Once considered the poor man’s oil, mustard oil is back in vogue and finding its way onto grocery store shelves. Native to north and northeast India, the oil was discarded for fear of being adulterated and causing heart disease. But now that scientific research has rediscovered its goodness, mustard oil can join olive oil in a heart-healthy diet. Mustard oil is 70 percent mono-unsaturated fat. It is rich in omega-3 (aka good) fats, as well. Because of this, mustard oil protects against heart disease and helps reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase HDL (good) cholesterol. It also helps control blood sugar levels in diabetics. Other benefits of mustard oil include reduction in blood fat (triglycerides), ability to decrease blood clotting, treatment of inflammatory conditions like asthma and arthritis, and lowering of blood pressure in hypertensive people. The fats in mustard oil help treat depression and are known to boost brain function. Vitamin E, one of the core antioxidants in mustard oil, is not only good for growth, development, skin and immunity, but also prevents mustard oil from becoming rancid, thus contributing to its long shelf life. The oil can be used for cooking, but one should avoid smoking it, as it can lead to harmful chemical changes. Whenever possible, choose organic mustard oil as pesticides are usually fat soluble and concentrated in oilseeds.