What are the healthiest fats you can use in your kitchen? Well, that depends on who you ask. If you ask me, of course, I’ll tell you to use traditional fats that have been around forever — like beef tallow, coconut oil, olive oil, and of course, butter!
Usually, with modern guidelines of conventional “wisdom,” only one of those makes it onto the list of “healthy” fats— olive oil. Full of monounsaturated fats and antioxidant vitamin E, olive oil is prized for its supreme healthiness across the board.
But lately, olive oil has gotten some steep competition in the nutrition world . People everywhere are starting to claim that a new contender should be the cooking oil of choice for health-conscious consumers — grapeseed oil.
Just as it sounds, grapeseed oil is oil from the seeds of grapes. It’s a relatively recent invention — because grape seeds themselves don’t contain very much oil, so it requires the use of high-tech machinery and/or chemical solvents to extract the oil from the seeds. Grapeseed oil wasn’t around before the industrialization of our food supply because of this.
The seeds are a byproduct of the wine-making industry, so turning a waste like that into a highly-marketable health food was a pretty darn genius idea. But is grapeseed oil a good idea for you and your health?
The “Benefits” of Grapeseed Oil
Let’s take a look at the supposed benefits of cooking with grapeseed oil. Here’s what they say about it — “they” being, of course, the people trying to sell it to you.
- Grapeseed oil contains lots of vitamin E! Sure does. About twice as much as olive oil.
- Grapeseed oil is non-hydrogenated and has 0 trans fats! Yep. Claps for you.
- Grapeseed oil has NO cholesterol and very little saturated fat! Not exactly something I’d brag about, but, yes, this is true.
- Grapeseed oil has a high smoke point! It does have a moderately higher smoke point than olive oil.
- Grapeseed oil has the highest concentration of omega-6 polyunsaturated fat, so it’s good for your heart! Yeah, it sure does have more PUFA than any other oil.
Think that doesn’t sound too bad? Well, let’s dig in a little deeper to what’s really in this stuff.
What the Makers of Grapeseed Oil Don’t Want You To Know
Okay. Here’s the deal. Grapeseed oil could be filled with magical sprinkles of billions of whatever kinds of super-special-anti-every-bad-thing-and-make-you-invincible-superhuman-superfood-nutrients there are, and I still wouldn’t eat it. Why?
Because the biggest, most glaring problem with grapeseed oil is, ironically, the one thing they’re touting as its healthiest benefit— it is extremely high in omega-6 polyunsaturated fat.
Grapeseed oil is over 70% omega-6 PUFA, with some brands boasting even higher levels— I’ve seen as high as 77% advertised!
Let’s compare this to other popular cooking oils.
- Corn oil: 54.5% Omega-6 PUFA
- Sunflower oil: 68%
- Vegetable oil (Look at the ingredients, there’s only one: soybean oil.): 51.4%
- Cottonseed oil: 52.4%
- Canola: 19.0%
Those are all extremely high in toxic PUFAs, but grapeseed oil tops them all. It is by far, the absolute highest in PUFA out of any cooking oil. Which is precisely why I recommend avoiding it entirely.
The Truth about Polyunsaturated Fats
What’s so bad about those PUFAs? Well, basically, human bodies can’t handle very much of them at all, without running into some serious health problems. And for almost all of human history, we consumed only a very small amount of polyunsaturated fat—whatever was naturally present in the food we ate.
But as the industrialization of our food supply brought new technology for creating all sorts of changes to the food we eat, that changed. We started extracting oils out of seeds that we never could have before. Making olive oil is easy—you squeeze it. But squeeze a kernel of corn, a soybean, or a sunflower seed? Not much happens, without lots of big machinery and a high-tech, chemical-based process.
So as a result, we began consuming more polyunsaturated fats (concentrated in modern cooking oils) than ever before. Today, we consume 1,585% more PUFA than we did 100 years ago. That’s a lot. It’s been by far the biggest change to our diet in recent history.
Healthy human cell walls are comprised of fats and cholesterol. And very, very little polyunsaturated fat. When we have too much polyunsaturated fat compared to the saturated fat that’s supposed to make up the fat in our bodies, bad things happen from that imbalance. Things like:
- Inflammation from free-radical damage. Everyone knows inflammation is bad. But excessive PUFA consumption, omega-6 in particular, causes serious inflammatory damage. Industrial PUFA oils contain tons of free-radicals, which are compounds that attack cell membranes and red blood cells, causing damage to DNA and RNA strands, and leading to cellular mutations in the body’s tissues. This leads to premature aging, plaque buildup in arteries, and even the formation of tumors.
- Oxidation of cholesterol and other tissues. Free radicals are formed when the PUFA is oxidized due to damage from heat, light, and pressure. PUFAs are extremely fragile and heat-sensitive, and their carbon bonds break very easily. Industrial oils are heated and pressurized to oblivion during the processing at the factory, requiring all sorts of chemicals and deodorizers to mask the rancidity and make the oil appear “clean.” But, even “cold-pressed” PUFA oils are going to wind up oxidized from heat damage, if you’re cooking with them—duh!
- Thyroid damage and increase in stress hormones. PUFAs directly interfere with the functioning of your thyroid gland. And, because of all the inflammation they cause when consumed in excess, counter-inflammatory stress hormones, like cortisol (A.K.A., the “belly fat” hormone). Too much PUFA consumption can cause hypothyroidism.
- Lowered metabolism. PUFAs clog up your cells’ ability to burn fuel and produce energy—in other words, your metabolism. Thyroid function governs metabolic function, so when PUFAs are inhibiting your thyroid, your metabolism suffers as well.
So, how much PUFA causes all those problems? Less than you might think. No more than 4% of your total calories should come from polyunsaturated fats—we’re talking omega-6 and omega-3 combined. The ideal ratio for consumption of omega-6 to omega-3 is 1:1. That occurs in natural foods, like grass-fed meats, dairy, and eggs, and even a little PUFA is found in in plant foods. But again, generally in very small amounts that are appropriate for human consumption.
