Why Go Oil-Free?
First and foremost, I recommend you read the book - The Starch Solution - for a detailed yet succinct reply to this question.
With over 1600 reviews on Amazon and a 4.6 star average, you can see that this book is a MUST-READ. The authors, Dr John McDougall and his wife Mary McDougall, do a thorough job of breaking down into simple terms the science behind why a high carbohydrate low fat (HCLF) vegan diet is the optimal diet for satiety, and long-term cardiovascular health.
What are people saying about this? The vast majority of the Amazon reviews (79%) are 5 star reviews documenting life changing improvements such as drastic weight loss and maintenance, disease reversal, and meal satisfaction. Most people that have followed this diet and left reviews have reported seeing a huge increase in quality of life, such as increased stamina and exercise endurance, being able to get off blood pressure and diabetes medications, and an overall feeling of well-being. All of which occurred without following any kind of overly restrictive diet.
In fact, the only things that are heavily restricted in the HCLF way of eating recommended by this book, are oils and overly processed foods. Other whole food fat sources such as avocados, coconut, and tahini are recommended to be limited in consumption. What is recommended is a diet full of starches such as whole grains (rice, barley, millet, etc), legumes (beans, lentils, peas), starchy vegetables (potatoes, carrots, squashes, etc), along with non-starchy vegetables (broccoli, bok choy, cauliflower, etc) and fruits.
Calorie density is the principle behind the success of this HCLF lifestyle. Oils are processed fats that have been stripped of all their nutritional value and are extremely dense in calories. This book goes into detail on the reasons even the oils touted as "healthy" (eg olive oil) are best left out of the diet or rarely consumed. The picture below shows an example of foods and their calorie density per pound. As is evident, eating 4 pounds of non-starchy vegetables would not only stretch the stomach lining significantly (thereby promoting satiety), but it would only result in a net calorie intake of 400 calories. The addition of oil to any meal adds a very large amount of calories, with no additional benefit in satiety or nutritional value.
The Starch Solution gives detailed scientific information and delves into multiple studies that have been done on individuals all across the globe and their dietary patterns. Information regarding the politics that influence the food that is promoted in the standard American diet is also discussed and dissected. There is simply a ton of good information in this book for anyone ready to make an informed decision that could potentially be life-changing. Additionally, the authors provide many recipes and tips to assist in the transition to a HCLF lifestyle. If you are ready for a positive change in your health and would like to get started on your oil-free plant-based journey, purchase and read The Starch Solution here on paperback, or here on Kindle.
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