Sunflower oil is a non-volatile oil that is made from sunflower seeds and is usually used in food and as frying oil and is also used in cosmetics and hygiene products. Due to its many unsaturated fats, this substance is among the healthy oils in terms of cardiovascular health.
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Benefits of sunflower oil
All the benefits of sunflower oil are related to oils that have more than 80% oleic acid. Studies have shown that a diet with sunflower oil, which is high in oleic acid, leads to a reduction of bad LDL cholesterol in the blood within 8 weeks.
The price of original sunflower oil
The price of sunflower oil varies according to its type. The price of natural sunflower oil is definitely higher. Since 2017, genome analysis and production of natural sunflowers are under investigation to increase oil production in order to provide the required types of commercial oils.
Composition of sunflower oil
This oil is mainly a triglyceride that has the following fats:
Palmitic acid (saturated): 5%
Stearic acid (saturated): 6%
Oleic acid (monounsaturated omega-9): 30%
Linoleic acid (polyunsaturated omega-6): 59%+
How to use sunflower oil
Sunflower oil that has high stearic acid has a solid state and is used in cooking. This type of oil is not used in home cooking, but it is used in ready meals, ice cream, chocolate and industrial frying.
How to prepare sunflower oil
Sunflower oil can be extracted with chemical solvents such as hexane or by pressing, for example direct pressing of sunflower seeds. No chemical solvent is used to extract pressed sunflower seeds, which are called cold press or express press.
Solvent extraction of the oil, removing impurities, neutralizing and bleaching, makes it more suitable for cooking. But this destroys the taste and nutrients and color of oil and free fatty acids, phospholipids, polyphenols and phytosterols.
Benefits of sunflower oil for skin
Hydrates the skin: Sunflower oil is emollient and makes the skin soft and smooth. It is also a good moisturizer because it helps retain the water content of the skin.
It is rich in antioxidants: Sunflower oil is rich in vitamin E, which is an antioxidant, and also contains vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and vitamin D, which help eliminate free radicals that cause aging.
Helps unclog pores: This oil does not clog pores. Sunflower oil can unclog pores by removing dead skin cells and creating a fresh appearance.
Reduces the signs of aging: This oil reduces wrinkles and protects the skin from damage by having antioxidants and maintaining skin moisture.
Soothing: This oil can soothe irritated skin and is suitable for all skin types, providing gentle moisture and temporary relief from redness.
Protects the skin: This oil prevents skin contact with pollution and toxic substances.
It is a natural ingredient: the sunflower plant has been growing for thousands of years and its oil is free of chemicals and toxins.
Disadvantages of sunflower oil
Although some evidence shows the benefits of this oil for health, there are also concerns in this regard.
High level of omega-6
Sunflower oils are not high in oleic acid, but contain more linoleic acid, which is called omega-6. Even though omega-6 is an essential fatty acid that humans must obtain from their diet, there are concerns that consuming too much of it can lead to inflammation in the body and health issues. Because linoleic acid is converted to arachidonic acid, which can create inflammatory compounds.
A high consumption of linoleic acid along with a decrease in the consumption of anti-inflammatory omega-3 acids causes an imbalance in the diet, which has negative effects on health and can cause weight gain and obesity.
Oxidation of aldehydes
Another negative aspect of this oil is that it releases toxic compounds at 180 degrees Celsius, so it is not suitable for deep frying. However, this oil is used in cooking with high heat due to its high smoke point. Studies have shown that compared to other oils, this oil releases the most aldehyde during frying.
Aldehydes are toxic compounds that can damage DNA and cells and cause heart diseases and Alzheimer’s. The more oil is exposed to heat, the more aldehyde it produces. Therefore, it is more suitable for medium temperature cooking methods. Among the different types of sunflower oil, the one with higher oleic acid is the most stable when frying and cooking at high heat.
Sunflower oil, which has high oleic acid, was previously thought to be beneficial for heart health, however, it has been shown that sunflower oil creates toxic compounds when heated at higher temperatures over time. Some also have a lot of omega-6 and cause inflammation if consumed too much.
All in all, it is better to use this oil in cases that do not require high heat. For cooking at high temperature, avocado and olive oil are more suitable options because of their high stability.
How to store sunflower oil
Because sunflower oil is composed of unsaturated fatty acids and unsaturated fatty acids with low stability, it will be destroyed and oxidized if exposed to light and heat. Keeping this oil at a low temperature and in a dry place helps preserve its nutrients. Therefore, it is better to keep them in dark glasses or protective bottles against ultraviolet rays.