Sunflower Oil

Sunflower oil is pressed from the seeds of the sunflower. In foods, sunflower oil is used as a cooking oil. Sunflower oil is also used as medicine. Sunflower oil is most commonly used for high cholesterol and preventing heart disease. Sunflower oil is made by pressing the seeds of the Helianthus annuus plant. It’s often touted as a healthy oil, as it contains unsaturated fats that may benefit heart health. However, any potential benefits of sunflower oil depend on the type and nutrient composition. What’s more, using too much sunflower oil may harm your health. This article highlights the different types of sunflower oil, their potential benefits and downsides, and how they compare with other common cooking oils.

There are four types of sunflower oil available in the United States, all of which are made from sunflower seeds that are bred to produce different fatty acid compositions.These include high linoleic (68% linoleic acid), mid-oleic (NuSun, 65% oleic acid), high oleic (82% oleic acid), and high stearic/high oleic (Nutrisun, 72% oleic acid, 18% stearic acid).As their names suggest, some sunflower oils are higher in either linoleic or oleic acid.

Linoleic acid, commonly known as omega-6, is a polyunsaturated fatty acid that has two double bonds in its carbon chain. Meanwhile, oleic acid, or omega-9, is a monounsaturated fatty acid with one double bond. These properties make them liquid at room temperature.Linoleic and oleic acid are both sources of energy for the body and contribute to cell and tissue strength.

However, they react in different ways to heat during cooking and therefore may have varying effects on your health. High stearic/high oleic sunflower oil (Nutrisun) also contains stearic acid, a saturated fatty acid that’s solid at room temperature and has different culinary applications.This type of sunflower oil is not meant for home cooking and instead may be used in packaged foods, ice creams, chocolate, and industrial frying.