Sunflower oil is made by pressing the seeds of the sunflower plant. It’s often touted as a healthy oil, as it contains unsaturated fats that may benefit heart health. However, any potential benefits of sunflower oil depend on the type and nutrient composition.
There are four types of sunflower oil available in the United States, all of which differ in their contents of linoleic and oleic acid. These include:
High linoleic (68% linoleic acid),
Mid-oleic (NuSun, 65% oleic acid),
High oleic (82% oleic acid), and
High stearic/high oleic (Nutrisun, 72% oleic acid, 18% stearic acid).
Sunflower oils with more oleic acid are higher in monounsaturated fat and lower in polyunsaturated fat.
Some studies suggest that consuming high oleic sunflower oil, especially in place of saturated fats, may help reduce your risk of heart disease by lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol and raising HDL (good) cholesterol.