Sunflower oil is one of the healthier vegetable oils. Sunflower oil is often used in cooking, as an ingredient in lotions, moisturizers, facial creams, shampoos, conditioners, as well as in sunless tanning products. It is not, however, generally considered to be a healthy vegetable oil. Is sunflower oil healthy?
Sunflower oil does have some health benefits, however it is often marketed as something that provides all of the benefits that you would derive from using this oil. When it comes to evaluating the health benefits of this oil, there are a few things that you need to consider. In particular, when evaluating the claims made by manufacturers of skin care products relating to sunflower oil healthy benefits, it is important to consider moderation. Moderation refers to the fact that the product should be used in moderation.
Sunflower oils are primarily polyunsaturated fatty acids. Polyunsaturated fatty acids are those that contain monounsaturated, or two types of fats – trans-fatty acids, which are mostly found in fried foods and animal products, as well as linoleic acid, which is found in most oils. Although polyunsaturated fatty acids provide health benefits when consumed in moderation, they are also known to raise your LDL or bad cholesterol levels. If you have high levels of LDL or bad cholesterol, then your risk for heart disease is increased. This is due to the fact that LDL carries excess cholesterol back to the liver where it is converted into fatty acids, which are then transported throughout the body and tend to accumulate in places like the arterial walls, where plaque can build up and cause clogging and narrowing of the arteries. By consuming too many omega 3 fats, or EPA fats, from sunflower seeds and oil, you increase your LDL levels and your risk for heart disease and stroke.
Another question often asked about sunflower oil nutrition is how it differs from other vegetable oils and flax seed oils. In addition to having one of the highest concentrations of vitamin E among all plant oils, it contains an abundance of essential fatty acids, which are essential to the health of the human body. Vitamin E is an antioxidant, meaning it neutralizes harmful free radicals that can cause damage to cells. Essential fatty acids are vital to tissue repair, so increasing your intake of this nutrient helps to maintain and protect your body’s tissues from oxidative stress and free radical damage.
What is more, sunflower oil contains both trans-and Linoleic acid. These fatty acids are also important to tissue repair, but linoleic acid is particularly powerful in promoting rapid cell regeneration and preventing injury to muscles and tendons. This means that regular consumption of this nutritious oil promotes energy levels and vitality while also protecting the body from common injuries such as tears, strains, burns, scrapes, and bruises. This benefit extends to most parts of the body; however, the brain is one area that is particularly sensitive to linoleic acid. Taking sunflower oil boosts energy levels and mental clarity, while reducing stress and depression.
Finally, sunflower seeds are a complete protein. Your body cannot use the essential fatty acids for energy production if they are missing, so seeds and hulls provide you with an excellent source of these nutrients. They have the highest concentration of all protein types, which makes them ideal for protein supplements. Plus, there are no calories in seeds, so taking them is not a dieter’s friendly act. They are also an excellent source of dietary fiber, which helps keep your stomach feeling full for a longer period of time.