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Are plant-based oils and fats healthy?
(23.11.2020) back
Reduce the amount of plant-based fats you're eating, for example oils, nuts and avocados
Even if the fat is in plant-based oils, nuts or avocados: foods that are high in fat are unfortunately bad for your heart and should only be consumed in small amounts
Fat makes fat – plant-based fats are just as like to make you fat as animal fats
Eating fat makes you fat as fatty foods, whether from animal or plant sources, is sure to add to belly fat as well as fat stored on the backside or hips

Many people think that there's a solid connection between the use of plant-based fats and oils and being healthy, and it's also a common belief that nuts, olives, avocados and other plants that contain a lot of fat promote wellness. Is that really true? Are plant-based fats really better than fat from animal sources?

Fat makes you fat, regardless the source

The fats that you eat land directly on your belly, backside or hips. To meet your energy needs, the body makes use of carbohydrates first and foremost. The fat that one consumes is generally stored for later use in fat cells – these are primarily located in the fatty tissue that lays just beneath the superficial layer of the skin as well as surrounding the internal organs.

Now for the really bad news: so-called healthy fats like olive oil also make you fat, as the fat they contain is stored in the body in precisely the same way in the form of body fat. It is true that the body needs fat for the metabolisation of specific vitamins, for isolation from the cold, as a support for the internal organs and to repair cell membranes. Nonetheless, the human body can produce most of the fats that it needs on its own. Even supposedly "fat-free" foods like vegetables contain enough fat. This means that we don't need to be supplying the body with huge amounts of fat, and the few essential fats that we do need to consume amount to less than 2% of the calories we should be taking in. It's a practically impossible to have a deficiency when it comes to essential fats.

A fatty diet can lead to atherosclerosis (arteriosclerosis), heart attack, diabetes and other health conditions

Fat-rich foods, regardless the fact that they're generally considered to be healthy foods – for example olive oil, avocados or nuts – still contain a lot of fat that can harm your body. A vast amount of research has revealed that a diet low in fat is the best way to encourage good health.

The American pioneers of dietary medicine, Dr. Dean Ornish und Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, were able to prove that a plant-based diet without much fat could moreover reverse the damage to the body related to atherosclerosis, diabetes or heart attack. Many of the participants in their research were even able to put off planned heart surgeries as their conditions actually improved due the diet they consumed as part of the study.

The total amount of fat in your diet should only constitute between 10% and 15% of your total calorie intake…at the most! The takeaway here is not the you have to avoid fats and oils entirely, rather you should simply keep in mind that fatty food should only make up a tiny part of your overall food intake. In particular, one ought to focus on reducing the amount of highly concentrated fats consumed as their potential to cause harm is greatest.

Our recommendations:

Avoid all animal-based products as they contain a large amount of fat – even "white meat" is high in fat. Also, protein from animal sources is likely less than ideal for our bodies. If you cannot avoid such foods completely, then try to cut back as much as possible. A good goal is maximally 5% or 10% of your total daily calorie intake.

In addition, avoid plant-based oils, nuts, seeds and avocados or reduces the amount you're eating, again to no more that 10% or 15% of the calories you take in. This does not include a daily tablespoon of linseeds, which provide all of the omega-3 fatty acids that you need in a day.


Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure by by Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr. M.D., Avery Publishing, 1st edition, 2008

Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease: The Only System Scientifically Proven to Reverse Heart Disease Without Drugs or Surgery by Dean Ornish M.D., Ivy Books, 1995

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