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The oil used to cook your food can influence your blood pressure and heart health. Research in India demonstrates that two oils may improve your cholesterol and ease your hypertension.
The scientists found that people cooking with sesame and rice bran oils experienced significant drops in blood pressure and had better cholesterol. The effect was nearly as strong as commonly prescribed blood pressure pharmaceuticals but without the side effects.
“Rice bran oil, like sesame oil, is low in saturated fat and appears to improve a patient’s cholesterol profile,” says researcher Devarajan Sankar, M.D, Ph.D., a research scientist in the department of cardiovascular disease at Fukuoka University Chikushi Hospital in Chikushino, Japan. “Additionally, it may reduce heart disease risk in other ways, including being a substitute for less healthy oils and fats in the diet.”
The 60-day study in New Delhi, India, focused on 300 people who had mild to moderately high blood pressure.
Systolic blood pressure dropped an average of 14 points for those using a blend of the two oils. Diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number in a blood pressure reading) also dropped significantly: 11 points for those using the oils.
As for cholesterol, those using the oils saw a 26 percent drop in their LDL (“bad” cholesterol) and a 9.5 percent increase in the HDL (“good” cholesterol).