Flaxseed oil is derived from the seeds of the flax plant. It is known for its healthy fatty acid content, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as alpha-linolenic acid. Because of the high omega-3 fatty acid content, flaxseed oil is often touted for its anti-inflammatory abilities, but the University of Maryland Medical Center states that there are mixed results from scientific studies regarding its efficacy. Flaxseed oil can be taken as a liquid form and added to dishes, or it can be ingested as part of a softgel capsule.
If using flaxseed oil in its liquid form in cooking, peanut oil is a similar substitute in terms of taste and health content. Both flaxseed and peanut oils are derived from nuts and seeds, so they have a similar palate. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, peanut oil is a monounsaturated fat. Because it is an unsaturated fat, it can help improve blood cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the primary type of oil found in olive oil is monounsaturated fatty acids, also sometimes referred to as MUFAs. The Mayo Clinic cautions that olive oil, like all oils, is still high in calories so should be consumed only in moderation. However, there is limited scientific evidence demonstrating that MUFAs may lower overall cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels.
Fish oil is one of the flax oil substitutes consumed as either part of a food stuff or in capsule form. According to Medline Plus, fish oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids and can be found in high concentrations in fishes such as tuna, salmon, mackerel, bluefish and sardines. Medline Plus says that there are approximately 1 gram of omega-3 fatty acids in 3.5 ounces of fish.
Grape Seed Oil
Grape seed oil is an oil extracted from the seeds of grapes. Grape seed oil is high in omega-6 fatty acids, also known as linoleic acid, a polyunsaturated fat. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, grape seed oil may be able to help in the treatment of certain health problems, such as cancer, heart disease and skin damage. However, its efficacy remains uncertain as there is not enough scientific evidence to support the theory.
- University of Maryland Medical Center; Grape Seed; 2011
- Medline Plus; Fish Oil; 2011
- Mayo Clinic; Olive Oil; by Donald Hensrud
- University of Maryland Medical Center; Flaxseed Oil; 2011
- Harvard School of Public Health: Fats and Cholesterol - Out with the Bad, In with the Good
- "Complete Food and Nutrition Guide: Revised and Updated 3rd Edition"; American Dietetic Association; 2006