Grapeseed Oil Versus Olive Oil
Like I mentioned earlier, grapeseed oil is so commonly touted now as being a “new and improved” take on the classic liquid cooking fat, olive oil. They say it beats out olive oil in just about every category, but is that really true?
The grapeseed oil manufacturers sure love to talk about how much “nutrition” their product has. Really this boils down to pretty much nothing other than the vitamin E content of the oil, compared to others—olive oil in particular.
If you look at the nutrition facts, you’ll see that they’re right. Grapeseed oil does happen to be particularly high in vitamin E—about 3.9 mg in a serving (tablespoon) of grapeseed oil, while olive oil has about 1.9 mg per serving.
That’s great and all, but it’s still not a good reason to consume or cook with grapeseed oil. Wanna know what else has lots of vitamin E? Butter! Particularly from grass-fed cows.
Here’s the breakdown of fats in both olive oil and grapeseed oil.
As you can see, pretty major differences in the PUFA content. Again, grapeseed oil is extremely high in polyunsaturated fat — but this is NOT something you want! It’s best to avoid excessive PUFA as much as possible.
Some makers of grapeseed oil will go on about how “pure” and wholesome their product is compared to other oils, or even other brands of grapeseed oil. That’s probably because most grapseed oil is industrially processed with hexane and other toxic, carcinogenic solvents used to extract and clean the oil, with traces of these chemicals remaining in the final product.
However, an expeller-pressed processed grapeseed oil is still rife with polyunsaturated fat, in concentrations which are highly toxic to humans. Doesn’t matter how “pure” those PUFAs are.
Olive oil also has trouble with the whole purity factor, unfortunately. Many brands of “EVOO” aren’t exactly “virginal.” Olive oil is a highly fraudulent food, meaning that it’s commonplace in the industry to lace the oil with cheaper ones like canola, and pass it off as “100% pure.” Recent studies have found several brands that pass the test for purity, such as this one.
Oh, and if you’ve been using grapeseed oil for its pure (or rather, nonexistent) taste, you can find tasteless, expeller-pressed coconut oil that is a truly healthy alternative here.
Suitability for high-temperature cooking
Because of grapseed oil’s relatively high smoke point of 420 degrees, the manufacturers claim that it is suitable for high-temperature frying and cooking. I’m not convinced. Because the smoke point of grapeseed oil is artificially high — grapeseed oil contains lots of phenols which are plant compounds that make it resistant to smoking. Phenols are protective, but much like polyunsaturated fatty acids themselves, they can only take so much. As the temperature rises, the phenols break down right along with the bonds of the fatty acid, and eventually allow the oil to smoke.
However, the PUFAs are still being oxidized and forming free radicals at lower temperatures than the smoke point. The phenols do not prevent this. Essentially, the smoke point is totally irrelevant in evaluating the effect of heat damage to the oil, and its subsequent health effects or safety.
The smoke point of olive oil is between 320 and 405 degrees (I suspect the differences in reporting have to do with the fact that much of the olive oil supply is adulterated with cheap industrial oils. You can find pure, real olive oil here). But since smoke point isn’t a good determining factor in the health or safety of cooking with an oil, it’s best to simply look at the makeup of the fat. Again, olive oil is much, much lower in easily-oxidizable polyunsaturated fat, at around 9.9%, compared with grapeseed’s over 70%.
Now, since olive oil is the clear winner here, should you cook with it? Well, that’s a story for another post. But I’ll sum up my thoughts here: saturated fats (butter, tallow, coconut oil, etc.) are best to use for cooking. They are the most resistant to heat damage and oxidation. Olive oil has very little saturated fat, and a significant amount of omega-6 PUFA. However, I don’t think cooking with it at low temperatures is the end of the world. Avoiding the nasty industrial oils—and even more recent inventions like grapeseed oil—is what’s most important, not worrying about traditional fats like olive oil. More on this next week!
Are you ready to ditch grapeseed oil?
Or have you been suspicious of it all along? What fats do you use in your cooking?
The Science of Skinny: Understanding Your Body’s Chemistry—and Stop Dieting Forever; McCaffrey, Dee; 2012
I’ve always been suspicious of grapeseed oil, because it isn’t traditional. What about ghee, how does that stand up? And butter seems to have a really low smoke-point, so how are you supposed to handle cooking with it without making everything taste like burned butter?
You use ghee instead! 🙂 The part of butter that burns is the milk solids—that’s what you remove when you make ghee. You can buy ghee or make it yourself pretty easily. But yes, it’s a great choice for even high temp cooking!
Oh man, I use grapeseed oil to make homemade mayo. Nobody here will eat it when I make it with olive oil. Any suggestions? Thanks for the info.!
Avocado oil is a better bet for an oil that’s relatively tasteless. I like to use a mix of coconut oil and olive oil, personally!
Thanks for the info.. I also use grapeseed oil in my Mayo. I will try the avocado. I had no idea that grape seed oil was chemically processed or I would never have started using it in the first place!!
I use Mary’s Oil Blend – 1/3 EVOO, 1/3 expeller-pressed coconut oil and 1/3 sesame oil. It doesn’t taste strongly of olive oil or sesame, and the coconut oil helps firm it all up. Works great.
Julie, I use the high-oleic safflower oil. You can get the unrefined stuff at mountainroseherbs.com – It has as much mono as olive oil and it is pretty tasteless.
I made some mayo with olive oil and hated it. I tried homemade mommy’s recipe, which is half ghee and half olive oil and it is FANTASTIC.
