Rapeseed oil sales soar as middle class cooks turn to it instead of olive oil because it has half the amount of saturated fat

Oil produced from the burgeoning yellow fields of rapeseed which now dominate the British countryside is eating in to sales of imported olive oil.

Sales of rapeseed oil are up by 11.5 per cent across all retailers and 60per cent at Tesco, Britain’s biggest supermarket.

By contrast, the volume of olive oil is now showing its first fall in decades with a drop of some 0.3per cent in the number of bottles sold.

Rapeseed oil has a health advantage over olive oil in that it has just six per cent saturated fat content, which is less than half the 14per cent of most olive oil.

It also has higher levels important fatty acids - Omega 3, 6 and 9 - than any other vegetable oil.

The Omega 3 content, which is good for blood circulation and young brains, is some 11 times higher than olive oil, while Omega 6 promotes healthy skin, nails and hair.

The taste benefits are also being recognised for the first time with chefs like Jamie Oliver, who once championed olive oil, now supporting British rapeseed oil.

His Union Jacks restaurant chain uses British Farrington’s Mellow Yellow cold pressed rapeseed oil in jars on tables and in the preparation of traditional British meals, ranging from fish and chips to steaks, pies and salads.

The oil has a much higher burning point than other types, which means it retains its health benefits when used for roasting and frying.

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