The Plant-based Bear, obviously, is not a bear that needs, or is able, for that matter, to hibernate for the winter. But, when I looked at the site, and realized it’s been since October since I posted any updates, well, I had to make some pithy excuse!
The fact is, a lot has happened in my life over the last few months, and going out of my way to make tasty food and blog about it has been low on the agenda. Not to say that I didn’t continue to make tasty food, and I’ve still maintained my Plant-based Bear whole-foods-plant-based lifestyle.
But, like all changes that are for the better, some old habits can creep in. Like chocolate! I love chocolate. And, I found chocolate the contains no oil, no dairy, and is delicious. But, is it healthy? Well, probably not…
And, I love sourdough bread, with my healthy no-oil, plant-based butter. But is sourdough bread with butter and garlic salt regularly a totally healthy thing? Well, probably not…
So, while I haven’t put on any weight to speak of, and have maintained my lifestyle, it hasn’t been the source of much will, or content, or material.
So, let’s just pretend I’ve been hibernating, instead of ignoring you all completely. And, I’ll try to do better! And, I did make a FEW things. Pictures and posts to come, in the near future, I hope!
But, I’m sure you’re thinking, okay, but oil occurs naturally in many of the things you are eating, or by doing the “processing” to create the various recipes.
And you are correct! Simply blending up peanuts to make peanut butter does create some oil (especially if left to sit, unrefrigerated), or using tahini or coconut milk in things inherently adds oil. In fact, I’ve been told that you could literally grind up any organic matter and squeeze out some oil, from lettuce and leafy greens, to fruits and such.
I’ll admit, I haven’t done the research, but it’s obvious to me that ADDED oils, or oils you purchase in a jar or container, are HIGH in calories, and very likely not good for you! One Tablespoon of olive oil (or most oils) is at least 120 calories, and 14 grams of fat!
Forks Over Knives says this:
We are baffled that certain oils are presented as “health” foods. Olive oil is not a health food. Neither is coconut, grape seed, flaxseed, or any other oil you’ve heard you must endeavor to add to your diet because it’s good for you. Sure, if you replace some or all of the butter in your diet with vegetable oil, some of your cholesterol numbers may look a little bit better, but that’s not at all the same as doing well. Oil is a bad idea because it is highly refined and its nutritional package is inadequate.
How is it that we know that processed sugars are junk foods, yet we’ve allowed ourselves to be convinced that certain oils are somehow good for us? Oil follows essentially the same model as processed sugar, which is also pressed from plants. Think about what oil is: fat—and nothing but fat. All the nutrients, including protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water, have been thrown away. Oil of any kind has more calories per gram than any other food we know. And without any fiber or water in it, oil lacks the bulk to convey to your senses how many calories you have eaten; this virtually guarantees you will consume more calories at the meal than you need. So we ask you: Why would you waste calories on something that has no nutrients in it other than fat? And why would anyone believe that highly concentrated fat is healthy?
So let’s look at where the “good oil” hype came from. Its origins lay in data collected in the 1960s that showed the people on the island of Crete. At the time these people had the lowest all-cause mortality rates over twenty years when compared to people in other Mediterranean countries. A main contributing factor was their diet, which included some animal products and a little bit of olive oil, but otherwise consisted primarily of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.1 In the years since then, unfortunately, the phrase “Mediterranean diet” has become synonymous primarily with olive oil. What subsequent researchers—and marketers—took from those early studies was that olive oil was the Holy Grail. But it never was.
All oils have a negative impact on blood vessels and promote heart disease.2 Furthermore, they may also lead to increased bleeding through thinning of the blood; negative effects on lung function and oxygen exchange; suppression of certain immune system functions; and increased risk of cancer.3 Not to mention that excess calories from fat get stored as fat, no matter what type of fat calories you consume.
So, while my goal is not to eliminate oil entirely, it’s to certainly eliminate ADDED oil, so I don’t purchase any, and don’t have any around. The only time I might slip on this, is when I eat out, which doesn’t happen very often. It’s also a reason why I don’t purchase any of the store bought vegan cheeses for home use; they are mostly just oil!
And yes, most of the recipes do contain something that helps to “slick” things up a bit. In my hummus, there is tahini, or ground sesame seeds that provide natural oil. In waffles I make, there is ground flax seed. In the butter I make, there is coconut milk, which certainly adds some amount of oil.
But, to me, by getting the oil directly from the source food, processed by me, I’m doing it a much healthier way, and minimizing the amount of oil in my diet dramatically!