What does our first expert have to say about dietary oils?

Part 1 of the Experts and Oils Series

MD: George Washington School of Medicine
BA: Macalester College

Board-certified: American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

Dr. Barnard is focused on nutrition research and is the president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). He’s a prominent advocate for veganism and promotes plant-based nutrition for preventing and reversing chronic diseases. He’s authored several books on the topic and is a frequent speaker on the health benefits of a vegan diet.

A vegan, Dr. Barnard, advocates for a plant-based diet rich in whole foods, emphasizing fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts/seeds, while minimizing processed oils and fats. “What we do know is that a low-fat plant-based diet that excludes animal products is the best solution for reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.” He supports a low fat diet, explaining that 20-30 grams of dietary fat daily is all we require.

Not a fan.

Dr. Barnard discourages the use of vegetable/seed oils due to their high omega-6 fatty acid content, which can contribute to inflammation when consumed in excess. While he acknowledges that small amounts of these oils are common in many diets, he emphasizes the importance of limiting their intake and opting for healthier fats from sources like nuts, seeds and avocados.

“Minimize consumption of seed oils to reduce inflammation and lower the risk of chronic diseases.”


Dr. Barnard discourages the consumption of coconut oil due to its high saturated fat content and potential adverse effects on heart health. On coconut oil and palm oil, he says “definitely get rid of them.

“I encourage people not to eat Coconut oil or palm oil AT ALL.”
emphasis on AT ALL provided by me because it’s how he spoke the term.

“Coconut oil is not a healthy fat. It’s high in saturated fat, which can increase your risk of heart disease and other health problems.”

“The research is clear that coconut oil increases LDL cholesterol, which is a risk factor for heart disease.”

Besides PCRM, Dr. Barnard has a large social media presence. A quick Google search will uncover details about Dr. Barnard, his influence and his opinions. Find him if you want to learn more about his stance on dietary oils and other nutrition topics.

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