When we talk about cooking oils, we quickly realize that one of the most used oils is sunflower oil. This oil is, right behind olive oil, one of the most chosen, not only for its price, but for its nutritional composition. What many don't know is that there is a different and healthier sunflower oil, with prices not far from expected. It is called high oleic sunflower oil and in nutritional terms it is very similar to olive oil. How is it produced? What are its advantages? What sets it apart? Where to find it? We will answer all these questions in this article.
What is the difference between regular sunflower oil and high oleic sunflower oil?
High oleic sunflower oil is obtained from selected sunflower seeds, rich in oleic acid. The amounts of this acid are much higher in this oil than in regular sunflower oil, which is around 31%. The big difference between them is the quality of the seeds and consequently the saturated fat that the final product contains.
Thus, high oleic sunflower oil represents an interesting alternative compared to regular oil due to its nutritional composition and its affordable price.
1- cooking oil by @cassianobarletta
Olive oil or high oleic sunflower oil? which one is better?
High oleic sunflower oil has a similar nutritional composition to olive oil. The great advantage of using this oil is that it withstands higher temperatures, making it ideal for frying. The highest temperature estimated for olive oil is between 190-207°C, while for high oleic sunflower oil it varies between 160-232°C. It also has a neutral flavor, less strong than olive oil, and therefore easier to consume. Despite the similar nutritional composition, it also has less saturated fat and more monounsaturated fat (beneficial) than olive oil.
2-Comparative chart of the amount of monounsaturated fat per 100g
Therefore, for foods that need to be cooked at high temperatures, it is preferable to use high oleic oil. However, for foods consumed raw or cooked at low temperatures, olive oil is an excellent option, as it enhances the flavor of foods (such as salads and meats). Both are rich in monounsaturated fats, omega 9, vitamins E, A and K, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium and amino acids.
Advantages of high oleic sunflower oil:
In addition to withstanding high temperatures, high oleic oil is rich in monounsaturated fats. Unsaturated fatty acids, whether monounsaturated or polyunsaturated, contribute to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels. They help to reduce the concentrations of LDL cholesterol, which is considered harmful to health, while maintaining those of HDL cholesterol, which performs beneficial functions in the body.
In addition, oleic acid helps control diabetes, reduces the risk of heart disease and blood pressure, and prevents the aging of cells. One of the most recent discoveries is that this acid also improves brain functions. This is because myelin (protective layer of nerves and neuronal branches) is composed of it, thus contributing to its maintenance.
Advantages of high oleic oil:
Where can you find foods with high oleic sunflower oil?
At Nolita, all our granolas are made with high oleic sunflower oil. We use this oil because our granolas go in the oven to toast, and in this way we preserve all the quality of the food and its natural flavor.
3-Nolita Granolas that contain high oleic sunflower oil
For low carb and keto diets, normally rich in fried foods, it is preferable to use this oil as well. If you want to use it at home, you can easily find it in supermarkets like Mercadona or organic stores like Celeiro. It may also appear from other brands that call it a "frying oil".
The spanish brand Gullon also uses high oleic oil to make their cookies.
Marengo, K. (2022). 8 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Avocado Oil. Healthline. Retrieved 14 March 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/9-avocado-oil-benefits.
Marengo, K. (2022). Healthiest oils for cooking: Deep frying, shallow frying, and roasting. Medicalnewstoday.com. Retrieved 14 March 2022, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325266.
Gunnars, K. (2022). Is Olive Oil a Good Cooking Oil? A Critical Look. Healthline. Retrieved 14 March 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/is-olive-oil-good-for-cooking.
Amelia, W. (2022). What Exactly is High Oleic Oil? - Eating Made Easy. Eating Made Easy. Retrieved 14 March 2022, from https://eating-made-easy.com/what-is-high-oleic-oil/.
Mercadona (2022)O que melhorámos no nosso óleo de girassol?. Mercadona.pt. (2022). Retrieved 14 March 2022, from https://www.mercadona.pt/pt/conselhos/alimentacao/oleo-de-girassol-alto-oleico-disponivel-nas-nossas-lojas/tip.
Gullon. (2022). Propriedades do óleo de girassol alto oleico | Gullón. Gullón. Retrieved 14 March 2022, from https://gullon.es/pt-pt/propriedades-do-oleo-de-girassol-alto-oleico/.