Peanut Oil Health Benefits and Side Effects - 2019
Frequently Asked Questions
What's peanut oil? It's the fat that comes from pressing peanuts; peanuts are seeds that come from the peanut plant, also known as Arachis Hypogaea.
Peanut seeds are very fatty by nature and don't need much processing to be turned into pure peanut oil or peanut butter.
After pressing the peanuts and using a centrifuge to extract and separate the fats from the husk.
How is peanut oil made?
Peanut oil is a vegetable oil that's made by using hulled peanut seeds. They're gathered and later pressed or crushed into a paste known as peanut butter.
Later put into a centrifuge to separate the oil from the peanut proteins. This leaves you with pure liquid oil and a dry peanut butter like residue.
Peanut oil is very healthy, in moderation. The fatty acid profile is balanced. Per 100g of peanut oil there's 17g of Saturated fats, 32g of Polyunsaturated fats, and 46g of Monounsaturated fats.
There are huge amounts of omega 3-6-9 fatty acids found in peanut oil, all of which helps reduce inflammation, risks of heart disease, and burn fat because of the high amounts of oleic acid.
Heart disease is the main cause of deaths in the United States. All of these healthy fats help improve your heart health. The omega fatty acids help reduce cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and reduce triglyceride levels in your blood.
On top of that, it has a good amount of Vitamin E which is a powerful antioxidant. This prevents free radicals and can help fight viruses as well as infections.
It also boosts your cognitive health and function, immune system strength, and insulin sensitivity.
Peanut oil can be bad for you in specific circumstances. If you don't store your oil safely, have too many omega-6 fats in your diet, and most commonly, peanut allergies.
If you don't store it safely, it'll go rancid and start creating free radicals at a fast rate. This can cause oxidative stress on your body and eventually cause damage your heart.
These harmful compounds can cause heart disease and other cardiovascular complications. Storing any oil properly can help avoid these negative effects by keeping it in a cool, dark, and sealed environment
If you eat too many omega-6 fatty acids, it'll start to cause serious side effects like internal inflammation, digestive issues, and in extreme cases heart disease.
Just like oxidative damage, too many omega 6's can cause heart health issues. Especially by promoting inflammation, swelling, and heart muscle tearing in extreme cases.
For peanut allergies, peanut oil is a must avoid at all costs and there are no work arounds.
Peanut oil can go bad very easily. The high amounts of monounsaturated fats make it so that any exposure to light, oxygen, or heat can instantly cause the oil to go bad.
Most oils high in monounsaturated fats can't handle oxidization and heat well, such as olive oil. They're much more sensitive to heat, oxygen and light, which requires extra maintenance to make sure you're not causing serious damage to you or your cooking oil.
Break Down and Background
Peanut oil is actually a seed oil from the peanut plant, named the arachis hypogaea. Peanut oil is also known as groundnut oil or arachis oil, it's a popular vegetable oil often used for frying and cooking.
Peanut oil is also used as a medical remedy and is widely used to treat many illnesses. It’s not commonly used in cooking in North American style dishes due to its flavor profile, it's massive popularity and wide range of uses stem from Asia.
Asian cuisine typically uses high heats, and because refined peanut oil has a high smoke point it can tolerate most wok style dishes.
Although it's widely favored in Asia and many African countries due to its nutty flavor being a good complement to their traditional foods.
It’s availability and relatively high smoke point makes it a great choice for daily cooking and frying.
Peanut oil's omega fatty acid profile is 17% saturated fat, 32% polyunsaturated fat (omega 6), and 46% monounsaturated fats (omega 3 and omega 9).
Because of its name, peanuts are usually thought of as a type of nut, but it's actually a legume that belongs to the Arachis family. The peanut plant flowers above while the peanuts seeds grow below ground, which is why it's also known as groundnuts.
Despite its popularity, a peanut allergy is the worlds 3rd most common food allergy. But fortunately having one of the lowest death rates sitting at around 100-200 people yearly, worldwide.
There are a few different variations of peanut oil, ordered from healthiest to unhealthiest.
Cold Pressed Peanut Oil: This method has the highest quality oil in terms of nutrition, benefits, and flavor. Cold pressing peanuts breaks it down into 2 parts, peanut protein and oil.
The peanut oil is in its pure state while peanut protein is the residue after extraction. This makes it easier to separate the pure fat and retains almost all of its healthy polyunsaturated fats and saturated fats.
Gourmet Peanut Oil: This variation is exactly the same as the cold pressing process, the difference is that the peanuts are wok fried or roasted before pressing, intensifying the nutty flavor.
