Is Sunflower Oil Healthy?

Share post:

Sunflower Oil: The possible benefits and negative results of sunflower oil might rely upon the sort, although extra analysis is required. Heating it to high heat might launch toxins.

Sunflower oil is made by urgent the seeds of the Helianthus annuus plant.

It’s typically touted as a healthy oil, because it contains unsaturated fat that will benefit heart health.

However, any potential benefits of sunflower oil rely upon the sort and nutrient composition. What’s extra, using too much sunflower oil might hurt your health.

This article highlights the totally different types of sunflower oil, their potential benefits and downsides, and how they evaluate with different common cooking oils.

Different types of sunflower oil

There are four types of sunflower oil obtainable in the United States, all of that are made from sunflower seeds which might be bred to provide totally 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) (1Trusted Source).

As their names recommend, some sunflower oils are larger in both linoleic or oleic acid.

Linoleic acid, generally often called 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 (2Trusted Source).

Linoleic and oleic acid are each sources of energy for the body and contribute to cell and tissue power (3Trusted Source4Trusted Source).

However, they react in other ways to heat during cooking and due to this fact might have various results in your health (5Trusted Source).

High stearic/high oleic sunflower oil (Nutrisun) also contains stearic acid, a saturated fatty acid that’s stable at room temperature and has totally different culinary functions (6).

This kind of sunflower oil will not be meant for home cooking and instead could also be used in packaged foods, ice lotions, chocolate, and industrial frying (7).


There are 4 types of sunflower oil obtainable in the United States, all of which differ in their contents of linoleic and oleic acid.

A sunflower field

Nutrition facts for various sunflower oils

All sunflower oils are 100% fat and contain vitamin E, a fat-soluble nutrient that protects cells from age-related damage (8Trusted Source9Trusted Source).

Sunflower oils don’t contain protein, carbs, cholesterol, or sodium (8Trusted Source).

The chart below summaries the primary variations in fatty acid composition between 1-tablespoon (15-mL) servings of the three sunflower oils used in home cooking (8Trusted Source10Trusted Source11Trusted Source):

 High lineoleicMid-oleic
High oleic
Total fat14 grams14 grams14 grams
Saturated1 gram1 gram1 gram
Monounsaturated3 grams8 grams11 grams
Polyunsaturated9 grams4 grams0.5 grams


Sunflower oils with extra oleic acid are larger in monounsaturated fat and lower in polyunsaturated fat.

Possible benefits

All of the purported benefits of sunflower oil are related to high oleic varieties, particularly those who comprise 80% or extra oleic acid (12Trusted Source13Trusted Source).

Some analysis suggests {that a} diet rich in monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid might assist reduce high cholesterol levels and thus your risk of heart disease.

A examine in 15 healthy adults found that those that ate a diet rich in high oleic sunflower oil for 10 weeks had considerably lower blood levels of LDL (dangerous) cholesterol and triglycerides, compared with those that ate a diet containing an analogous amount of saturated fat (13Trusted Source).

Another examine in 24 people with high blood lipid levels noticed that consuming a diet with high oleic sunflower oil for 8 weeks led to important will increase in HDL (good) cholesterol, compared with a diet with out sunflower oil (12Trusted Source).

Other studies recommend comparable results, which has led the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve a certified health declare for high oleic sunflower oil and products with an analogous fatty acid composition (14Trusted Source).

This permits high oleic sunflower oil to be labeled as a food that will assist reduce the risk of heart disease when used in place of saturated fat.

Still, proof supporting the possible heart health benefits of sunflower oil is inconclusive, and extra analysis is warranted.


Some studies recommend that consuming high oleic sunflower oil, especially in place of saturated fat, might assist reduce your risk of heart disease by decreasing LDL (dangerous) cholesterol and elevating HDL (good) cholesterol.

Negative results

Despite some proof suggesting that sunflower oil affords health benefits, there’s concern that it might be linked to negative health outcomes.

High omega-6 content material

Varieties of sunflower oil that aren’t high oleic contain extra linoleic acid, also often called omega-6.

Mid-oleic (NuSun) sunflower oil, one of essentially the most generally used varieties in the United States, includes 15–35% linoleic acid.

Even although omega-6 is an important fatty acid that people have to acquire from their diet, there are issues that consuming too much of it may result in inflammation in the body and related health points (15Trusted Source).

This is as a result of linoleic acid is transformed into arachidonic acid, which may produce inflammatory compounds (15Trusted Source).

The overconsumption of linoleic acid from vegetable oils coupled with a decreased intake of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids — an imbalance generally seen in the American diet — might result in negative health results (16Trusted Source).

In specific, animal studies recommend that the arachidonic acid produced from omega-6 in the body might increase inflammatory markers and sign compounds that promote weight gain and weight problems (17Trusted Source18Trusted Source19Trusted Source).

Oxidation and aldehydes

Another negative side of sunflower oil is its launch of potentially poisonous compounds upon being heated to temperatures of 356°F (180°C) repeatedly, such as in deep-frying functions (20Trusted Source).

Sunflower oil is commonly used in high heat cooking, because it has a high smoke level, which is the temperature at which it begins to smoke and break down.

However, studies present {that a} high smoke level doesn’t correspond with an oil’s stability under heat.

One examine found that sunflower oil launched the very best amount of aldehydes into cooking fumes, compared with different plant-based oils in three types of frying methods (21Trusted Source).

Aldehydes are poisonous compounds that may damage DNA and cells and thus contribute to conditions like heart disease and Alzheimer’s (22Trusted Source).

