As the name suggests, grapeseed oil is oil from the seeds of grapes. It is marketed as being a good choice due to its high vitamin E content, and considered environmentally sounds as the seeds are a by-product of the wine industry and therefore reduce wastage.
The fact is though, grapeseed oil is not healthy. Here’s why:
- Grapeseed oil is promoted as having a high smoke point (420°C), which some believe make it suitable for high-temperature cooking methods. This is incorrect. The smoke point of grapeseed oil is artificially high — it contains a high concentration of phenols, plant compounds that make it resistant to smoking, but also the highest concentration of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which should never be heated. Read on.
- Grapeseed oil is composed of 70% omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. By comparison, olive oil is 10%. Polyunsaturated fatty acids are highly inflammatory, especially when heated, and have been found to cause free radical damage (read: early aging), metabolic disruption, stress hormone increase, thyroid damage and even tumor growth. For more information and supporting research, please read
- Grape seeds don’t contain much oil, so the production of grapeseed oil requires the use of high-tech machinery and chemical solvents such as hexane to extract the oil from the seeds. Similar to rice bran oil, it is promoted as being natural based on its ingredients, but what occurs to achieve the end result is most certainly not.
“So what do I use?”
Stick with coconut oil, butter or ghee and keep olive and nut oils for cold use. If you would like more options, again please read “Fats: the truth!“.
For vitamin E, focus on natural whole foods including spinach, broccoli, pumpkin, shellfish and white fish such as rainbow trout.
Keep it simple, just eat real food.
Image source: Nature’s Garden.