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Best Sunflower Oil for Cooking

Perhaps one of the best oils today used for both cosmetic and cooking purposes is sunflower oil. It has tremendous health benefits, making it a popular option for almost everyone around the world. Sunflower oil gets extracted by pressing sunflower seeds, which offers many health benefits. For instance, sunflower oil is very low in saturated fat content. Any food high in saturated fats isn't good for our health as these raise our cholesterol levels. 

By using sunflower oil in your cooking, you can make your dishes healthier. Now, the question is, which is the best sunflower oil for cooking? By knowing what to look for and which brands are the best, choosing one will become easier for you.

Using Sunflower Oil for Cooking

Many have now switched to using refined sunflower oils in the kitchen instead of neutral vegetable oils. It is a healthy substitute for sautéing, frying, searing, and more. You can use unrefined type of sunflower oil like extra-virgin olive oil, like in salad dressings or pasta. 

Since sunflower oil's smoking point is high enough, it does well for frying foods and other methods that require high heat. Just remember that like all the other unsaturated oils, sunflower oil may get unstable and break down when you expose it to prolonged heating.

What to Look Out for When Getting the Sunflower Oil for Cooking

When you decide to switch using sunflower oil for your needs, there are some factors to should consider including:

Refined vs. unrefined

Sunflower oil comes as either unrefined or refined. It is important to know the difference, the advantages, and the disadvantages. Refined sunflower oil undergoes a process of filtering out and cleaning impurities and can have a shelf-life of a year if you store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. 

Unrefined sunflower oil gets extracted using a pressing process from the seeds with minor to no filtering at all. Unrefined sunflower oil has a shorter shelf life, between 3 and 4 months and like the refined type, you must also store it in a cool place away from direct sunlight.

Refined sunflower oil is best used for baking and frying purposes. Unrefined oil is great for salads and any side dish that you don't subject to heat. You also know that since unrefined sunflower oil has not undergone too much filtering, it retains many healthy components. This, therefore, should be the type used in cosmetics, whether for nurturing body and hair or for massaging.

Sunflower thrives well in countries all over the world and as such, sunflower oil products are widely available to people interested in healthier living. You can visit your local grocer to find different brands in the cooking oil aisles. You can also purchase your sunflower oil online after going through the details of each product.

Flavor

Sunflower oil has a neutral flavor. If you want to add some diversity to your dishes, you can opt for sunflower oil blends or those infused with basil, garlic, and other types of herbs. But unadulterated sunflower oil is already versatile in itself. This means that sticking to your comfort zone of using just regular sunflower oil without flavors in it for your frying, dressing, or baking needs is still an excellent choice.

Fat content

Based on fat content, there are three types of sunflower oils, depending on the balance between monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats: high-oleic, mid-oleic, and linoleic. High Oleic sunflower oil is the healthiest choice if you plan to buy this oil for your cooking. It has a higher level of monounsaturated fats and it's more stable compared to the other two. This feature also makes it ideal for high-heat cooking. High-oleic sunflower oil has a subtler flavor profile and a longer shelf-life compared to linoleic or mid-oleic sunflower oils.

Top 5 Sunflower Oils

Baja Precious - High Oleic Sunflower Oil

Baja Precious Sunflower Oil gets extracted by pressing sunflower seeds. The high oleic oil undergoes processing that follows only strict quality standards. It contains higher levels of monounsaturated fats and lower levels of polyunsaturated and saturated fats. 

This makes it very healthy for heart health and an effective alternative to butter. Baja Precious Sunflower Oil is also very versatile as you can use it for different types of cooking. Since it has a high smoke point, it's an excellent choice for high-heat cooking too. Aside from cooking, you can also use it for cosmetic applications.

Pros

  • Non-GMO, expeller-pressed, and all-natural sunflower oil.
  • Processed with very strict quality standards to ensure a superior product.
  • Comes at a very affordable price.
  • Suitable for cooking and for cosmetic purposes too.

