06 May 2010

The lies behind Olive Oil & the Mediterranean Diet

I have to apologize in advance again for one of my crappy drawings.  

So many people think Olive oil is a health food because of some bogus study done on the island of Crete 60 years ago after WWII when everyone was starving to death.  

There is no "mediterranean diet" and if you went there you'd see there are so many different countries and all the people are growing as fat as Americans.  

Its our post war food science party that is to blame.  Fast food, convenient food, frozen food, etc.  Pouring Olive Oil on the problem will 100% make it worse.  

Olive Oil is poison and you can imagine yourself wearing bottles of it because most people probably are.  Our bodies don't even convert vegetable or animal oils into human oil, it stays on our bodies in the same form as we ate it.  You could have decades old rancid olive oil you're carting around every day carrying with you where ever you go.  Let me know if you need more motivation to stop the oil monster!


Anonymous said...


The view that olive oil is a so called 'health food' has more to do with marketing than with science.
I'm sure this suits the olive oil industry. It's amazing when watching any cooking program when chefs prepare various dishes and the chef says 'just a little olive oil' when in fact they drown the recipe in olive oil'. All this sends the message that it's fine to use such quantities of olive oil. If only they realised the calories even in one teaspoon of olive oil.
One undersold benefit of cooling without oils is that washing up is much easier.



quarrygirl said...

day #2 of mcdougall diet and i feel great!!!


Lex said...

Awesome! Can't wait to starch quiz you to make sure 90% of your calories are coming from the good stuff!

quarrygirl said...

bring it on! haha

Karoumy said...

Do you have any evidence to back up your claims?

And I disagree with your idea that people around the mediterranean are fat like americans but that's strictly from my own observations from the countries I've visited.

I do agree with you that there is no mediterranean diet because there are so many different types of foods around that sea.

Lex said...

Karoumy you really need to go to Greece! Mamma Mia! I've never seen larger! The whole world is gaining weight and loosing health. You can pick through this discussion based on World Health Stats. http://www.drmcdougall.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=8702&start=60 JeffN is an expert, you can read more about him and follow his forum to get up to speed. He's got a fantastic lecture on the BS study that coined the term "mediterranean diet" and launched this Olive Oil nonsense.

VeganHeartDoc said...

Lex, I'm with you on this one! So many of my patients talk about their healthy diet and their use of olive oil. Unfortunately, they drench their food in olive oil, which is not healthy! I have to remind them that fat is fat, even if it's a "healthy" fat, and that olive oil should be used sparingly.

Unknown said...

This is very inspiring. Been reading a lot about oil and am shocked to learn that olive oil is so bad. Such a bummer because it tastes so good, but my health is so much more important! Thanks for all of your info!

pechke said...

Just found your blog via the McDougall forum...awesome!

I find it interesting that people attribute the health of the "Mediterrean diet" to the olive oil, not other factors. For example, the study you mention with the folks from the island of Crete ate very differently than we do today - they didn't consume as much meat as we do today, their diet had lots of vegetables, and they regularly fasted for religious purposes! So if they were "healthier," why wouldn't it be due to any of those factors - the veggies, or the calorie restriction? Why single out olive oil? I guess it's another case of wanting to believe our bad habits are OK.

Sam said...

I would be interested in more information on this. Do you cook with any oils? I'm not even sure how I would start cooking without something but I'd like to know that whatever I'm cooking is a healthy(er) option. Thanks!

Lex said...

Sam, that is correct we use no oils what so ever. The fats naturally in whole foods provide all the fat we need.

For sauteing you just use water or veggie broth you can google "steam saute"

I recommend non stick cookware vs cast iron. Some of the enamels work really well, too. (you can get ceramic non stick if you don't like teflon, just don't go above medium heat on either for performance issues)

For baking use unsweetened applesauce, bananas or soy yogurt instead of oil.

Use parchment paper for non stick needs, such as lining pans, etc.

don't be fooled by fat free cooking sprays, they are pure fat and take advantage of labeling laws.

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