What is Peanut Oil?
Peanut oil is a type of vegetable oil made from the seeds of a peanut plant. Typically used in cooking, peanut oil is perfect for frying because of it's high smoke point.
While peanut oil has certain benefits to your health, there are also pitfalls that you have to be conscious of.
Peanut oil is loaded with vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps reduce the risk of heart disease while also assisting in managing diabetes.
However, it's also high in pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids and is prone to oxidation, leaving you at greater risk of certain diseases.
A pricier option, almond oil is arguably a healthier alternative to peanut oil.
Almond oil actually comes in two different varieties, each with it's own culinary purpose.
For dressings, you want the cold pressed version. This is great for sauces and dressings on cold dishes like salads.
For frying, choose a refined almond oil.
Almond oil contains monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats - crucial to lowering bad cholesterol and good cholesterol - as well as omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin E. Previous research has found that it may also prove beneficial on your skin.
Another great option for frying, canola oil can withstand high temperatures as well.
Containing monounsaturated fats as well as essential omega-3 fatty acids - assisting chronic diseases - canola oil is a healthy alternative if peanut oil is off the menu.
Grape Seed Oil
One of the main benefits of choosing grape seed oil as an alternative to peanut oil is the bland flavour. As a result, when frying, you won't end up with any unusual tastes.
The downside? It is on the pricey side compared to other options. Use it sparingly, but rest assured, it'll be worth it for cooking - think searing or sautéing.
It also has some great benefits, linked to lower cholesterol and improved heart health.
Sunflower oil is a nice healthy substitute for peanut oil. Similar to canola oil, it's high in monounsaturated fats while also containing important omega-6 fatty acids and Vitamin E.
Not only is sunflower oil suitable for frying and deep frying with it's 450 degree smoke point, it can also act as a replacement for butter in baking - providing a healthier alternative.
The only issue? It is nut-based which means if you're avoiding peanut oil because of allergies, it's recommended you give this one a miss as well.
A relative of the sunflower, like similar substitutes, safflower oil has a high smoke point, perfect for frying, sautéing, and searing.
Just like grape seed oil, there are no overpowering flavours so you don't have to worry about terrible aftertastes when you're cooking.
It's loaded with omega-6 fatty acids, so it's a friendly alternative for the heart.
Perhaps one of the most common oils used in cooking, vegetable oil is an affordable option.
Many of the previous substitutes we spoke about previously are actually labelled 'vegetable oil' - canola and safflower, especially.
Just be sure to double check the nutritional contents - some are loaded with saturated fats. Under 20g per 100g is what you're after.
Walnut oil is on the pricier side of things. It's far more appropriate as a dressing than a cooking oil.
When it comes to health benefits, apart from essential fatty acids, it's also high in antioxidants.
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