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Discover the top 14 things you’re doing that are damaging your bones.

Cook With the Oil Your Bones Crave

oil-osteoporosis

Remember the 80s? Mullets were the rage, Michael Jackson’s music video Thriller invaded the airwaves, and low fat diets were the biggest – and newest – nutritional craze.

Fast forward to today. While mullets are harder to come by, low fat foods still crowd supermarket shelves, new fad diets continue to spring up, and fats are generally considered unhealthy.

Yet fats are necessary to absorb fat soluble vitamins such as CoQ10 and vitamins A, D, E, and K. And guess what, CoQ10, vitamin E, and K are bone-healthy Foundation Supplements.

You probably know that Essential Fatty Acids or EFAs are not made by the body. Plus EFAs are an important component of cell membranes and the brain. As it relates to your bone health…

Essential Fatty Acids Help Increase Bone Density

In my blog post titled ‘Eat This Nut, Build Your Bones’ I write that:

“…EFA omega-3 increases calcium absorption, reduces urinary calcium excretion, increases calcium deposition in bone, and improves bone strength by enhancing collagen synthesis.1 Also, omega-3′s inhibited osteoclast activity and enhanced osteoblast activity.2 Osteoclasts are the cells that resorb bone; osteoblasts are the cells that assist with bone formation.”

Another reason to not skimp on the right kind of fats is that studies have linked low fat diets to a decrease in calcium absorption by as much as 20%.3

Keep ‘em Balanced

The two EFA categories are omega-3 and omega-6, and like everything else in your body, there needs to be a good balance between the two. The ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats is 1 to 1.4

It is estimated that today that ratio is typically 10 to 1 thanks in part to the widespread use of corn, soy, canola, safflower and sunflower oils.5 While these oils are alkalizing, it’s best you use bone-smart oils that don’t tip the scale in favor of omega-6 EFAs. You see, excessive levels of omega-6 can open the door to a variety of health problems, including cardiovascular and immune issues.

But there’s more to this story, because…

The Most Abundantly Used Oils are Genetically Modified

The same oils that cause the omega-3 and omega-6 imbalance are derived from genetically modified seeds (GMO). They are also processed using high heat and in some cases, industrial chemicals.

Here’s the list of the GMO oils that are currently available and widely used in processed foods:6

  • Canola Oil
  • Soybean Oil
  • Corn Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Linseed Oil
  • Peanut Oil

Luckily, the solution is very simple… as I write in the Save Our Bones Program

Olive Oil is Your Best Choice

Besides its naturally alkalizing properties (it’s a fruit juice!), olive oil is a rich source of bone-smart polyphenols. In the Save Our Bones Program I explain that these plant pigments increase the production of osteoblasts.7

I make my favorite salad dressings with olive oil, and use it to sauté delicious dishes with plenty of alkalizing veggies. I sometimes cook with extra-light olive oil because it has a more neutral flavor.

And for the champagne of olive oils, try the extra virgin kind. It contains the most polyphenols and it is minimally processed. So get ready to prepare my delicious…

Sweet’n Citrus Salad Dressing

2 Servings

Ingredients

1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon water, distilled
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon honey, (adjust to desired sweetness)
1/4 teaspoon parsley, dried or fresh

Directions

Mix all ingredients and enjoy.

Stay healthy and have fun in the kitchen!

References

1 Kruger M., Horrobin D. “Calcium metabolism, osteoporosis and essential fatty acids: A review.” Progress in Lipid Research. Volume 36. September 1997.
2 Griel A., Kris-Etherton P. et al. ”An increase in dietary n-3 fatty acids decreases a marker of bone resorption in humans.” Nutrition Journal. January 2007.
3 Wolfe, R. L. et al. “Factors associated wit calcium absorption efficiency in pre and perimenopausal women.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 72, No. 2, 466-471, August 2000.
4 Simopoulos AP, Leaf A, Salem N, Jr. “Workshop statement on the essentiality of and recommended dietary intakes for Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids.” Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2000;63(3):119-121.
5 Kris-Etherton PM, Harris WS, Appel LJ. “Fish consumption, fish oil, omega-3 fatty acids, and cardiovascular disease.” Circulation. 2002;106(21):2747-2757.
6 Hazebroek J.P. “Analysis of genetically modified oils.” Progress in Lipid Research 39 (2000) 477- 506.
7 Trzeciakiewicz, A. “When nutrition interacts with osteoblast function: molecular mechanisms of polyphenols.” Nutrition Research Reviews. (2009), 22:68-81.

