Is Sunflower Oil Healthy for Cooking and regular consumption?
Many of us have not come across this question. We blindly believe Sunflower oil is good for cooking since this oil is widely used for cooking in the world. This is the time to know some factors about Sunflower oil. Sunflower is a widely cultivated oilseed in the word. This oilseed is a good source of energy, vitamins, essential fatty acids and minerals. However, many studies do not suggest this oil for cooking and regular consumption in foods. This article has listed some significant reasons to avoid Sunflower oil for cooking. Sunflower oil is a major source of PUFA (Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids).
1. Increases Sugar level
Sunflower oil is not suitable for people with diabetes. This oil may lead to the possibility of increasing the levels of sugar content in blood. A research done on aged rats identified that the regular consumption of sunflower oil increases insulin content level in blood. A group of aged rats was fed sunflower oil included food for two years. In order to perform a comparative study, another group of aged rats was fed olive oil included food for the similar period of time. At the end of the study, results revealed that the health of aged rats those regularly consumed sunflower oil was negatively affected by the increase of insulin level in blood. According to the study, regular consumption of sunflower oil creates age-related disorders (1).
2. High level of Unsaturated Fat
Unsaturated fats are the major reason for the decrease of good HDL Cholesterol and increase of bad LDL Cholesterol. Thus, unsaturated fat has a direct relation with heart diseases, stroke and diabetes. A High-calorie level in Sunflower oil is another factor to avoid for regular consumption since this may cause negative health effects on people with heart disease and diabetes.
3. High Content of Omega-6 fatty acids
Sunflower oil has a high content of omega-6 poly-unsaturated fatty acids. Regular or high consumption food with poly-unsaturated fatty acid is not good for health. Some studies identified that high content omega-6 poly unsaturated fatty acid may increase the chance for prostatic cancer and breast cancer (2,3).
4. Increases toxic compounds while deep frying
Sunflower oil can be easily degraded to toxic compounds while heating. Sunflower oil and Safflower oil are used for deep frying since the smoke point of sunflower oil is high when compared to other cooking oils. However, this could increase the toxic compounds while deep frying due to the high level of poly-unsaturated fat in sunflower oil (4).
Alternative Oil for Cooking
You can consider the following alternatives for sunflower oil to reduce the level of health risks caused by poly-unsaturated fatty acid.
- Coconut Oil is the best oil for cooking due to the level of its saturated fat. Many studies suggested that usage of Coconut Oil could increase the good cholesterol level. Coconut Oil with full of saturated fat and its good behaviour at high temperature are the major reasons to suggest Coconut oil for cooking.
- The use of mustard oil is better for cooking when compared to the use of sunflower oil. A study identified that the use of mustard oil for cooking could reduce heart diseases up to 70%.
- Ground Nut oil is a heart friendly oil which is rich in Mono Unsaturated Fatty Acid (MUFA). It offers a well-balanced diet.
Although these oils can be considered as the alternatives for Sunflower Oil, I suggest to reduce any type of oil in your diet for healthy life.
1. Roche, E., Ramírez-Tortosa, C.L., Arribas, M.I., Ochoa, J.J., Sirvent-Belando, J.E., Battino, M., Ramírez-Tortosa, M.C., González-Alonso, A., Pérez-López, M.P. and Quiles, J.L. (2014). Comparative analysis of pancreatic changes in aged rats fed life long with sunflower, fish, or olive oils, Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 69(8), pp.934-944
2. Rastogi, T. (2004). Diet and risk of ischemic heart disease in India, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 79 (4), pp. 582-92.
3. Vega-Lopez, S. (2006). Palm and partially hydrogenated soybean oils adversely alter lipoprotein profiles compared with soybean and canola oils in moderately hyperlipidemic subjects, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 84(1), pp.54-62
4. Sundeep, M. and Manchandam, S.C. (2012). Cooking oils for heart health, Journal of Preventive Cardiology, 1(3), pp. 123-131