Is Sunflower Oil Healthy?
Sunflower oil is very healthy for our body. Researches show that sunflower oil is filled with nutrients, or as some would say “nutrient dense” oil. Sunflower oil may provide certain health benefits as part of the overall balanced diet.
There are 3 main types of sunflower oil. They are linoleic, high oleic, and NuSun. The main difference in these oils is the amount of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated fats. Since they all have low amounts of saturated fats, they are considered a healthy addition to one’s meals.
Antioxidants and Phytochemicals:
These compounds, antioxidants and phytochemicals, are said to be helpful in protecting against many diseases. Antioxidants help in fighting free radical damage to cells and are often found in the form of vitamins. Phytochemicals are compounds that are not classified as nutrients but they act in a health-boosting way.
All three types of sunflower oil contain different forms of antioxidants and phytochemicals. These may include vitamin E, betaine, phenolic acid, choline, arginine and lignans. They work individually and in synergy with each other in order to fight and protect the body against cancer many cardiovascular diseases and also help in boosting memory. Due to the high levels of antioxidants and phytochemicals, sunflower oil adds its health-protecting boost and various vitamins to foods which are cooked or baked using this oil.
All three types of this oil have different varieties of healthy fats. All three have low saturated fat content. Linoleic sunflower oil mainly consists of polyunsaturated fats, mainly omega-6 fatty acids. These are essential in body processes which may include building strong hair and healing many wounds.
High oleic sunflower oil is composed of mostly monounsaturated fat omega-9. These omega-9 fatty acids have been known in helping preserve one’s memory, they help in the prevention of cancer and they also keep the blood pressure low.
NuSun is a mixture of both linoleic and oleic oils. It has been termed capable of withstanding extremely high cooking temperatures. This way it does not form trans fats as many oils do when they are used for cooking or baking purposes.
A research conducted in 2005 showed that the consumption of sunflower oil can lower the levels of LDL, which is the bad cholesterol. This research had participants who followed a low-fat diet that helped consume either sunflower oil or saturated fat. These were considered as the main source of fat in the diet. All those who consumed sunflower oil instead of saturated fat had lower levels of LDL by 14 percent over a period of ten weeks. Lower LDL levels are in connection with the protection of our heart from various diseases.