Rapeseed Oil and Cholesterol
8th August 2016
Rapeseed oil and cholesterol
Eating too much saturated fat can increase cholesterol levels. The store cupboard ingredient, rapeseed oil, sometimes labelled vegetable oil, is lower in saturated fat than all other commonly used cooking oils and fats. It’s high in unsaturated fats, particularly mono-unsaturated. Replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats such as rapeseed oil in the diet contributes to the maintenance of normal cholesterol levels, which may reduce the risk of heart disease.
More on the health benefits of rapeseed oil
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fatty substance known as a lipid and plays a vital role in how every cell works. It is also needed to make Vitamin D, some hormones and bile for digestion. It is mainly made by the liver but can also be found in some foods we eat.
Good and bad cholesterol explained
Cholesterol is carried in your blood by proteins. When the two combine, they’re called lipoproteins. The two main types of lipoprotein are:
- Good: HDL (high density lipoprotein) – carries cholesterol away from parts of the body where there’s too much, back to the liver, where it’s disposed of.
- Bad: LDL (low density lipoprotein) – carries cholesterol to parts of the body that need it, but if there’s too much for the cells to use, it can lead to fatty deposits developing in the arteries, which can restrict the flow of blood to the heart and brain, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Why is managing cholesterol important?
Too much cholesterol can increase your risk of getting heart and circulatory disease. Maintaining normal, healthy cholesterol levels plays an important role in reducing the risk of heart disease, strokes and angina. Coronary heart disease is the UK’s biggest killer. About one in five men and one in eight women die from the disease, but in many cases it’s preventable.
How to reduce cholesterol?
With around half of all heart attacks in the UK being caused by high cholesterol, a healthy balanced diet, combined with an active lifestyle, is important. We should all be eating to keep our hearts healthy – and foods like rapeseed oil can help.
More on cholesterol via NHS Choices website
More on cholesterol via British Heart Foundation website
More on cholesterol via Heart UK website
Recipes – the tasty way to managing cholesterol
Here are a few simple recipes using rapeseed oil:
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