Sunflower Oil: Is it Good for You?
Sunflower oil is vegetable oil and is a prevalent kitchen ingredient. It’s popularly used for cooking and frying. uses are frying. In addition, it is an ingredient in cosmetics and skincare, medicines. It ranges in colour from clear to an amber yellow hue. The extraction of sunflower oil happens through pressed sunflower seeds. Their scientific name is Helianthus annuus.
Sunflower oil is multi-purpose and even has medicinal uses. You can use it as a cooking ingredient and topically on the skin and hair. Sunflower oil is a source of unsaturated fats because of which it is liquid at room temperature. Having unsaturated fats also makes it a much healthier choice. It contains mono and polyunsaturated fats. Ukraine and Russia alone account for 53% of the world’s sunflower oil production. Moreover, there have been recent developments in hybrid sunflowers. That might meet our oil production needs and its commercial varieties.
Nutritional Value of Sunflower Oil
One tablespoon of sunflower seed oil (14g) contains:
- Calories: 124kCal
- Fat: 14g
- Sugar: 0g
- Dietary fibre: 0g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
- Protein: 0g
- Vitamin E: 5.75mg
- Vitamin K: 0.75µg
- Fatty Acids: 1.44gm
Sunflower oil serves as the richest source of vitamin E and vitamin K.
10 Health Benefits Of Using Sunflower Oil
1. Good for Heart Health
Sunflower seed oil is rich in unsaturated fats and vitamin E. It also has phytochemicals such as phenolic acid, which are very good for a healthy heart. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are healthy fats. They are beneficial for the heart as they help decrease LDL levels.
According to a study, Low-density Lipoprotein (LDL) is responsible for increasing bad cholesterol levels and increasing the chances of heart attacks and other coronary diseases. However, adequate consumption of sunflower oil may prevent this by decreasing LDL levels.
Sunflower oil also contains oleic acids. Research suggests that oil containing 70% oleic acids may reduce the chances of coronary heart diseases.
2. Good for Skin
The sunflower seed oil has a high vitamin E and oleic acid content. One tablespoon or 14gm of sunflower oil has up to 5.75mg of vitamin E.
Vitamin E is an essential fat-soluble antioxidant used in dermatology for more than 50 years. It is a vital ingredient in many cosmetic products. It protects the skin from various harmful effects of solar radiation by acting as a free-radical scavenger. In addition, experimental studies suggest that vitamin E has antitumorigenic and photoprotective properties.
Research suggests that sunflower oil can have excellent skin benefits and promote a healthier skin barrier. You can even use sunflower oil to get rid of many skin conditions like eczema. In addition, it softens skin, moisturises it, and soothes irritation. You can add it to your massage oils. Overall, it is helpful for general skincare.
3. Prevent Cancer
Sunflower oil is a rich source of antioxidants and carotenoids. These carotenoids are present in the sunflower seed, used to extract oil. Research on naturally obtained carotenoids proved some anti-cancerous properties because of anticarcinogenic properties. In addition, it can prevent certain types of colon and skin cancer. Therefore, sunflower oil can be a great addition to your diet.
4. Sunflower oil has Anti-inflammatory Effects
Consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as sunflower oil, has beneficial effects on the plasma lipid profile. Sunflower oil has unsaturated fatty acids, which affect biological markers for inflammation and can help reduce it. Reducing inflammation also has positive effects on Asthma patients and can help relieve some of those symptoms.
Study results suggest that sunflower oil supplementation has pro-inflammatory effects. In addition, it also induces insulin resistance.
5. Prevention of Infant Infections
Sunflower oil acts as a protective barrier for pre-term babies. Premature babies have a higher chance of contracting infections and have susceptible skin. Using sunflower oil can help combat many diseases and provide strength to the baby. It is also rich in vitamin E, which is essential for healthy growth. In addition, the antioxidants present in it also help fight many infections.
6. Repairs the Body Cells
Sunflower oil has many essential proteins and antioxidants. Antioxidants help reduce oxidative stress that can cause free radicals inside the body. Free radicals, when in abundance, can be very harmful to the body. Antioxidants help eliminate these free radicals, resulting in improved cell health. In addition, vitamin E protects against the hazardous effects of UV radiation.
7. Helps to Reduce Weight
Sunflower oil is rich in omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty acids help to burn fat rather than store it. Due to this property, sunflower oil can be an excellent substitute for your regular vegetable oil if you are trying to reduce weight. It also has healthy unsaturated fats, which help to provide energy rather than contribute to unnecessary weight gain.
