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Rapeseed oil health benefits

It’s the time of year again when farmers begin to brighten up the countryside with the year’s rapeseed crop (Brassica napus). Rapeseed is grown for its oil and meal. What benefits are the rapeseed oil health benefits over other cooking oils? We investigate below.

Rapeseed, also know as oilseed rape, is a member of the same family as brussel sprouts. When is comes to choosing an oil for cooking from the supermarket shelf, there can be a wide range on offer. Olive oil has become known for its health benefits. It is rich in mono-unsaturated fats which can help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and boost HDL (good) cholesterol. This, as well as it’s rich flavour, makes olive oil first choice for use in salad dressings. The issue with cooking with olive oil though is that the health beneficial compounds begin to degrade when it is heated. The smoke point of olive oil is between 180 and 215 C. This is point at which the oil will start to produce smoke and health-harming compounds.

So what about rapeseed oil health benefits? Rapeseed oil better choice for high temperature cooking. It has a neutral flavour making it ideal for baking and frying. Rapeseed oil health benefits include being packed with alpha-linoleic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid). In fact rapeseed oil contains ten times more omega-3 than olive oil. Other rapeseed oil health benefits include helping to lower LDL cholesterol (like olive oil) being a rich source of vitamin E and having lower saturated fat content than other oils.

The post image shows a crop of rapeseed in a field at Fosse Cross, just off the Roman road, The Fosse Way in Gloucestershire.

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