Tiffany A. says
I’ve never cooked with grapeseed oil, but I do use it as a facial moisturizer (I let it sit with calendula and lavender for a few weeks, then strain the plant matter out and store in an opaque glass bottle.) I find it keeps my skin from getting too dry (especially during the winter) but doesn’t make me break out or feel oily. Any thoughts on using it topically like this?
I personally wouldn’t. I’m sure it’s better than ingesting it directly, but oils can be absorbed into your bloodstream through your skin, too.
I use coconut oil on my skin, which is somewhat oily at first, but if you wait a few minutes (and only use a very small amount to begin with), it’ll settle into your skin and look more “dewy” and fresh, than oily. But I’ve found that jojoba oil is a good alternative for a less-dewy look.
I bought jojoba oil to use in making lip balms because the recipe called for it. I don’t know much about jojoba oil and never have read anything about it.
Can you tell me anything about jojoba oil and do you use it for any other purpose other than applying it to you skin?
I know what Jojoba Oil is good for and you won’t find it on the internet. Don’t take it the wrong way that I say this but the bruises the older generation gets on their arms, I think its called skin tears. If you rub some on your arms after your shower, it will prevent you from getting these bruises. It takes about three days before you see a difference. After using it about three weeks, you can stop using it every day and just use it as needed. Makes their arms look beautiful again.
Hope this helps somebody
I agree that your skin does absorb the stuff you put on it, but not enough of the product can actually enter your blood stream. If that was the case, why are some people who use chemical packed creams for many years still perfectly healthy? Obviously some products absorb deeper, but I doubt much of grapeseed oil would go that deep. There are many theories on fats and oils. Different research suggests different thingsm I like virgin coconut oil and think its healthy, but only in moderation. And animal fats are not good for some people. It just depends. People need a balance of omegas 6 and 3 in their diet. As for topical usage of oils, there are many good options and it just depends on personal preference. Grapeseed oil is supposed to be good for oily skin, well thats what I heard.
Ever heard the expression “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”? Just because someone looks healthy doesn’t mean there isn’t something lurking underneath or working on destroying their future health. Why do you think cancer is so common anymore? It’s surprising what the human body can deal with for a long time before succumbing to the damage it’s caused.
Coconut oil is not for everyone’s skin, in fact a lot of people suffer massive amount of break out because of it. It tends to clog pours and people prune to Milia should probably avoid it.
Tammy L. says
I like using organic sesame oil, not toasted, cold pressed for my skin. It soaks in even faster than coconut oil, which I also use and SO has high heat tolerance and mild nutty flavor. I have made mayo with it but the flavor does come thru so if using in combo with something else it is fine but alone not bad if you don’t mind a mild sesame flavor.
Thanks for the information. I never felt good about the grapeseed oil but I had to convince my husband. I also like jojoba oil for my skin. It’s one of my favorites, but when I go to the beach or pool I love the glow that coconut oil gives my skin.
Oh man, I wish I had this info last week 🙁 I just bought a really really large container of the oil. I will have to see what else I can do with it because I am definitely not cooking with it any more!
clean with it! makes a good wood cleaner/polisher, also gets sticker residue off of wood (if you have kids who like to put stickers on EVERYTHING
I use it to season my cast iron skillets & dutch ovens. Was thinking of cooking with it, so have been doing some research and found this info. It makes for a nice, hard nonstick surface and I don’t set off the smoke alarm too often.
Yes! Oils which are very high in PUFA, like flax seed oil and grapeseed oil are actually ideal for seasoning cast iron. Because the oils are so delicate, they “polymerize” much more effectively than the very damage-resistant saturated fats. I was surprised to learn this because you always hear about seasoning cast iron with like bacon grease, or lard, but I did it with flax oil and it works much better! Grapeseed oil might work even better than flax.
Brittany Ardito says
Excellent post. I agree, all vegetable oils like grapeseed, canola, sunflower, safflower etc. are very health damaging. The fact that most modern day physicians and nutritionists instruct patients to replace healthy saturated fats like butter and other animals fats with high PUFA oils like vegetable and canola really upsets me. It is the reason why we have so much heart disease. These oils that they tout as heart healthy are actually heart damaging…hence the increase in heart disease since they introduced all the vegetable oils into our food supply. I don’t understand how people don’t see this. I know the health & food industry does, but they keep it a secret for a reason…could it be money? Why yes!
Since when is Grapes a vegetable? Grapeseed oil is not bad. There is so much misleading info here. This is how eggs got a bad rap decades ago.
Food, in general, is not the culprit. The over-consumption and use over-use in PROCESSED foods is the problem. You’re body needs saturated, monounsatured and polyunsaturated fats. Period!
However, the quality and quantity is where you want to start in evaluating food and how you incorporate it into your daily diet.
Greg, you make no sense. “Food is not the culprit,” but “processed foods is the problem?”
I never said that your body does not need all three fats—saturated, mono and polyunsaturated. I said we need very little polyunsaturated.
Grapeseed oil contains more PUFA than any of the other industrial oils. That makes it unfit for our consumption, since we need very little PUFA, and excess PUFA is problematic/toxic.
Really shouldn’t be that difficult of a concept to understand, especially when you already agree that excess PUFA-heavy industrial oils are not good.
I don’t think Mr. Greg read the whole article because what he said really didn’t make any sense.
At first I could not figure out why you were dissing Grapeseed oil so badly, until I found out you sold Olive Oil. 1000 years ago they could not press the olives to get oil so does that make olive oil a newly invented food. No one should be using large amounts of any oil. I tiny bit to help your chicken not stick to the pan is fine. Butter works for most everything else.
I “sell” olive oil? That’s news to me!
I recommend using unadulterated olive oil, which is difficult to find. There are a couple of sponsors on the Village Green Marketplace which carry it, so I provided the link.
Pretty remarkable how you could possibly miss the point I made over and over again about why grapeseed oil ought to be “dissed.” It’s extremely high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are toxic when eaten in excess.
