Does Green Peanut Oil Stand Up to its Rising Popularity?

There is no scientific evidence for health benefits so it could be too soon to get excited about the newest miracle oil.

Nov. 15, 2016
By Jedha Dening

Recent News

In the realm of edi­ble oils, there’s a new kid on the block that the best cooks in the South have come to think of as their local answer to extra-vir­gin olive oil,” reports Kim Severson, for the New York Times.

What is this new ris­ing star? Southern green peanut oil.

Green peanut oil is not the con­ven­tional peanut oil that cur­rently lines super­mar­ket shelves, the kind that’s processed with high heat and chem­i­cals. This health­ier’ oil is pressed straight from the fresh green peanuts at low tem­per­a­tures, in many cases on local farms.

Severson reported on a local farmer, Clay Oliver, who presses the green peanuts he grows. What started as a small enter­prise for Oliver, has fast become a culi­nary hit in the South and else­where. According to Severson, chefs are rav­ing about the fla­vor and using it to enliven dishes, enhance roasted items, and gen­er­ously swamp sal­ads as if it were the new’ extra vir­gin olive oil (EVOO).

Most green peanut oils are termed arti­san oils’ as they are cold pressed, unre­fined, and con­tain no chem­i­cals. Of course, in gen­eral terms, any oil that is cold pressed will con­tain more nutri­tional ben­e­fits than those that are heated and processed with chem­i­cals.

But when it comes to nutri­tion, how does this new extra vir­gin” peanut oil (EVPO) stack up against the good old trusty EVOO?

The answer is, who knows.

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The descrip­tion on the Oliver Farms web­site says it’s full of monoun­sat­u­rated fats, it also has Vitamins A, D, and E.” But, the actual nutri­tion facts for Oliver Farms Green Peanut Oil are nowhere to be found.

In fact, track­ing down nutri­tion facts for cold pressed peanut oil is not an easy task and only results in lim­ited infor­ma­tion.

Olivado Extra Virgin Peanut Oil nutri­tion break­down per one table­spoon is as fol­lows: 120 calo­ries, total fat 14 g, 10 g mono, 2 g poly, 2 g sat, 0 cho­les­terol. Another EVPO by Bell Plantation also has sim­i­lar data.

These basic nutri­tion facts are very sim­i­lar to EVOO per table­spoon. But that’s not enough to sug­gest a switch is war­ranted, even though it may taste good in some culi­nary appli­ca­tions. As already sug­gested, infor­ma­tion on EVPO is lim­ited. And from what can be seen, there are no facts reported regard­ing ben­e­fi­cial nutri­ents or com­pounds.

In terms of sci­en­tific research, one study from 1969 did look at the fatty acid com­po­si­tion of cold pressed peanut oil. But this study is con­sid­ered too old to take seri­ously since our meth­ods of nutri­tional eval­u­a­tions have advanced so much in recent years. And in any case, it didn’t reveal any­thing of inter­est.

In terms of research-based health ben­e­fits at this stage, there are zero facts in rela­tion to EVPO. On the other hand, EVOO has hun­dreds, if not thou­sands of sci­en­tific stud­ies that con­nect it’s pow­er­ful polyphe­nols and com­pounds to low­ered risk of many dis­eases such as can­cer, car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease, neu­rode­gen­er­a­tive dis­or­ders, and the meta­bolic syn­drome, among oth­ers. It is clear to see that EVOO is the win­ner when it comes to its proven value to our health.

Another thing to con­sider before con­sid­er­ing EVPO is peanut aller­gies. Those with peanut aller­gies will need to avoid it, as it is con­sid­ered aller­genic and may result in ana­phy­laxis. Consuming EVOO does not result in such side effects but is con­sid­ered safe and ben­e­fi­cial for most peo­ple.

The acclaimed great fla­vor of the new ris­ing star is clearly a high­light for chefs serv­ing up their dishes. But for the rest of us, the switch to using green peanut oil on a daily basis may be a bit pre­ma­ture. Especially given the amount of evi­dence we cur­rently have about EVOO and its pos­i­tive health ben­e­fits.


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