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60 comments. Leave Yours Now →

  1. tony hauptman April 26, 2014, 7:30 pm

    so would cooking with olive oil still be a better choice than veg oil?? thank u

  2. jeannette January 31, 2013, 10:48 am

    Is it true that when olive is heated with a certain degree the olive oil turn to cholesterol? Which sugar would you suggest we use? Thank You

  3. Jeanne July 6, 2012, 12:39 pm

    I live in the northeast, and get very little outside time in the sun. I was wondering if I should take a vitamin D3 supplement that comes with vitamin K2. My understanding is that while D3 allows calcium into our body, vitamin K2 directs it into our bones not our arteries. Should I take D3 while eating food that has vitamin K in it or is it sufficient to take the D3 with K2 supplement?

  4. Anne.. UK January 30, 2012, 5:31 am

    Hi Vivian it is good know that these oils are excellent for cooking and they do not contain palm oil which is produced by cutting down the rain forests, an extra bonus for us all.

  5. Daniele August 11, 2011, 9:05 am

    My favorite is tea hot for breakfast cold during or on my boat when fishing in St Tropez but home made : lemon or cinamond cold tea
    Also cucomber snack : sliced cucomber mixed with goat cheese and all the herbs of my garden pesto chives taragon parsel young green thyme farigoulette ciboulette it is delicious as a late breakfast when it is like ten AM and you are fishing the diner Boulliabesse try it
    Daniele

  6. Joyce Hall August 11, 2011, 7:01 am

    Well what I like are all the comments. So I’m not right and i’m not wrong. I believe the best way to proceed is to evaluate as we go along. This article is a good example of “what works for me”….. I use olive oil in salad. If mixed with other spices then I use it on bread. I don’t eat much bread. I really dont eat much anything. I try lots of Vivians ideas because they are tried and true and work for her. Me too !Joyce Hall

  7. Rosario Yu July 22, 2011, 6:27 am

    YOu say you cook with olive oil but I have read that one should not cook olive oil because it changes its structure and becomes transfat. If cooked it should be first included with the meat or whatever ia being cooked. What is the truth?

  8. Eluned July 19, 2011, 10:55 am

    Why use distilled water in the dressing?

  9. Elef July 15, 2011, 1:54 pm

    Thank you Vivian, I like also this article.
    I leave in Greece, where there are many olive trees, so a lot of olive oil is produced here. I recommend olive oil(cold pressed) for dressing and also for cooking. When I cook I add the olive oil at the end of the cooking.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA July 17, 2011, 3:30 pm

      Lucky you, Elef, being so close to the source of wonderful oilve oils! :)

  10. Nu Ly July 15, 2011, 7:53 am

    I use two kinds of oil in my kitchen.

    one is extra virgin oilive oil for cooking and
    other one is grapeseed oil for stir fly. thanks.

  11. Rachel De Rienzo July 13, 2011, 6:03 pm

    I also have Coeliac disease, was diagnosed 3 years ago. Also have osteoporosis but have never taken fosfomax as fortunately came across your website just in time. My question re your article on olive oil is can I add extra virgin olive oil to my potatoes and roast in the oven or as I’ve read on other peoples comments will it turn bad during the cooking process? I only ever use extra virgin olive oil, also use it for stir frying vegetables too, but now am a little confused after reading other comments on this thread. Would really appreciate your advice on this Vivian.

    • Keep Healthy February 11, 2012, 6:15 pm

      My understanding is that Extra Virgin Olive oil is the best for use in non-cooked foods such as salad dressings. But due to the high chlorophyl content in EV Olive oil it will go rancid, thereby encouraging inflammation in the body. The best oil for cooking is raw coconut oil as it can withstand high heat and is not stored as fat by the body but instead used for energy production or discarded.

  12. Kim Lawrence July 12, 2011, 9:02 pm

    Hello Vivian,
    I am a 52 year old female with celiac disease. I don’t believe my bones were ever strong as I was not aware of the problem until 10 years ago when I went gluten free. I was on fosamax for 6 years but when off 2 years ago after reading your information. My bones continue to lose. I have lost 4% in my spine in one year. My doctor wants me to take prolia denosumab. Nothing I do seems to help. I eat right, exercise. I haven’t started menopause. I am extremely concerned. I don’t want to go on the medication but the alternatives don’t seem to be working.
    I would appreciate your suggestions.
    Thanks,
    Kim

  13. Laila Dawson July 12, 2011, 7:48 pm

    Vivianne, I’ve read in several articles that olive oil is not really a good choice for cooking, as it’s positive properties are destroyed and it becomes as bad as other oils when it exceeds around 250 degrees. Have you discovered the same?

