Sesame oil is a naturally flavoured oil that is rich in polyunsaturated fats such as omega-3 and omega-6. Polyunsaturated fats have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease when used as a replacement for saturated fats.
A study comparing the health benefits of olive oil and sesame oil found that sesame oil had a stronger effect on cholesterol levels.
In particular, the study showed that the two products have similar effects in increasing HDL- "good" cholesterol, but sesame oil had a stronger effect in lowering LDL- "bad" cholesterol.
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The study included 48 patients who initially had high cholesterol and were not taking medication to lower it.
Participants were divided into two groups who consumed 60 grams (4 tablespoons) of oil daily, replacing other oils they may have used, with the researchers examining participants' cholesterol levels after one month.
They found that cholesterol levels had decreased in those who consumed sesame oil.
The benefits of sesame oil
Some studies have identified what sesame oil fights - atherosclerosis, i.e. the narrowing of blood vessels.
Atherosclerosis is a risk factor for more serious cardiovascular disease, as narrowing of blood vessels increases blood pressure and the risk of obstruction that can lead to heart attacks or strokes.
Sesame seeds are rich in fibre, protein and many vitamins. It is noted that the refined oil does not contain all these nutrients as the antioxidants produced by the plant are found in the oil.
These include vitamin E and a group of chemicals called lignan. Lignan is a type of phytoestrogen that is associated with strong nutritional benefits.
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In fact, one of the sesame lignans has been found to lower high blood pressure. Small studies have found oil and sugar benefits in people with type 2 diabetes.
It is noted that studies on sesame oil and sesame seeds have examined the impact on people who generally do not receive other drugs or medical treatment.
This means that it can potentially affect the results of the medication and cause harmful effects.
READ MORE: Olive Oil: The Secret Ingredient in Curing Alzheimer’s.
* The views expressed in this health article are published for educational and informational purposes only and are in no way a medical diagnosis or treatment. Greek City Times points out the need to consult a specialist before following any of the tips published in health articles.