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Rapeseed versus Olive oil

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As a culinary enthusiast and advocate for healthy living, I am always on the lookout for ingredients that not only elevate the taste of my dishes but also contribute to my overall well-being. During our classes we are frequently asked about which oil to use in mainstream cooking. Today, I’m excited to share with you my journey with rapeseed oil—a versatile and nutritious cooking oil that has become a staple in my kitchen for many of my Asian recipes.

Rapeseed oil, also known as canola oil in some regions, has gained popularity for its numerous health benefits and culinary versatility. Extracted from the seeds of the rapeseed plant, this golden-hued oil boasts a rich flavour profile and a host of nutritional advantages.

Let’s delve into the health benefits and nutritional value of rapeseed oil, backed by research from reputable institutions, while also addressing any potential drawbacks.

Health Benefits

Rapeseed oil is renowned for its high content of unsaturated fats, particularly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are known for their heart-healthy properties. According to research published in the European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology, the consumption of rapeseed oil has been associated with reduced risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including lower LDL cholesterol levels and improved lipid profiles (Schunck et al., 2018). Rapeseed Oil has the lowest saturated fat of any culinary oil. Only half the fat of and ten times more Omega-3 than olive oil, (7% saturated fat versus 14% in Olive oil). Equally there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that Omega-3 fatty acids may help people with inflammatory arthritis.

Furthermore, rapeseed oil contains a balanced ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids, known to reduce cholesterol and maintain heart health, joint mobility and brain function. essential for brain health, inflammation reduction, and overall well-being. Studies have shown that incorporating omega-3 fatty acids into the diet may help lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and support cognitive function (Bazinet & Layé, 2014) It is also a rich, natural source of vitamin E. High in mono-unsaturated fats. Equally it contains no artificial preservatives and is trans-fat and GM free. Rapeseed oil is suitable for a variety of diets such as vegetarian, gluten-free, Kosher and Halal

Culinary Versatility

One of the key advantages of rapeseed oil is its high smoke point, making it suitable for a wide range of cooking methods, including frying, roasting, baking, and sautéing. Its neutral flavour profile allows it to complement both sweet and savoury dishes without overpowering the other ingredients.

Moreover, rapeseed oil’s light texture and mild taste make it an ideal base for salad dressings, marinades, and dips, adding a subtle nuttiness and richness to your culinary creations.

Local & Sustainable

In addition to its health benefits and culinary versatility, rapeseed oil offers environmental advantages as a locally produced oil, which is a big plus in my book. With much of the rapeseed cultivated and harvested in the UK, using rapeseed oil reduces the carbon footprint associated with transportation and supports local farmers and producers. By choosing rapeseed oil, consumers can enjoy the benefits of a high-quality cooking oil while minimizing airmiles and promoting sustainability.

The benefit of Unblended Oil

Rapeseed oil is also one of the few unblended oils that can be heated to deep-frying temperature without its antioxidants, character, colour and flavour spoiling. In short, it is one of best “good” oils.

Cold press rapeseed oil can also be used in the same way as extra virgin olive oil. It gives food a really lovely grassy taste. The French already use rapeseed oil in great quantities for dressings, dips and salads. Because of its’ high burn point it can also work as butter replacement in crumble mixes, Yorkshire puddings and mashed potato.

Frying with Rapeseed Oil

Unlike olive oil, it doesn’t become toxic at high temperatures. making it more suitable for deep-frying like a vegetable or sunflower oil.

Other considerations

While rapeseed oil boasts numerous benefits, it’s essential to be mindful of potential drawbacks, such as its relatively low content of certain vitamins and antioxidants compared to other oils like olive oil. Additionally, some individuals may have allergies or sensitivities to rapeseed oil, so it’s advisable to exercise caution and consult with a healthcare professional if necessary.

In conclusion

Rapeseed oil stands out as a versatile, nutritious, and sustainable cooking oil that offers a myriad of health benefits and culinary possibilities. From its heart-healthy fats to its local sourcing and minimal environmental impact, rapeseed oil is a valuable addition to any kitchen. Frying with Rapeseed oil is also healthy, as it doesn’t become toxic at high temperatures, making it more suitable for deep-frying like a vegetable or sunflower oil.

So why not join me in exploring the wonders of rapeseed oil and unlock its potential to elevate your cooking and nourish your body and soul?

References:

Schunck, W. H., Konkel, A., Fischer, R., et al. (2018). Dietary unsaturated fatty acids influence novel atherosclerotic lesion formation through changes in the serum monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 concentration. European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology, 120(4), 1700164.

Bazinet, R. P., & Layé, S. (2014). Polyunsaturated fatty acids and their metabolites in brain function and disease. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 15(12), 771-785.

 

 

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