FYI—olive oil dates back to 5,000 BC. Google it.
Jesus took a tablespoon of olive oil per day. This stuck in my mind when I read about it and knowing what is good for you I would think he has it straight from the horses mouth.
Thank you for this information. I’m new to whole food eating, raw foods, etc, and I had switched to grapeseed oil, but now, I’ll put in the bathroom for topical uses and go back to butter and olive oil!!!
Rebekah…it is okay to use. Just like everyone use in moderation. Fats should make up about 25% of your diet. This includes poly, mono and saturated!
Quality and quantity are where you need to start.
I agree with Greg.. Moderation is the Key..
So if one does not use grapeseed oil, which one besides olive oil should one get and where from since most brands are suspect?
Naughty naughty ButterBeliever. Nice article but very misleading. This is how Eggs got demonized decades ago.
PUFAs, MUFAs and saturated fats are needed in the daily diet. To pinpoint ONE food..and to generalize it in with vegetable oils is unfair. The vegetable oils you mention are heavily used in PROCESSED foods to increase shelve life and profits of the food companies. THis is where the excess PUFAs are coming from. And that is where people have to change…not with grapeseed oil.
The right food, in the right quantities, is where America has to start to reverse the health issues many face…or will face.
So, you agree that we need to get rid of excess PUFAs. That we should cut out foods which contain industrial oils high in PUFA.
Why would you not agree, then, that we should cut out the industrial oil with the HIGHEST amount of PUFA out of all the others?
Because the excess in the SAD (Standard American Diet) eating habits of the USA come from PROCESSED foods. You listed some many wonderful benefits but just cuz it’s the highest you would eliminate it?
If you follow your reasoning then people should not consume coconut oil…because it is a saturated fat. And saturated fat leads to heart disease.
I could apply your same reasoning to calories and chicken. If I eat 5,000 calories a day and burned only 2,000 a day it’s bad right. And let’s say those 5,000 calories were comprised of chicken. Your reasoning would say chicken is bad!!
It’s all about Balance, Variety and Moderation. And stay away from the processed foods.
One last point….I’m nearly 50. Been using grapeseed oil for 4 years now. Cholesterol is good. Blood pressure is good. Heart is good. NO arthritis. Hmmmm. How do you explain that?
Look, I’m not trying to be confrontational. I’m on you side to get people to Eat Better. I even started a non-profit for that purpsose. Just be careful not to demonize as many are following your every word.
Once again, Greg, you make no sense.
I make it very clear in the post that grapeseed oil is a modern, processed food. One that is extremely high in a substance found in many other processed foods—omega-6 polyunsaturated fat.
I also made it very clear that saturated fats are extremely preferable to polyunsaturated fats. I even specifically recommended the use of coconut oil, precisely because it is so high in saturated fat. Saturated fat in no way leads to heart disease.
If you ate 5,000 calories of nothing but chicken, yes, I (as any reasonable person) would say that is excessive, and “bad.” Because you’d be getting way too much of only a few specific nutrients, and not enough of others. Which is exactly why grapeseed oil is “bad.” It contains far too much polyunsaturated fat, and not enough saturated or monounsaturated fat to make it suitable for cooking and consuming.
It is about balance. The right balance of fats for a human’s biological needs is mostly saturated and monounsaturated. Basic human physiology explains why this is.
It’s also about avoiding processed foods. Like grapeseed oil.
Including an unhealthy food in your diet for four years doesn’t automatically make you diseased. Talk to me in 20, if this is your primary cooking oil. Actually don’t—your lack of logic and circular arguing is giving me a headache.
Not sure why butter, coconut oil are not considered the same as any other processed item- by your own remarks then we should only eat raw nuts and seeds for oils then there is no processing. Why must one eat processed anything-why not all raw?
I was really just attempting to point out the irony in Greg’s comment, “It’s all about Balance, Variety and Moderation. And stay away from the processed foods,” since grapeseed oil is a “processed food.” I mostly do agree that staying away from most processed foods is beneficial, however, trust me—I am the last person to be promoting a 100% processed-food-free diet.
I even wrote a post about why I think white flour is just fine. http://butterbeliever.com/is-white-flour-really-that-bad/
Butter and coconut oil are easy to produce without high-tech machinery, and have been eaten for a very, very long time. Grapeseed oil is a modern invention and uses extensive processing to produce, including chemical solvents and other things I don’t want to be ingesting. Grapeseed oil’s “processing,” however, is the least of my concerns. (The extremely high PUFA content is why it ought to be avoided.)
Stick around and you’ll find that I’m not at all one of the ones promoting the “absolutely all processed foods are the devil” idea. Plenty of other bloggers/authors do, but it’s not my thing.
ok so what if grapeseed oil was used say 3 times a week for some of your cooking, not daily, and one’s diet had zero of other PUFA seed oils, would it be ok then? And, if I can add, that my consumption of PUFA’s would be those found in whole foods such as those you list: fatty fish, shellfish, liver, seeds, nuts, legumes.
Secondly, is this the primary issue, that the PUFA in grapeseed oil is so concentrated being a heavily processed food? becasue the PUFA in wholefoods is quite negligible(is it?) and ok?
According to LIVESTRONG.com grapeseed oil has been used for thousands of years by Egyptians, Greeks, and European folk healers…. not exactly a “modern invention”!!
Livestrong? Really? Lol.
You know the world is in trouble when people are getting their information from and citing Livestrong…
Blissful Writer says
This is such good information that I’m linking to your article from my article on “What is the Best Type of Cooking Oil to Use?”
Personally, I have been using olive oil, coconut oil, and grapeseed oil for cooking. Now I have to reconsider the grapeseed oil.
