Groundnut oil is a vegetable oil extracted from groundnuts, also known as peanuts or ‘moongfali’, that is widely used as cooking oil in Indian homes. It is commonly used as a cooking medium for a variety of food, preferred for its heavy texture but light and sweet nutty flavour that serves as a rich cooking medium and compliments most dishes and preparations. It’s also especially used in many savouries such as sabudana vadas and groundnut chutney for its flavourful aroma and nutty taste.
But apart from it being an excellent cooking oil and a flavoursome addition to meals, groundnut oil has more to it. It is a very healthy oil that has been used in Indian homes and has been part of our culture and cuisine for its excellent compatibility with our foods, climate, and body, and a high nutritive content that enriches the food cooked in it with essential nutrients and compounds.
Groundnut oil has several nutritional and health benefits to offer, let’s begin by looking at the nutritive value and properties you get if you buy groundnut oil.
Nutritive Value of Groundnut oil
- Oils are a great source of fat in our diet that is necessary for several important functions of our bodies. Fat is also the highest energy source for us and contributes the maximum kcal per gram to a diet. Groundnut oil is a high-energy oil, with 100 gms offering about 884 calories.
- Groundnut oil provides fat including saturated fats and unsaturated fats in a healthy proportion. It contains 20% saturated fats, 50% monounsaturated fats and 30% polyunsaturated fats (precise ratio between these,18:49:33)
- It is rich in Vitamin E and Vitamin K. It is also rich in Omega 6 fatty acid (linoleic acid), oleic acid, palmitic acid and other fatty acids.
- Groundnut oil has a high smoke point of 232°C and 450°F, which means it can be heated to high temperatures without burning easily, making it ideal for deep frying food. This also ensures low oil retention in foods.
Benefits of Groundnut oil
Low in saturated fats and virtually free from cholesterol. It is especially rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) like oleic acid that produce good cholesterol (HDL) in the body and
The nutritional composition of peanut oil shows a good lipid profile which upon consumption helps us maintain a healthy blood lipid profile and a balance of good and bad cholesterol for healthy heart function.
Peanut oil also contains plant sterols such as phytosterol that also contribute towards good heart health and reducing the risk of coronary heart diseases by competing for the absorption of cholesterol in the body.
Groundnut oil contains a compound called resveratrol that plays an important function in the body as an antioxidant. It has also been linked to reduced risk of cognitive disorders and age-related mental decline such as Alzheimer’s.
Studies show that consuming less saturated fats and more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats may improve blood sugar levels. The MUFAs and PUFAs in groundnut oil therefore may have a role to play in blood sugar control and insulin production. Oleic acid present in groundnut oil has been linked with the increase in insulin production and lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes. Vitamin E also helps lowering blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Consumption of peanut oil as part of a balanced diet contributes to better immunity to counter viral and fungal infections. The strong Vitamin E content present is especially known to keep the immune system strong.
Because it is rich in vitamin E, groundnut oil is also good for skin health. Vitamin E keeps skin glowing and prevents damage from free radicals, wrinkles and ageing.
It is important to note that groundnut oil generally available in the market is refined, double refined or often blended with other oils such as cottonseed oil, to increase its shelf life. This diminishes its nutritive value. The chemical refining process aimed at removing impurities and allergens also removes valuable nutrients from the oil along with ridding of its colour, as well as taste and aroma.
Groundnut oil should be used unrefined, only filtered to remove impurities and residue. To preserve all the nutrients that could be lost in the heat generated during the extraction process, peanut oil is traditionally cold-pressed in a wooden press that absorbs heat generated during the pressing and doesn’t let it affect the quality of the oil.
Groundnut oil is a healthy cooking oil to include in your cooking, you should totally add this to your diet and enjoy a sweet nuttiness in your meals with no compromise on health. Go for peanut nut oil that is cold-pressed, unrefined, and extracted from organic groundnuts grown on nourishing Indian soil, that is good for the environment, you and the farmers who grow it. Be sure to Buy Groundnut Oil from an authentic source to ensure you get the best quality and all the goodness of this amazing oil.