This version is best used for cooking and frying foods, but because of the heating and frying of the peanut itself, will cause the oil to lose some of its healthy fats.
Refined Peanut Oil: The most common version found in supermarkets. As with all refined oils, peanuts go through a heating, bleaching, and deodorizing process to keep it shelf stable for long periods of time.
This destroys the healthy polyunsaturated fat, saturated fat, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Specifically monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, saturated fat, and its linoleic acids.
Similarly to sunflower oil, peanut oil consumption is growing globally, China's leading with around 3,000,000 Metric tons, followed by India at around 1,100,000 Metric tons. The United States sits at 7th globally at around 130,000 Metric tons.
The most common omega 9 fatty acid in peanut oil is oleic acid and the most common omega 6 fatty acid is linoleic acid. With palmitic acid being a small part of its saturated fat content.
Peanut Oil Health Benefits
Peanut oil has a good balance between its saturated and unsaturated fats, making it a great option for reducing bad LDL cholesterol, reducing your risk of heart disease, and maintain blood sugar control.
There's also a good amount of vitamin E, containing 11% of your recommended daily amount (RDA).
Vitamin E works as an antioxidant and helps fight free radicals in your body. Peanut oil also increases insulin sensitivity which regulates your blood sugar levels and helps to make you feel less hungry.
This also helps in preventing heart disease risks such as coronary artery disease, heart attacks, strokes, and risk of heart disease. The vitamin E is also essential for the creation of red blood cells and preventing blood clots.
One of the major health benefits of regularly having peanut oil in your diet, is that it can help boost your immune system. Omega-6 fatty acids, polyunsaturated fats, and saturated fat all increase the production of white blood cells to help fight off intruding bacteria and viruses.
For instance, if you have a light infection, such as a cold, taking in a few tablespoons of peanut oil or even plain all natural peanut butter can help you fight the infection and can get you feeling much better sooner due to the healthy omega-6 polyunsaturated fats.
Peanut oil is a great natural relief and remedy for many complications such as Arthritis, joint pain, Eczema, and other skin dryness disorders.
1. Full of Healthy Omega 3 6 9 Fatty Acids
71% of peanut oil's monounsaturated fat content is oleic acid (omega 9) which is also found in most other tree nuts. Oleic acid has been found to reduce high blood pressure, defend cells from free radicals, and helps your body burn stored fats by increasing your basal metabolic rate (BMR).
Although peanut oil is great at regulating blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity, we would not recommend having it be your main cooking oil if you're diabetic, suffered from heart disease in the past or have any similar issues.
Heart disease is one of the leading cause of deaths in the United States, currently at around 610,000 per year in the U.S alone. Having a consistent intake of high quality unsaturated fats can reduce LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood, reducing your risk of heart disease.
2. Improves Overall Heart Health
Peanut oil is high in polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, and healthy unsaturated fatty acids which are key nutrients for keeping good heart health.
A list of why omega 3 fatty acid benefits are good for your heart health:
Reduces triglyceride levels in your blood
Lowers overall blood pressure
Reduces your risk of developing serious heart complications
Reduces the buildup of plaque in your arteries caused by LDL cholesterol
A list of saturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, and omega 6 fatty acid health benefits include:
Regulating your blood sugar levels
Reduces your risk of developing diabetes and heart disease
Lowers your total blood pressure
Improves fat oxidation which helps with weight loss.
3. Improves Cognitive Functioning and Brain Health
Peanut oil has a high amount of resveratrol, which is the main source of its wide range of benefits, brain health, reduced risk of heart disease, and blood sugar control being a few.
Resveratrol has anti-inflammatory and antioxidants, this helps reduce age related cognitive decline and inhibits the formation of amyloid plaques around the brain.
The formation of plaques in the brain is the main trigger and effect of Alzheimer's disease.
4. Boosts Immune System Strength
The polyunsaturated fats and antioxidants are very effective against viral and fungal infections.
The polyunsaturated and saturated fats in peanut oil have the health benefit of stimulating the production of white blood cells which can help fend your body off against a variety of other viruses and diseases.
5. Increases Insulin Sensitivity
Resveratrol has the effect of blocking the enzyme aldose reductase, which is what's used to convert glucose into the sugar alcohol sorbitol.
If too much sorbitol gets built up in your blood, it starts to create oxidative stress in your cardiovascular system, this effect is amplified if you have a form of diabetes.