I have done considerable research on the issue of the viability of various fats and I must agree with your assessment on the oils in general. The best and healthiest oil for cooking would have to be Virgin Organic Coconut Oil (VOCO), since it contains the highest concentration of saturated fat, which maintains its stability better in cooking. Ghee would be almost as good.
Regarding the comments made by your “pen pal,” Greg, regarding
VOCO causing heart disease, for the vast majority of folks, VOCO will help protect one from heart disease, unless you happen to be in the small minority of folks that have a certain genetic coding in your DNA that acts adversely to the oil. There is more information on this subject by Dr. Wm J Davis, a Cardiologist from Milwaukee, whose blog is entited “Heart Scan Blog.” I recommend all the readers here to visit that website and also purchase Dr. Davis’ most enlighting book entitled “Wheat Belly.” Emily, that book delineates the vast dangers of wheat of any sort in extreme detail with studies conducted by others, so therefore I must respectfully disagree with your comments that white flour is just fine, which it is not (unless by white flour, you might mean coconut flour, which I doubt). After you read “Wheat Belly,” Emily, please provide your updated assessment of wheat flour, where I presume you’ll have a new prespective.
Also, I should mention that I have a friend born and raised in the Philippines who mentions that everyone from her homeland consumes coconut products practically on a daily basis, yet the incidence of heart problems is quite miniscule. If Greg believes the propaganda from the medical community to avoid all saturated fat, then why are these doctors now touting the benefits to the heart of dark chocolate, which is composed of mostly saturated fat? My own doctor was stumped paradoxically on that subject when I raised that question to him.
Cooking with oils high in Omega 6 breaks down the fragile composition of Omega 6 and subjects the oil to free radicals that invade the bodies of folks consuming those cooked products. This can in turn help contribute to cancer. Ever notice the explosive growth of cancer in this country?
I agree with the balancing of Omega 6 to Omega 3 on a 1:1 basis, which is perhaps ideal, but hardily anyone will be achieving that specific ratio. It could be stretched up to a 4:1 basis from some of my reading on that subject, however, the Omega 6 should be from unheated cold pressed oils (and consumed unheated), preferably from organic sources, but not from any GMO oils such as soybean or corn and definitely not from canola oil of any sort.
By the way, I am not a medical doctor and I am not dispensing any medical advice. You are cautioned to consult with your own medical doctor on the subject.
I have been reading this because I bought some vegan mayo made with grapeseed oil. I have never eaten this oil before so wanted to check it out. I am going to throw out the mayo and will not be eating anything containing grape seed oil. Its true what Butterlover says- its toxic. I was doubtful of it anyway as grapes are sprayed with all kinds of insecticides. I never buy them unless organically grown.
The fats we eat are extremely important to our health. If you want to be healthy then watch your fats & oils & buy the best quality you can afford. Always buy olive oil organic and in a dark glass bottle. You should never purchase any oil packaged in plastic as the plastic dissolves into the oil. Coconut oil is wonderful for cooking and baking. Eating nuts & seeds is the best way to get healthy oils.
This is a great article. Greg, get your facts right before you completely embarrass yourself.
Linda Ann says
I quit using grape seed oil about 2 years ago because of the pesticides used on grapes and the fact that often where the seed oil comes from – even if organic – is not clearly disclosed.
Mike Grider says
I too bought the grapeseed mayo thinking this might be what I have been looking for. Guess not. Any thoughts on a store bought brand of Mayo that is a healthy brand.
Angela at DIYhealthblog.com says
This is such an informative article. I always thought grapeseed oil was healthy. I don’t cook with it but I use grapeseed oil mayo. I need to start making my own mayo. I ate grapeseed oil mayo when I was healing my digestive system from IBS and it never caused a problem but I would rather use a healthier alternative.
Hi I recently bought a large bottle of grape seed oil, have never used it before and obviously was taken in by the now realized hype . I was using it for shallow frying and have been feeling terrible headaches and feeling of swelling in my whole body . after reading this I now see why and am going to ditch it but , can you advice any alternative use for it than consumption, massage oil maybe or will it still be damaging ?
Furniture oil, perhaps? 😉
Your body does absorb a lot of what you put on your skin, so since you’ve had noticeable adverse effects from consuming the grapeseed oil, I’m not sure that topical use would be a good idea for you. Oh! Another idea would be to season your cast iron with it. Higher PUFA oils are actually better for cast iron seasoning, because they polymerize more efficiently.
I have a question, I just bought a big bottle of Costco’s “Mediterranean Blend” which is 10% grapeseed oil, 40% canola oil, 40% olive oil. (it is broken down by 20% one kind and 20% another but I cant find the breakdown and forget. It might be EVOO and regular olive oil.) It has 14g Fat (1g Sat, 4g Poly, 9g Mono). Is this a good oil since it is mostly olive and canola? It costs a lot less than the pure EVOO and has the vitamin E. Also, I’ve read that most olive oil sold in the states is fake anyway. (Just like honey)
Unfortunately, no, that’s not something I would recommend. The “fake” olive oil is usually laced with canola or soy—so it’s kind of funny that Costco is promoting essentially run-of-the-mill fake olive oil as a specialized “blend,” haha. Canola oil is also pretty high in PUFA, is highly processed and usually rancid by the time it reaches you, and the vast majority of canola is GMO. Have you tried Costco’s organic EVOO? Back when that story came out about the fake olive oil, that was one that was tested to be legit. It’s relatively inexpensive, and I think it’s pretty good, but I’m not exactly an olive oil connoisseur.
I always knew grapes were evil – I am now convinced!
Definitely not trying to dog on grapes—just the seeds, dude!
A 1993 study supports the claim that grape seed oil increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL-C or “good cholesterol”) levels and reduces LDL levels. So Grapeseed Oil is a New contender???
Grape seed oil has a moderately high smoke point of approximately 216 °C (421 °F). As a result, it is better suited than several other cooking oils for high temperature cooking and can be safely used to cook at moderate temperatures during stir-frying, sautéing, or deep-frying.
