Can you use peanut oil instead of vegetable oil? (+3 health risks )

In this article, we will answer if peanut oil can be used instead of vegetable oil or not, and what are the health benefits and risks associated with using peanut oil.

Can you use peanut oil instead of vegetable oil?

Yes, peanut oil can be used as an alternative to vegetable oil for baking, cooking, or frying. Besides many health benefits that peanut oil provides, it is also responsible for causing health-related problems. 

Peanuts belong to the family Leguminosae. Contrary to the tree nuts, peanuts grow underground in pods. Below is everything you need to know about peanut oil. Like sesame oil, peanut oil, due to its strong nutty flavor and aroma, is used as a flavoring agent in some dishes.

What makes peanut oil good for frying food?

  • Peanut oil has a smoke point of 450°F or 232°C degrees celsius. Due to a higher smoke point(410°F for corn and 435°F for canola), food cooks quickly developing a crispy crust without absorbing much oil.
  • A high saturated fatty acid content makes it more stable than other vegetable oils, therefore, minimizing the formation of dangerous oxidation products when exposed to high frying temperatures.
  • Refined peanut oil does not have a nutty flavor, hence, frying food in peanut oil does not overpower the favlor of any other ingredient.

Health benefits of using peanut oil

High Vitamin E content

1Tbsp pf peanut oil provides 11% of the RDI. Vitamin E has excellent antioxidant, anti-aging and anti-cancerous properties. It also boosts immune health and plays an important role in blood clotting, cell signaling and erythropoeisis.

High in unsaturated fats

A high Monounsaturated Fatty Acid(MUFA) and Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acid(PUFA) content helps reduce heart diseases by lowering the levels of LDL cholestrol and Triglycerides in the blood.

Insulin sensitivity

MUFA and PUfa present in peanut oil have been found to promote insulin sensitivity by controlling blood sugar levels in the blood. It also helps control hunger and reduce weight.

Presence of phytosterols

Both refined and unrefined varieties of peanut oil contain phytosterol that lower the absorption of cholesterol from blood that helps prevent it from accumulating and blocking the blood vessels.

Health risks of using peanut oil

High omega-6 fats

Omega-6 and omega-3 are both poly-unsaturated essential fatty acids. But peanut oil has an exceptionally high content of omega6 fats. Omega 3 is anti-inflammatory while omega-6 promotes inflamamtionn. Both of these fatty acids are essential for the body in a balanced ratio.

High poly-unsaturated fatty acids

Peanut oil has considerably high levels of poly-unsaturated fatty acids. These fatty acids are prone to oxidation due to the presence of double bonds. Peanut oil is exposed to high heat, therefore, making it susceptible to oxidation

Peanut oil allergy

Unrefined, crude, virgin or gourmet peanut oil might have traces of the peanut proteins that can provoke an allergic response in people with peanut allergy. However, refined varieties of peanut oil are safe to eat. Some people might suffer mild allergic reactions as a result of using refined peanut oil due to the presence of trace proteins.

What are the different types of peanut oil?

Refined peanut oil

This commercial type of groundnut oil is formed by refining that removes nutty flavor, color, and allergens from raw form. Refined peanut oil has a very mild nutty or neutral flavor.

Cold-pressed peanut oil

Cold-pressed peanut oil is also called virgin peanut oil and it has not been processed. Hence, it retains the intrinsic nutty flavor, color, and aroma but it does not mask the flavor of other ingredients in a recipe.

Roasted peanut oil

As the name suggests, this oil is extracted from roasted peanuts. Roasting adds a strong nutty flavor and a darker golden hue to it. It is typically used as a flavoring agent and is drizzled over salads or added in sauces or marinades.

Peanut oil blends

Peanut oil blends 

Peanut oil blends are prepared by mixing other inexpensive oils with a comparable smoking point such as soybean oil. This makes peanut oil cost-friendly.

How to store peanut oil?

An unopened and opened container of peanut oil will preserve its freshness for 1-2 years and 6 months, respectively. Keep the peanut oil in a dark and cool place in an airtight container. Heating peanut oil over its smoke point will damage the quality and reduce the shelf life of peanut oil.

Peanut oil can be used multiple times, however, it is important to remove the food bits after each use to keep it around for longer.

Conclusion

In this article, we will answer if peanut oil can be used instead of vegetable oil or not, and what are the health benefits and risks associated with using peanut oil.

References

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/is-peanut-oil-healthy

https://extension.okstate.edu/fact-sheets/why-peanut-oil-is-good-for-frying-food.html

Sana Ameer

Hello, I'm Sana Ameer. I'm a student of Food Science and Technology at UVAS. I like to bake and I aspire to become a Food blogger.

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