Oil is one of the most essential cooking ingredients, and there are various types. They are the main ingredients used in frying, baking, and other types of cooking.
Sunflower is a type of vegetable oil that is obtained from the sunflower seed. As vegetable oil, sunflower oil is known to be the most preferred oil because of its essential and well-known health benefits.
Vegetable oils are available in different natures and enriched with various specific qualities. Sunflower oil is a popular vegetable oil in the kitchen because of its mild flavor and high smoke point.
Vegetable oil is rich in only vitamin E and K. Sunflower on its own is four times richer in vitamin K and three times richer in vitamin E.
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Variety of Vegetable Oil
- Vegetable oil is a combination of different oils, which may include canola, sunflower, soybean, corn, safflower, olive, peanut oil, etc. Vegetable oil has varying health benefits, which are greatly dependent on the oil blends and quantity.
- Sunflower oil is highly rich in linoleic, mid-oleic, and high-oleic.
- High-oleic sunflower oil contains 80% monounsaturated oleic acid. The other 20% consists of linoleic acid and saturated fats at equal rates. Aside from being healthy, this type of sunflower has a natural taste, doesn’t get rancid when stored for a long time, and can also withstand high-heat cooking.
- Mid-oleic sunflower oil is another healthy choice. They consist of about 65% oleic, 25% linoleic acids, and 10% saturated fats.
- Linoleic sunflower oil contains approximately 70% polyunsaturated linoleic acid, 20% oleic, and 10% saturated fats.
- This type of sunflower oil is the lowest healthy choice. It doesn’t withstand high cooking and storage. To stop oxidation during high cooking, most linoleic sunflowers are partially hydrogenated.
- Unfortunately, hydrogenation changes polyunsaturated fats into trans fat, which has an adverse health impact.
Health Benefits of Sunflower Oil
There are various benefits of sunflower oil. Below are some functions of sunflowers oil:
Sunflower has loads of benefits as it is low in saturated fat and high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) include omega-3s and omega-6s. They help to lower cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, especially if substituted for-less healthy fats.
Monounsaturated fatty acids on the other hand reduce heart disease. Its presence in olive oil is what makes the Mediterranean diet healthy.
Sunflowers vary as they can either be high in oleic acid (monounsaturated fatty acid) or high in linoleic (polyunsaturated fatty acid) or somewhere between both. High oleic sunflower oil is what is frequently sold since it is more stable for cooking.
Enhances Heart Health
Monounsaturated fats (MUFAs), like those in high oleic sunflowers, are good for a healthy heart. A study revealed that MUFAs increase good cholesterol (HDL) and lower increased levels of inflammation.
Food and drug administrations also support the claim that sunflower oil which contains a minimum of 70% oleic can lower coronary heart diseases.
Linoleic Acid for Heart Health
Linoleic acid present in sunflower oil is also beneficial to heart health. According to the American Heart Association’s review of a study, they concluded that linoleic is great at reducing the risk of coronary heart disease.
They also advise consuming a minimum of 5 to 10% of linoleic acid in their calories. That’s about 100 to 200 calories dealt in a 2000-calorie daily diet.
Brain and Nerve Health
Sunflower is an excellent source of vitamin E. and many studies have reported that a healthy consumption of Vitamin E in your diet has diverse benefits.
Some research has proven that it can lower the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. A lack of Vitamin E can also cause nerve pain. Also consuming Vitamin E from food is more functional than those gotten from food supplements.
Sunflower and Omega-6
Even though sunflower oil is healthy, excessive consumption can pose a potential risk. That’s because all plant oil, except olive oil and coconut oil, are bad for your health.
Although you need omega-6 and omega-3 as they are essential fatty acids. But the consumption of high-quality food can lead to chronic inflammation, which is the bedrock of common western diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis.
Vegetable oil is great and heart-friendly. Even though nutritionists are worried about omega-6 in them, you can still consume them in moderation. Also, there is currently no evidence that they raise the risk of heart disease.
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