Olive oil is more popular than sunflower oil. Both of these oils are fully edible, however recipes tend to include olive oil much more often and sunflower oil very rarely.
Why is this so, and is olive oil or sunflower oil healthier? We explain here the differences and benefits of both oils and their uses in gastronomy.
Is olive oil better than sunflower oil?
Both sunflower oil and olive oil have important nutrients and benefits for our health. However, they are not the same, they do not taste the same and should not be confused.. Although the elaboration processes between one and the other are similar, the differences are notable.
Because of the differences between them, the question often arises as to whether olive oil or sunflower oil is healthier. Before giving a definitive answer to this question, let’s list the benefits and characteristics of each one.
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Olive oil is obtained from the fruit of the olive tree. This fruit is called olive or olive, and much of its pulp is oil, so that a simple pressure on this fruit, get oil, however the processes have become more complex over the years.
To obtain this oil, olives of between 6 to 8 months of maturation are used.. A first pressing is carried out to extract the juice, being the subsequent method the one that determines the final quality of the product. There are different levels of quality, such as virgin and extra virgin olive oil.
Olive oil has multiple properties and benefits for the body, thanks to the nutrients it contains. For these reasons it is widely used in the Mediterranean diet, which is considered one of the healthiest.
This oil has vitamins A, D, E and K, favors the absorption of minerals, polyunsaturated fats and oleic oil.. All this has benefits to the organism helping to prevent or diminish certain affections.
Olive oil is a food with antibacterial properties. It improves the health of the digestive system, helps to alleviate rheumatoid arthritis discomfort and contributes to improve metabolism and optimize brain functions.
In addition to all these benefits, olive oil appears to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, nourish the skin, reduce cholesterol and even help with weight loss. seems to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, nourish the skin, reduce cholesterol and even help in weight loss, although the latter only if consumed as part of a low-calorie diet.although the latter only if consumed as part of a low-calorie diet.
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Sunflower oil is obtained from sunflower seeds. The process is carried out by pressing to extract the oil that these seeds contain. However, there are two types of process to obtain it and this is where an important difference lies.
Extra virgin sunflower oil results from a cold extraction process.. This oil is not so easy to find in supermarkets, so we must be careful with those that are marketed and verify that it is an extra virgin oil and we are not being deceived.
This oil, like olive oil, has many benefits and properties. It is anti-inflammatory, in addition to being a source of healthy fatswhich help reduce bad cholesterol and are helpful in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
It also contains antioxidants and vitamin E, so it helps the skin look fresh and elastic. It can even be applied externally as an instant skin moisturizer. It is also used to fight fungal infections.
However, sunflower oil has one major drawback that we should be aware of. It should be consumed raw. That is to say, it should not be used for cooking because the high temperatures cause it to burn very quickly and expel harmful substances.
Therefore, sunflower oil should preferably be extra virgin, a product of cold extraction and consumed directly from the container without having gone through fire or cooking. In this way you will be enjoying the benefits that this oil has for the organism.
So… Is olive oil or sunflower oil healthier?
Knowing the properties of both oils, an answer can be found. Although it is known that olive oil is healthy and its intake is recommended, sunflower oil raises doubts, sunflower oil generates doubts and reservations about whether it has benefits or not..
Furthermore, comparing one with the other, even more doubts arise and people usually end up leaning towards using olive oil. Rumors about sunflower oil causing harm to health have contributed to more and more people stopping using it.
But as we have already seen both oils provide the body with different benefits through the nutrients they contain.. In both cases the benefits to the cardiovascular system are very similar, however sunflower oil also offers properties that benefit the digestive system.
However, olive oil can be consumed raw as well as after having undergone a cooking process. Sunflower oil, on the other hand, can only be eaten raw to really enjoy its nutrients.
For this reason, the belief that olive oil is healthier than sunflower oil has taken root until it has become an affirmation, leaving aside the benefits of substituting olive oil for sunflower oil in some cases.
The bottom line then is that both oils offer nutrients and benefits to the body. Both have great taste and can be combined very well in salads. But if they are to be used for cooking, then olive oil should always be chosen over sunflower oil..
Privé, F. et al.(2010)Temperature and duration of heating of sunflower oil affect ruminal biohydrogenation of linoleic acid in vitro. Journal of Dairy Science, Volume 93, Issue 2, 711 – 722.
Gorzynik-Debicka, M., Przychodzen, et al. (2018). Potential Health Benefits of Olive Oil and Plant Polyphenols. International journal of molecular sciences, 19(3), 686. doi:10.3390/ijms19030686.