Bharathi I am a Medical Student with a passion for writing and a thirst for knowledge.

Sunflower Oil – Are They Good? or Bad? For Health

4 min read

Sunflower oil! Overall this oil is thought to be very beneficial or, is it really? People often have doubts about what to buy, and what not to buy, when it comes to oil purchases. Some say sunflower oil is one of the best choices in their life whereas others have contradicting opinions. So join me today and learn some of the useful facts regarding this oil.

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What Is Sunflower Oil?

Sunflower oil – Helianthus annuus.

They are extracted from sunflower seeds and are usually obtained via cold-press extraction. There are different varieties such as linoleic, mid-oleic, high-oleic, and high stearic/ high oleic.

  • High-linoleic
  • Mid-oleic
  • High oleic
  • High stearic/ high oleic

Linoleic acid is (omega- 6) polyunsaturated fat whereas oleic acid is (omega -9) monounsaturated fat.

High stearic/high oleic contain saturated fats and are mostly used in packaged foods, ice creams, chocolate, and industrial frying.

Each varies in the quantity of unsaturated and saturated fats, but their nutritional benefits remain the same. Above all, The most substantial nutrient in sunflower oil is vitamin E.

The oil has higher amounts of linoleic acid compared to olive oil. However, Olive oil has an adequate amount of vitamin K, fatty acids, monounsaturated fats, and minerals which makes them a healthier choice overall.

It is well known for its high smoke point and is mostly used as a frying oil. Check out the 9 best cooking oils used for Indian cooking.

The unsaturated fatty acids contain vitamin E, which nourishes the skin to shine.

So let us discuss below the cons and pros of Sunflower oil.

Benefits Of Sunflower Oil

1. Sunflower Oil Promotes Heart Health

It promote heart health. This oil contains phytochemicals such as choline and phenolic acid, which studies have found to be beneficial for the heart.

Besides, it is free from trans fats, which has a major role in developing an increased risk of heart disease. It increases the levels of HDL (good cholesterol), thereby decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

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2. Provides Energy

They are packed with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which serve as a good source of fuel to the body. Moreover, It comprises linoleic acid – essential fatty acid and oleic acid that serves as a nutritional combo.

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3. Sunflower Oil – Lowers Cholesterol

Experts mention that adding sunflower oil in the diet can lower our total cholesterol levels and Meanwhile it can also prevent the build-up of ‘bad’ low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.

This natural oil also may have valuable effects on cholesterol control as the unsaturated fats are well metabolized by the liver. This contributes greatly towards the cholesterol profiles.

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4. Strengthens The Immune System

The oil’s antioxidant properties strengthen the cell membranes, which makes it difficult for pathogens to enter the body. In addition, this also increases our immunity by enhancing the body’s ability to fight away infections.

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5. Improves digestion

This oil might have laxative properties that help alleviate digestion. Since sunflower oils are very light, it is better absorbed well in the digestive tract than many other oils. It can also be used as a mild laxative, to help with constipation.

This oil may enhance oral health by reducing plaque-related gingivitis. The oil exhibits antibacterial activity to a certain degree and prevents infection.

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6. Repairs The Body

Sunflower oil contains proteins that help to build and repair tissues. They promote the enzymes required for the healthy functioning of the body’s systems.

Also,It can prevent gastric damage that are mostly caused as a side effect of other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

When NSAID like indomethacin is taken, the oil was found to reduce the damaging side effects of the drug and fight inflammation.

It might help treat rheumatoid arthritis by reducing inflammation.

As this oil is rich in omega-6 fatty acids, excess intake of these can accelerate the production of pro-inflammatory chemicals in the body.

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7. Healthy Hair With Sunflower Oil

Vitamin E and sesamol (sesame oil) in sunflower oil are known to have purposes for hair health. They are both antioxidants and may help compensate free radicals that can harm the hair and scalp.

It has anti-inflammatory properties which may also help with your dandruff and calm an itchy scalp. In addition, Using this oil on hair can help smoothen the split ends and make your hair softer and manageable.

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8. Skin Health

This oil is a non-comedogenic carrier oil.  The topical application of sunflower oil helps boost your skin health with its richness of vitamin E and significant antioxidants.

Its richness of linoleic acid helps accelerate skin barrier and may help fight the actions of the reactive oxygen species (ROS), which may play an important role in acne formation.

The vitamin E in sunflower oil assists the treatment of atopic dermatitis (eczema). Oral vitamin E treatment in most eczema patients resulted in the betterment and so close to the cure of the ailment.

The oil also may deal with dry skin, which is another symptom of eczema. Thus, it helps treat eczema.

Wanna know some tips about acne cure and oily skin care?

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9. Prevent Cancer

Some researchers suggest this oil may contain chemopreventive properties that may help prevent cancer.

The presence of Vitamin A and carotenoids also assist in fighting free radicals that cause cell degeneration and inhibit cancer growth.

On the other hand, do you know what foods can cause cancer?

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10. Reduces Depression & Anxiety

The oil contains magnesium that helps in mood disorders like depression and anxiety. The oil’s selenium content repairs cellular damage and helps with depression.

Check out, How diets can influence depression?

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What Are Some Side Effects Of Sunflower Oil?

1. Issues During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding

Sunflower oil can be beneficial during pregnancy and breastfeeding as it conserves vitamin A in breast milk which is beneficial to the baby.

But, you need to reduce its intake coz this oil is high in omega-6 fatty acids that can be harmful when consumed in large amounts.

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2. Can Aggravate Diabetes Symptoms

This oil may exacerbate fasting insulin and blood glucose levels due to its linoleic acid content. It may also increase blood sugar after meals.

As a result, Diabetes patients are recommended to stay away from sunflower oil.

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3. May Cause Allergies

People who are allergic to ragweed, marigolds, daisies, and chrysanthemum may also experience allergies with this oil.

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Bottom Line Message

In conclusion, this oil is packed with Vitamin E and omega 6 fats. It is also a good source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and are known for its high smoking point.

However, This oil releases toxic compounds when heated to higher temperatures for a longer time.

Some varieties of this oil are also high in omega-6 and may contribute to inflammation in the body when consumed in excess.

Overall, the usage of sunflower oil in low heat is perhaps fine. 

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Bharathi I am a Medical Student with a passion for writing and a thirst for knowledge.

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