*Peanut oil, also called groundnut oil, is extracted from peanuts (Arachis hypogeae).
*It has a clear pale yellow color, thick texture, oily feel and a light nutty aroma.
*It is widely used in South Asian and Southeast Asian cuisines.
*Has a high smoking point and so is ideal for high heat cooking like deep frying.
*Also used in cosmetic industry in the manufacture of soaps and massage oils.
*People who are allergic to peanuts are also allergic to unrefined peanut oil, which contains traces of the allergen protein, but not to refined peanut oil.
*Peanut oil has palmitic acid, oleic acid and linoleic acid.
*Peanut oil is considered a healthy oil, as it has a high level of monounsaturated fatty acids, about 46%.
*It has a long shelf life and keeps well for up to a year when stored in a cool dark place away from light and heat. This is due to the presence of less amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids that are more prone to oxidation.
Is it raw?
Yes and No.
*Yes, the unrefined or crude oil is raw, but may contain traces of protein allergens.
*No, the refined peanut oil is heat processed, and is free of any protein allergens. Make sure you read the label.
1. Peanut oil has a higher level of monounsaturated fatty acids, which are shown to reduce cholesterol content in the blood.
2. Using peanut oil for cooking regularly in moderate amounts lowers the LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol and triglycerides, and increases the HDL cholesterol which is healthy for heart. The health benefits of peanut oil are compared to that of olive oil.
3. Linoleic acid in peanut oil, which is an essential fatty acid, is the precursor of prostaglandins, the hormone like substances that have a variety of functions in the human body like contraction and relaxation of smooth muscles, contraction and dilation of the blood vessels, control blood pressure, reducing pain and inflammation etc.
4. Good amount of vitamin E and phytosterols, which are antioxidants that help in scavenging the free radicals from blood.
5. Also has small amounts of vitamin K, which prevents internal and external bleeding.
6. It is used as a carrier oil. When used in combination with fresh lemon juice, it protects the skin from acne, black heads and scars.
7. Massaging with peanut oil relieves pain from arthritis.
8. Has no cholesterol like other plant oils.