Is it time to change your cooking oil? Diets low in saturated fats and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease and improve blood cholesterol levels. If you watch The Oprah Winfrey Show, you may be familiar with Dr. Oz, the renowned heart surgeon who is a frequent and popular guest. In one such visit, Dr. Oz discussed his 90-Day Live Longer, Feel Younger Plan, and the ingredients necessary for a healthy lifestyle. When asked about cooking with Olive Oil, he stated, “If you’re cooking food, I recommend you use Grapeseed Oil.”
Versatile, delicious, and good for you, Grapeseed Oil is a signature item in the Wildtree product line.
Ecologically friendly, made from grape seeds after wine production, Grapeseed Oil has nearly half the saturated fat of Olive Oil, with no sodium and no cholesterol and no trans-fats. There are also medical studies confirming that it has a positive effect on blood pressure and cholesterol. Researchers at the University of California tracked patients with metabolic syndrome, a cluster of problems that increase heart disease. The groups getting grapeseed extract experienced reduction in blood pressure, and also had a drop in LDL (bad) cholesterol. Dr. David Nash, a cardiologist of the State University of NY Health Science Center in Syracuse conducted two studies for the Official Journal of the American Heart Association. He recruited men and women with elevated serum cholesterol levels, and added 1 ounce of grapeseed oil daily for four weeks to their already low-fat diets.
It elicited a 14 percent increase in HDL (good) cholesterol and a 15 percent decrease in triglycerides, an independent risk factor in heart disease. He told Science News, “Grapeseed Oil’s ability to raise HDL appears unique.” Nash states that until now, no foods and only a few drugs have demonstrated the ability to raise HDL cholesterol. That’s important, because long term study data from the Helsinki and Framingham Heart Studies, (performed on 4,081 men between the ages of 40-55 over a five year period) indicates that for every 1 percent increase in serum HDL, the risk of adverse cardiac events, such as heart attacks, drops by 3 percent. This translates to a significant 39 percent to 56 percent decrease in risk of cardiovascular disease. Every 3 months the study patients were tested for signs of heart disease. Over the 5 year period there were 34% fewer incidents of heart disease in the treated group. During the fifth year, the treated group had 65% fewer heart attacks than the placebo group.
Grapeseed Oil also contains proanthocyanidin (PCO), a natural bioflavonoid. PCO is the most potent antioxidant ever discovered. Linoleic acid (Omega 6) is an essential fatty acid, which studies indicate is sadly deficient in most diets. Grapeseed oil is 76 percent linoleic acid. The presence of Vitamin E graces grapeseed oil with a shelf life of nearly two years. Patients on Coumadin, a blood thinning agent, are advised to avoid Olive Oil, as its Vitamin K can counteract the effects of Coumadin. Grapeseed Oil, with NO Vitamin K, is the ideal replacement.
Grapeseed Oil is prized by chefs for its versatility, as its high smoke/flash point (419 degrees versus the 375 of Olive Oil), makes it possible to control the amount of fat absorbed by increasing the frying temperature. Your food absorbs less oil, and cooks faster, which locks in moisture. Grapeseed oil also expands when it cooks, which means you use less overall. Not having the heaviness of other oils, it brings out the flavor of the food, and does not leave a greasy after-taste, making it also ideal for salad dressings or bread dipping. Substituting grapeseed oil for your usual cooking or salad oil is an easy way to lower the amount of saturated fats in your diet.
However, not all grapeseed oils are created equal. The quality of the grape seed and the method of oil extraction are key factors, as well as the age of the oil, and the bulk container handling. Look for grapeseed oils that do not contain preservatives (such as TBHQ or BHT) and are free of solvents. Bargain priced grapeseed oils most likely have been made from older grape seeds that are starting to deteriorate or rot. If the seeds have not been dried properly, the rotting can begin quickly. This causes the seed shell to be compromised and the seed oil to become rancid. Processors will take these seeds, crush them, extract the oil and then bleach it thru fine filters until all signs of the rancid properties have been removed.
Another method used is solvent extraction, generally using a petroleum product called N-Hexane to dissolve the oil. This heat extraction is cheaper and faster, but requires the extracted oil to be boiled to eliminate most of the solvents. Further refining such as bleaching, deodorizing and heating to high temperatures cleanses the oil, but results in a product that has very little of the original flavor, aroma, or nutrients contained in the seeds before processing.
The grape seeds used in Wildtree’s grapeseed oil are of the highest quality, obtained from FAIR TRADE vineyards that do not use any chemical processing. Our oils are NEVER chemically extracted. Wildtree’s oil is EXPELLER PRESSED, created in small batches for freshness, and shipped in small containers that do not expose the oil to air for prolonged periods during our local infusing and bottling.
In comparing store-bought oils, watch for the words EXPELLER PRESSED on the ingredients list. As expeller processing is higher quality oil, chemical-free, and nutrient rich, manufacturers WILL proudly call it out on the label. If those exact words are not present in the ingredients listing, you can be quite sure that it is chemically extracted or solvent-processed grapeseed oil. I printed an article off Whole Foods website a while back extolling the virtues of Expeller Pressed grapeseed oils for all the reasons I have already mentioned. They went on to say that “chemically extracted oils are the fat equivalent of white sugar and should never be used in any kitchen application!” However, my FAVORITE part said that “at Whole Foods Market, all cooking oils are expeller pressed, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF GRAPESEED OIL which is not readily available expeller pressed.” Oh Yeah! It was in print right on their website! So it seems that Wildtree’s grapeseed oils are a quality that even organic food giant Whole Foods cannot get for their customers! I framed that article and display it proudly beside my oil samples at every home tasting party that I do.
In addition to plain/natural flavor, Wildtree offers several infused flavors of its expeller pressed grapeseed oil, such as garlic, butter (non dairy), jalapeno, zesty lemon, hickory smoke, and basil pesto, in addition to four shake & pour bread dipping versions, garlic, tuscan, balsamic, and hot chili.
For questions regarding Wildtree’s high quality, expeller pressed, locally infused grapeseed oils, visit: www.Lauren.MyWildtree.com or call me toll-free at 877-WILDTREE.