With so many cooking oil options available, it’s hard to know which route to go. Cashew oil and palm oil are two very different-looking types that each have their own unique qualities and strengths when it comes to cooking, nutrition, and more!
In this article, we’ll dive into the differences between cashew oil and palm oil, and help you decide which one is best for you!
Comparing cashew oil vs palm oil
|Cashew Oil||Palm Oil/Red Palm Oil|
|Solid or Liquid?||Liquid||Semi solid|
|Smoke Point (Fahrenheit)||410 degrees||450 degrees|
|Good for Cooking…||Raw, low, moderate heat||Raw, low, moderate, high heat|
|Allergens||Tree nuts, cardanol, cardol and anacardic acid||Oil palm fruit|
Differences between cashew oil and palm oil
Cashew oil comes from cashew nuts, whereas palm oil comes from the fruits of the oil palm trees.
They usually cold-press cashew oil, which means that the oil is extracted without using high heat or any chemicals – this is great news in terms of saving the nuts’ natural flavors and nutrients when extracting the oil!
Palm oil, also known as red palm oil, is made by pressing the fruits in order to extract the oils from them. It then goes under refining, filtering, and heating procedures to clean it up and improve its quality.
Now, palm oil is a semi-solid oil, meaning it’s solid at room temperature and can also be heated up to turn into a liquid, changing into a more golden color from its usual reddish-orange hue. This makes it a good substitute for butter in recipes that call for solid fats. Walnut oil, on the other hand, is a liquid.
Taste is also where there’s a big difference between the two. Cashew oil has a mild, but slightly nutty flavor which can add a delicious twist to your dishes! Palm oil, on the other hand, has a more neutral flavor with notes of a mild carrot taste.
Baking and cooking with cashew oil vs palm oil
Let’s hop into the kitchen and try these oils out!
Cashew oil has a high smoke point of 410ºF, making it a great choice for sauteing, stir-frying, and deep-frying since it won’t break down until very high temperatures! That, plus the nutty taste, makes it an awesome option for both baked and cooked goods, especially Asian-inspired cuisine.
Palm oil is also popular for high-temperature cooking with a smoke point of 450ºF, making it ideal for stir-frying and deep-frying. One of its biggest strengths over cashew oil, however, is the fact that it’s semi-solid, allowing it to be used in recipes that call for solid fats. The neutral taste with a hint of carrot can be a nice touch to your dish as well.
Can cashew oil and palm oil be substituted for each other?
There are certain situations where cashew oil and palm oil can be substituted for each other…
They both have a high smoke point, which makes it easy to switch them out with one another for those stir-fries or other high-heat cooking methods. Cashew oil can’t take the place of palm oil in recipes that call for solid fats, however, since it’s a liquid and not solid at room temperature like palm oil is.
The taste is another thing to think about, with cashew oil adding a rich, nutty flavor while palm oil gives a more neutral, slightly carrot-y taste to your dish – this is more of a preference than anything, but keep that in mind when substituting these with each other!
Nutrition: Cashew oil vs palm oil
Cashew oil is the better option here nutrition-wise.
It has a rich source of monounsaturated fats, which support heart health and help lower the bad LDL cholesterol. While it has a bit more total fat than palm oil, cashew oil is also a good source of essential minerals including zinc and magnesium to support your bone health.
Palm oil is high in saturated fats, which can have a negative impact on health when eaten in excess. Both oils have some vitamin E content, which is always a welcome characteristic.
|Per tablespoon (15mL)||Cashew oil||Palm oil/Red palm oil|
|Polyunsaturated||3.0 g||1.2 g|
|Monounsaturated||10.0 g||5.0 g|
|Saturated||2.0 g||6.7 g|
|Trans||0 g||0 g|
|Total Fat||15.0 g||13.6 g|
How to store cashew oil and palm oil
Both oils are quite similar in terms of how to store them, with some differences in shelf life.
Cashew oil and palm oil should be stored in dry, cool, dark places away from heat sources and sunlight to avoid any early spoiling. Always seal the bottles tightly so no air gets in – nobody likes rancid oil!
Palm oil can usually be stored for 1-2 years provided everything is done right, and cashew oil lasts for about 6-12 months under the same environment.
Cashew oil vs palm oil: The ultimate verdict
Finally what we’ve been waiting for: who gets the crown in this showdown?
Overall, cashew oil is the winner here. It has a better nutritional profile, requires less processing than palm oil, and has a similar versatility to palm oil for high-heat cooking methods. The only time I would recommend palm oil over cashew oil is when a recipe calls for a solid fat, which cashew oil isn’t.
That being said, if you want an oil that’s packed with nutrients, flavor, and minerals, cashew oil is the choice between these two here!
Cashew oil has a high smoke point, making it a versatile oil for many cooking methods. You can use it for cooking or baking, deep-frying, sauteing, stir-frying, or even as a salad dressing!
In short: yes, cashew oil tends to be the healthier choice between the two. Cashew oil has a higher amount of monounsaturated fats and lower saturated fats than palm oil, as well as a better supply of minerals and vitamins.
You can use palm oil instead of butter for recipes that call for a solid fat since palm oil is semi-solid. Plus, it’s a great vegan or dairy-free alternative!