8. Sunflower oil Improves Digestive System
The sunflower seed oil contains monounsaturated fats (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fats (PUFA). These fats are very easy to digest, and our bodies easily absorb them to get energy. Sunflower seed oil can also show a very mild laxative effect on the body, which can help prevent constipation. Furthermore, adiponectin, a protein hormone, regulates glucose levels and fatty acid breakdown. In addition, it also helps treat obesity and diabetes.
9. Promote Healthy Hair
Sunflower seed oil is highly nutritional and contains nutrients like vitamin E and oleic acid. These ingredients can be very beneficial for a healthy scalp. Having a healthy scalp can promote healthy hair by increasing blood circulation. Oleic acid can stop hair breakage and promote faster hair growth (since the ends aren’t breaking off). In addition, it has anti-inflammatory properties, which may help calm dandruff and relieve an itchy scalp.
Sunflower oil can also be applied topically and is helpful if you have dry and frizzy hair. It promotes strong and shiny hair and can also prevent alopecia. Being an oil, it provides high moisture and helps to lock in the water in a dry scalp.
10. Prevent Arthritis
Arthritis is a condition in which a person experiences swelling and tenderness in the joints due to inflammation. It can cause joint pains, swelling, inflammation in the knee and hip joints. Sunflower oil has anti-inflammatory properties which can help combat arthritis pains. It also helps to regulate the body’s healthy fats. Sunflower oil is one of the foods rich in monounsaturated fats or Omega-3 fats. As a result, they help reduce inflammation, especially in rheumatoid arthritis.
Is Your Sunflower Oil Of Good Quality?
There are so many brands and oils in the market, and not all of them are of good quality. But how can you decide if the oil is pure and sound? You should always check the ingredient list to see all the different compositions. For example, good quality sunflower oil should be low in saturated fat while having high polyunsaturated fats. Another good quality of sunflower oil is that it has very little to zero cholesterol.
A physical attribute that you should check for is colour and odour. Good quality sunflower oil should have a light golden yellow and translucent colour. It should not be cloudy and should have a transparent texture. In addition, you should not reuse sunflower oil for multiple cooking sessions as that can degrade the oil quality.
Checking the level of antioxidants in your sunflower oil is essential. That is because it tends to increase the shelf life of the oil. In addition, the oil with a high antioxidant content is beneficial for your health.
You should also look for saturated fats in your oil. These fats increase the cholesterol levels in the blood. Thus, you should select your oil based on its fat content. It will help reduce heart diseases and high blood pressure.
Side Effects of Sunflower Seed Oil
- Sunflower seed oil is a plant product. It contains carotenoids and oleic acid and belongs to a plant family, which can cause allergies. If you are allergic to sunflower seeds, you should stay away from consuming sunflower oil.
- Some allergy symptoms can be itchy skin, dry mouth, stomach anaphylaxes, etc. It can even have severe skin effects. So be mindful while consuming sunflower oil.
- Sunflower seed oil is also not suitable for people with diabetes. Again, it can increase blood sugar (glucose) levels. Having such foods may spike blood sugar levels and lead to the hardening of arteries in the longer run. In addition, if you are taking any medication for type-2 diabetes, sunflower oil can interfere with it and can cause more complications.
- There is insufficient research on whether sunflower oil is a viable option for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers or not. Therefore, you should stay safe and not consume many supplements containing dried or powdered forms of sunflower. In addition, they should also refrain from using sunflower seed oil.
- Moderate consumption of sunflower oil does not have many adverse effects. However, if consumed in large amounts, it can lead to several complications. This oil contains omega-6 fatty acids. Increased amounts of these acids in the body can cause cardiovascular disorders and even develop noninsulin-dependent diabetes.
Sunflower oil is full of nutrients and healthy fats, making it a much healthier choice for cooking oil. It has multiple health benefits and promotes healthy skin, hair and overall health. In addition, you can substitute your vegetable oil with sunflower oil as it can help control your cholesterols levels. However, be informed about its side effects and take adequate precautions before use.
Frequently Asked Questions Q. What are the benefits of sunflower oil?
A. Sunflower oil is perfect for heart health as it helps decrease the levels of the low-density lipoprotein. LDLs can increase cholesterol, increasing the chances of cardiovascular diseases and clogged arteries. In addition, the oil is suitable for your skin and may even prevent cancer.
