One of the most common problems that arise when people decide to switch to a plant-based diet is whether it is safe to consume oils. There are so many schools of thought when it comes to deciding if oils should be incorporated in a restricted diet. And when you are on a plant-based diet, it becomes even more important to learn more about this staple ingredient.
So, are oils plant based? Although oils are plant based, they are not a part of wholesome, plant-based diet. Refined oils are made by processing the plant matter heavily. Oils are also refined using advanced processes and a number of chemicals. Edible oils used in cooking are not recommended to be a part of a plant-based diet as they are produced by processing, isolating and refining from plant foods.
While the seeds like sunflower, olives and corn are whole foods and plant-based, the oils extracted from them contain no wholesome nutrients but just concentrated fats and calories, making them far from being plant-based.
Let us try to find out whether there are any substitutes for oils that go well with a plant-based diet.
Top 3 Oil Substitutes For A Plant Based Diet
The way oils are processed makes most of them far from being plant-based. However, there are some options like cold-pressed olive oil that you can include in your plant-based diet in small quantities. Let us look at some of the best alternatives for oil.
Cold-Pressed Coconut Oil
While refined oils are loaded with chemicals and fats, stripping off all the goodness of the plant-based ingredient, cold-pressing helps retain the nutrients and benefits.
Cold-pressed coconut oil improves digestion and immunity and possesses anti-parasitic, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. It also fights off pathogens and viruses and makes a great choice for topical application. It contains healthy fats that help lower cholesterol and improve metabolism.
Virgin Olive Oil
Virgin olive oil retains its nutrients to give you a healthy plant-based alternative to refined oils. It is rich in antioxidants and possesses antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
It is packed with omega-3 fatty acids that boost cardiovascular health, reducing the risk of stroke and heart attack. Cold-pressed olive oil also benefits immune health better than processed and refined olive oil available commercially.
Unsweetened applesauce makes a great substitute for vegetable oil in cooking and baking. It has fewer calories than oil and can be made with fewer ingredients.
It is particularly suitable for breads, cakes and muffins because it provides a lot of moisture and natural sweetness. Applesauce is capable of retaining the taste and texture in recipes that you would get with oil.
These oil substitutes can be used in cooking and baking to keep your plant-based diet healthy. If you follow a wholesome diet, it is recommended that you stop the use of oil altogether and learn to cook without oils. If you prefer oil, remember to stay away from refined oils and keep their portion in check.