Sunflower oil is available in three completely different varieties: high-oleic, mid-oleic, and linoleic oil. Variations in these oils lie inside their fatty acid profile. Oleic acid is a sort of monounsaturated fatty acid (or MUFA) whereas linoleic acid is a sort of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (or PUFA). So a high-oleic sunflower oil has a excessive MUFA profile, whereas a linoleic sunflower oil is predominantly composed of omega-6 PUFAs. So which is your best option?
The healthiest sunflower oil is the high-oleic acid selection. “Oleic acid is an omega-9 fatty acid that has been related to improved coronary heart well being—particularly, lowered ldl cholesterol and lowered irritation,” explains mbg Collective member and registered dietitian Jess Cording, M.S., R.D., CDN. “Linoleic acid is an omega-6 fatty acid. Whereas we’d like some omega-6, an excessive amount of has been related to elevated irritation within the physique.”
These variations in well being outcomes are linked to the fatty acid’s potential to withstand oxidative harm throughout refining and cooking. Why does that matter? Nicely, oil that experiences vital harm can finally drive unhealthy processes within the physique comparable to oxidative stress and irritation, doctor Cate Shanahan, M.D., a revered authority on vegetable and seed oils and writer of The Fatburn Repair beforehand instructed mindbodygreen. And omega-6 PUFAs, like linoleic sunflower oil, are extra readily oxidized than PUFAs.
TL;DR: So, though linoleic sunflower oil could also be the most typical, it’s high-oleic oil try to be reaching for. (And for a deeper dive on the nuance of sunflower oil, try our information.)