Is Grapeseed Oil Good for You

The onset of industrialization has affected the food industry and the way we eat in general. The invention of different types of food has become an industry in itself, as we continue to create things we never could before without the machinery. When you walk down your grocery store’s condiment aisle, you’ll come across a variety of oils that can be used for cooking and consumption. Some of the usual you might be familiar with includes vegetable oil, corn oil, canola oil, and the ever so popular olive oil. There are also other types of oil that have gained popularity over the years because of their health benefits such as sunflower oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil among many others. There’s another oil that’s climbing the health charts with its many benefits: grapeseed oil.

grapeseed-oil1As its name implies, grapeseed oil comes from grapes. It is produced when the seeds are mechanically pressed, and it is also largely produced when wine is being made. It is a relatively newer product, as its production is impossible to do without the use of heavy machinery and technological processes. Grapeseed oil can be used fresh in salads and breads, and it can also be used for cooking. Some consider it as one of the best oils for frying due to its high smoke point of approximately 420°F. Grapeseed oil is also used as a cosmetic ingredient as a moisture component. It has also been thought to have medicinal benefits and the many benefits that wines have, since both wine and grapeseed oil comes from the same exact thing. Grapeseed oil has many benefits for the body that can be taken advantage of with moderate use.

A great vitamin E source

Much like olive oil, grapeseed oil contains a formidable amount of vitamin E. As a matter of fact, it has double the amounts of vitamin E that can be found in olive oil. Vitamin E has many benefits for the body, the first of which is its effect on the skin and eyes. It has long been known that vitamin E helps in keeping the skin healthy and glowing. It also does the same for the health of the eyes and the hair. Vitamin E also helps promote a stronger immune system. This is especially important for fighting off diseases and illnesses. The immune system also benefits from the antioxidant properties of vitamin E. The vitamin in grapeseed oil helps promote a longer cell life in the body by fighting the free radicals that cause oxidative damage to the cells. Vitamin E slows down the aging of cells and makes for stronger and healthier cells altogether. Some studies have even shown the benefits of vitamin E when used as treatment for degenerative diseases such as heart disease and cancer among others.

Zero trans fat and zero cholesterol

grapeseed-oil2Fats and cholesterol have always had a bad reputation for people. There’s a slight misunderstanding here as the body needs an ample amount of fat and cholesterol for specific functions and purposes throughout the body. However, excess amounts of bad fats and cholesterol that can be found in processed foods can be dangerous. Since we normally get the right amount of fats and cholesterol from the foods we generally eat, it helps if we don’t get any extra or added fat coming from the oils we use to cook with or consume directly. Grapeseed oil happens to have no trans fat (or the bad fat) and no cholesterol whatsoever, so it eliminates having to worry about the negative effects of excess fats and cholesterol in the diet. Some of these negative effects include atherosclerosis or the thickening of artery walls, increased risk for obesity and cancer, and increased risk for heart disease among many others.

High concentration of polyunsaturated fat

While it doesn’t have any trans fat, grapeseed oil does have the highest amount of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, or PUFA, compared to any other oils in the market. This specific kind of fat is essential in that it has a few important benefits. Studies have shown that ample amounts of polyunsaturated fats in the body can help lower the risk for heart disease and also lowers LDL cholesterol levels (or the bad cholesterol levels). Some studies have suggested that omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids should be consumed alongside omega-3 essential fatty acids in the same amounts without going overboard the daily recommended intake of

Risks of grapeseed oil

grapeseed-oil3Despite of its benefits, there is a potential harm in the excessive consumption of grapeseed oil due to its high amounts of omega-6 PUFA. Too much omega-6 PUFA can result to some health problems that can become serious if not monitored properly. High levels of omega-6 PUFA in the body can lead to a slower metabolism and oxidation of cholesterol. It can also lead to damages in the thyroid that can be caused by hypothyroidism and an increase in stress hormones.

Conclusion

Grapeseed oil is great in moderation. It can be an alternative oil to be interchanged with other oils such as olive oil and avocado oil at home. It shouldn’t be your primary cooking oil option, as you can run the risk of consuming too much omega-6 PUFA, which is only beneficial in the right amounts. There is a way to enjoy the healthy benefits of grapeseed oil, and that’s by not going to excess. There’s no need to worry about the risks of using it, as long as you make sure that you use it sparingly and on occasion.

References

Joshi, SS; Kuszynski C. A.; Bagchi D. (2001). “The cellular and molecular basis of health benefits of grape seed proanthocyanidin extract”. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2 (2): 187–200.

Kamel, B. S.; Dawson H.; Kakuda Y. (1985). “Characteristics and composition of melon and grape seed oils and cakes”. Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society. 62 (5): 881–883.

Nakamura, Y; Tsuji S; Tonogai Y (2003). “Analysis of proanthocyanidins in grape seed extracts, health foods and grape seed oils”. Journal of Health Science. 49 (1): 45–54.

Yilmaz, Y; Toledo, RT (February 2006). “Oxygen radical absorbance capacities of grape/wine industry byproducts and effect of solvent type on extraction of grape seed polyphenols”. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. 19 (1): 41–48.