Cholesterol is bad. This phrase is accepted as a universal truth, and although there are quite a few details that must be mentioned to make it correct, the gist of it is indeed right. If you look at the matter this way, switching to an oil-free vegan diet seems to be a wise choice as oils are fat, which is cholesterol, which is a source of many health issues.
However, before you commit yourself to such a drastic change in your cooking methods, you must understand both the advantages and disadvantages of this choice.
Oil-Free Vegan Diet: Pros and Cons
Removing oils from your diet won’t be easy, even if you plan to go raw. Cooking oils are a major part of our life, and they are integrated in our kitchens so deeply that most people don’t realize just how much they matter.
Removing them from your food list can be a shocking change for your taste buds. This is a definite con, especially if you aren’t into 100% healthy eating that eliminates frying completely.
Culinary challenges are another disadvantage, especially if you are fond of baking as the majority of recipes call for some kind of oil. This kind of ingredient is irreplaceable in many cases, so you’ll have to build up your culinary arsenal from scratch. You will also need to develop a liking for new dishes, and old dishes that taste differently without oils. This is sure to take some time.
Another consideration that can be counted as a con is the changes to the tech in your kitchen. Unless you are switching to a raw food diet, you’ll have to invest in oil-free cooking appliances, such as a steam-cooker. You would also need to take your grocery budget into account as a change in recipes can ruin your careful plans.
However, despite these cons, choosing an oil-free vegan diet can be a great idea, because it benefits your health. Main reasons to drop oils from your meals include:
- Going oil-free reduces the amount of fat in your diet greatly.
There are some ‘good’ oils, such as coconut, sesame, or nut oil, but all of them contain lots of fats. We need ‘good’ fats as our bodies require them to function properly, so eating oils in moderation isn’t exactly bad. However, we can get quite enough of these ‘good’ fats from a well-balanced diet that doesn’t include any cooking oils. This means that those substances give you extra fats, and no matter how ‘good’ they are, an excess of an element is never a good thing.
- Oils are usually lacking in nutrients.
Despite to the claims of how olive or nut oils are packed with nutrients, people often forget that the process of their manufacture destroys most of those. In theory, oils derived from these plants really can retain valuable vitamins and minerals, but in reality, they are stripped away so there is only a ghost of the benefits left. Raw, cold-pressed, minimally processed oils are the healthiest, but they don’t keep well if they are truly good.
- Relying on oils for nutrients can lead to dietary miscalculations.
A well-balanced diet is vital for your health, but you can’t really calculate how many nutrients you get from cooking oils. Just think back on how you plan your meals. Most likely, you are thinking them through the prism of an oil-free vegan diet by default, so all the elements (good and bad) you get from oils are unnecessary extras.
- Cooking with oils distorts the taste of foods.
Removing these substances from your diet is sure to make a massive change. It can be good, because you would be able to discover new flavors and develop creative ways to enjoy your food.
How to Switch to an Oil-Free Vegan Diet
If you already know how to go vegan, you would be able to apply the same principles to this new level of dietary change. In case you are dropping meats and oils at the same time, you’ll have to do this gradually.
The most important thing to succeed with this kind of personal project is to keep a tight reign on your motivation and remind yourself why exactly you are doing this. Don’t be too hard on yourself and let your body enjoy some non-vegan meals on occasion. This would make the change less stressful on your body and allow it to adjust to the new diet better.
In regards to going oil-free, remember to up the spices and research interesting recipes for sauces and seasonings. This way, you’ll satisfy your taste buds, so getting used to the new dishes would be easier.
To keep the flavors of herbs strong, especially when you are using them fresh, add them at the very end of the cooking process. The fragrance and taste of spices deteriorate with heat, so they less time they are exposed to it, the better.