Sunflower oil is pressed from the oil-rich sunflower seeds. It is usually sold refined though unrefined versions are available for purchase. There are multiple varieties, the most common being high oleic and mid oleic. Unless otherwise stated, most storebought sunflower oils are mid oleic. Refined sunflower oil has a high smoke point making it useful in cooking; mid oleic oil is also useful in frying. See: Sunflower oil, high oleic
Mid oleic sunflower oil is on average 26% linoleic acid, 65% oleic acid, 5% stearic acid, and 4% palmitic acid. In a study of men with normal cholesterol levels, consuming 75% of their dietary fat as sunflower oil helped lower cholesterol and limit formation of blood clots.
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.
Prepared foods, packaged foods, baked goods, vegetable oil, salad dressings, sauces, marinades
National Sunflower Association
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition