Groundnut oil is a vegetable-derived oil made from the edible seeds of the groundnut plant. It is one of the most popular oils used in cooking. It is particularly used in baking, sautéing, and frying foods.
It is important to note that groundnut oil has a wide variety of flavors depending on the processing methods. It varies from mild and sweet to strong and nutty. However, it is generally a good, neutral option that can be used for most dishes. Groundnut oil also has a high smoke point, which makes it a great choice for frying foods.
Many people have wondered if groundnut oil is healthy to cook with. Well, this article will cover the nutritional value and health benefits of groundnut oil.
Nutritional Value of Groundnut Oil
Groundnut Oil does not contain any protein, fiber, or sugar. A tablespoon of groundnut oil contains 119 calories and is also high in fat. The fatty acid breakdown of groundnut oil is 20% saturated fat, 50% monounsaturated fat, and 30% polyunsaturated fat.
Groundnut oil is rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that offers many health benefits. It contains oleic acid, or omega-9, high amounts of linoleic acid, a type of omega-6 fatty acid, and smaller amounts of palmitic acid, a saturated fat. Phytosterols are also present in the oil.
Health Benefits of Groundnut Oil
Because it is a great source of vitamin E, groundnut oil obviously has some potential health benefits. Thus, here are the health benefits of groundnut oil.
1. Improves heart health
Groundnut oil might improve heart health because it has high amounts of vitamin E and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats have been medically linked to reducing heart disease. Also, there is some evidence that consuming unsaturated fats reduces certain risk factors associated with heart disease. In fact, a recent study showed that replacing saturated fats with monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats may reduce the risk of heart diseases.
Furthermore, medical studies have found that vitamin E protects the body from free radicals, which can also lead to heart diseases.
2. Could prevent cancer
Groundnut oil is rich in vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant that can destroy free radicals and prevent cancer. Some animal experiments and human studies have stated that vitamin E may protect against cancer. One study suggested that consuming vitamin E can significantly reduce the incidence of prostate cancer.
3. Reduces bad ‘LDL’ cholesterol
Groundnut oil is high in monounsaturated fats, which can also help you in lowering bad LDL cholesterol. When the body has high amounts of LDL cholesterol, it can clog or block arteries, leading to heart disease and stroke.
4. Improves blood sugar control
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats present in groundnut oil may play an important role in blood sugar control. There is medical evidence that suggests that consuming unsaturated fats, especially polyunsaturated fats, can lead to better blood sugar levels in those with diabetes. Replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats can improve insulin secretion, which keeps blood sugar levels low. One animal study showed notable reduction in rats with high blood sugar levels.
5. May prevent fatty liver disease
A 2020 study showed that consumption of groundnuts high in oleic acid (D7) might have the ability to prevent primary fatty liver symptoms.
In addition, a scientific review of eight studies claimed that vitamin E could decrease blood lipid levels and improve liver health in people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
Potential Side Effects of Groundnut Oil
There are also some possible side effects that have been associated with the consumption of groundnut oil.
An obvious drawback of groundnut oil is its high-calorie content. A tablespoon of the oil contains 119 calories, which is very high. Studies have shown that peanut oil can cause weight gain and obesity.
Groundnut or peanut oil is also very likely to cause allergic reactions in some persona. Allergies to groundnuts are very common in children and can lead to severe attacks that could lead to anaphylaxis.
3. High in Omega-6 Fats
One of the main potential side effects of groundnut oil is that it is high in Omega-6 Fats. Omega-6 fats have been said to cause inflammation and have been linked to various health problems, including breast cancer.
4. Creates free radicals
Because they are high in polyunsaturated fats, groundnut pols are the most prone to oxidation, a reaction between a substance and oxygen that leads to the formation of free radicals and other harmful compounds.
Groundnut oil is widely used cooking oil, that can be used for different dishes. Although there are some health benefits of groundnut oil, it also has some potential side effects and drawbacks. Hence, it should be useful moderately.
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