What Are Healthy Oils?

Here we explain the nutritional benefits of rapeseed oil

Is there such a thing as healthy oils?

One of the driving forces behind the rise in popularity of rapeseed oil is its nutritional benefits – but what are they? Most people may be aware of olive oil’s healthy credentials as part of the Mediterranean diet, and some of this relates to its high monounsaturated fat content. But why is rapeseed oil a healthier choice of cooking oil too?

Rapeseed oil:

  • Contains less saturated fat than other commonly used cooking oils and fats e.g. approx. 50% less than olive oil. Recent UK dietary and nutrition surveys estimate that as a nation we’re eating too much saturated fat so we need to look for ways to cut down.
  • Is high in unsaturated fats, particularly mono-unsaturated. Replacing saturated fats with some unsaturated fats such as rapeseed oil, as part of a healthy balanced diet, has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood, which may help to lower the risk of heart disease. Therefore it’s important to get most fat from unsaturated sources, but remember… all types of fat are high in energy (calories) so should be used sparingly and less often.
  • Contains plant sterols and is a rich source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress.

Click here to see the nutritional composition of rapeseed oil

Comparison of the fat content of selected cooking oils and butter