Oil Sensitivity and Vegans

I’ve noticed that a number of comments on my oil sensitivity post have been from people who are vegan. From what I understand vegans do not eat anything that has a face. This includes insects, fish, birds, and reptiles, along with every creature that we traditionally think of as food animals, such as cows pigs and deer. This would be hard enough, but vegans also abstain from eating (or using) anything that has come from the aforementioned creatures with a face: such as honey from bees, eggs from chickens, butter from cows and the like. Essentially they only eat plant products.

I imagine that the reason vegans are seeing problems with eating vegetable oils is because they eat more than your average person who eats other types of fats as well, so the effects of a sensitivity to oils would probably show up a lot faster.

I have come up with only two ideas for vegans who find themselves sensitive to oils although there have to be others.

The first way is simpler. It is possible not to cook with oils or fats. Foods could be eaten raw or steamed, poached, simmered, or boiled. Using water to cook with has the added benefit of being healthier. Apparently anything that browns food also adds carcinogens so by using gentle water based methods you can avoid that.

To get enough fat they could eat whole fatty plants instead. There are many fatty plants. Some are fairly well known: avocados, olives, coconut and nuts. But there are some other plants that are less well known too: cocao nibs, chia seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, saviseeds aka sacha inchi, tiger-nut tubers, sedge and purslane.

The other idea I had for remaining oil free and vegan is to make your own plant based oils at home. I personally can’t bring myself to try any more plant based fats, even ones I extract myself, I get too sick and I don’t have the bravery to expose myself again but I have read several blogs about people who have made them, and they say that home made oils taste better. It doesn’t surprise me, almost every food I have tried making at home has been superior to store bought. Although some are a lot of work. What I like about the idea of making oils at home is knowing exactly what is in them, how they were made and when. This makes it easier to be able to know when foods have gone rancid. I include some links to different blogs about making oils at home.

http://ohhshop.com/blog/greenies/our-own-olive-oil-and-the-cost-breakdown/

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Avocado-Oil

http://confessionsofablogvixen.com/2013/08/how-to-make-fresh-coconut-oil-at-home/

Let me be clear I am not vegan so I am not as aware of the nuances of the vegan lifestyle as I could be. Still I thought it was important to offer some ideas to vegans who are struggling with an oil intolerance. Hopefully my ideas will help people think of more ideas and they will include them in the comments. I’m sure vegans dealing with this issue woulds really appreciate any hints that anyone might have.

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2 Responses to Oil Sensitivity and Vegans

  1. Caroline says:

    Thanks for the thoughtful post! I already had an idea that some oils were a problem for me, especially canola, but the last years when I turned vegan did confirm it for me. And your blog made me aware that other oils are probably not so great for me either. For now I am sticking with the whole foods-idea and the water-sautéing. Home made oils seem quite impressive though, thanks for the idea, if I ever get the motivation :-).

    • Than you for commenting. I’m glad to hear that someone is implementing the whole foods diet and it is working. Please share if you do decide to make the oils. I’d be interested to know if they work out.

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