With so many cooking oils available in the market, it is difficult to know which ones provide the most benefits for your health. Peanut oil is a popular oil that is commonly used in cooking, especially for frying food. While peanut oil can have some health benefits, it also has some important drawbacks. This article discusses peanut oil in detail to determine if it is a healthy or unhealthy option.
What is Peanut Oil?
Peanut oil, also known as peanut oil or andrei oil, is a vegetable oil, made from the edible seeds of the peanut plant. Although the plant blooms on the ground, the seeds or peanuts actually develop underground. This is the reason why peanuts are also known as peanuts. Peanuts are often grouped with nuts, such as nuts and almonds, but in reality they are a type of legume that belongs to the pea and bean family. Depending on the manufacturing process, peanut oil can have a wide range of flavors, ranging from soft and sweet to strong and nutty. There are different types of peanut oil. Each one is made using different techniques:
- Refined peanut oil:this type of oil is refined, bleached and deodorized, which eliminates the allergenic parts of the oil. It is usually safe for people with peanut allergies. It is commonly used by restaurants to fry foods like chicken and French fries.
- Cold-pressed peanut oil: in this method, peanuts are crushed to expel the oil. This low temperature process retains much of the natural flavor and nutrients of peanuts, compared to refined oil.
- Gourmet peanut oil:considered specialty oil, this type is not refined and usually toasted, giving the oil a more intense and deeper flavor than refined oil. It is used to give a strong and particular nutty flavor to dishes like stir-frys (stir-fried stir fry).
- Peanut oil mixtures: Peanut oil is often mixed with an oil of similar but less expensive flavor, such as soybean oil. This type of peanut oil is more accessible to consumers and is generally sold in bulk to fry food.
Peanut oil is generally used throughout the world, but is more common in Chinese, South Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine. It became more popular in the United States during World War II when other oils were lacking due to food shortages. It has a high smoke point of 437 ‚Ñâ (225‚ ÑÉ) and is commonly used to fry food.
Summary: Peanut oil is a popular vegetable oil commonly used throughout the world. This oil has a high smoke point, making it a good option for frying food.
Below is the nutritional breakdown of a tablespoon of peanut oil:
- Fat:14 grams
- Saturated Fat:3 grams
- Monounsaturated fat:2 grams
- Polyunsaturated fat:3 grams
- Vitamin E:11% of the RDI
- Phytosterols:9 mg
Decomposition fatty acid peanut oil is 20% saturated fat, 50% monounsaturated fat (MUFA by its acronym, Mono unsaturated Fat ) and 30% of polyunsaturated fat (PUFA in English, Poly unsaturated Fat ). The main type of monounsaturated fat found in peanut oil is called oleic acid or omega-9 . It also contains high amounts of linoleic acid, a type of omega-6 fatty acid, and small amounts of palmitic acid, a saturated fat. The large amount of omega-6 fats that peanut oil contains may not be a point in favor. These fats tend to cause inflammation and have been linked to various health problems. The considerable amount of monounsaturated fat found in this oil makes it ideal for frying and for other cooking methods at high temperatures. However, it also contains a considerable amount of polyunsaturated fat, which is less stable at high temperatures. On the other hand, peanut oil is a good source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that has many health benefits, such as protecting the body from free radical damage and reducing the risk of heart disease.
Summary: Peanut oil has a high content of monounsaturated fats, making it an ideal option for cooking at high temperatures. In addition, it is a good source of vitamin E, which has many health benefits.
Potential Benefits of Peanut Oil:
Peanut oil is a great source of vitamin E. It has also been linked to some health benefits, which include reducing certain risk factors for heart disease and lowering blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
Peanut Oil is High in Vitamin E:
Only one tablespoon of peanut oil contains 11% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin E.
“Vitamin E is actually the name of a group of fat-soluble compounds that have many important functions in the body”.
The main role of vitamin E is to act as an antioxidant, protecting the body from harmful substances called free radicals. Free radicals can cause damage to cells if their number increases greatly in the body. They have been linked to chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. In addition, vitamin E helps keep the immune system strong, which protects the body from bacteria and viruses. It is also essential for the formation of red blood cells, cell signaling and the prevention of blood clots. This powerful antioxidant can reduce the risk of heart disease, certain cancers, cataracts and can even prevent age-related mental deterioration. In fact, an analysis of eight studies that included 15,021 people found a 17% reduction in the risk of age-related cataracts in those with the highest dietary intake of vitamin E, compared to those with the lowest intake.
May Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease:
Peanut oil has a high content of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, both have been extensively researched, since they play a role in reducing heart disease. There is promising evidence that consuming unsaturated fats may decrease certain risk factors associated with heart disease. For example, high levels of LBD (low density lipoprotein) or “bad” cholesterol, and triglycerides in the blood have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Many studies have shown that replacing saturated fats with monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fatty acids can reduce both LBD or “bad” cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. A large review by the American Heart Association suggests that reducing saturated fat intake and increasing monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat intake could reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 30%. However, these benefits were only observed when replacing saturated fats with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. It is not clear whether adding more of these fats to your diet without changing any other ingredient could have a positive effect on heart health. In addition, it is important to note that other important studies have shown little or no effect on the risk of heart disease, by reducing saturated fat or replacing it with these other fats. For example, a recent review of 76 studies that included more than 750,000 people found no link between saturated fat intake and the risk of heart disease, even for those with the highest saturated fat intake. Another review of 15 controlled studies had similar results, concluding that reducing saturated fats in the diet had no effect on the risk of heart disease, although replacing some saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats may reduce the risk of cardiac events. While peanut oil has a good amount of polyunsaturated fats, there are many other nutritional options that are higher in these types of fats such as nuts, sunflower seeds and flax seeds
Peanut Oil Can Improve Insulin Sensitivity:
Studies have shown that monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes. The consumption of any fat with carbohydrates helps decrease the absorption of sugars in the digestive tract, which causes the blood sugar level to increase more slowly. However, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, in particular, can play a more important role in the control of blood sugar. In a review of 102 clinical studies involving 4,220 adults, researchers found that replacing only 5% of saturated fat intake with polyunsaturated fats, led to a significant reduction in blood sugar levels and glycosylated hemoglobin ( HbA1c), a marker of long-term control of blood sugar. In addition, replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats significantly improved insulin secretion in these people. Insulin helps cells absorb glucose and prevents blood sugar levels from rising too high. Animal studies also suggest that peanut oil improves blood sugar control. One study in diabetic mice fed peanut oil experienced significant reductions in blood sugar levels and glycosylated hemoglobin. In another study, diabetic mice that received diets fortified with peanut oil had significant reductions in blood sugar levels. There are several ways to lower blood sugar, discover: How to lower blood sugar in 8 steps (scientifically proven) .
Summary: Peanut oil can reduce risk factors for heart disease. It can also help improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar in people with diabetes. It is also a great source of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that protects the body from free radical damage.
Potential Health Risks:
Although there are several evidence-based benefits for consuming peanut oil, it is also important to mention the potential disadvantages.
Peanut Oil is High in Omega-6 Fats:
Omega-6 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat. They are an essential fatty acid, which means that you must obtain them through the diet because your body cannot synthesize them. Together with the best known omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids play a fundamental role in proper growth and development, as well as in normal brain function. While omega-3s help fight inflammation in the body that can lead to a number of chronic diseases, omega-6s tend to be more pro-inflammatory. Although these two essential fatty acids are crucial for health, modern diets tend to be too high in omega-6 fatty acids. In fact, the typical American diet may contain 14 to 25 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids. In recommended ranges for optimal health, experts suggest that the ratio between omega-6 and omega-3 should be closer to 1: 1 or at its maximum expression 4: 1. Omega-6 intake has skyrocketed in the recent decades, along with the rates of inflammatory diseases such as: heart disease, obesity, inflammatory bowel disease and cancer. Moreover, multiple studies link the high consumption of omega-6 fats with an increased risk of breast cancer in women. The evidence supporting the relationship between the high consumption of these pro inflammatory fats and certain diseases is overwhelming, although it must be borne in mind that research is still ongoing. Peanut oil is very rich in omega-6 and lacks omega-3. To eat a more balanced proportion of these essential fatty acids, you should keep the intake of omega-6-rich oils, such as peanut oil, under control.
Peanut Oil Can Be Prone to Oxidation:
Oxidation is a reaction between a substance and oxygen that causes the formation of free radicals and other harmful compounds. This process commonly occurs in unsaturated fats, while saturated fats are more resistant to oxidation. Polyunsaturated fats are the most likely to oxidize due to their greater amount of unstable double bonds. Simply by heating or exposing these fats to air, sunlight or humidity is enough for this undesirable process to originate. The large amount of polyunsaturated fats in peanut oil, added to its common use as an oil at high temperatures, makes it more prone to oxidation. Free radicals that are created when peanut oil oxidizes, such radicals can cause damage to the body. These damages can cause damage to health such as: premature aging, certain cancers and heart disease. There are other more stable oils and fats available in the market for cooking at high temperatures. These types of oils are much more resistant to oxidation than peanut oil. Although peanut oil has a high smoke point, it may not be the best option.
Summary: Peanut oil is rich in omega-6 fatty acids, which are characterized by being pro inflammatory in abundant amounts. Western diets tend to be too high in these fats, which can lead to certain diseases. This oil can also be prone to oxidation, making it an unsafe option as cooking oil.
Peanut oil is a popular oil used throughout the world. It is a good source of antioxidant vitamin E, which can help reduce risk factors for heart disease. It can also help improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar in people with diabetes. However, although this oil may have some health benefits, it also has some disadvantages. It is very rich in omega-6 fatty acids which tend to be proinflammatory in large quantities, and is prone to oxidation, which can cause certain diseases. With so many other healthy fat options on the market, it would be wise to choose oil with more benefits and fewer potential health risks.