Is Peanut Oil Healthy? The Surprising Truth
Peanut oil is considered appropriate for deep frying, stir-frying, roasting, and baking.

Peanut or groundnut oil is made from peanut plant seeds and is commonly used in baking, sautéing frying, and other forms of cooking.

Because peanut oil contains high levels of vitamin E and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (unsaturated good fats), it is a healthy and affordable version of vegetable oils.

What is peanut oil?

Peanut oil (Arachis oil) is a type of vegetable oil derived from peanuts (Arachis hypogea; a low-growing, annual plant and a member of the family Fabaceae). It is commonly used in many parts of the world and considered a staple in Southeast Asian and Chinese cuisines.

It is a low-cost, versatile oil with a high smoking point.

Peanut oil is considered appropriate for deep frying, stir-frying, roasting, and baking.

Types of peanut oil

Depending on its nutritional value and health benefits, peanut oil is available in several varieties, including:

  • Refined peanut oil: It is often considered the best oil for deep-frying. This type of oil undergoes a high level of processing, which removes the proteins that cause allergic reactions in those with an allergy to peanuts.
  • Gourmet peanut oil: This type of unrefined oil is usually roasted, which gives it an intense, nutty flavor and aroma. It works well in stir-fries along with several other baked goods and cooked dishes.
  • Peanut oil blends: Peanut oil is often blended with other oils that are similar in taste but are comparatively less expensive, such as soybean oil, which makes it more affordable and pocket-friendly for consumers.
  • Cold-pressed: This form of oil is produced by crushing the peanuts rather than exposing them to high temperatures, which helps retain the nutritional value and preserves the nutty flavor of the oil.

The nutritional content of peanut oil

Table 1: Nutritional composition of one serving (one tablespoon) of peanut oil
Nutrient Amount
Calories 119
Fat 14 grams
Saturated fats 2.3 grams
Monounsaturated fats 6.2 grams
Polyunsaturated fat 4.3 grams
Vitamin E 11 percent of the total recommended dietary intake (RDI)
Phytosterols 27.9 mg

22 nutritional health benefits of peanut oil

  1. Peanut oil offers a slightly nutty flavor. It is a good and neutral option to use in most recipes.
  2. Because of its high smoke point (about 450°F), it can withstand high temperatures without burning.
  3. Peanut oil is rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that accounts for many protective benefits against several chronic diseases.
  4. Peanut oil contains healthy fat and can be a great addition to your diet if it is consumed in moderation.
  5. It is high in antioxidants and good fats that can keep the heart healthy and blood sugar levels down (strengthening insulin sensitivity).
  6. Peanut oil contains high levels of unsaturated (good) fats that can contribute to a lower risk of heart disease.
  7. The vitamin E content of peanut oil protects the body from free radicals, which can damage cells and cause cancer (anticancer potential).
  8. Peanut oil contains phytosterols, especially beta-sitosterol, which may have the ability to protect the body from colon, prostate, and breast cancer.
  9. Consumption of phytosterols could be positively linked to increased activity of antioxidant enzymes and reduced oxidative stress.
  10. Consumption of polyunsaturated fats instead of saturated fats can improve insulin secretion, which helps keep blood sugar levels under control.
  11. The monounsaturated (MUFA) and polyunsaturated (PUFA) fats in peanut oil help lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (bad cholesterol) levels, thus preventing clogging or blocking arteries (atherosclerosis), which may lead to heart disease and stroke.
  12. Resveratrol helps decrease blood pressure by reducing stress on the cardiovascular system by interacting with hormones that affect blood vessels, such as angiotensin, which constricts vessels and arteries.
  13. It boosts cognitive function, strengthens the immune system, and lowers blood pressure.
  14. Peanut oil contains diverse types of fatty acids, such as oleic, stearic, palmitic, and linoleic acid, that can boost your health in several ways.
  15. It helps maintain healthy skin, protecting it from the effects of free radicals that cause wrinkles, blemishes, and other signs of premature aging.
  16. It boosts the immune system by stimulating white blood cell production to fend off any foreign agents in the body.
  17. Vitamin E protects the body from infections and viruses.
  18. The antioxidant properties are required to create red blood cells, cell signaling, and the prevention of blood clots.
  19. Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that has been shown to reduce the chances of heart disease, malignancies, cataracts, and age-related early dementia.
  20. It promotes hair growth, boosts hair follicles, and minimizes the effects of damage and dandruff.
  21. It helps avoid inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis, and relieves pain and joint inflammation.
  22. Peanut oil helps prevent many disorders of the stomach, making it an excellent remedy to cure disorders, such as constipation, digestive problems, and diarrhea.

QUESTION

According to the USDA, there is no difference between a “portion” and a “serving.” See Answer

5 potential risks of peanut oil

  1. Peanut allergies
  2. Heart diseases
    • Most people already consume a diet high in omega-6 fats, which are found in vegetable oils, fast food, and many packaged products.
    • Consuming peanut oil in moderation is generally considered safe. However, if you consume too much omega-6 fatty acid, it harms in many ways, including increasing the odds of heart disease.
  3. Weight gain
    • The types of fatty acids in peanut oil are generally beneficial but when overloaded, it is high in calories, which can lead to weight gain and obesity.
  4. Oxidizes easily
    • Although peanut oil is associated with several health benefits, it oxidizes easily and is high in pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. This makes it essential to round out your diet with several other healthy fats, including nuts, seeds, coconut, extra-virgin olive, and medium-chain triglycerides oil or avocados.
  5. Quality deteriorates with each use
    • Peanut oil does break down with each use, so reusing it multiple times can cause the quality to quickly deteriorate.
    • If the oil becomes cloudy, changes color or takes on an unpleasant smell, it is best to discard it.

8 products made from peanuts

Peanut consumption varies globally and can be developed into several products, such as:

  1. Peanut butter
  2. Roasted peanuts
  3. Peanut sauce
  4. Peanut jam
  5. Peanut milk
  6. Peanut flour
  7. Peanut snacks (sweet and salted bars)
  8. Peanut cheese analog

What can you use as a suitable substitute for peanut oil?

The most well-known and popular oils available that are often considered healthiest oils to cook with include:

  1. Olive oil
  2. Coconut oil
  3. Avocado oil
  4. Canola oil
  5. Sunflower oil
  6. Soybean oil

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Medically Reviewed on 6/23/2022
References
Image Source: Getty image

WebMD. Peanut Oil: Are There Health Benefits? WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/diet/peanut-oil-health-benefits

Staughton J. 7 Surprising Benefits Of Peanut Oil. Organic facts. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/oils/peanut-oil.html