Grapeseed Oil- Who Knew??
By: Susie Schiering
I have heard of olive oil, canola oil, sunflower oil and vegetable oil. I knew of grapeseed oil extract but did not realize you could use grapeseed oil for cooking. It is a lot better than other oils especially if it is expreller pressed and not solvent expressed (the first is a chemical-free mechanical process that extracts oil from seeds and nuts). Some have no preservatives such as TBHQ or BHT such as the Wildtree brand. It is not hydrogenated and there is no sodium. No trans fatty acids and no cholesterol(it actually aids in cholesterol reduction). It also has one of the lowest levels of saturated fats of all oils at 8%. Olive Oil actually has 14% saturated fats in it. Plus, because less oil is needed for cooking, it can be used within a low-fat diet. Grapeseed oil is easily digestible and a good source of Vitamin E Alpha which is an important anti-oxidant. It also has the highest concentration of poly (76%) unsaturated acid of any oil and helps the body produce High Density Lipoprotein (HDL). Why is HDL a good thing? HDL is a fatty acid which acts as a transporter for saturated fats that helps prevent accumulation in the arteries. It is also known as Omega-6 and in near identical proportions to mother’s milk. Last, it is vital to life and cannot be produced by the body alone.
Grapeseed oil is ideal for frying at high temperatures and may be heated up to 419 degress (F) without burning – one of the highest flashpoints. So you can deep fry your food in grapeseed oil and this gives food a light crispy taste and cholesterol free frying. In addition to its high flash point, grape seed oil has other positive attributes in relation to cooking. It has a clean, light taste that has been described as “nutty”. Because of its “neutral” taste, grape seed oil is often used as an ingredient in salad dressings or as a base for infusing or flavoring with garlic, rosemary, or other herbs or spices. It is also used as an ingredient in homemade mayonnaise. Plus, Grape seed oil can be used for stir-fries, sauteing and fondue. Keep in mind, like other oils, grapeseed oil should be stored in a cool dark place until it is used. For people who use it rarely, refrigeration is best. Although grapeseed oil may congeal slightly, it will go rancid much more slowly when kept in the fridge. After I found out all this information the other day, I decided to buy some. I mean it cannot hurt to try it out – right? Actually it seems like it is a good healthy choice.