3

votes

Is there simply no avoiding veg oils?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 05, 2012 at 1:51 PM

So, I find it fairly easy to avoid veg oils when I cook at home. But when dining out this is obviously a problem. I prefer to not lock myself in the house in order to avoid veg oils, but really... why must they be so prevalent? My partner, an attorney, has a business lunch probably two times a week.. needless to say it is extremely difficult to not eat at a business lunch without looking like a fruit loop and it is equally difficult to avoid consumption of veg oil. Sure, you could ask the server what sort of fat they use, but that doesn't get you too far when they most likely a) don't know and will have to ask the chef b) think you're insane c) will report back, at best, canola oil. So then what?

I recall sometime ago Kurt Harris said on his old blog that if he ate out and suspected veg oil he would dose with cod liver oil (I may be paraphrasing). I don't know if he still does that, but is that a solution? Do the omega 3 and 6 really hang in such a tight balance?

I wonder what strategies y'all use for trying to avoid vegetable oil and simultaneously maintain sanity/a social life.

A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on April 06, 2012
at 01:19 PM

I wouldn't make much of it without seeing more information about the diet of study participants. I'm not qualified to "debunk" a study, but I can come up with a few questions. The abstract says they didn't change macronutrient ratios, but that means less to me than knowing what specific foods they ate, since the choice of fat can naturally pair with certain foods. It says the SFA came mostly from butter. What kind, & on/in what? I'm guessing not necesssrily grass-fed, on steamed veg & fish. If they consumed SFA mostly on lots of refined or sugary carbs, elevated lipids wouldn't surprise me.

A905679417ee71c3f9e2d88964b3b1f0

(368)

on April 05, 2012
at 11:22 PM

I agree, grilled meat, and steamed veg, or salad with grilled meat and no dressing unless they have actually extra virgin olive oil then I will get oil and vinegar.

7d3a7b532811b6cfa2de09acdf52d145

(610)

on April 05, 2012
at 09:37 PM

I don't agree that that is the most important part per se. It's more about balancing the omega-3 and omega-6 oils, so it doesn't matter if you got a bit more omega-6 oil, just compensate it with an extra fish or omega-3 supplement. And your body has a great way of recovering from a possible hazard. If you're not constantly in the hazard zone I don't see why it would be a problem. If you were to eat at a restaurant 3 times a week.. hm, that would be a different story. But once in a while should pose no risk.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 05, 2012
at 04:25 PM

Yes. Worms. Tape and hook, apparently. Scares the crap out of me! (see what I did there?) Better to minimize PUFA than to soak in teh fishy oilz.

06bf7b92d77f1ac1d8e3dc9d539d8254

(1649)

on April 05, 2012
at 03:22 PM

Oh, boy that just opens up a whole 'nother can of worms, the micro biome thing! My goodness. The dressing idea is great, thanks! It does remind me though of the height of the low-fat days when ladies around the country were packing fat free dressings in their purses. Ha! Sometimes I love the circularity of the human condition.

06bf7b92d77f1ac1d8e3dc9d539d8254

(1649)

on April 05, 2012
at 02:46 PM

Well, no, it won't kill you instantly as you say, but that is hardly the concern. If the rules of paleo or PHD were to be filed in rank order I am pretty sure avoiding veg oil would be number one or maybe tied with avoidance of gluten. So, to me it is a far bigger deal than sugar consumption which is easily identifiable and therefore easy to avoid. The go-to cooking oil in American restaurants is soybean, so eating out often can be fairly hazardous. But I do think you're right about limiting eating out to special occasions and trying not to worry.

Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

10 Answers

best answer

4
8d454fc50d6d58643d6f8b0d1e7ea8ea

on April 05, 2012
at 02:23 PM

I think this is a great question and is the primary reason I'm afraid to eat out at most restaurants. Last year I had a series of 20 strange digestive episodes that my doc and I are thinking were gallbladder related - and almost all of them happened after eating at restaurants (different restaurants, all over the country, so it wasn't a single source). I can eat happy fat (coconut oil, butter, meat fat) with no problems. I've heard of other people with gallbladder problems reacting primarily to vegetable oils, and my ND alleges that it makes sense that I can handle good fats but not processed industrial fats (I forget why). I know of a restaurant in my area that cooks exclusively in olive oil, and I'll eat there - otherwise I go to natural food supermarkets that have take-out with all their ingredients disclosed (Trader Joes, Earth Fare).

