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Polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats

Polyunsaturates, and to a lesser extent, monounsaturates, have been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels and therefore help in reducing the risk of heart disease.

It is better to eat foods rich in monounsaturates (olive oil and rapeseed oil) and polyunsaturates (sunflower oil and soya oil), than foods rich in saturates.

Rapeseed oil, which like olive oil contains mostly monounsaturated fat, is a good and cheaper alternative to olive oil. Sunflower, soya bean and corn oil all contain mostly polyunsaturated fat so are also good choices.

Some oils are labelled as vegetable oil or blended vegetable oils. All of these are also low in saturated fat and are generally cheaper.

But remember, whichever unsaturated oil you use, try to use as little as possible.

It can help to measure oil for cooking with tablespoons rather than pouring straight from a container and you can gradually try to reduce the number of spoonfuls you use.