Sunflower oil is pressed from the oil-rich sunflower seeds. It is usually sold refined though unrefined versions are available for purchase. High oleic sunflower oil is derived from seeds bred to contain high quantities of monounsaturated oleic acid. Refined sunflower oil has a high smoke point making it useful in cooking.

Health considerations

High oleic sunflower oil is on average 9% linoleic acid, 82% oleic acid, 5% stearic acid, and 4% palmitic acid. In a small study, men who consumed 37 to 43% of their energy from high oleic sunflower oil reduced their total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides within five weeks.

Keep in mind

The alteration of fatty acid profile was not accomplished through genetic engineering. Refined oils may still contain traces of allergenic proteins, sensitive individuals should exercise caution. While sunflower oil contains no trans fat, it is a common component of margarines which may have undergone hydrogenation.

May be found in

Prepared foods, packaged foods, baked goods, vegetable oil, salad dressings, sauces, marinades


National Sunflower Association
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Nutrition Bulletin

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