Cons

  • No organic certification label from the USDA.

La Tourangelle, Organic Regenerative Sunflower Oil

La Tourangelle, Organic Regenerative Sunflower Oil has a premium taste extracted from high-quality ingredients. For more flavor to any meal, add a touch of this oil. With its ingredients being 100% all-natural, pure, and grown following only regenerative farming methods, this oil is perfect6 for your kitchen needs, from frying to sautéing to grilling and more. 

Using La Tourangelle, Organic Regenerative Sunflower Oil will make it easier for you to create distinctive dishes in your kitchen. The oil is a great choice for roasting veggies, stir-fry, grilled meat, and more. You can create standout moments in the kitchen and the table with this oil.

Pros

  • Natural oil made with the best ingredients.
  • Suitable for different kinds of cooking.
  • Sourced from farming practices that are completely sustainable.
  • Comes from a well-known brand in the industry that produces high-quality oils for your cooking needs.

Cons

  • It's relatively expensive.
  • Doesn't have any flavor/taste.

Safya - 100% Pure Sunflower Oil

Safya - 100% Pure Sunflower Oil is a 100% refined-wintered sunflower oil. What makes this brand unique is that it does not contain crystalized parts or waxes. This is possible thanks to Safya's winterization process which is also called 'dewaxing.' 

The process involves purifying sunflower oil to make it clear and give it a subtle flavor. Safya - 100% Pure Sunflower Oil is almost tasteless and has a high smoke point making it suitable for different kinds of cooking tasks. As for its health contents, this sunflower oil is high in healthy polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E.

Pros

  • Pure, non-GMO, premium-quality sunflower oil.
  • Light, healthy, and high oleic oil for different types of cooking.
  • High in polyunsaturated fats and vitamin E.
  • Comes in an easy-grip bottle.

Cons

  • You might not like its tasteless property.
  • Some say that the bottle is a bit challenging to open.

Healthy Harvest Non-GMO Sunflower Oil

Healthy Harvest Non-GMO Sunflower Oil comes enriched with healthy vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids. It's also free from GMOs and doesn't contain any chemicals. This makes it highly recommended for heart health as it helps reduce cholesterol levels. 

Healthy Harvest Non-GMO Sunflower Oil has a longer shelf life too. If you want to bring the best of nature to your home, introduce your family to this oil. This is a healthy, non-GMO cooking oil made without hydrogenation or any other processes that cause damage. You can enjoy flavorful meals with no negative impact on your blood sugar, heart, and overall health.

Pros

  • Rich in vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants.
  • Non-GMO sunflower oil with no artificial ingredients.
  • Doesn't contain trans fats.
  • Has a long shelf-life without compromising the flavor.

Cons

  • Some claim that it's cloudy.

La Tourangelle Garlic Infused Sunflower Oil

La Tourangelle Garlic Infused Sunflower Oil is another one of the best sunflower oils for cooking. Aside from the brand's regular sunflower oil, which is already great, La Tourangelle also offers this oil for those who want to have some diversity in their food. 

La Tourangelle Garlic Infused Sunflower Oil is a very aromatic oil infused with organic and fresh garlic. You can use this flavorsome oil for high-heat cooking and it is also ideal for marinades and salad dressings. You can even drizzle it on your pasta dishes or use it as a dipping oil for a dash of garlic flavor.

Pros

  • Expeller-pressed sunflower oil that doesn't contain any chemical solvents.
  • Suitable for different kinds of dishes and cooking methods.
  • Non-GMO, kosher, and made from sustainable products.
  • Comes in other infused flavors too like rosemary, basil, and truffle.

Cons

  • You might not like the garlic-infused thing.

Verdict

Having a bottle of sunflower oil in your kitchen will always be worth it as there is a range of things you can do with it, not to mention the health benefits. Sunflower oils have already made their mark in the health world as people have begun discovering their potential for the body and the taste. 

