Throughout the year, I will be offering my humble opinion on a number of things that I hope you will find helpful!
Let's start with Grapeseed Oil.
I use this as a substitute for vegetable oil.
Grapeseed oil is a byproduct of the winemaking industry, so no new crops need to be harvested – happier planet!
Due to the high smoke point of grapeseed oil (420 F or 220 C), it is a healthier choice for sauting and stir-frying in comparison to unrefined (virgin or extra virgin) olive oil, whose smoke point is only 320 F (160 C).
The smoke point of an oil is the amount of heat an oil can withstand before it begins to break down, forming free radicals in the process. When heated, grapeseed oil neutralizes free radicals, allowing your food to retain its freshness and flavour when cooked.
Due to its light, clean, nutty flavour, grapeseed oil can be used in baking, marinades, salad dressings, homemade mayonnaise, and sauces without interfering with delicate flavour combinations.
When purchasing grapeseed oil, avoid oils that have been extracted using hexane, a harsh chemical. Look for brands that are expeller-pressed, a chemical-free mechanical method of oil extraction. As with all oils, try and find a bottle that is dark. The exposure to light in a clear bottle, while sitting on a grocery store shelf, damages the oil.
When stored in a cool, dry place away from direct light, grapeseed oil can last for at least a year. Once opened, it is best stored in the fridge.
Grapeseed oil contains a very high level of antioxidant vitamin E (60 to 120 mg per 100 g), a fat-soluble antioxidant which prevents injury of cell membranes. Vitamin E, along with selenium, copper, and manganese, is an integral component of our cells innate antioxidant defence system.
Vitamin E deficiency is associated with premature aging, cataracts, uncontrolled diabetes, cardiovascular disease, inflammation, and infection. Vitamin E also increases the bioavailability of vitamin A by inhibiting its destruction in the digestive tract. Vitamin A is a critical nutrient for maintaining health of all membranes, including the digestive tract, lungs, and urinary tract, as well as our external protective barrier, the skin.
Coupled with its ability to protect liver cells from damage, vitamin E provides complete protection of the body's innate protective mechanisms.
So there you have it! Although it is a pricier choice than your average vegetable oil - I truly believe the extra couple of bucks is worth it.