Hi-Oleic SUNFLOWER OIL – What is it?
We are sometimes asked about the High Oleic Sunflower Oil we use in some of our blended oils like Sizzle/Drizzle, Hot Wok & Chilli Oil. We use Hi-Oleic Sunflower Oil for it’s nutritional benefits as it is packed with healthy Oleic Acid, also known as Omega 9 – an essential fatty acid with proven health benefits, and also for it’s great cooking properties as it is great for high heat cooking like deep frying etc.
The cheaper sunflower oils are lower in Oleic Acid, but a lot higher in Linoleic Acid, also known as Omega 6. While Omega 6 is an essential fatty acid necessary for optimal health, consuming too much of it can have negative health effects.
Hi-Oleic Sunflower Oil comes from the seeds of sunflowers that have been especially bred to have high levels of Oleic Acid.
Another benefit of using High Oleic Sunflower Oil is the Vitamin E found in this oil. All sunflower oils contain Vitamin E making it a great nutritional source for this vitamin.
So, you are probably thinking – Why aren’t you bottling this stuff?
WELL – WATCH THIS SPACE 🙂
So, what is the difference between High Oleic Sunflower Oil and just regular Sunflower Oil?
And if a nutrition label just says “Sunflower Oil”, is it High Oleic or not?
First off, there are actually three types of Sunflower Oil. There is a 4th but it is more used for manufacturing purposes. The 3 main types for cooking are:
- High Oleic Sunflower Oil
- Mid Oleic Sunflower Oil
- Linoleic Sunflower Oil
These three types of Sunflower Oil all are made up of the same fats, but in very different proportions as this chart shows.
The two key colours to look at are the GREEN and the RED.
High Oleic Sunflower Oil has the most Oleic Acid (GREEN).
Scientists have found that Oleic Acid (a monounsaturated fat) is linked to many good things like more good cholesterol, better insulin resistance and less belly fat.
Linoleic Sunflower Oil, which will just show up as “Sunflower Oil” on a nutrition label, is mostly Linoleic Acid (RED). Linoleic Acid is a polyunsaturated fat.
While a small amount of Linoleic Acid is essential, scientists have recently linked eating too much Linoleic Acid with heart disease and inflammation.
In the food business, the default type of Sunflower Oil is Linoleic Sunflower Oil because that one is the cheapest. It’s about $1.00 / kg when bought in large quantities.
So, if you see just “Sunflower Oil” on an ingredient label, it is almost certainly Linoleic Sunflower Oil. We recommend you avoid or only eat small amounts of these foods.
High Oleic Sunflower Oil is about 3x the price of Linoleic Sunflower Oil, that’s one reason it is more expensive than other ‘sunflower” oils.
So, remember, not all oils are created equal.