The oil has a high smoke point, a neutral flavor, and it's very affordable. The choice of which to buy, whether unrefined or refined, will largely depend on your needs and preferences. Just make sure that the product you choose doesn't contain any harmful chemicals or GMOs.

Can you eat sunflower seed shells?

Sunflower seed shells are often overlooked by people who don't know how to clean them properly. But they should be taken care of as these seeds are a great snack for children and come in different flavors such as chocolate, honey, and cinnamon. By explaining the importance of cleaning this nutrient-rich food item properly you can show how naturalists can take care of their efforts.

There are many reasons why the sunflower seed shell is important but one that is worth mentioning is that it contains protein that provides essential amino acids for necessary bodily functions in humans and animals alike. It also contains healthy vitamins like A, C, E, etc. This makes it an outstanding ingredient to favor in your diet because it will provide nutrition for your body.

Can you eat sunflower seed shells?


Yes, you can eat the shells. There are some delicate parts of sunflower seeds that contain very small amounts of nutrients, so it's best to leave them in the shell for optimal digestion.

Different types of shell include:

Cracked, chaffy, and oily.

Oily – This is the outer layer at the top of sunflower seeds that is the hardest. It's mostly white and crunchy. When the shell breaks, it may come off with bits of black or gray material inside.

Chaffy –
This is between the hard outer layer and soft inner layer. Interestingly, it's almost like a vegetable in nutrition content. It's a good source of fiber and vitamins and can be eaten whole.

Cracked – The outer layer is cracked in many large pieces. It's very dry and contains the smallest amounts of nutrients, so it's best to not eat this.

Luckily, you can eat the sunflower seed shells! Sunflower seed hulls come from the kernel and are really just husks that have been stripped off by the birds' beaks. Sunflower seed hulls are alkaline, somewhat high in protein, and lack the starch that's found in the rest of the kernel.

Hulls of sunflower seeds contain antioxidants and phytoestrogens that may help protect against breast cancer, heart disease, prostate cancer, and other malignancies. Alkaloids can help prevent kidney stones and may be able to keep cholesterol from increasing. Phytoestrogens may play a role in the prevention of cancer.

Is it safe to eat sunflower shells?

In general, most sunflower seed shells are safe to eat. The hardest part closest to the kernel is what's generally thrown away, so there shouldn't be any harmful material in the hull. If you have a shell with bits of gray or black material inside, it's best to just avoid that one.

A couple of shells may have substances on their surface that could affect your health negatively. A study published in the International Journal of Tropical Insect Science and Production Technology reported that a few sunflower seed shells were shown to contain residue from oil spraying, herbicides, fungicides, and mold.

Most of the food safety agencies have stated that the hull has a very low risk of contamination with foodborne illness-causing microorganisms such as salmonella.

Some studies indicate that consumption of sunflower seed shells may cause damage to the liver. Therefore, if you have a history of liver damage or liver disease, you should avoid eating sunflower seed shells.

If you have chronic alcohol abuse or suffer from alcohol addiction, you should not eat sunflower seed shells. This is because sunflower seed shells are too high in fats and fiber and may cause problems associated with alcohol abuse.

What happens if you eat sunflower seed shells?

You may experience stomach cramps and increased bloating, as well as nausea and diarrhea. Even though sunflower seed hulls are alkaline, they may cause problems if you have ulcers, small intestine bacterial, or virus infections. If you eat too many sunflower seed shells then you risk having stomach bleeding because of its high fiber content.

Sunflower shell hulls should be avoided if you have a history of liver damage or liver disease because it can do more harm than good. Severe vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain are also possible if you eat an excessive amount of sunflower seed shells.

If you continue to eat the sunflower seed shells, you risk damaging your teeth and gums. The hulls can stick between your teeth and irritate them. This is because sunflower seed shells are too high in fiber and may cause dental problems, such as bleeding gums, tooth loss, and bad breath.

