Grapeseed Oil: Is It Safe For Cooking?

Learn whether grapeseed oil can be a good or bad oil for cooking in this article.

Grapeseed oil

Grapeseed oil is a derivative from the pressed grape seeds, and it’s abundant in the winemaking process. It has been growing in popularity as marketers claim about its benefits for the heart and lowering effects for blood cholesterol.

What Is Grapeseed Oil

Grapeseed oil is a byproduct of the winemaking process. Technological advances made extracting oil from grapeseed possible and enabled businesses to make money from it. The oil is made by factories that crush the seeds and use solvents although healthier manufacturing processes used expeller-pressed and cold-pressed to extract seed oil.

Nutritional Contents Of Grapeseed Oil

1. High in Omega-6 fatty acids and low in nutrients

It contains 70% polyunsaturated fatty acids, 16% monounsaturated acids 1% and 10% saturated fatty acids. According to this study, scientists have speculated that the high consumption of omega-6 may lead to inflammation. The study is also supported by theories from various studies that linked omega-6 with elevated risks of chronic disease (1, 2). On the other hand, some controlled studies reported that linoleic, a type of omega-6, found in grapeseed oil, doesn’t increase levels of inflammation markers (3, 4).

It’s currently unknown whether omega 6 fatty acids increase disease. Researchers need to use high-quality evaluation to look into the effects of omega-6 fatty acids (5). 

A tbsp of this oil contains 3.9 vitamin E although it’s not an impressive vitamin E source.

What Are Its Nutritional Facts?

The USDA detailed that a grapeseed oil tablespoon contains:

  • 9 mg of vitamin E
  • 120 calories
  • 14 grams of fat (70% polyunsaturated, 10% saturated fat, 16%% monounsaturated).

Like other oils (olive oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, corn oil, and sunflower oil), grapeseed oil constitutes PUFAs or Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids. PUFAs have been linked to increased heart health and decreased cholesterol levels.

  • Grapeseed oil – 70% omega-6 PUFA
  • Corn oil – 54%
  • Canola oil – 19%
  • Sunflower oil – 68%
  • Soybean oil – 51%

Benefits Of Grapeseed Oil

Grapeseed oil contains vitamin E which can benefit skin health, eye health, and the immune system. It is also high in PUFA Omega 6 linoleic acid. According to the Medical Center of the University of Maryland, not all types of Omega-6 are harmful and cause inflammation. Another study showed that grapeseed oil contains a high percentage of linoleic acid (a fatty acid). Linoleic acid is an essential fat that our bodies can’t make. When digested, LA is turned into gamma-linolenic acid which provides protective roles for the body.

PUFAs aren’t best for cooking because of their high oxidation point at high temperature. On the other hand, grapeseed oil provides a moderate-high smoke point than other PUFA oil and olive oil. Grapeseed oil has a smoke point of 421 F that is Ok for high heat cooking such as baking, sauteing, and deep-frying. Other oil smoke points include Avocado oil – 520 F, butter oil – 350 F, Coconut oil – 350 F, Olive oil – 450 F.

A study showed that GLA might lower inflammation and levels of cholesterol when GLA is converted to DGLA. Another study from the International Journal of Food Science & Nutrition discovered that grapeseed oil is more beneficial than sunflower oil and vegetable oils in lowering insulin resistance and inflammation in obese women.

It can also benefit skin and hair. Various internet articles cite grapeseed oil as beneficial to hair and skin. The oil has been used as a moisturizer for hair and dry skin. It contains vitamin E and moisturizing fatty acids that can also remedy acne outbreaks.

Bad Effects

A study of 44 obese women for two months compared to the health effects of grapeseed daily.

  • It may contain some harmful levels of PAHs or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Such a level may be potentially harmful as PAHs are identified as a cancer-causing chemical in animals (7).
  • Grapeseed oil may cause an anti-platelet effect that means it can reduce blood clotting (8).
  • Grapeseed contains the highest omega-6 levels compared to other oils:
  • Grapeseed oil – 70%
  • Sunflower oil – 68%
  • Corn oil – 54%
  • Soybean oil – 51%
  • Canola oil – 19%

Effects Of Too Much Consumption

According to studies, high omega-6 can increase the risk of inflammatory levels. Various health studies recommend a ratio of omega-3 and omega 6 (1:1 and up to 10:1). Excessive intake can lead to these:

  • High levels of inflammation – Too much intake of PUFA and low consumption of omega-3 can lead to elevated levels of inflammation that can increase the risks of chronic diseases. 
  • High cholesterol levels – Oxidized PUFAs are unusable to the body and can increase the risks of heart disease and clogged arteries.
  • Hormonal imbalances and thyroid problems – Higher omega-6 levels can interfere with the body’s ability to make sex hormones and hormones that stabilize the mood. It can also interfere with the activities of the thyroid.l
  • Obesity – High inflammation levels can lead to thyroid function problems, and issues in metabolism, and sluggish metabolism.

Is Grapeseed Oil Safe For cooking?

  • Grapeseed provides a moderate-high smoking point. Marketers advertised it as high-heath cooking oil for frying.
  • Grapeseed could be a bad cooking oil because it’s high in polyunsaturated fatty acids that react with oxygen and form free radicals and other harmful chemicals (910).
  • Due to the fact, it contains polyunsaturated fatty acids that can react, you can avoid it for frying but use it for salad dressing.
  • This oil contains no flavor, but it is good in salads and low-temperature cooking when you don’t want an oil affecting the flavor of your dish.

The Bottom Line

Some studies and articles recommend not to use grapeseed oil due to its high omega 6 contents or polyunsaturated fatty acids and on the other hand, some list this oil as Ok for cooking. While it’s unknown if the oil is good or bad for the health, you can use it moderately or avoid using it in high heat cooking to avoid exposure to inflammatory chemicals and instead use it for salads and low heat cooking. Use grapeseed oil along with oil high in omega 3. It provides benefits for skin as it’s listed as one of the best anti-acne agents. The moderate use of oils is the key to safe use.

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