Peanut oil vs. Vegetable oil — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison
Peanut oil is a type of vegetable oil; however, vegetable oil is often sold as a blend of multiple plant oils.
Peanut oil has the same macronutrient content as a blend of peanut, olive, and corn oils, consisting of 100% fats. Nevertheless, vegetable oil has a more favorable fat profile, being richer in unsaturated fats and lower in saturated fats. Vegetable oil is also richer in vitamin K and minerals.
Refined peanut oil has a high smoke point and is good for use at high temperatures, such as deep-frying or stir-frying.
Table of contents
There are dozens of oil varieties to choose from when cooking, but what sets any of them apart? In this article, we will compare two of these oils - peanut oil and vegetable oil - and discuss their differences and similarities.
Vegetable oil is the oil extracted from plants, fruits, or seeds. In this sense, peanut oil is a type of vegetable oil. Other commonly used vegetable oils include sunflower, corn, canola, olive oils, etc. However, in a commercial sense, vegetable oil is sold as a mixture of multiple types of vegetable oils.
Cooking oils can be refined or unrefined, depending on the processing method. Unrefined oils tend to have more of the original flavor and nutrients of the seed.
Peanut oil is also referred to as groundnut oil or arachis oil.
Smoke Point, Taste, and Use
Peanut oil and vegetable oil are both odorless, clear liquids with neutral flavors that come in different shades of yellow. However, some types of peanut oil, usually unrefined oil made from roasted peanuts, can have a stronger peanut flavor and scent.
The smoke point of cooking oils shows at which temperature the oil starts to break down or burn. Oils with high smoke points are advised to be used at high temperatures, for example, for frying, while oils with lower smoke points are better to use raw, such as in salads.
Refined peanut oil is known for having a high smoke point of around 450°F (232°C) and is commonly used for deep-frying or stir-frying. Unrefined peanut oil has a much lower smoke point and is better used to add flavor to dishes.
The smoke point of vegetable oil can differ depending on its components. However, the smoke point of refined vegetable oil blend tends to be lower than that of peanut oil.
Naturally, the nutrition of vegetable oil will depend on the types of oils that make up the mixture. The nutritional information below is presented for salad or cooking peanut oil and a blend of corn, peanut, and olive oil as an example of vegetable oil.
Macronutrients and Calories
One average serving size of cooking oils is considered to be one tablespoon, weighing around 14g.
One teaspoon of cooking oils is equal to 4.5g.
The macronutrient content of cooking oils, including both peanut and vegetable oil, consists entirely of fats.
Cooking oils are very high-calorie foods, usually containing 884 calories in a 100g serving size.
Peanut oil and vegetable oil provide the same number of calories - 124 calories per one tablespoon or 14g serving.
Unsurprisingly, cooking oils are entirely made up of fats. Peanut oil and vegetable oil contain equal amounts of fats - 14g per tablespoon. However, these oils differ in their fat composition.
The fat composition of peanut oil is as follows: 18% saturated fats, 48% monosaturated fats, and 34% polyunsaturated fats. At the same time, vegetable oil is made up of 15% saturated fats, 50% monosaturated fats, and 35% polyunsaturated fats.
You can find this information in the infographic below.
Fat Type Comparison
The vegetable oil mix has a clearly preferable fat composition, containing less saturated fats but more unsaturated fats.
Plant products do not contain cholesterol. So naturally, peanut oil and vegetable oil are entirely absent in cholesterol.
Carbohydrates and Protein
Peanut and vegetable oil do not contain carbohydrates or protein since 100% of the macronutrient content is made up of fats.
Both peanut and vegetable oils are excellent sources of vitamin E; however, vegetable oil is 30 times higher in vitamin K.
Cooking oils are generally very low in minerals. Nevertheless, vegetable oil is higher in iron and zinc compared to peanut oil.
The glycemic index of foods with no carbohydrates cannot be calculated and is, therefore, considered to be 0.
The insulin index is a useful tool to measure the response of foods that have no carbohydrates. Cooking oils, including peanut and vegetable oils, have a very low insulin index value of around 3 (1).
Using unsaturated fats instead of saturated fats has been researched to decrease the risk of coronary heart disease (2). While both types of oils have a favorable fat profile, vegetable oil containing olive oil is higher in unsaturated fats and lower in saturated fats.
Peanut oil has been studied to help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, a condition that can cause stroke and myocardial infarction, by improving blood lipid levels (3).
Peanut and vegetable oil have glycemic index values of 0 and low insulin index values, indicating that cooking oil intake has little effect on blood glucose levels. Adding 10% peanut oil to diets can even reduce plasma glucose levels in experimental animals (4).
However, research has suggested peanut oil and refined, blended plant oil consumption increase the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (5). Reducing cooking oil intake, in general, may help reduce diabetes risk.
Peanut allergy is one of the most common food allergies. Many people who are allergic to peanuts can safely consume highly refined peanut oil but should be cautious of unrefined peanut oil, which contains more of the original peanut proteins (6).
Comparison summary table
|Rich in minerals
|Lower in Saturated Fat
|Lower in price
|Lower in Sugar
|Lower in Sodium
|Lower in Cholesterol
|Lower in Glycemic Index
|Rich in vitamins
All nutrients comparison - raw data values
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Fats diet
|Low Carbs diet
|Low Calories diet
|Low Glycemic Index diet
People also compare
Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.
- Peanut oil - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171410/nutrients
- Vegetable oil - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/167737/nutrients
All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.