Similar to many other plant-based oils, grape seed oil -- extracted from grape seeds -- may provide you with several health benefits when consumed in recommended amounts. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics notes that grape seed oil has a moderately high smoking point, making it an excellent choice for frying and sauteing. And it's rich in cholesterol-lowering polyunsaturated fats. Because grape seed oil is high in calories, however, it may lead to weight gain if eaten in excess.
Grape seed oil contains 40 calories per teaspoon. This calorie content is similar to other plant-based oils, such as olive, canola and peanut oils. The publication "Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010" suggest consuming 6 teaspoons of oils daily when following a 2,000-calorie meal plan and 7 teaspoons of oils per day when eating a 2,500-calorie diet.
Being a fat, grape seed oil doesn’t contain any protein or carbohydrates -- including sugar. A teaspoon of grape seed oil provides 4.5 grams of total fat. The majority of fat in grape seed oil, or 3.9 grams, is poly- and monounsaturated fats. Only 0.4 gram of the fat in 1 teaspoon of grape seed oil is from saturated fatty acids.
The predominant polyunsaturated fatty acids found in grape seed oil are omega-6 fatty acids, according to a 2009 study in the “International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition.” Omega-6 fatty acids, essential in your diet because your body cannot make them, play a role in brain function, normal growth and development, skin and hair growth, bone health, metabolism and reproduction, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. The same source notes that some omega-6 fatty acids promote inflammation. But a 2013 study in the “International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition” found that grape seed oil seems to improve inflammation and insulin resistance in overweight and obese women.
Vitamin E Perks
Grape seed oil is an excellent source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage in your body and strengthens your immune system. One teaspoon of grape seed oil contains 1.3 milligrams of vitamin E. The recommended dietary allowance, or RDA, for vitamin E is 15 milligrams daily for adult men and women, according to the Institute of Medicine.
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: All About Oils
- U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Oil, Grape Seed
- U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010
- International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition: Evaluation of Fatty Acid Profiles and Mineral Content of Grape Seed Oil of Some Grape Genotypes
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Omega-6 Fatty Acids
- International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition: Does Grape Seed Oil Improve Inflammation and Insulin Resistance in Overweight or Obese Women?
- MedlinePlus: Vitamin E
- Institute of Medicine: Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs): Recommended Dietary Allowances and Adequate Intakes, Vitamins