No, Peanut Oil is not Paleo!
Peanut Oil: Characteristics and Composition
Peanut oil is a vegetable oil derived from peanuts. It has a strong peanut flavor same with sesame oil and has a mild sweet taste. It is yellowish in color. It comes in refined, unrefined, cold pressed and roasted varieties.
Peanut oil is rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats at 46% and 32% respectively. The remaining fatty acid composition is 17% saturated fats. Peanut oil is a good source of protein, antioxidant and vitamin E. It has a high smoke point of 446°F that makes it best for high heat cooking. Because of its high polyunsaturated fats, it can easily oxidize and turn rancid.
Peanut oil is often used in Asian dishes especially in frying. As with other vegetable oils, it can also be used to make soaps. Peanut oil can also be used as massage oil.
Why Avoid Peanut Oil?
As we all know, peanut oil comes from peanuts which is a legume and definitely not Paleo! Peanuts contain peanut agglutinin, which is one of the worst lectins around. Agglutinin when broken down can result to digestive and inflammatory problems in the body.
Peanuts are susceptible to a mold that produce aflatoxin, a carcinogen that has been shown to cause liver cancer. Aflatoxin can also cause immune system reaction like allergy when consumed in great quantities.
Phytates are present in legumes (therefore peanuts has it) which can prevent minerals from being absorbed by the body. Phytates bind calcium, magnesium, potassium and other minerals that can cause indigestibility and absorption.
There have been studies too that the high amount of lectins in peanut oil can cause artery clogging that can eventually cause stroke and gut inflammation. It has been responsible for the inflammatory condition arthritis.
The polyunsaturated fat contents of peanut oil are high that it can be easily oxidized and form free radicals. In the long run, these free radicals can lead to various illnesses such as skin diseases and even cancer. Some studies have shown that antioxidants are added to peanut oils to extend its shelf life.
For all these reasons, might as well get rid of peanut oil. There are many other healthy oils around like coconut oil and olive oil which can give more benefits without thinking of the harm it can do to your body.
What Experts Say About Peanut Oil.. Is It Paleo?
“Okay, the relatively MUFA-rich peanut oil may be a better choice than corn or sunflower oil for high heating, but it’s still a legume (already off limits) oil prone to rancidity.” – Mark Sisson
“So, the practical point here is to stay away from both peanuts and peanut oil and all legumes.” – Dr. Loren Cordain
All you ever wanted to know about Peanut Oil and Paleo
Mark’s Daily Apple. The Definitive Guide to Oils
Mark’s Daily Apple. Aflatoxins, or Another Reason to Shun Peanuts
The Paleo Diet. BEANS AND LEGUMES: ARE THEY PALEO?
Why All the Confusion? (aka, Is Peanut Oil Paleo?)
Paleo Leap. Paleo Healthy Fats
Paleo Porn. Is Peanut Oil Paleo?
The Dirt and the Dish. Paleo Approved Oil Chart
Ultimate Paleo Guide. Are Peanuts Paleo?
Eat Drink Paleo. Making Sense of Healthy Cooking Oils and Fats
Livestrong. What Fats Can I Cook With in Paleo?
Science Direct. Effects of antioxidants on peanut oil stability
Other Names for Peanut Oil
Groundnut oil, arachis oil
Did we miss anything?
Comment below and let us know what you think. Do you agree with our conclusion?
photo credit: Uncooked peanuts heap