SFH #137: Grapeseed Oil

It would be better to avoid 💫

Many everyday foods, including oils, are produced in a lab. Canadian scientists developed an edible version of the rapeseed plant named canola oil. Canola comes from "Canada" and "ola," meaning oil. Tonight, I want to focus on another tasteless, odorless, colorless oil extracted from the seeds of grapes. Grapeseed oil.

Producing this oil makes plenty of economic sense. Wine producers were left behind with an abundance of useless byproduct until technology caught up. Now manufacturers can extract the oil from the seeds and make that cash money. 💰 Here's the rub with the process. While healthy oils are typically cold-pressed or expeller-pressed, grain and seed oils are often chemically intensive processes involving toxic solvents like hexane.

Hexane is categorized as a neurotoxin by the CDC and an air pollutant by the EPA. Even so, you'll find grain and seed oils in many of our foods because of their cost-effectiveness. They have grown at an exponential rate over the last century.1

Here's why we should be careful with our consumption of this contemporary oil.

  1. Grapeseed oil is calorie-rich, though not nutrient-dense.2

  2. It includes vast quantities of omega-6 fats and practically zilch omega-3 fats. 700:1 ratio, to be precise. This imbalance sets off an inflammatory response leading to fat storage and many modern diseases, from depression3 to cancer4.

  3. Polyunsaturated fats like grapeseed oil are unstable and prone to oxidation. These oxidized fats can damage multiple organ systems and deplete our natural defense systems.5

  4. Grapeseed oil has high amounts of a carcinogen called Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, or PAHs.6

Look for extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil when you can be discerning. 😉

1

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3076650/

2

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grape_seed_oil

3

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8729112/

4

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9508101/

5

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17854006/

6

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1110062114200237