Avoiding Oils During the Holidays

Often foods are part and parcel of holiday celebrations and time spent with friends. Oils can be far from our thoughts when it comes to socializing but unfortunately those thoughtful gifts can actually be very bad for those of us who need to avoid oils. I’ve found it best to avoid eating anything that comes without an ingredient list. This includes anything homemade as well as commercial products such as candy. Even if I can look up a product online there is no guarantee that the batch I have in my hand matches the ingredient list I can find online. I made the mistake of eating some dried fruit once that I had eaten safely the year before only to find out that the company had changed their manufacturing process and now used vegetable oil in processing. That was a painful mistake.

Other unexpected places that I have discovered oils:

Hot chocolate— Lots of hot chocolates contain mono- and diglycerides, soy lecithin, milk fat or even coconut or palm oils.

Candy canes and other flavored hard candies— On most candy canes natural flavoring is what is listed on the label. Part of that is peppermint flavoring which is probably an oil but it could also include other oils as it’s not written out it’s hard to say. On hard candy it is important to check. Often there isn’t any fat added but I’ve seen it enough times to make me very careful.

Fudge— Fudge is another candy but unlike hard candy which can be just flavoring and sugar fudge requires a fat of some form be added. Most of the time that is a vegetable oil of some kind.

Fruit cakes, pies, treats, and cookies— whether homemade or commercially baked, most of these contain oils. If they don’t have oil baked in, oil or shortening was used on the baking pan or container to avoid sticking. Be very careful when eating these.

Dried fruit— most dried fruit today has some form of vegetable oil on it.

Chocolate— I’ve already written a post about chocolate here, but I will mention again how most low quality chocolates or chocolates under 70% cocoa solids contain vegetable oils or soy lecithin, an emulsifier made from soy oil.

It can be difficult to turn down goodies from well meaning friends and relatives but it has been necessary for me to do so in order to enjoy my holidays.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of places to find oils but they are all things that have tricked me in the past.

Wishing you all a happy healthy holiday season.

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