    • liz marsh July 16, 2011, 7:38 pm

      It’s OK to cook with some olive oils. Here is a good article: Smoke point – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. After reading Vivian’s article, I’m going back to cooking with grape seed oil mixed with a little olive oil, and if cooking at low tempatures, straight olive oil.

  14. norah connolly July 11, 2011, 11:59 pm

    I think we should use very limited amounts of oil when we cook. Am I correct?

  15. Tanialee July 11, 2011, 3:49 pm

    I always cook with Olive oil. am wondering if taking Cod Liver oil daily is helpful as well?
    Anyone here know what Viviene thinks?

    • Helen Kimball-Brooke July 11, 2011, 4:04 pm

      Olive oil should not be heated as it becomes rancid and carcinogenic when heated above a certain temperature (need to check exactly what that is). The best oils for cooking are coconut and grapeseed oil, both of which are safe at high temperatures. If you want to use olive oil, you can pour it on your pasta AFTER it is cooked and of course it is wonderful in salad dressings as Vivienne tells us in the article above.

      • Regina July 11, 2011, 6:36 pm

        You are correct; do not cook with olive oil. Only extra virgin olive oil should be used as it is not altered as the others are. The first press of olives is extra virgin. Then the leftover olives are pressed under hight heat and pressure, damaging the oil. Those are called ‘light’ ,’pure’ etc., but are not healthy.

        • Suzanne July 12, 2011, 12:49 pm

          I cook with olive oil all the time so I was concerned about your statment not to cook with it. I knew it had a lower “smoke point” than other oils. I went on line and found this statement that may be helpful. It is from lewisnaturalhealth.com “the general rule is to only cook with olive oil on Low to Medium heat, or use it cold. If you need a hardier oil for baking or high heat cooking, consider an oil with a higher Smoke Point such as Canola, Safflower, Coconut, or Grapeseed.

        • Dominic DeSantis July 11, 2011, 10:33 pm

          Actually, the bottle must say on it first cold press. If it’s not written that way on the label than it is not extra virgin.Manny countries mix the olive oil and say things like made in Italy extra virgin.If you want all the right ingredients,IT MUST SAY FIRST COLD PRESS ON THE LABEL

  16. Helen July 11, 2011, 2:57 pm

    More “small”, specific details that can change everything! Thanks for this – and for explaining WHY! Invaluable!

  17. Shula July 11, 2011, 12:51 pm

    THANKS for the clear facts & explanations
    Shula

  18. Andrea July 11, 2011, 12:19 pm

    I too read that olive oil oxidizes when heated and is therefore not suitable for cooking with high heat, although in Italy, they use it as is and for cooking also. I use grapeseed oil for sauteing and organic virgin olive oil for salads,etc. It would be helpful if Vivian would comment further on this.

  19. Irene Towt July 11, 2011, 12:11 pm

    NUTIVA:

    Organic extra virgin coconut oil is the world’s best cooking oil.
    100% less cholesterol than butter. Can be found online.

  20. Erlinda Siaton July 11, 2011, 11:23 am

    Thanks for your research. I have no problem with olive oil. I started using it when Vivian recommended it. Thsnk you for the information. The best thing to do is to read the Save our Bones and you’ll learn the do’s
    and don’t’s.

    • BJ July 11, 2011, 12:04 pm

      I would suggest that for cooking you use virgin coconut oil, which has a much higher tolerance of heat. Other oils like olive oil, burn and turn harmful at lower temperatures. Look it up for yourselves.

      • carolyn July 11, 2011, 12:11 pm

        I use the cocoanut oil for cooking too. It is wonderful. I rub it on my hands for a moisturizer as well. I buy it organic and it is a fresh, clear oil when it melts down.

