a problem since I use tamari sauce at home, but it becomes a high risk away visiting friends etc.

in reply to andyswarbs

But at least you can eat high carbs without adverse reactions. Can you eat any fruits? Or was it a silly question?

in reply to

i know of a many people who have RA and Gout and still eat beef and lamb sometimes. theres a lot of fruits and vegetables that react to RA and Gout.

i suppose at the end of the day we are all different on how we handle a bit of pain.

i cant believe that someone would go to such an extreme measure as andyswarbs has if he/she was not in severe pain.

you are right in there been better options.

in reply to

That is so true.

I find that fruits are one of the worst. You got the point/great observation. Some of us do have "special dietary needs" beyond JUST "healthy choice". Some say, "oh, garlic is wonderful, healthy for you, oh, try this, this magazine said it's great" etc. These comments are often well-meaning and benevolent. My gut reacts badly to some of these healthy foods as you aptly commented.

I know one lady in her late 60s (who actively posts on HU, in fact, an activist), she hardly eats any veggies/fruits, not because she doesn't want to. She/her GI can no longer manage the high fructose/acidity in fruits and high fibre in veggies. She's slim and is active as much as she can be. I was quite shocked by her restricted "diet" but it goes to show nothing lasts forever. I didn't realise how much more I could still eat, compared to her. It was also very interesting to read what Andy went through. I thought I was alone in this.

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