What is High Oleic Sunflower Oil

High oleic Sunflower oil is a plant oil that is made from specially bred sunflower seeds. They are high in monosaturated fatty acid and low in polyunsaturated fatty acid. The content is a minimum of 80% oleic acid. Traditional sunflower oil has around 20% oleic acid. This makes the oil a good choice for people monitoring their heart health.

What is High Oleic Sunflower Oil

Oleic acid has fewer double bonds in its chemical chain than linoleic acid. The high oleic oil is less likely to oxidize, meaning that it keeps better than sunflower oil. This makes it a much more stable cooking oil and can be used for high heat and deep-frying. Foods prepared with this oil will consequently have a longer shelf life.

Sunflowers


The sunflower or Hellianthus anuus is a cheerful yellow summer crop and is primarily used for oilseeds. In the right climate, average yields are high, often 2000 pounds per acre in a crop. In many places, the weather presents a challenge to the success of the sunflower crop that can be ruined if a lot of rain falls Once the crop is harvested the flowers are sent to the kernel processor, and in Australia, instant success has been achieved with a new variety SuperSun66 due to its size and quality.

Sunflower Seeds


The sunflower seed is the fruit of the sunflower. The most common seeds are high oleic, linoleic, and sunflower oil seeds. Each of the seeds is unique, and the high oleic sunflower oil is thought to provide heart health benefits, unlike the ordinary sunflower oil that releases toxic compounds when heated to a higher temperature. The oil is non-volatile pressed from sunflower seeds and is mainly used for frying and as a base for some cosmetics.

Methods of Extraction

Cold pressing is often used for extracting the seeds under low temperatures. This method does not require the use of chemical solvents.

What is high oleic acid sunflower oil? Since 2017 there has been greater consumer demand for sunflower oil production, and genome analysis, resulting in the development of hybrid sunflowers and increased production. Both Ukraine and Russia combined to produce 53% of the world's sunflower oil.

Composition of Oleic Sunflower Oil

Sunflower oil on the table

Sunflower oil consists mainly of triglyceride, and oleic acid has 30% containing monosaturated omega-9. Through plant breeding, sunflower oil with a high concentration of 82%oleic acid has been produced to meet consumer demand. So this high concentration of oleic acid sunflower oil is now being used by people with heart disease, as a healthier option in the kitchen.

High Oleic Sunflower Oil as a Supplement

To qualify as high a supplement must contain a minimum of 80% monosaturated acid. It works well in both cooking and baking due to flavor and health benefits. It can also be taken as a multivitamin or applied as a topical treatment to the skin. (It does not work on eczema).

Benefits of High Oleic Acid Sunflower Oil

  • Provides healthy triglycerides to the body.
  • Can improve good cholesterol levels, in turn preventing plaque from clogging the arteries.
  • Provides a high concentration of vitamin E, good for the skin
  • Vitamin A may help prevent macular degeneration.
  • Can be used in protein powders for fitness, important in building muscle and reducing fat.
  • Contraindications to taking High Oleic Acid Sunflower Oil

    Large amounts of oleic acid consumed may increase your chances of getting breast and prostate cancer, so stay within the recommended safe dose. Some people may develop an allergic reaction to sunflower oil.

    Recommended Dose of High Oleic Sunflower Oil

    It is recommended that 30% of your daily fat intake is consumed from healthy fats like High Oleic Sunflower Oil, to provide you with the daily allowance of monounsaturated fats. However, if you choose to cook with it this is safe, just don't fry everything.

    Conclusion

    When you are asked, what is high oleic sunflower oil? It is in fact quite a recent product in its form as over 80% monosaturated fats, and you will probably want to cook with it. If we are going to eat chips, it is better that they are cooked with healthy fat as high oleic sunflower oil is safe at a deep fryer heat, so is better for your family who is probably looking forward to trying it.