There's a lot of good info on this here: http://paleohacks.com/questions/97293/ever-ask-a-restaurant-to-not-use-vegetable-oil#axzz1rAyE9IrC

7
7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on April 05, 2012
at 03:06 PM

I think that if your life requires you to eat at restaurants frequently you may want to adopt a strategy that helps to minimize exposure. Basically that'd probably involve a lot of grilled meat or fish and steamed veggies. Or salads with dressing on the side (packing your own healthy oil dressing in something like this ... love these!). As paleo catches on, I suspect your better restaurants will be happy to switch back to using the fats they used before the low-fat craze caught on.

That said, I'm with TerraGuy ... I wouldn't get all orthorexic about occasionally eating out.

And wrt Kurt Harris, his latest thoughts seem to be that diet is likely second to the state of our microbiome. And there's not a lot you can do about that after toddler-hood (for now anyways).

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 05, 2012
at 04:25 PM

Yes. Worms. Tape and hook, apparently. Scares the crap out of me! (see what I did there?) Better to minimize PUFA than to soak in teh fishy oilz.

06bf7b92d77f1ac1d8e3dc9d539d8254

(1649)

on April 05, 2012
at 03:22 PM

Oh, boy that just opens up a whole 'nother can of worms, the micro biome thing! My goodness. The dressing idea is great, thanks! It does remind me though of the height of the low-fat days when ladies around the country were packing fat free dressings in their purses. Ha! Sometimes I love the circularity of the human condition.

A905679417ee71c3f9e2d88964b3b1f0

(368)

on April 05, 2012
at 11:22 PM

I agree, grilled meat, and steamed veg, or salad with grilled meat and no dressing unless they have actually extra virgin olive oil then I will get oil and vinegar.

2
7d3a7b532811b6cfa2de09acdf52d145

(610)

on April 05, 2012
at 02:11 PM

I wouldn't mind the vegetable oil actually, it won't kill you instantly, and getting some from time to time neither in a 100 years. Just see that you get enough fatty fish or other forms with omega-3 oils during your week and stop worrying!

Personally I only avoid sugar rich stuff if I'm eating somewhere, grains are a bit more difficult to avoid. But still, eating something from time to time won't hurt you. Just keep it to special occasions and enjoy it thoroughly without worries what so ever. ;)

06bf7b92d77f1ac1d8e3dc9d539d8254

(1649)

on April 05, 2012
at 02:46 PM

Well, no, it won't kill you instantly as you say, but that is hardly the concern. If the rules of paleo or PHD were to be filed in rank order I am pretty sure avoiding veg oil would be number one or maybe tied with avoidance of gluten. So, to me it is a far bigger deal than sugar consumption which is easily identifiable and therefore easy to avoid. The go-to cooking oil in American restaurants is soybean, so eating out often can be fairly hazardous. But I do think you're right about limiting eating out to special occasions and trying not to worry.

7d3a7b532811b6cfa2de09acdf52d145

(610)

on April 05, 2012
at 09:37 PM

I don't agree that that is the most important part per se. It's more about balancing the omega-3 and omega-6 oils, so it doesn't matter if you got a bit more omega-6 oil, just compensate it with an extra fish or omega-3 supplement. And your body has a great way of recovering from a possible hazard. If you're not constantly in the hazard zone I don't see why it would be a problem. If you were to eat at a restaurant 3 times a week.. hm, that would be a different story. But once in a while should pose no risk.

1
35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb

(2485)

on April 05, 2012
at 10:59 PM

I either A) Have a salad with some meat and OK fats (avocado, nuts) and ask for olive oil & vinegar as dressing or B) have grilled steak or fish with a baked potato or steamed veggies on the side. Most restaurants are able to accomidate one or the other option.

