April 4, 2022 10:24 PM


Have you ever thought about the oil you pour in your pan before you add the vegetables? What about the amount of oil you add to make your favorite salad dressing, or marinara sauce? We are so engrained to use oil liberally in all types of cooking and in cuisines, but we never really think about its nutritional make up.

Essentially, oil is the pure fat of a plant. No carbohydrates or proteins, it is the pure fat squeezed from the plant, leaving all the fiber, most minerals and health promoting phytochemicals behind. Additionally, when we think about the caloric breakdown of our macronutrients :

PROTEIN: 4 cal/gram


FAT: 9 cal/gram

it’s easy to see how adding this pure fat into the diet can very quickly add to weight gain. Not only that, oil is a hit to our endothelial cells that are responsible for making nitric oxide that helps our blood vessels expand and contract for smooth blood flow. Tightening those highways can easily lead to high blood pressure, and heart disease. (article)

A plant-based diet is not fat phobic! Boy oh boy! I can promise that it’s not! Fat is clearly a macronutrients we need and getting from plants in their full package is ideal. Nuts, seeds, avocados, olives, are all great sources of plants that have higher rations of fat and I say, bring it on! My point here is to begin thinking about oil and what health benefits that has for you. Clearly it is the most calorically dense food with little return on investment, it offers over twice the calories of its other two macros and in this day of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke all at a history high, even in our children, let’s think about where we are getting our calories and how they are serving us.

Here’s your challenge—> Toss the oil for 30 days. Don’t use it in your sauteing, baking or cooking. Look at your packaged goods and put away (toss??) the ones that have oil in them - they only add to empty calories.

Weigh/measure yourself on day 1 and as many times as you’d like in between day 30. Takes notes on your progress and how you are feeling. By making this one change, I bet you will feel a difference, especially if you are regularly using it.


  • Canola

  • Olive

  • Sesame

  • Vegetable

  • Corn

  • Avocado

  • Peanut

Just give it a try for one month.

So, how the heck do you saute without any oil? Here’s an explanation and a quick lesson of what we call a dry saute.

One last thing about oil. Remember, you are using it to coat the pan. It is becoming a buffer between your pan and the food. Similarly, it is also a buffer between your taste buds and your food. You think you are really tasting your food, but really, it’s muted by the layer of oil coating the food.

Interestingly, I was teaching a plant-based Italian cooking class years ago and a young couple (he was from Italy) attended. This was a hands on class and as they were looking for oil to add to the pan to ready their saute, I told them we don’t use oil and taught them how to dry saute. He thought I was nuts. After class we all sat around a large table and everyone talked about their recipes and we all shared in on the meal. When it was Mr. Italy’s turn he said it was one the best meals he ever had as he could actually TASTE the food! I promise you we never talked about that beforehand and I had several other students to attend to, so we never really got deep into this oil thing, and, truth be told, I thought I would have fought a losing battle with him being from Italy, so I let it go. I’m so happy I was wrong.

MORE INFORMATION:: For information on how adding oil to your diet can have damaging health benefits: (video) Why some studies say oil is beneficial

(article) Dr. Esselstyn, "Is Oil Healthy?"

(article) Dr. Esselstyn, "A Way to Prevent CAD"

All of Dr. Esselstyn's articles

no oil


no oil 2


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