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Peanut Oil’s Shocking Side Effects And Risks

Peanut oil has been getting some attention lately due to some of its proven health benefits. However, many people may not be aware that this mild-tasting vegetable oil also comes with side effects and risks.

Also referred to as groundnut oil or arachis oil, peanut oil is becoming a popular choice for frying foods because of its affordable price, versatility in the kitchen and its high melting point.

Even though it has a good reputation when it comes to adding flavor to certain dishes and having several uses in different industries, peanut oil still has downsides due to its omega-6 fatty acid content and its tendency to oxidize easily, as pointed out by Dr. Axe.

The thing is, there are many varieties of peanut oil, including refined, gourmet, cold-pressed, and blended. The refined variety is the best choice for high-heat cooking because it has the highest smoking point compared to other varieties.

The reason why the refined variety has a high smoking point is the presence of numerous unsaturated fatty acids that are susceptible to oxidation when exposed to heat. But this leads to the buildup of free radicals in the body when ingested.

Free radicals are proven to cause detrimental effects to the human body’s well-being. Some of these detrimental effects are inflammation, heart problems, rheumatoid arthritis, neurological issues, cancer and chronic diseases.

The omega-6 fatty acids in peanut oil have also been subject to scrutiny after a 2013 study established a link between them and the higher risk of early death and increased risk of developing heart disease and other heart-related conditions.

It is also important to note that some varieties of peanut oil, especially the unrefined ones, are capable of triggering food allergy symptoms in people with peanut allergy. Hence, unrefined peanut oil should be avoided to prevent severe symptoms and anaphylactic shock.

On the other hand, peanut oil is widely used in Southeast Asian and Chinese cuisines not only for its taste but also because of its known benefits. It is a good source of Vitamin E and it helps prevent eye problems and dementia. It is also known to boost the body’s immune system.

Peanuts Pictured: Jumbo raw peanuts in shell sold in Shuk Levinsky Market in Tel Aviv, Israel on March 29, 2019. Michael Jacobs/Art in All of Us/Corbis via Getty Images