Olive oil is the reigning star of cooking oils because of all the research done on the Mediterranean diet and its cardiovascular benefits. But the far less well known grape seed oil has also been shown to have positive effects on cholesterol, and it's rich in antioxidants to boot. The other good thing about grape seed oil is that it has a higher smoke point than olive oil (425 degrees F versus 325 degrees F). This difference means you can safely set your burner to medium-high versus medium.
Grape seed oil has a very mild flavor so can be used in almost any culinary endeavor from sautéing to baking. Try mixing it with a flavored vinegar and use as a dressing for green or three-bean salads.
Reviewed by Susan Weiner RD, MS, CDE, CDN, 03/08
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