Q. How much oil do you need in your diet every day?
I’ve never met a person in America on a typical diet who needed to take more fat and oil in. If you’re eating a balanced diet, even if you exclude all the added fat, if you’re eating things like nuts and seeds, avocados, olives, some coconut, you actually get plenty of fat. The only way you wouldn’t get enough of the essential fats is if you were on a very refined diet. For example, let’s say you were on an all-fruit diet for a prolonged period of time. Sure, fruit is very low in fat; you could get a problem with an essential fatty acid deficiency. But we almost never see that. In the old days we used to see it in people who were on total parenteral nutrition getting fed by vein, and they weren’t being given extra fat. Now we always give them fat by vein as well. So it’s really not a concern about not getting enough fat, unless you’d be on some extremely restricted diet.