Peanut oil, also known as groundnut oil or arachis oil, is a mild-tasting vegetable oil derived from peanuts. Peanut oil has a high smoke point relative to many other cooking oils, so is commonly used for frying foods. It is a vegetable oil that is naturally trans fat-free, cholesterol free, and low in saturated fats. Peanut oil is high in unsaturated fats, especially monounsaturated fat, like the one found in olive oil.
It comes in a number of varieties, including refined, unrefined, roasted, and cold-pressed, which have slight differences in their nutritional value and health benefits. Generally, people use peanut oil in their cooking for the interesting flavor that it gives, particularly the roasted variety, as well as the fact that it is healthier than many types of oil. It is also a source of the antioxidant vitamin E and phytosterols, which benefit heart health.