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Grapeseed Oil versus Canola Oil versus Peanut Oil; Which Is the Better or Healthier Cooking Oil?
Professional chefs are recommending the use of grapeseed oil for our cooking needs because of its high nutritional value. But how does it compare with canola and peanut, cooking oils that are also considered beneficial for good health?
Grapeseed (Cooking) Oil
Grapeseed oil comes from cold-pressing a lot of seeds i.e. grape seeds. It is light, slightly nutty, and does not overwhelm the flavor of other foods. It has a high smoke point, so it can be used in high-temperature cooking such as deep-frying and baking. It also boasts a long shelf-life.
Nutritional value includes linoleic acid, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins with large quantities of vitamin E, minerals zinc, phosphorus, copper, calcium, magnesium, selenium, and iron, and flavonoids including high amounts of proanthocyandin. Grapeseed oil is also cholesterol-free.
Those nutrients enable grapeseed to provide us with loads of health benefits. Research indicates that it helps prevent certain cancers, diabetes, and high blood pressure. It suppresses hemorrhoids, varicose veins, rheumatoid arthritis, premenstrual syndrome, cardiovascular diseases, visual impairments, and dental cavities. It relieves dermatitis, acne, dry skin, dry lips, age spots, other skin wounds, and body aches. It regenerates stretch marks and wrinkles, and even gives us healthy-looking hair.
Of course if you are allergic tograpes, this product is not for you. Using too much of it can cause headaches, abdominal discomfort, and nausea. There is no available evidence to suggest poor drug interactions.
Peanut (Cooking) Oil
Peanut oil is made from crushing the plant’s nuts or kernels. Oil color can be light yellow if refined or deep yellow if cold-pressed. It can be tasteless or somewhat sweet with a fragrant, peanutty aroma. Like grapeseed oil, it is durable and has a high smoke point. Peanut oil is quite popular in Asian cuisine. If you have eaten Asian food, you may have noticed that its ‘nuttiness’ does not overpower the other flavors.
Peanut oil is rich in mono- and poly-unsaturated fats, especially omega-6 linoleic acid, and low in saturated fats. It is also cholesterol-free, has vitamin E, and healthy doses of phytosterols, especially B-sitosterol.
The main health benefit is the prevention of heart disease. But it is also good for arthritis and many skin issues including eczema and dry skin. Some companies are also adding it to products that aid constipation. An article for www.webmd.com claims that people are using it to prevent cancer and suppress appetite for weight loss as well.
Regarding side effects, if you are allergic to peanuts, refrain from using peanut oil. There is also a concern that peanut lectin may clog our arteries and cause heart disease. Like everything else, consumption in moderation is best.
Canola (Cooking) Oil
Canola oil is derived from crushing the seeds of the canola plant and not that of the rapeseed plant as is often thought. Since the canola plant was created by crossbreeding rapeseed, it does contain erucic acid which is known to be toxic at high levels. However, it is quite low in canola and meets the requirement of the United States Food and Drug Administration. Canola oil is also light and versatile and can be used to make margarine and butter, for high-temperature cooking (because of its high smoke point), coating pans, and as an ingredient in sauces, salad dressings, and other foods.
Its nutritional value consists of high levels of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids with low quantities of the unhealthy saturated fats. In fact, of all the cooking oils regularly used in the United States, canola has the lowest amount of saturated fats, according to “Canola Cooking Oil Benefits,” an article written for www.webmd.com. It is also cholesterol-free and sodium-free.
Use of canola oil can reduce inflammation as well as heart disease, high blood pressure, and other coronary issues. Medical researchers believe its high levels of fatty acids may also increase a child’s ability to learn.
Except for the disputed erucic acid, there are no reported side effects or drug interactions with the use of this cooking oil.
So, which is the better or healthier cooking oil? Grapeseed oil gets my vote. But canola and peanut oils are also fine to use.