According to a
recent study diets including mustard oil and vegetables (especially
green leafy vegetables) could contribute to lower the risk of heart
disease among Indians. Ischemic heart disease (IHD) is a leading
cause of death in India. To find out the effect of dietary changes
on heart disease risk in India, researchers conducted a study
involving Indians in New Delhi and Bangalore.
The study included 350 people with acute
myocardial infarction (i.e.
heart attack) and 700 healthy people. The long-term dietary intake
of the participants was evaluated using food-frequency
At the end of the study, the researchers observed that vegetable
intake and use of mustard oil was significantly associated with
reduced risk of Ischemic heart disease. People who consumed 3.5
servings of green leafy vegetables every week had 67% less risk of
developing heart disease as compared to those who just consumed 0.5
serving of green leafy vegetables per week. Cereal intake was also
found to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Mustard oil, which is rich in alpha-linolenic acid (an essential
fatty acid which has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, and
reduce the risk of heart diseases), was linked with 2 fold lower
risk compared to sunflower and other oils. The researchers also said
that people who use mustard oil for frying reduce their risk of
heart attack by almost 71%.
Mustard oil was widely used in Indian homes earlier but in modern
times has been replaced by the so called heart-friendly oils. This
study seems to prove the superiority of long forgotten mustard oil
to the present day vegetable oils. So, it actually might be a good
idea to listen to your grandma and switch to mustard oil after all!