1
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on April 05, 2012
at 09:18 PM

A occasional essentially-unavoidable dose of vegetable oil is not the worst thing in the world. Simply keep your diet otherwise very tight and you mitigate any negative effects it might produce. Paleo is all about right-and-wrong, real life is about simply making the best choices given the options available.

1
3b0b95dfc6dc5c18e535945f4aab0866

on April 05, 2012
at 08:06 PM

There is no reason it should be hard. I eat out alot.

  1. I make it known to people I am with, I am gluten free. Sorry. Thats why I am weird.
  2. If something is obviously fried/cooked in veggie oil I don't order it, there are almost always things on the menu that are fine, like grilled meats, etc...
  3. I always ordered my salads dry even before going paleo
  4. Most importantly, if its not obvious to me, I am limited in choices, and in company of people where I don't want to make a scene, I just eat it. It just won't kill me (unless I do know it can kill me - say someone has a peanut allergy). I won't bend on glutens, I can bend on veggie oils.

It is so hard to not find a grilled steak/pork/fish + salad at most restaurants.

1
537001f30670e73eb0ac45779af649a5

on April 05, 2012
at 04:50 PM

A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on April 06, 2012
at 01:19 PM

I wouldn't make much of it without seeing more information about the diet of study participants. I'm not qualified to "debunk" a study, but I can come up with a few questions. The abstract says they didn't change macronutrient ratios, but that means less to me than knowing what specific foods they ate, since the choice of fat can naturally pair with certain foods. It says the SFA came mostly from butter. What kind, & on/in what? I'm guessing not necesssrily grass-fed, on steamed veg & fish. If they consumed SFA mostly on lots of refined or sugary carbs, elevated lipids wouldn't surprise me.

1
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on April 05, 2012
at 04:38 PM

I skip the vegetables unless the menu says steamed. You can order eggs hard boild or ask them to cook in real butter.

You can order a salad with straight balsalmic on the side. I get a seafood salad if it is available.

1
A97b68379a576dfa764a4828304d2efb

(4181)

on April 05, 2012
at 03:40 PM

When forced to eat out, I usually piece together a meal from the appetizers, salads and sides section.

My tricks: - You can ask for steamed vegetables most places and use the butter that comes out with the bread if you are embarrassed to ask the kitchen to do it. - Any time I see a "butter sauce" that comes with mussels, clams, etc, as an appetizer, I order that and then another side and use the butter sauce to pour over whatever else needs flavoring. - Sides of fruit - Broth based soups (this is like hugging a land mine, though. Who knows what S.A.D. junk they're throwing in there). - Invented vegetable oil allergy (I feel guilty using this one and only whip it out when some extra sulky waiter is giving me hell about unorthodox ordering). - I usually avoid white potatoes but would rather eat that, covered in butter, bacon and cheese than risk the vegetable oil. - I've ordered buttery pasta dishes and just ate all the vegetables and meat out of it. That got strange looks.

It stinks to always have to eat out. After working for years in restaurants, I know that they slather the most unlikely things in vegetable oil. I also know that special ordering annoys everyone and it can be embarrassing to do it. But, in 30 years, you will care more about the healthy things you put in your body than the eye rolls you got from some punk kid.

Good luck! And remember to tip your helpful waiters and waitresses nicely so they will accommodate the next caveman or cavewoman who comes in. It doesn't have to be a lot.... just a dollar more than 20% sends the message that you appreciated your server.

0
9492d03a0785930bc6768d93405d004e

(40)

on April 06, 2012
at 05:51 AM

I don't go out to eat a lot, but when I do I try to choose places that use local/organic ingredients. They tend to have staff more understanding of dietary restrictions PLUS better food and are way less likely to use crappy oils. Then, I tell the server the truth--I have a lot of food sensitivities, including soy and peanuts, so I can't have anything cooked in vegetable oil. If I don't feel sick after the meal, I put the place on my list to return to. Also, I tip REALLY well because I am a lot of trouble.

Let me say that again: Be nice to your server, food runner, buser, etc. and TIP. If you are nice, people are way more likely to go out of their way for you.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!