Should You Incorporate Sunflower Oil Into Your Cooking?

By Heide Kennedy, Arizona Farm Bureau Communications InternĀ 

My three younger brothers love sunflower seeds. Not the pre-shelled ones mind you, as they prefer the ones that come in the shell to crack and spit everywhere. And in case you were wondering, the cracked black pepper flavor is the one they would rate the highest. While we are all very familiar with sunflowers as a part of a floral arrangement, or their seeds as a tasty snack, using sunflower oil in the kitchen is not as common.

A recent article on discusses why we should consider incorporating sunflower oil into more of our cooking, as it has many health benefits, such as protecting against cell damage, supporting heart health, and even fighting against UV damage when used topically.

The article provided some insight on how to choose the right kind of sunflower oil. Sunflower oil comes in three different forms, high-oleic, mid-oleic, and linoleic. Registered dietician Jess Cording explains that the high-oleic acid variety is the most healthful, as it is an omega-9 fatty acid, which can help lower cholesterol, and reduce inflammation in the body.

So, how can you incorporate sunflower oil into your daily cooking? Sunflower oil is a lot like olive oil, except that it is not as stable as olive oil when exposed to high heat. But other than it being less heat stable, the two can be used interchangeably for low-temperature cooking or salad dressings and marinades.

Next time you are making a recipe that calls for olive oil, consider swapping it out for some sunflower oil to add some variety to your food!

As we’re nearing fall season, remember to visit our farms open to the public. Often, they’ll have a field of sunflowers blooming to add to the spirit of fall festival time.

For fun and healthy recipe ideas, check out the recipe database on the Arizona Farm Bureau Fill Your Plate website! Bonus! Most of the recipes you’ll fine are from Arizona farm and ranch families.


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