Grape seed oil is a preferred cosmetic ingredient for control moisture of the skin. Light and thin, grape seed oil leaves a glossy film over skin when used as a carrier oil for essential oils in aromatherapy. It contains more linoleic acid than many other carrier oils. Grape seed oil is also used as a lubricant for shaving.
There are lots of benefits of Grapeseed oil. Google it people. Nonetheless, if you simply don’t want it, then don’t use it.
Wow. Just skipped right ahead to the comments section, did ya?
I’m STILL going to use unrefined organic grapeseed oil. To cook with AND to use topically on my body.
ANYTHING has a chance to ill or kill us!
The air we breath!
The clothes we wear!
The food we eat!
We’re all gonna die anyway! So let people use & eat whatever the heck we like and worry about YOURSELF!
Sorry, NOT sorry.
Go for it!
I’m not judging. This is a health website—I’m not in the business of only worrying about myself. We’re all about education here—not paranoia. You do what works for you.
According to what I have read, Coconut oil has one of the highest medium chain fatty acid contents, far in excess of most other veg., fruits, nuts, foods. It has always been plentiful. In locales where it is grown and much is consumed there was good health and heart disease was little known – until other diets were introduced that disrupted their previously healthy eating habits. This is what I read. It also tends to be anti- bacterial, fungal, parasite according to what I read. Also, it is said to be useful to the brain and memory. It also stores well for a long time without turning rancid. My daughter put it on her baby’s head (lightly) when he had ‘cradle cap’ and it was gone in a few days. The Dr. wanted her to try a steroid and would never would have thought of raw coconut oil… Regarding olive oil, it has been around since early Bible times and was extensively used. Regarding the heating of oils, when an oil reaches its smoking point it becomes denatured and unhealthy. Also, enzymes are destroyed when oils and other foods are heated too much. This is an argument by some against pasteurization – the destruction of enzymes beneficial and necessary to good health. Some of our best intentioned efforts have been wrong and counter productive. How many things have we been told were either healthy or unhealthy to eat only to be told the opposite a few years or decades later?
I have used almond oil as a carrier oil for topical use.
I’m genuinely perplexed as to why anyone would choose to cook or bake with oils. Even in baking a cake I will substitute applesauce for the oil and I’m not too bad of a health nut. Who needs free radials from heated oils? Why not change such a dangerous cooking habit?
Butter, olive, coconut and red palm, all uncooked are my preference.
Saturated fats are very heat stable. Coconut oil could survive a freaking nuclear holocaust. Trust me, you’re not in danger of free radical damage from using coconut oil. Quite the opposite, really!
Kay Goolsby says
Interesting article and comments. You may want to take a look at this article I saw today. It very much supports what you said about PUFA.
Interesting article . . . prompted me to look up more information about grapeseed oil and PUFAs.
After doing that, I don’t agree with your conclusions at all, but thanks for getting me interested something new.
I never comment on these types of posts I come across in my research, but I felt compelled to comment here…I think you’re missing a HUGE point, which is that there is a difference between cold-pressed (expeller pressed) oils and oils that are processed with chemicals and heat. Olive oil that is not extra-virgin and cold-pressed is not the kind of oil that is used for studies showing us how great it is. The same happens with grape seed oil. Either way, oil is oil, and should be used sparingly no matter what kind. Also, lots of people talk about the benefits of olive oil for cooking, but really, in the Mediterranean, we don’t actually cook much with it at all…it is consumed raw in salads, by eating olives, etc. The smoking point of olive oil makes it “iffy” at best for cooking…In Europe there are VERY rigorous standards for what can be labeled “cold pressed”, and it needs to be only used in fully unrefined oils that are extracted at temperatures below 122 degrees F. In the USA that term has been used in many misleading ways. Another thing you don’t mention is that grape seed oil “expands” more than other oils, which translates into you not needing to use as much of it (typically half of the amount that you’d normally need), which makes it a healthier alternative for cooking (and fat ingestion), especially sautéing. If you want to talk about PUFAs, that’s okay, but if you have a healthy and balanced diet with salmon and other Omega 3-rich foods, the PUFA in grape seed oil is more than fine.
Bon Getz says
Do we have a research about the processes that happens inside a stomach when you take a single food or medicine (in this case the supplements that we consume)?
This include the compounds created in digestion after saliva and the digestive juices broke down the food or supplement.
And then the final composition of the digested food/supplement when it goes through the small intestine to be distributed by the blood to all the organs of the body.
I think this is the best proof/explanation to confirm of the efficacy of everything we take or eat. We have negative effects and side effects because we take in the wrong formulation and the wrong food for the wrong theory application because everyone is guessing/hypothesizing from the outside and not where it really occurs.
The only thing my family eats fried is okra in the summer. I bought grapeseed oil in place of canola this summer, but I now regret it. My husband does not like the taste of coconut oil so what other oil would you suggest for frying something like okra. I’ve always used a liquid because I use my fry baby for frying okra.
Try refined coconut oil, not the virgin kind that tastes like coconut. Do you deep-fry the okra? If you’re just pan-frying, you could use butter as long as it’s not too high of a temp. Clarified butter (ghee) is better for high-temp frying because it doesn’t burn.
Both the American Heart Association and Mayo clinic website speak positively of Polyunsaturated fats and do not note any of the negatives in this article.
They also speak really positively of the pharmaceutical industry.
Follow the money.
Thank you for this article. I changed over to grape seed oil a couple years ago, after finding out about fake olive oils and thought that the grape seed was healthier…. O well… got fooled once again. We do use butter on occasion. I must admit to being skeptical of coconut oil…we have used it, but I still have concerns about the sat fat, even though they are medium chain fatty acids.