  21. Ronnie July 11, 2011, 11:20 am

    Has anyone experienced adverse effects of consuming a lot of olive oil? Like peach allergy? I was doing Weight Watchers a few years ago & per their program, got up to using 2 tablespoon of olive oil a day. I was adding it to my salads with lime or lemon juice as the only dressing & even cooking with it. A year later I developed a severe peach allergy. Peaches have been one of my favorite fruits and I had never been allergic to them. Ended up at an allergy doctor who gave me a big list of fruits I couldn’t eat any more. Mostly all in the plum family (all of which I had eaten all my life like cherries, nectarines, plums, and even almonds which I thought were a nut not a fruit.) Any way, I quit using olive oil and a year later was able to start eaching peaches again. Just wondering because olive oil is always promoted as one of the healthiest oils. Which I believe is partly true. Afterall, I did lose a lot of weight doing WeightWatchers but gained it all back and then some after I got off the program.
    Curious in Austin, Tx.

    • liz marsh July 16, 2011, 7:48 pm

      My naturapath says that when you quit eating an allergen for a while, that allergy can go away. That may explain the peach allergy going away. However, your body can get out of sinc from eating a lot of something, even though good, such as the peaches. Many of the commenters here mentioned that the olive oil must be extra virgin cold pressed. I agree with that..whether cooking with it or using it as a dressing. Read Smoke point – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

  22. HEATHER GELL July 11, 2011, 11:00 am

    Yes, I too use Grapeseed oil and would appreciate Vivians’s comments on that. We need to buy extra virgin olive oil also, not just olive oil. In Italy they only eat the extra virgin olive oil.

  23. Maria E. Phillips July 11, 2011, 10:51 am

    I am surprised that you haven’t recommended the olive oil be organic. Any particular reason?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA July 17, 2011, 3:06 pm

      Organic is always preferable, Maria. But it’s not always easy to obtain, and non-organic olive oil is still better than most other alternatives.

  24. shelley Smuckler July 11, 2011, 10:38 am

    I have been eating a couple of teaspoons of organic coconut butter a day as I have heard that this balances the omegas and is very healthy. Any reason I should not be doing this?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA July 17, 2011, 3:08 pm

      Coconut butter or oil is fine, but olive oil is much richer in Omega-3 fatty acids.

  25. Jean July 11, 2011, 10:24 am

    And I had read that coconut oil is bad. Things get too complicated!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA July 17, 2011, 3:10 pm

      Coconut oil is fine, Jean. It does have saturated fat, but research has proven that it is a very healthy form of saturated fat, and is mostly medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) including lauric acid, which supports a strong immune system.

    • Jeff July 12, 2011, 8:55 am

      That was started by the vegetable/canola oil manufacturers years ago in competition from coconut. Stick with virgin organic coconut oil.

      • Jeff July 12, 2011, 9:11 am

        OOPS, I should have included this scientific research by Ray Peat on oils. Persevere and read it all and you will understand a lot better about oils and our bodies.
        Site is : http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/unsaturated-oils.shtml

        Also he has other well researched articles of various health issues – by clicking ‘Articles’ in the left-hand column. Cheers. Jeff.

        • Jeff July 20, 2011, 5:17 am

          Hi Liz: Glad you found the articles interesting. Regarding your thyroid issues, yes, according to my researching over the years, it appears that vegetable/canola oils cause a lot of common maladies in our bodies. Imunosuppression is one such effect these oils cause. For your bone health and thyroid, try adding Wakame or Dulse seaweed to your cooked meals or salads. You’ll get more variety of minerals out of them than any supplement could possibly offer albeit in small trace amounts. Cheers, Jeff. (Australia)

        • liz marsh July 16, 2011, 8:15 pm

          Jeff, I’m so excited about the article by Ray Peat that you linked. Since I’ve been with my new husband for 6 months and he is the cook of the family, always using canola oil, I have developed low thyroid function and other health issues. We’re going to extra virin cold pressed organic olive oil! I wonder about grape seed oil for cooking, which I like to use for a higher tempature. I suppose (???) it’s also a naturally unsaturated fat? Do you know?

          • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA July 17, 2011, 3:17 pm

            Grapeseed oil is fine, Liz, but please see my response to Laila re cooking with olive oil.

  26. Frankie July 11, 2011, 9:47 am

    Did you see the article in July Good Housekeeping on bones and osteoporosis? What did you think of it?
    Frankie

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA July 17, 2011, 3:11 pm

      If you can provide a link to the article, Frankie, I’ll check it out.

  27. Joyce Spangler July 11, 2011, 9:27 am

    I research Coconut oil and it is very good for you.

  28. Janet July 11, 2011, 8:51 am

    What oil can you cook and bake with? Coconut oil? Heating olive oil changes something in it to make it a carcinogen,yes?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA July 17, 2011, 3:13 pm

      Olive oil is actually quite a stable cooking oil, Jean, with a smoke point between 320-460 degrees F depending on the type of olive oil. It’s fine for almost any kind of cooking except deep frying (which is not a healthy way of cooking in any case).

