Updated: Apr 22
It all started back in 2016 when I decided to get back in shape. After practicing diets and worrying about the figure, I had managed to forget the most important thing of all - my physical condition. I decided to get back in shape first before changing anything in my diet. After sweating my butt off, I realized that my body deserves much more than just junk food. In this article, I'll share my experience on how is it to live without cooking oil!
Is Cooking Without Oil Healthy?
By cooking oil I mean both kinds - synthetic oils like canola and even all the "healthy" types like coconut or olive oils. So when it comes to cooking, no oils are being used in my kitchen.
And even though oils like avocado or coconut are considered to be rich in nutrients, all oils have the risk of heating up.
When the oil starts to smoke, it starts to lose its nutrients, harms the flavor, and release free radicals which are bad for us. Meanwhile, all other oils which have a high smoke point like canola oil usually have high amounts of trans fats too.
The time when trans fats are the most harmful to our health is when they're artificially made (here I mean hydrogenated oils for preservation).
You see, trans fats increase the risk of heart disease, develop type 2 diabetes and raise our cholesterol (1). Sadly, the chances are - every time you eat out, they feed you with trans fats because such oils are much cheaper and last longer.
I came to a point when it was time to seek new ways of cooking. For me, it was purely experimental but the more time passed, the more I got used to cooking without oil.
Best Way to Cook Without Oil
There are many alternatives to cooking without oil. From my experience, I learned to cook everything in water but there are also:
Cooking without oil in stainless steel that's non-toxic (nonstick pans);
Cooking without oil in plain greek yogurt;
And then there's always the oven.
As I said before, I mostly use water, veggie broth, soy sauce or any other liquid. The truth is, most foods contain fats anyway so when we "boil/fry" meat, the fats flow out. Then the meat is cooking in its own juice and there's no need for any oil present.
Sadly, the chances are - every time you eat out, they feed you with trans fats because such oils are much cheaper and last longer.
Foods that are high in protein like eggs might cause a bit of a challenge if you cook them in water simply because it will burn.
In such cases, I recommend using clarified butter called ghee which can handle high temperatures without becoming damaged (2). It's also suitable for all who's practicing keto.
Cooking Without Oil Benefits:
You have higher control over your weight as you eat less calorie-dense foods;
Cooking without oil improves digestion (faster nutrient breakdown). Read more on metabolism boosters Here;
All of a sudden the food also tastes better, fresher than before.
Cooking Without Oil Cons:
I can't really cook meatballs or pancakes so the cooking can become limited;
You might burn the food and/or under-cook it;
It's also more time-consuming;
You might miss out on the health benefits that some oils bring along (like olive oil fights inflammation while groundnut oil is a great source of Vitamin E).
Important to Keep in Mind When Cooking Without Oil
If you do change your cooking style and choose to cook without cooking oil then make sure to include enough fats in your diet. Dietitians recommend that ~30% of your daily calorie intake should come from fats (3).
Good alternatives for getting your recommended fat intake is eating foods like avocado, nuts, fish, chia seeds.
Please do your due diligence first before cutting out all oils entirely. If you consider your diet to be well-balanced then cooking without oil might be suitable for you too!
Here at Positive Fit, we share the #PositiveFitness mentality! It means that at the end of the day, all approaches to fitness work - it's just a matter of finding what works best for you! Check Out our Workout Apps Page to find a fitness app that best fits your needs!
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