January 10, 2014 by Dr. Sana Keller
I recently overheard a glowing explanation by someone marketing healthy cooking products claiming that ‘Grapeseed Oil was much better for us (health wise) than Extra Virgin Olive Oil’— really? What is your information based on? Where are your facts? Don’t worry—I seriously didn’t ask that—instead I just listened briefly before removing myself from the small group that had gathered, realizing I had another topic for my blog. So here you are–Let’s check out the facts:
As the names imply, Grapeseed oil is extracted from the seeds of grapes—Olive oil is extracted from olives. They both contain the same amount of total fat as well as amounts of saturated and unsaturated fat. The TYPE of unsaturated fats is where they are NOT alike and this is a BIG DIFFERENCE! Grapeseed oil’s unsaturated fat is mostly polyunsaturated fatty acids. Olive oil’s unsaturated fat is mostly monounsaturated fatty acids.
These polyunsaturated fatty acids (sometimes referred to as PUFA’s) are mostly found in the form of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are good for us—being anti-inflammatory in nature. Omega-6 fatty acids are NOT good for us, except for the small amount our bodies require. Grapeseed oil is high in Omega-6 fatty acids.
High levels of Omega-6 fatty acids play a major role in inflammation and free radical damage in our body, as well as slow the metabolic rate, and lead to elevated cortisol levels and impaired thyroid function. The ideal ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 intake is 1:1—yet for most Americans, this ratio is heavily weighted toward the Omega-6 side—reaching ranges of 20:1 or higher. This is due mainly to common dietary choices, since most processed foods contain significant amounts of Omega-6 fatty acids. The Omega-6 PUFA’s found in Grapeseed oil are also found in many familiar cooking oils like safflower, sunflower, and corn oil. Grapeseed oil contains 70% PUFA’s—Olive oil contains 10% PUFA’s
Another major promotion for grapeseed oil is its high smoke point (the temperature at which it begins to break down to glycerol & free fatty acids and produce smoke). There are healthier options other than grapeseed oil–here is a list for reference which includes the Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratios as well: http://www.jonbarron.org/article/healthiest-cooking-oil-chart-smoke-points .
I realize this information may be quite different from what you have heard from some health care professionals. This is due in part to progress in uncovering the real causes of diseases. I am happy to provide research supporting the information provided–just contact me!
Photo credits: eatnakednow.com, realfoodwholehealth.com, sifalibitkim.com