    • Dianne July 11, 2011, 12:19 pm

      I saw a program on TV a couple years ago that went through most of the oils on the market and there are more than most of us realize, we only hear of the most common. And you are right about the heating of olive oil, not good. We changed to mostly using grapeseed oil after that program because it was suggested to be one of the best oils and can be heated higher than most oils without any negative effects. I like it better than olive oil because is is a lighter oil – even compared to the extra virgin. I like it better for everything whether salads or cooking. I also do massage and find the grapeseed oil great as the carrier oil.

  29. Sherry July 11, 2011, 8:43 am

    I have also heard that coconut oil is highly recommended. My friend’s family has switched completely over to coconut oil. Seems the progression from what I have seen is olive oil, then to sunflower oil because it can remain healthy when cooked, and now coconut oil.

    I live in Fairfield, Iowa, the home of Jeffrey Smith, the best selling author of the “Seeds of Deception”, an expose on the proliferation of GMO’s (genetically modified organisms found in 95% of the packaged food in the USA, maybe other countries as well). See his website. I believe he has lists of the hidden GMO’s found in about everything produced, even shampoo, house cleaners, etc., etc.. Website: Seeds of Deception.

    • Bob July 27, 2012, 1:43 am

      I’ve made these. I do medievel renatcement and these are so useful at the campsites and in tents. (I don’t worry about the kids knocking them over). I use glass from the thrift store and sometimes fill them with water first so the oil floats on top. Also I will use 100% cotton mop heads for the wicks.

  30. Liz Sandol July 11, 2011, 8:37 am

    I can’t believe you didn’t mention the many benefits of coconut oil…from my research I think it may rank higher overall than olive oil..both are healthy!!!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA July 11, 2011, 11:13 am

      Coconut oil is great. In this blog post I’m focusing on bone health. While coconut oil helps with the absorption of important minerals, olive oil also includes the bone-building polyphenols:)

      • Kerri July 12, 2011, 10:55 am

        thank you for the bone health benefits olive oil can provide but can you address if coconut and grape sedd oils are bone health worthy as opposed to the list you provided to avoid. I was interested in the high heat cooking facts by fellow bloggers and honestly what is a truly bone healthy choice for BAKING. Organic, first cold press, practicle access & cost is what I d like to be informed of. I can stay away from vegetable oil & the like but what’s a good all purpose alternative? Or one for fresh use, one for cooking, one for baking. Thank you for the research you share, I am learning valuable truths to steward my health. Keep up the good work & service, it is making a difference to help others.

  31. Lind July 11, 2011, 8:26 am

    What about coconut oil??

  32. Sherry July 11, 2011, 8:16 am

    Thank you for this and other very helpful information. I have a bottle of sunflower oil that says organic high heat sunflower oil on it. It states the oil is 100% mechanically (expeller) pressed naturally refined high oleic organic sunflower oil and is certified organic by QAI. The brand is Spectrum and it is produced in USA, Switzerland or Argentina. Phone number is 800-343-7833.

    I used to use olive oil for all oil needs, but changed when I kept reading that heating it causes it to be unhealthy (the more up to date news on olive oil).

    I am a bit confused when reading your article. Would love to hear from you. Thanks.

    • Alison July 11, 2011, 8:48 am

      Yeah, me too. I would also like to hear Vivian’s opinion on Grape Seed oil which is also supposed to be able take very high heat without oxidising. Olive Oil is fine when used in dressings where it is not heated, but oxidises when heated.
      I have read on other alkaline websites that the only oil that should be heated is Virgin Coconut Oil.
      Thanks Vivian for sharing your research with us.

  33. Joan July 11, 2011, 6:44 am

    Hi Vivian, Good article but I would put a red tick or cross so that it gives a better idea that they are all BAD. I also use a good quality coconut oil these days since I found out how really GOOD it is for us.
    Thanks
    Joan

    • Susan July 11, 2011, 9:24 am

      What’s a red tick or cross? Never heard that one in TN

      • Sharon July 11, 2011, 9:57 am

        @Susan – the red tick or cross in Joan’s comment refers to suggest NOT using ‘green checkmarks’ next to the bad choices listed in the article. (good idea)

        I too am using extra virgin light olive oil and extra virgin organic coconut oil.

        These article by Vivian are great!!

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