Peanut Oil Healthy or Not?

1. What is peanut oil?

With so many cooking oils available on the market, it can be hard to know which is best for your health.
In Vietnam, natural healthy products are being chosen as an alternative to industrial oils, but there is still little information to learn. Types like peanut oil are less popular in Vietnam, although they are popular around the world. Peanut oil is an oil commonly used in cooking, especially when frying foods. This article will take a detailed look at peanut oil to find out if it is a healthy or unhealthy choice. What is peanut oil?

Peanut oil, also known as peanut oil or arachis oil, is an oil derived from seed plants.
Although peanut plants flower above ground, peanut seeds actually grow underground. This is why peanuts are also called peanuts.

Peanuts are often grouped with tree nuts such as walnuts and almonds, but they are a legume. Depending on how it’s prepared, peanut oil can have a variety of flavors, ranging from light, sweet to strong and fatty.

Each is done using different techniques:

  1. Refined Peanut Oil: This is refined, bleached, and deodorized, which helps to remove the allergenic parts of the oil. Generally safe for people with peanut allergies. This type of oil is often used by restaurants to fry foods like chicken and French fries.
  2. Cold Pressed Peanut Oil: In this method, the peanuts are ground to press out the oil. This pressing process retains more of the natural peanut flavor and nutrients than the refining process.
  3. Gourmet peanut oil: Considered a specialty oil, this oil is unrefined and often toasted, giving it a richer flavor than refined oils. It has a whole, nutty flavor to dishes such as stir-fries.
  4. Peanut Oil Blend: Peanut oil is often blended with a similar-tasting but less expensive oil like soybean oil. This type is more affordable for the consumer and is often sold in bulk for frying foods.

Peanut oil is widely used around the world but is most popular in China, South Asia (India) and Southeast Asia like Vietnam. Peanut oil has a high smoke point at 225 ℃ and is commonly used for frying food.
Here are the nutrition facts for one tablespoon of peanut oil (Nutrition facts for Peanut oil, recommended daily values ​​and analysis.): Calories: 119, Fat: 14 grams, Saturated fat: 2.3 grams, Monounsaturated fat: 6.2 grams, Polyunsaturated fat: 4.3 grams, Vitamin E: 11% of the RDI, Phytosterols: 27.9 mg

2. Nutritional ingredients and benefits when using peanut oil?

The fatty acid breakdown of peanut oil is 20% saturated fat, 50% monounsaturated fat (MUFA) and 30% polyunsaturated fat (PUFA). The main type of monounsaturated fat found in peanut oil is called oleic acid or omega-3,6. Peanut oil also contains large amounts of linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid, and small amounts of palmitic acid, a saturated fat. A significant amount of monounsaturated fat is found in peanut oil, making it suitable for frying. However, it contains large amounts of polyunsaturated fats, which are 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 the harmful effects of free radicals and reducing the risk of heart disease (Source: Free) Radicals, Antioxidants in Disease and Health) Furthermore, vitamin E helps keep the immune system strong, protecting the body from bacteria and viruses. It is also necessary for red blood cell formation, cell signaling and preventing blood clots. This powerful antioxidant may reduce your risk of heart disease, certain cancers, cataracts, and may even prevent age-related mental decline. (Source 1: The Role of Vitamin E in Human Health and Some Diseases) (Source 2: Vitamin E – Health Professional Fact Sheet) In fact, an analysis of eight studies including 15,021 people found that the risk of age-related cataracts decreased by 17% in those with the highest dietary intake of vitamin E compared with those with the lowest intakes. (Source: Vitamin E and risk of age-related cataract: a meta-analysis)

Peanut oil may reduce the risk of heart disease

Peanut oil is high in monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) and polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs), both of which have been studied extensively for their role in reducing Heart disease. There is good evidence that consuming unsaturated fats can reduce some of the risk factors associated with Heart disease. For example, high levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood are associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Many studies have shown that replacing saturated fat with MUFAs or PUFAs can reduce both LDL cholesterol and triglycerides Heart)

Peanut oil can improve insulin sensitivity

Studies have shown that monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes. Consuming any fat with carbohydrates will help slow the absorption of sugar in the digestive tract and lead to a slower rise in blood sugar. However, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, in particular, may play a larger role in blood sugar control. (Control of blood glucose in type 2 diabetes without weight loss by modification of diet composition – Nutrition & Metabolism)

In a review of 102 clinical studies including 4,220 adults, researchers found that replacing just 5% of saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat resulted in a significant reduction in sugar levels. and HbA1c, a marker of long-term blood sugar control. In addition, replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat significantly improved insulin secretion in these subjects. Insulin helps cells absorb glucose and keeps your blood sugar from getting too high.
Lab studies with animals also show that peanut oil improves blood sugar control.
In one study, diabetic rats that were fed peanut oil experienced significant reductions in blood sugar and HbA1c. In another study, diabetic rats fed a diet fortified with peanut oil experienced a significant reduction in blood sugar levels. ( Effect of Dietary Substitution of Groundnut Oil on Blood Glucose, Lipid Profile, and Redox)
( Effect of dietary vegetable oil consumption on blood glucose levels, lipid profile and weight in diabetic mice: an experimental case—control study – BMC Nutrition)

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 you must get them through your diet because your body cannot make them.
Along with omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids play an important role in brain growth and development.
While there are some evidence-based benefits to consuming peanut oil, there are also some potential downsides.
While omega-3s help fight inflammation in the body that can lead to a number of chronic diseases, omega-6s tend to cause more inflammation. While both of these essential fatty acids are important for health, today’s diets are often too high in omega-6 fatty acids. In fact, many studies link high intakes of omega-6 fats to an increased risk of breast cancer in women (Sources (1), (2), (3) The evidence for a link between high consumption of these inflammatory fats and certain diseases is strong, although it should be noted that research is ongoing.
Peanut oil is high in omega-6s and lacking in omega-3s. For a more balanced ratio of these essential fatty acids, limit your intake of oils that are high in omega-6s, such as peanut oil.

Peanut oil can be easily oxidized

Oxidation is a reaction between a substance and oxygen that creates free radicals and other harmful compounds to form. This process usually occurs in unsaturated fats, while saturated fats are more resistant to oxidation.
Polyunsaturated fats are most susceptible to oxidation due to their higher number of unstable double bonds.
Simply heating or exposing these fats to air, sunlight or moisture can trigger this undesirable process.
The high amount of polyunsaturated fat in peanut oil, coupled with its use as a heat oil, makes it more susceptible to oxidation. The free radicals generated when peanut oil is oxidized can cause damage in the body. This damage can even lead to premature aging, some cancers and heart disease (Source (1) (2))
There are other, more stable oils and fats on the market for high-heat cooking.
They have a much higher antioxidant capacity than peanut oil. Although peanut oil is advertised as having a high smoke point, it may not be the best choice.

Peanut oil is a popular oil used around the world, provides good antioxidant vitamin E, may help reduce heart disease risk factors, helps improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar in people with diabetes.
However, while this oil may have some health benefits, it also has some downsides such as being rich in inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids and being prone to oxidation, which can increase the risk of cancer. some diseases.

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