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 questionnaires.
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Mustard oil was widely used in Indian homes earlier but in modern times has been replaced by the so called heart-friendly oils.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!