Q. Why is sunflower oil bad for you?
A. If you are allergic to sunflower, it may cause itchy skin, dry mouth and severe skin effects. In addition, excess consumption may cause increased blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, sunflower oil can be bad for you as it can cause glucose spikes, which can have adverse effects.
Q. What are the disadvantages of sunflower oil?
A. If you are allergic to sunflower seeds, sunflower oil can be bad for you. You can have an allergic reaction to the composition of the oil, which can cause severe skin irritation, sour stomach, vomiting etc.
Q. Which is healthier, sunflower oil or olive oil?
A. Olive oil is much healthier than sunflower oil. It is because olive oil has higher levels of vitamin K and doesn’t interfere with the effects of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. In addition, olive oil also provides nutrients like- iron, potassium, sodium and calcium. In contrast, sunflower oil does not contain these minerals.
Q. Does sunflower oil whiten skin?
A. Yes. Sunflower oil contains high amounts of vitamin E, an essential nutrient for the skin. It can help lighten marks and scars and also provides intense hydration. Therefore, sunflower oil can help lighten the skin up to some extent.
Q. What’s the worst oil for cooking?
A. Palm oil is not suitable for cooking at high heat. The oil composition is heat sensitive, and it can kill the nutrition value of the oil. It can also decrease the absorption of some nutrients and antioxidants when used for high heat cooking.
Q. Is it ok to use sunflower oil every day?
A. Yes, you can use sunflower oil for cooking every day. Sunflower oil can help meet your nutrient requirements and is a much healthier choice than other oils. However, you should consume it in moderation. The adequate amount of sunflower oil for daily consumption is about 20 grams.
Q. Is rice bran oil good or sunflower oil?
A. Sunflower oil and rice bran oil both have different nutritional values. However, rice bran is rich in vitamin K and has a higher smoke point than sunflower oil. That makes it a better choice for high heat cooking. However, sunflower oil has higher levels of vitamin E.
Q. Which cooking oil is best for your heart?
A. Olive oil and sunflower seed oil help promote good heart health. These oils can help boost high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and reduce low-density lipoproteins. (LDL).
Q. Which oil is best for diabetes?
A. Olive oil contains tyrosyl in it. This ingredient is beneficial for people with diabetes as it improves the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Therefore, olive oil is the best oil for diabetes.
Q. What oils are best for frying?
A. Coconut oil and sunflower oils are suitable for frying due to their high smoke. They are also high in healthy fats, which makes them more nutritious. However, overeating fried food has its disadvantages, and you should consume them in moderation.
Q. Does sunflower oil have side effects?
A. Yes, sunflower oil can have side effects if you are allergic to sunflower seeds. It can cause digestive issues, skin irritation and dry mouth. Sunflower oil is also not suitable for people with diabetes. In addition, overconsumption of sunflower oil may lead to cardiovascular disorders.
Q. Is vegetable oil ok for people with diabetes?
A. Vegetable oil can be an excellent option for diabetes; it doesn’t contain any bad cholesterol. It is also a much more economical choice when selecting an oil that is good for people with diabetes.
Q. Does oil increase blood sugar?
A. Yes. Edible oils may influence your blood sugar levels. For example, sunflower oil can cause spikes in blood sugar (glucose) up to some extent. But there are other healthier options, such as olive oil and coconut oil, which can help regulate blood sugar.
Q. Does sunflower oil affect hormones?
A. Yes, sunflower oil contains specific proteins vital for tissue repair and the production of hormones. In addition, oleic acid ensures membrane fluidity. It is responsible for hormone response, mineral transport and immunity.
Q. Does sunflower oil cause insulin resistance?
A. Yes, sunflower oil can show pro-inflammatory effects and insulin resistance. In such cases, insulin cannot convert glucose into energy. Therefore, it is not suitable for people with diabetes.
Q. Is sunflower oil good for inflammation?
A. Yes, sunflower oil has positive effects on symptoms related to inflammation. It has antioxidants that can help combat inflammations and be effective in asthma symptoms. It also shows promising results in reducing inflammation caused by arthritis.
Q. Can sunflower oil be used for hair?
A. Yes, sunflower oil contains vitamin E, which is highly nutritious for the hair. In addition, you can use it topically on the hair as it provides intense hydration and locks in moisture. As a result, it helps give you healthy and shiny hair. It also helps regulate blood circulation in the scalp.
Q. What oils are bad for testosterone?
A. Canola oil is bad for testosterone. It contains high amounts of dietary fat, which can decrease testosterone levels in the body. Reduced levels of testosterone can have many other adverse health effects.