Mustard oil best for your heart


It’s official. Mustard oil is the best for your heart. A comparative study of different edible oils has shown that mustard oil as a cooking medium can reduce the risk of heart diseases by over 70%.

    The study conducted by experts from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Sir Ganga Ram Hospital compared fat content in different cooking oils, including olive oil, canola oil, mustard oil and sunflower oil, and its findings were reported in the February issue of the Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

    “A heart-friendly oil should be cholesterol- and trans-fat free, low in saturated fats and high in monounsaturated fat (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fat (PUFA), it should have an ideal N6 to N3 acids ratio and a high smoking point. Mustard oil meets all these criteria and that’s why it is the best cooking oil,” said Dr SC Manchanda, co-author of the article and senior consultant cardiologist at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. He said oil of canola, a close relative of mustard (brassica family), is equally beneficial but is rarely found in pure form.

    About the much-hyped and five times costlier olive oil, Manchanda said, “It has many good qualities, for example it is considered the best by some because it has the highest (75%) content of MUFA — the best type of fat because it lowers bad cholesterol and elevates good cholesterol — among all other oils. It also contains a wide variety of anti-oxidants. But its main limitation is that it does not have an ideal ratio of omega-6 (N6) and Omega-3 (N3) fatty acids useful in reducing heart complications.”

    Mustard oil is used primarily in north and east India. Experts say erucic acid, present in mustard oil, was found to be harmful to rats in high doses but had no harmful effect on human beings.

    Clinical nutritionist Dr Ishi Khosla said mustard oil is best when consumed in its raw form known as ‘kachchi ghani’. “Our forebears have used mustard oil for centuries. The refined oils and other exotic varieties have arrived recently. The need is to change dietary habits rather than oils,” she said. With nearly 100-million affected people, India is on the verge of becoming the ‘heart disease capital of the world’, say experts. “Major risk factors for heart disease include high blood pressure, high cholesterol level, obesity, physical inactivity and unhealthy diet. We should eat less fried food, less butter and ghee. Regular exercise is advised,” said an expert.


A recent study published in Journal of Preventive Cardiology pits mustard oil against other oils. Here are the findings MUSTARD OIL
    Low saturated fat (SFA) and high amounts of MUFA & PUFA, which are good for health
    N6:N3 (type of fatty acids in food) ratio in mustard oil is near ideal (6:5). It is 20:1 in case of olive oil
    High in antioxidants and vitamin E
    Risk of heart disease drops by nearly 70% when mustard oil is used for cooking
    Has the highest (75%) MUFA content
    Also contains a wide variety of valuable anti-oxidants
    Has antiinflammatory, antithrombotic and antihypertensive effects
    Low in SFAs & high in MUFA Beneficial
omega3 fatty
acid profile
SOYABEAN OIL Rich in PUFA but needs to be used in combination with other oils rich in MUFA like olive oil, mustard oil or groundnut oil