Not every meal needs be the result of creative genius or beauty. Simple meals can be delicious and amazingly nutritious as well. Behold, last night's dinner. Nothing special to look at. By the way, there is no way to photograph plain ground beef and make it look good!
Vegetable Oils & Inflammation
I recently explained some of the health detriments of soybean oil & vegetable oils. Today, I want to dig just a little deeper into HOW these oils cause INFLAMMATION.
Omega 3's and Omega 6's are essential fatty acids, essential meaning our body cannot make them, they must come from our diet. However, essential doesn't necessarily mean desirable. Omega 3 fats are anti-inflammatory (GOOD) and Omega-6 are pro-inflammatory (NOT SO GOOD). We experience robust health with a balance of a 1:1 ratio of 3:6. The current American diet has a ratio of 1:20, meaning we ingest (from vegetable oils, trans-fats and processed food) 20 times more Omega 6 than we should. The result is a population walking around with chronic inflammation and henceforth disease and dysfunction. Chronic inflammation is at the root of almost all disease (SEE: Inflammatory Disorder, the list is LONG) as well as hormonal imbalances that result in PMS, PCOS, infertility, acne, AND MORE.
Not eating fat is not the answer, fat is good for you and quite necessary. Fat is an important fuel for our body and is a building block for our cell membranes, nervous system as well as hormones. Supplementing with Omega 3 Fish Oil is important, but you can't balance the ratio by taking an abundance of Omega 3. If your diet consists of conventional farmed meat, fish and eggs you will already get more than a modest amount of Omega 6. To improve the 3:6 ratio, eliminate vegetable oils (soybean oil, corn oil, peanut oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil, safflower oil & sunflower oil) from your diet, ditch ALL PROCESSED FOOD and s
Swap out vegetable oils for extra-virgin olive oil, rice bran oil, avocado oil, macadamia nut oil, grapeseed oil, walnut oil and for cooking use butter, ghee, coconut oil & sesame oil. Finally, make the switch to grass-fed, pasture-raised, grain-free fed animals.
Have I convinced you to ditch the bad oils yet? If I have, you are in for a challenge. I challenge you to find a salad dressing that is not made with soybean oil, canola oil or vegetable oils. It's difficult. Admittedly, we still use canola mayo (I haven't been successful at making my own, YET!) and recently I just threw away the last of our dressings made with canola oil. We have been avoiding soybean oil for a long time, I'll save that explanation for another post.
We do the majority of our shopping at a natural foods store and have found only one brand (Bragg's Healthy Vinaigrette) of bottled salad dressings made without the aforementioned oils. In an effort to banish ALL VEGETABLE OILS (even canola oil) from your kitchen, chances are you are going to have to make your own.
Ingredients for Healthy Coconut Vinaigrette
This is where SIMPLE IS GOOD. Oil & vinegar. Classic vinaigrette is 3:1, oil to vinegar, however, I prefer a 1:1 ratio. I spotted a new product, Raw Coconut Vinegar*, on the shelf at our food co-op this past week and decided to buy it. Amazing health claims and boy did it taste good.
- 1 Tbsp. Raw Coconut Vinegar*
- 1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 5-7 drops Liquid Stevia
To distribute this evenly on my salad, I make the dressing in a small container and shake to combine. I then put my salad in a large glass bowl (with cover), drizzle with dressing, cover and shake and then plate and serve.
*this does not taste like coconuts.