The antioxidant found in peanut oil counteracts and minimizes that damaging effect. This also having the secondary outcome of also reducing inflammation.
The second contributing factor to the increased insulin sensitivity is peanut oil's monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. They help control blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorption of glucose into your bloodstream, slowing down the rise of your blood sugar.
This keeps a consistent blood sugar level throughout the day without the energy spike and crash. Substituting saturated fats with unsaturated fats in your diet drastically improves insulin activity.
Insulin helps cells absorb glucose slowly and more efficiently. This helps avoid your blood sugar from getting too high, too quick.
Peanut Oil Side Effects
1. Has Too Many Omega 6 Fatty Acids
The main negatives of consuming too much peanut oil is that there’s a large amount of omega 6 fatty acids found in its fat composition, which can have it’s own set of problems.
While omega 6s are key to good heart health and proper bodily functions, it has become abundantly available in many foods we consume on a daily basis. Too much of a good thing can be harmful to you and consuming too much omega 6 fats leads to heart complications instead.
Many studies show how omega 6s in high dosages can increase cardiovascular inflammation. In small enough levels it actually reduces inflammation.
It should be made clear that a moderate intake helps reduce inflammation while over consuming causes the reverse effect of actively promoting inflammation.
Since most western diets consist of a lot of corn, vegetable, and seed oils found in every supermarket, not including processed foods at most restaurants, the average person consumes way too much omega 6's.
If your diet consists of the previously mentioned, it's best to stay away from peanut oil.
Peanut Oil Can Easily Go Rancid
Due to peanut oil being on the higher end, of vegetable oils that have loads of unsaturated fats it's easily prone to hydrogenation. That's the process of having the oil go rancid paired with the creation of free radicals.
Unsaturated fats are more prone to being damaged because of the unstable chemical bonds that composes the mollecule itself.
If you plan on using peanut oil regularly, you should take the best measures for preserving your peanut oil and other sensitive oils. This helps drastically extend the shelf life of your oils.
Avoid light, heat, and oxygen until the time of cooking. Since peanut oil has a lot of Oleic Acid and a good amount of Vitamin E, it fights present free radicals in the body quite well.
But you don't want to create a double-edged sword where your oil becomes hydrogenated, in turn destroying any health benefits that prevented that damage in the first place.
Rating and Recommendation
Peanut oil’s growing popularity made it so that it’s now used in many other types of dishes, other than in Asian cuisine.
The Vitamin E has many powerful antioxidants that increase your cardiovascular, heart health, and immune system. These benefits are amplified in people who have diabetes, which is a huge bonus.
The main reason for peanut oils’ good score is its distribution of fats. There are too many monounsaturated fats and not enough omega-3 and omega-9 fatty acids. Other than that, it has an amazing variety of healthy unsaturated fats and has all of the omega fats (although not enough omega-3s and omega-9s).
The health benefits of peanut oil include:
Helping improve your heart health
Boosts cognitive health and function
Raises insulin sensitivity
Strengthens your immune system
The worst part about peanut oil’s nutritional data is that it includes too many omega-6s and too many unsaturated fats. This makes it so the oil can easily go rancid and develop free radicals, which can cause a plethora of medical issues, diseases, and cancers.
If peanut oil is key to keeping your diet well rounded, then it's a good choice. Its health benefits outweigh its side effects by a good amount, but always take precautious measures when storing and cooking with peanut oil since it's a sensitive oil when it comes to hydrogenation, oxidation, and rancidity.
Refined Peanut Oil's smoking point is 232°C (450°F) and Unrefined Peanut Oil's smoking point is 160°C (320°F).
9. Food Nutr Res. (2014 July 10) Effect of the amount and type of dietary fat on cardiometabolic risk factors and risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer: a systematic review
|Amount Per Serving|
|Calories 884||Calories from Fat 884|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 100 g||154 %|
|Saturated Fat 17 g||85 %|
|Polyunsaturated fat 32 g|
|Monounsaturated fat 46 g|
|Trans Fat 0 g|
|Cholesterol 0 mg||0 %|
|Sodium 0 mg||0 %|
|Potassium 0 mg||0 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 0 g||0 %|
|Dietary Fiber 0 g||0 %|
|Sugars 0 g|
|Protein 0 g|
|Vitamin A 0 %||Vitamin C 0 %|
|Vitamin E 11 %||Vitamin K 0 %|
|Calcium 0 %||Iron 0 %|
Calories per gram:
Fat: 9 | Carbohydrate: 4 | Protein: 4