Kacey Dean says
Thanks for this interesting article. I was just about to purchase grapeseed oil but wanted to do a little research. I have switched to coconut oil for most cooking and use it on my skin as well.
For any interested, I found another article, from a study at the University of Kansas Medical Center that reinforces your article. http://www.kumc.edu/school-of-medicine/integrative-medicine/health-topics/healthy-cooking-oils.html
Thank you for that! Great to see some other research pointing to the negative effects of excess PUFA.
I’m a coconut oil lover, too! And yeah, it goes on my skin and hair almost as much as it goes in my mouth. 😉
I don’t know about PUFA and this stuff because I’m not an expert on nutrition, but you repeated many times a lie (error?): grapeseed oil is not as modern as industrialization, google it as you recomend. Or maybe I’m wrong and industrialization and high-tech began some centuries before I thought…
I think this is a great article. It made me a convert. If you don’t agree, then write your own article. : ) Don’t harass the woman. Everyone is responsible for their own health choices, and will live with the consequences no matter how much they argue or fail to research. It is a grave thought to me that we argue about what specific kind of oil to use, and there are people starving who would eat, happily, your leftovers from last week. Extreme of anything. . .can become unhealthy. . .even our obsession with self.
But it is wrong information from a site with its own agenda, trying to limit competition with a healthy alternative to butter. The site is called ButterBeliever.com, how do you people not realize that u have been duped by a butter site. Check out mayo clinic sites or CDC sites. Those are legitimate sites. This…..is a joke and fictional
LOL! Do you think I *sell* butter or something?
Oh wow, favorite comment in a looong time.
The CDC may be a “legitimate site”, but know this: long, and I mean looonnnggg, before the general public ever heard the terms aids/HIV, the CDC and (underline and) the Red Cross knew this killer virus was a blood-borne pathogen (infectious microorganisms present in blood and body fluids that can cause disease), yet made the decision to delay testing donor blood due to concerns of limiting blood supply and, what else?, oh, yeah, money $$!! (Related to the expense of the test). This is not BS, hype, or something I read somewhere. I know this because I was there, I witnessed numerous patients with hemophilia and/or other conditions requiring transfusion of blood/blood products die of aids, contracted from said transfusion. We peon healthcare givers didn’t know this until it was too late. I also know 3 lovely young (not really so young anymore) ladies (whose father died from aids when they were so young they remember little or nothing about him) who were able to afford to go to college because their mother joined a class action lawsuit against both entities and won. He got aids from a blood transfusion post open heart surgery. Yes, this is off topic, but as the author said, “follow the money”. Which, to clarify, also means one must not blindly believe every bit of “information” that comes from mainstream medicine and government entities, including not only the CDC, but the USDA, AHA, RDA, etc, etc…These and other groups are highly funded, thereby influenced and controlled by Big Pharma, Big Food, Big Corp, etc, etc…why do you think there is such a fight over labeling GMOs? $$$$$ & Big Corp makes the GMOs & has the $$$s to fight and Big Pharma doesn’t want you to be well & not need their drugs. Yes, call me a conspiracy theorist, or whatever, I don’t really care, I’m an RN (no longer practicing, thank god) with > 30 years experience at one of the nation’s top 10 hospitals, and still wading through and trying to sort out all the misinformation and misleading advertising, labeling, etc, etc,..Get my drift? As far as grape seed oil goes, I have further research to do, but I must wholeheartedly agree with the author’s basic assessments of PUFAs, omeg-6, (way too much in the SAD), and fats in general. I’m inclined to think that I will also come to the conclusion that grape seed oil is not such a good thing, but I’m not yet firm on that. Also, beware of some of the claims of beneficial elements. Although biologically active compounds and antioxidants are found in grape seeds, the oil contains negligible amounts due to their insolubility in lipids. Example: resveratrol, sufficiently high amount in grape seeds, yet almost entirely absent in the oil. My, aren’t those advertisers and labelers sly devils?
Meant that reply to go to Josiah.
Crystal Laws says
You’re a smart lady, and it sounds like I have a PUFA problem! Read your article on Melatonin also…keep up the good work~
I always cook with raw coconut oil, but have found grapeseed oil to work great as a body moisturizer in place of lotion. How would these components that affect ingesting affect topical application?
Have you tried using the coconut oil as a moisturizer? That’s all I use! I love it. I wouldn’t feel comfortable using grapeseed oil topically, personally. Not sure how much of that gets absorbed through the skin.
I was using grapeseed oil because it is apparently anti-angiogenic, I have a fear of cancer so I switched from olive to grapeseed.
Now im all confused?
I’ve been using grapeseed oil to store a large amount of garlic cloves in frig.. can’t use virgin olive oil because I stir fry this oil. What else would be good to store garlic in for this purpose?
Coconut oil is out of question because it gets very solid once it gets colder than 70 degrees!
According to reports I read from both the Mayo Clinic and Harvard, you are wrong, wrong, wrong. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are the healthiest kinds.
I’m so glad I read this before buying into the hype of grapeseed oil! And I had no idea canola oil wasn’t a good idea, as I use it for baking. My kids have this amazing ability to detect anything different in their food, so could you please let me know what you think would be best for me to start using instead of canola oil in my baked goods such as cakes and brownies? I currently use butter for my pie crusts. (I guess this post gives away the fact that we aren’t the most ‘healthy’ eaters, lol… but I do try to use the best ingredients for the treats I make – organic, no GMOs, etc.) I make my own pasta, and use olive oil in it – would you recommend any changes there? Thanks for your time, and great info!
Your whole article is based on chemically extracted (refined) grape seed oil, but what of cold pressed (EU standard) extra virgin oil that is deodorized by means of winterization? You have the best means of extraction and no chemicals with deodorization! What could be better?
I do not agree with your article, but I am a manufacturer so not unbiased at all.
Missing the point.
