Dr. Weil Recommends Liberal Use Of Olive Oil

When Dr. Weil speaks, I listen. Not that I believe everything he says, but he has a certain charisma, and I like the foundation of his thinking, his wholistic, mind-body approach to health.

A couple of things I can’t sign on to are his guidance about supplements and his liberal use of oil, a calorically dense, highly processed, nutritionally wanting substance.

“Continue your 2014 healthy eating habits by making extra virgin olive oil your main source of dietary fat, using it liberally for eating and cooking.”

Use it as your main cooking oil (be sure not to use high heat, as it can oxidize the delicate oil), in place of butter and margarine in most baked goods, and as a drizzle on vegetables or salads or a dip for bread. Or get decadent and make Lemon Olive Oil Cake!” [Recipe follows]

Does everything we eat have to be prepared with fat? On vegetables and salads, on and in baked goods, as a medium for cooking? In my mind, Americans are overdoing it with the fat and oil. A healthful diet does not team up the word “oil” with the appeal “use it liberally.”

Lemon Olive Oil Cake, from Dr. Weil’s restaurant, True Food Kitchen.  Serves 4-6.


4 lemons, zested and juiced
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 eggs
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups evaporated cane sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder


– Combine zest, juice and olive oil in a small bowl.
– In the mixer combine eggs & salt. Mix on medium for 2 minutes. Slowly add the sugar and continue to mix until pale and thickened.
– Turn mixer to low and slowly sift in the flour and baking powder, followed by the olive oil mixture. Do not over mix at this point; just incorporate the ingredients.
– Pour this mixture into a cake pan or muffin tin. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes for cupcakes and 35 minutes for large cakes. Poke with a toothpick to check for doneness.
– Serve with Greek yogurt and fresh strawberries.


Chef Michael Stebner coats the muffin cups with oil and sugar and recommends serving it with Greek yogurt.  “Greek yogurt’s got a lot of fat in it.  It’s got twice as much fat as regular yogurt.  That’s why it tastes so good.”

If this served 4, each person would be eating 1/4 cup oil, 1.5 eggs, and a half cup of sugar. Not counting the oil in the pan and the cream or yogurt side.

I can hear it already … “everything in moderation” …

What do you think?

13 thoughts on “Dr. Weil Recommends Liberal Use Of Olive Oil

  1. RB

    Greek yogurt is a triumph of marketing. Olive oil is also a triumph of marketing too. The olive oil industry has us thinking olive oil is the superfood in the Mediterranean Diet. The recipe looks like fat, packaged with refined carbs (sugar, flour) with a helping of cholesterol (eggs) — not exactly a healthy dessert. Just eat the lemons.

    In general, I think Dr. Weil provides good advice but goes off the rail on a some things: like olive oil and supplements. I wonder what he thinks of “Forks Over Knives”?

    He doesn’t seem to have USP verification on his line of supplements either.


    1. Bix Post author

      Just eat the lemons!

      One tablespoon of olive oil has more saturated fat than a large egg. I’ll repost that.

      Olive oil, as any fat or oil, should be used sparingly, not liberally. If there’s anything we should be eating liberally it’s vegetables.


    1. Bix Post author

      That’s a great point. At one time he was recommending a brand of oil called Lucini. I don’t know if he still does. I had a feeling he was benefiting from advertising it.


  2. Melinda

    Everything in moderation–there, I said it. It’s an idea that’s stood people in good stead for 2500 years or more. I would never make or eat an olive oil cake (or any kind of cake), but I’ll dress a large salad for two to four people w/ 1 tbsp. of olive oil (3/4 to 1 + 1/2 tsp. per person). Why? Because it tastes delicious and enhances the flavor of everything in the salad. I know you prefer a more abstemious regimen, which is fine, for you! Oh, but I also think that virtually every food we eat today is a triumph of marketing, b/c that’s how our country’s structured these days–a corporate oligarchy.


    1. Bix Post author

      Cigarettes in moderation? Cocaine in moderation? Unprotected sex in moderation? No, there are some things that are not good, even “in moderation.”

      The problem with this term, moderation, is that it’s subjective. And since it’s often applied to things people are attracted to, “moderation” may come to be an amount that is unhealthful. It comes to be a word used to justify risky actions.

      For an alcoholic, drinking “in moderation” is more risky than for a non-alcoholic. For a person with heart disease, consuming some foods “in moderation” is more risky than for a person without heart disease. It’s subjective.

      I just looked up the word abstemious. It says, “characterized by moderation,” “moderate in eating and drinking.” I think this is an example of the different ways people view “moderation.”


      1. Melinda

        You know I wasn’t referring to cigarettes, cocaine, & unprotected sex. The phrase “Everything [or all things] in moderation” or “moderation in all things” goes back to Aristotle’s “Doctrine of the Mean” (in his Nicomachean Ethics). I didn’t mean literally “everything” in what I said–it was a historical reference intended to apply only to what I was talking about, olive oil. Of course many people take things to extremes that become harmful to them and to others, and we seem to be getting worse in that regard as each day passes. I was simply saying that there are valid uses for moderation–including your way, which I admire but cannot practice myself (would if I could)–despite the subjectivity of the word, and despite the way it can be twisted into something unhealthy.


        1. Bix Post author

          For many people, it is not a question of “can’t”, it is a question of won’t. It is quite possible to eat a whole food, plant-based diet. People choose not to.


  3. Pingback: What Is Omega 3 Used For – Your Questions Answered | What Is Omega 3

  4. Melinda

    As I look back thru the comments on this post, I see your use of the word “sparingly.” That is what I meant by my use of moderation–and I’m totally with you on the veggies. Here are a few nice quotations about moderation that you might like (maybe? 🙂 ): “Immoderate desire is the mark of a child, not a man.” “The animal needing something knows how much it needs, the man does not.” (both from Democritus, 4th c. BCE); “Moderation is the silken string running through the pearl-chain of all virtues.” (Thomas Fuller, 1642)



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