" We're here to facilitate your plant-based journey "

PlantPlate.com is here to provide the recipes, information, and practical advice needed to follow a healthy plant-based diet. Whether you're interested in improving your health, losing weight, or eating more sustainably, a whole foods plant-based diet may be the perfect solution for you.

My name's Emma, and I started PlantPlate in 2013 with the help of my husband Scott, a web developer and fellow plantivore. I’m a certified Plant-Based Nutritionist who loves to cook, and I've followed a plant-based diet for over a decade. Having lived in various locations throughout the world - sometimes on a shoestring budget, and often with irregular and demanding work schedules - I’ve had to constantly adapt my diet in order to make it work. It’s taught me a lot, and it’s motivated me to show others just how accessible and enjoyable this way of eating can be.

The recipes featured on PlantPlate are based on minimally processed plant foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. They're free from all animal products, processed oils and refined carbohydrates, and are made with simple and affordable ingredients. Our articles are aimed at providing you with plant-based know-how when it comes to shopping, cooking, nutrition and day-to-day living. We have answers to common questions and share practical knowledge that we have acquired through experience. Finally, the resources section contains links to books, DVDs, and video presentations from some of the world's leading experts on plant-based nutrition. It is our hope that these resources will help you to fully understand and evaluate the health benefits of this wonderful way of eating.

Welcome to PlantPlate!  We hope you enjoy your visit. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email us at contact@plantplate.com.

The information on this website is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat health problems or illnesses without first consulting your doctor.

Why No Oil?

Want to know why oil is not considered part of a whole food plant-based diet? We're here to provide the answers (we hope!)

You may have noticed that none of the recipes on this site contain oil. We'd like to assue you that this is no accident! It's because refined oils, including all vegetable oils, are not considered whole foods, nor are they considered to be health promoting by the doctors and nutrition experts that advocate a whole foods plant-based diet.

For your benefit and understanding, we'd like to answer a few common questions about oil and the whole food plant-based diet.

 

1. Why is oil not considered a whole food?

Vegetable oils are liquid fats that have been extracted from whole plant foods. Olives, sunflower seeds and corn are all examples of whole foods; the fat contained in them are part of a whole package that also includes fibre, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. When you extract the oil, you leave behind the vast majority of these nutrients, and what remains is a very concentrated source of fat (including saturated fats) and calories with very few health benefits.

The nutritional difference can be clearly demonstrated by comparing 1 tablespoon of cold-pressed flax oil- considered to be one of the healthiest oils of all- with 1 tablespoon of whole flax seeds.

 

Flax Seeds

Flax Oil

Calories

54.7

119

Total Fat

4.3g

13.5g

Saturated Fat

0.4g

1.3g

Protein

1.9g

0g

Carbohydrate

3g

0g

Dietary Fibre

2.8g

0g

Vitamin E

0% DV (0.0mg)

12% (2.4mg)

Thiamin

11% DV (0.2mg)

0% DV (0.0mg)

Calcium

3% DV (26.1mg)

0% DV (0.0mg)

Iron

3% DV (0.6mg)

0% DV (0.0mg)

Magnesium

10% DV (40.2mg)

0% DV (0.0mg)

Selenium

4% DV (2.6mcg)

0% DV (0.0mg)

Zinc

3% DV (0.4mg)

0% DV (0.0mg)

Note: %DV = percentage of daily value for adults as determined by the USDA

You’ll notice that the only micronutrient the oil contains a significant level of is Vitamin E, which can easily be obtained from various plant food sources, such as sunflower seeds and butternut squash. The whole flax seed wins out in every other section. Also, flax seeds are more satiating due to their fibre and protein content. The oil, however, is a liquid with a higher concentration of fat and calories, and zero protein and fibre, making it easy to consume in excess.

 

2. What about olive oil? Isn’t it good for my heart?

This probably flies in the face of everything you’ve heard before, but the answer is no. All kinds of oils, including olive oil, contribute to arterial damage and the progression of heart disease. Popularization of the Mediterranean diet has also led many to believe that olive oil is the answer to heart health, when in fact, higher consumption of fruits, vegetables and legumes in Mediterranean regions is far more likely to account for decreased heart disease mortality.

For more info, check out The Mediterranean Diet: A Closer Look by Jeff Novick.

 

3. Doesn’t oil contribute to healthy skin and hair?

Many factors contribute to a healthy looking appearance, including sleep, hydration, and nutrition. Though Vitamin E is believed to be important for skin and hair repair, it is just one of a handful of vitamins and minerals that are- and you don’t need to consume oil in order to get enough! Eating a wide variety of whole plant foods, particularly fruits and vegetables, is most important. You can also incorporate rich whole food sources of vitamin E, such as sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, swiss chard and butternut squash.

 

4. Surely I need some fat to survive?

Yes, you do- and remember, this does not have to be a fat-free diet. You can obtain healthy fats from whole food sources, such as nuts, seeds, avocados and olives, which contain a whole host of other nutrients that are beneficial to your body. Even without the regular addition of these higher fat plant foods, you should obtain enough fat in your diet as long as your caloric intake is sufficient. Dr Caldwell Esselstyn and others also advise patients with heart disease to avoid higher fat plant foods in order to prevent or reverse progression of arterial damage. You can learn about this in great detail in his book Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease.

 

5. How can I cook without oil?

For practical tips, check out our guides:

 

6. Where can I learn more?

For more detailed information on the science behind this topic, we suggest taking a look at the following resources:

 When Friends Ask: Why Do You Avoid Adding Vegetable Oils? by Dr John Mcdougall

The Impact of “Just a Little Oil” by Jeff Novick, MS, RD

Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease (The Book) by Caldwell B. Esselstyn

 

 

Article photo courtesy of Veganbaking.net via Flickr