The oil is comprised of over 70% Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Consuming this much polyunsaturated fat is toxic to humans. Chemical extraction or not.
Water is toxic to humans in great enough doses.
I think the word “toxic” is bandied around here a little to much.
Cool article. Good civil debate as well. I’m a 41 year old man and have been using coconut oil on my face and body for about 7 months and already see wrinkles fading a bit. I love putting it in my hair too. I’ll probably stop the grape seed oil. I’m going to try to cook with it now. It’s the only oil I haven’t cooked with yet. Oh that and motor oil . What’s the verdict on sunflower seed oil? Thanks
Sorry I meant to say I will start using coco oil to cook with and stop the grape seed oil
I agree we it’s not natural to consume as much oil as we do, because it doesn’t occur in such large concentrations in nature, but with regard to eating small amounts that haven’t been overheated during preparing or processing would’t be bad because I would think the high vitamin e content would prevent a lot of oxidation.
mike werner says
Now that I did this investigation, after only 2 servings of the bottle. While searching controversial ‘organic grapeseed oil.’ I will discontinue of the ‘2qt. 40z. grapessed oil.’
(then) Why was such an item stocked on the shelf of an i’net claimed “Healthy, Natural & Organic Grocery Store” ? (the name of SP***TS)
As I called the next closest store, to where I purchased the product; so that means the more of the “Corporate” owned chain-stores are carrying this unhealty item.
That be consistent to the bad ‘customer service’ of this corporate company, to its customers.
mike werner says
Then why does such a claimed — “Health, Natural, & Organic Grocery store”— business as SP***TS carry a product as this on the shelf.
mike werner says
I have called another location than the one where I made the purchase from; as the neighboring location has the same item (same brand). “2 lb, 4oz bottle)
This be a deceptive-classified item, at such corporate-owned stores. As there be no separate ‘organic grapeseed oil’ there.
What about using grape seed oil in homemade beauty products?? is that ok to put on lipbalm and stuff?
thanks for the info. i’m from the caribbean where virgin coconut oil is abundant yet somehow, majority of the natives have switched to GMO’s. I use anchor butter or ghee for frying and coconut oil for everything else. I was about to purchase grapeseed oil to help with cellulite but decided to do additional research.
Thanks so much for your article! I don’t use grapeseed for cooking/eating I use coconut oil however I use grapeseed oil on my face as a moisturizer (coconut oil seemed to dry it out) what are your thoughts on using grapeseed oil for topical purposes like that? Thanks!
Good to know! Thank you for sharing this! I always find it interesting when products claim health benefits. I really enjoyed reading some of Pollan’s books where he writes something to the effect of ‘If food claims a benefit to your health, run away!’ Some of these comments…I can’t even!
What would you suggest for someone with multiple food allergies? My kids cannot have coconut oil, sunflower/safflower, vegetable (like corn/soy). Grapeseed is the only one I’ve been able to use and now I’m coming across this. I stopped using olive oil for pan frying after reading about how it turns toxic when heated. Now I don’t know what to do.
I would try ghee (lactose/casein-free), tallow (rendered from beef or lamb fat), or lard (rendered at home or from a trusted farmer).
Florin Tanasa says
Do anyone here know how the wine is made, or why?…. The most of grape-seed oil is made in Italy, same as the best olive oil in the world!!! Can anybody including the guy that wrote this article here, can explain how can, I extract chemically oil…out of any kind of fruit or seed? Let’s get some more education first…or at least some good old commonsense…So please!!! Most people are looking to learn, not to be misdirected…..
What is the healthiest oils for searing vegetables on the skillet or cooking chicken or potatoes in oven?
I’m a really big fan of coconut oil, personally. It also helps keep certain cuts of meat from drying out and makes them juicier.
I cant believe i did not look into grapeseed oil b4 using it. I’v been using it 4 app. 3 mnths. I have been pouring it directly into my a.m. smoothy, of which EVOO is also used. App 1oz. of into smoothie. Now i have to toss out app $20 worth of grapeseed oil. I will dbl EVOO amount in my a.m. to adj. Wish i wouldve researched it 1st. Hope i didnt damage my body too bad.
Aw, crud. Well, there are other uses for grapeseed oil—furniture/wood polish (mixed with some lemon juice perhaps? I’ve heard people use olive oil this way), and some people like to use it to make their own moisturizers. I was a little unsure of that at first, but I really doubt that much gets absorbed into your bloodstream if you use it topically. So maybe that’s something you could use it for? Try not to stress about the amount that you already ate—our bodies are amazingly resilient! 🙂
Also, did not know about the issue with EVOO. I assumed that if it says extra virgin olive oil that it was pure, unadulterated & certainly not combined with lesser ingredients. I was able to acquire 1 of the brands that were recommended as being truly pure in content. Definitely open my eyes. As a former Supermarket Manager who prided himself on reading labels & eating healthy, local & organic as much as possible, i certainly made a few adjustments & will research more as a result. Am reading up on Titanium Dioxide as a substance listed in a Vitamin I was going to buy, but choose another brand that did not list that ingredient as a result.
Diane M says
Your article has me very confused as I have been told to take Fish oil to up my Omega 3 & 6 to reduce my high cholesterol. My md also noted that polyunsaturated oils reduce certain blood cholesterol and when I researched this, I found sites such as U of Penn saying the same thing. I would rather take grape seed oil pills daily as opposed to prescriptions. Either that or eat tons of grapes each day!!
Personally, I think my body is making its own cholesterol as we eat very healthy….stay away from my butter!!!!!
Wow, thank you for such an informative article. I had no idea grapeseed oil had a dark side and I have been using it for many years thinking it was healthier and safer than olive oil because of the higher smoking point. I will definitely stick to coconut oil for now and hope no one finds out anything bad about that one. But as you say it is tried and tested throughout the ages so must be good.