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Olive oil... confused about whether it's good or bad

Hi everyone,
I'm always so impressed with all the knowledge everybody seems to have here.  I see such conflicting information about olive oil.  I'm talking about cold pressed.  What do you think? Is it good as a part of a high raw, vegan diet?  If so, what is it good for?  Would you consider it a healthy fat?  Mostly I'm thinking of using it sparingly, for things like dehydrated sweet potato chips.  I've tried them without oil and they just aren't turning out how I want them... 

I welcome your thoughts...

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Hi Karen,

Brendan's take on olive oil is that when it's extra-virgin (meaning the oil is from the first pressing of the olive), it's a healthy oil. While it makes a great healthy addition to sauces, dips and dressing, olive oil doesn't deliver as high levels of Omega-3 as other available oils (i.e. flax, hemp, etc)

Hope this helps to clear up your questions!


It's considered a healthy fat as long as it is unheated. Only coconut oil should be heated above a certain temperature (former discussions about this or a quick internet search with give you the smoking points for most oils). Definitely look into a few other oils to get your range of EFAs.
Dr. McDougall would argue differently...that there are no healthy extracted fats except for the ones that occur naturally in limited amounts such as seeds/nuts. He's got a long, detailed article on his website somewhere. Other plant-based docs seem to agree. Not no-fat, just low-fat. Would love to see more science on this.
Hi, Karen,
I agree that cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil is an excellent addition to the Thrive program. As Jill posted, it does not deliver the same amount of omega-3 fatty acids as other sources, which is partly why it is not an integral part of the program. However, I just finished reading Natasha Turner's The Hormone Diet, and she is a big advocate of the stuff. It appears that preliminary studies show that olive oil may help aid in preventing the accumulation of fat, especially if eaten in the morning. She recommends eating a tablespoon a day. I have not read any of the primary research personally, but her book seems pretty scientifically sound. I eat it daily along with Vega, etc., and I've definitely lost weight.

Hope this helps a bit!

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