The oils you use to cook with can make or break your healthy intentions. This Southwest Turkey & Bean Salad is a perfect example of how you can turn a healthy recipe unhealthy depending on the oils you use. 

The list of cooking oils to choose from is ridiculously long. Many of them sound healthy like "vegetable oil" but there's only a few that actually are. How can something with vegetable in the name be anything but healthy?

The answer is simple: many of these oils, like vegetable oil, that are used in practically all processed or prepared foods aren't strong. They're weak, and when they're mass produced and added to highly processed foods they're heated at nearly volcanic temperatures. This causes them to turn bad. They turn into toxic or inflammatory oils.

When you consume these oils in small amounts on a regular basis they slowly wreak havoc on various tissues and organs in the body. They fuel inflammation and create unhealthy environments in your joints, cardiovascular system, and even your brain.

Sounds terrifying right? The easiest way to avoid the slippery slope of toxic oils is to avoid them and stick to healthy oils. Here's the list of toxic oils: vegetable, soy, canola, corn, sunflower, safflower, cottonseed, anything hydrogenated.

Here's the list of healthy oils: avocado, olive, coconut, peanut, palm, almond, macadamia, sesame, and pastured butter.


1 can black beans
1 can garbanzo beans
1/2 red onion (diced)
1 tomato (chopped)
1 avocado (diced)
juice of 1/2 a lime
1 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1/2 lb of cooked ground turkey
1/2 teaspoon of each of the following spices: turmeric, paprika, coriander, chili powder, cumin, red chili flakes, and salt/pepper to taste. 🍽 

Instructions: Mix all ingredients in large mixing bowl and enjoy. 

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Tim DiFrancesco, PT, DPT, ATC, CSCS spent 6 seasons as the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and is the founder of TD Athletes Edge.  He is nationally renowned for his evidence-based and scientific approach to fitness, training, nutrition, and recovery for athletes and fitness enthusiasts.

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