The longer that sunflower oil is uncovered to heat, the extra aldehydes it emits. Therefore, gentle, low heat cooking strategies such as stir-frying could also be a safer use of sunflower oil (20Trusted Source).

What’s extra, of the totally different types, high oleic sunflower oil is probably going essentially the most secure selection when used in high heat frying and cooking (5Trusted Source).


Sunflower oils that aren’t high oleic contain extra omega-6, which can hurt your health. Research also means that sunflower oil emits high levels of poisonous aldehyde fumes when uncovered to high heat over prolonged periods, compared with different oils.

Sunflower oil vs. common cooking oils

Based on current analysis, consuming small amounts of high oleic sunflower oil might present marginal benefits for heart health.

High linoleic or mid-oleic (NuSun) sunflower oils probably would not have the same benefits and might also produce harmful compounds during deep frying at high temperatures (5Trusted Source).

On the opposite hand, olive and avocado oils are also rich in monounsaturated oleic acid but much less poisonous when heated (23Trusted Source24Trusted Source).

Additionally, oils which might be low in polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as high oleic sunflower, canola, and palm oils, are extra secure during cooking, compared with high linoleic sunflower oil (21Trusted Source).

Therefore, while sunflower oil could also be alright in small amounts, a number of different oils might present higher benefits and carry out better during larger heat cooking.


Other common oils, such as olive, avocado, palm, and rapeseed, could also be extra secure during cooking than high linoleic sunflower oil.


  1. Heart-Healthy Hustle: Sunflower oil is like a smooth-talking heart charmer – it’s loaded with heart-healthy unsaturated fats, which can help keep our ticker ticking like a well-oiled machine.
  2. Vitamin Victory: Sunflower oil packs a punch of vitamin E – it’s like a superhero swooping in to save the day, protecting our cells from the nefarious forces of free radicals.
  3. Culinary Chameleon: Sunflower oil is as versatile as a chameleon at a rainbow convention – it’s equally at home in stir-fries, salad dressings, or as the star of the show in a batch of homemade mayonnaise.
  4. Skin Soothing: Sunflower oil isn’t just for cooking – it’s like a spa day in a bottle, moisturizing our skin and leaving it softer than a puppy’s belly.
  5. Budget-Friendly Buddy: Sunflower oil won’t burn a hole in our wallets – it’s like the friendly neighbor who’s always willing to lend a cup of oil without asking for anything in return.
  6. High Smoke Point Heroics: Sunflower oil can handle the heat – it’s like the firefighter of the kitchen, standing tall with a high smoke point and saving our fried foods from going up in flames.
  7. Nut-Free Nirvana: For those with nut allergies, sunflower oil is a godsend – it’s like discovering a hidden treasure chest full of golden liquid gold that won’t send our immune system into panic mode.


  1. Omega-6 Overload: Sunflower oil is rich in omega-6 fatty acids – it’s like having too much of a good thing, with an imbalance of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids potentially throwing our body’s delicate dance of fats out of whack.
  2. Processing Predicament: Not all sunflower oils are created equal – some undergo heavy processing, stripping away nutrients and leaving behind a bland, uninspiring oil that’s about as exciting as watching paint dry.
  3. Questionable Quality: With so many sunflower oil options on the market, it’s like trying to find the ripest melon in a sea of unripe contenders – navigating the shelves can feel like a game of Russian roulette, with quality varying from brand to brand.
  4. Flavor Fiasco: Sunflower oil’s neutral flavor isn’t always a hit – it’s like inviting a wallflower to a dance party, blending into the background and leaving our taste buds yearning for something more exciting.
  5. Environmental Impact: The production of sunflower oil can have environmental consequences – it’s like realizing that our favorite golden elixir has a dark side, with intensive farming practices contributing to deforestation and habitat destruction.
  6. Storage Snafu: Sunflower oil can turn rancid if not stored properly – it’s like a delicate flower, wilting under the harsh glare of sunlight and heat, turning from golden to rancid faster than you can say “frying pan.”
  7. Health Hype: While sunflower oil may have its benefits, it’s not a magic bullet for good health – it’s like expecting a single ingredient to transform us into picture-perfect specimens of health and vitality overnight.

In the sunflower oil saga, there are certainly pros and cons to consider. Whether it’s drizzling over salads or sizzling in the skillet, the key is moderation – after all, too much sunflower oil might just leave us feeling a bit too sunny-side up!

The bottom line (Sunflower Oil)

High oleic sunflower oil is believed to offer some benefits for heart health.

However, sunflower oil has been proven to launch poisonous compounds when heated to larger temperatures over time. Some varieties are also high in omega-6 and might contribute to inflammation in the body when consumed in extra.

Overall, using sunflower oil in lower heat functions might be fine. Avocado and olive oils might also be good choices which may be extra secure during cooking.

Ultimately, using a range of oils for various functions might result in a better balance of the types of fat in your general diet.

Related articles

Agave Nectar: A Sweetener That’s Even Worse Than Sugar?

Agave Nectar: Agave is found in various health foods and marketed as a pure, diabetic-friendly sweetener that doesn’t...

High-Fructose Corn Syrup: Just Like Sugar, or Worse?

High-Fructose Corn Syrup: Just Like Sugar, or Worse?: High-fructose corn syrup is a sugar-based sweetener, used in processed...

How Many Carbs Should You Eat per Day to Lose Weight?

How Many Carbs Should You Eat per Day to Lose Weight?: If you’re wanting to lose weight, eating...

Sunscreen: Does SPF Matter and Which One Should I Choose

Sunscreen: Does SPF Matter and Which One Should I Choose: Choosing a sunscreen could also be difficult when...