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Is olive oil or sunflower oil healthier?

Is olive oil or sunflower oil healthier?

March 17, 2023

Two of the most popular and most consumed oils are olive oil and sunflower oil . The first is considered a very healthy food, which is part of the Mediterranean diet; however, the second does not enjoy the same popularity.

Is sunflower oil really bad? What are the properties of these oils? In this article we will answer these questions and deepen your benefits.

Differences between olive oil and sunflower oil

Sunflower and olive oils are the best known types of vegetable oil, and although people think that the first is only used for cooking and the second is ideal only for salads, the truth is that sunflower oil can also be eaten raw, which is where all its benefits are.

How are these oils obtained? The first is obtained from the sunflower seeds, when they are crushed; the second is obtained by grinding the olives. At present, it is possible to find different varieties of oils and their types in the supermarket, for example, extra virgin olive oil and virgin olive oil. Olive oil enjoys greater popularity and status than sunflower oil, mainly because the Mediterranean diet is considered one of the healthiest and most balanced there is, and some varieties of olive oil are called "green gold", as if it were a treasure of nature.

What is virgin olive oil and extra virgin olive oil

Within the varieties of olive oil not all have the same status, value, price and quality. In fact, it is possible to differentiate between virgin olive oil and extra virgin olive oil.

The main difference between both oils lies in their extraction mode , in the degrees of fermentation to which the raw material is exposed. Both traditional and mechanical extraction methods are used to obtain both oils, but the extra virgin is classified as higher quality, with a fermentation that must not exceed 0.8 degrees centigrade and the tasting note does not fall below 6.5.

The virgin olive oil does not have so much quality and exquisiteness, because its fermentation can be carried out at 2 degrees Celsius and its tasting note is at 5.5 for its quality certificate.

  • If you want to delve into the difference between both types of olive oil, you can read our article: "Differences between virgin olive oil and extra virgin olive oil"

It's better olive oil or sunflower oil

Undoubtedly, olive oil is a very nutritious food, but ... is not sunflower oil? Why does this oil have such a bad reputation? Sunflower oil has such a bad reputation because it is an oil that, unlike olive oil, does not support the high temperatures of cooking so well and, therefore, burns before expelling substances that do not benefit the organism at all.

Now, sunflower oil, eaten raw, is as beneficial as olive oil, and both are loaded with nutrients, including polyunsaturated fats, known as good fats. In the case of sunflower oil, it is rich in fatty acids, among which linoleic acid stands out. Vitamin E also occurs in large quantities. Olive oil, in addition to other nutrients, also contains vitamin E and oleic acid.

Benefits of sunflower oil

Sunflower oil provides a number of benefits for the body. It has anti-inflammatory effects so it is ideal for those who suffer arthritis or premenstrual syndrome. It also helps to keep the heart healthy, as it is a great source of healthy fats and beneficial phytosterols. In this sense, improves circulation and reduces the risk of heart attacks . Good fats help balance blood sugar levels, and along with phytosterols, lower bad cholesterol.

Also, sunflower oil protects the body's cancer cells that cause free radicals. Thanks to vitamin E, it helps prevent diseases such as asthma, rheumatic arthritis or colon cancer. This vitamin has a moisturizing effect that helps cells retain water, and therefore is used in cosmetic products. Studies suggest that vitamin E helps protect against Parkinson's disease. You can know more about this condition in our article: "Parkinson's: causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention"

If the oil is not ingested and applied directly to the skin, it hydrates it forming a protective barrier preventing moisture from escaping. When applied directly on the skin, it also helps fight infections such as fungi. Its high Zinc content also makes it a food that improves sexual performance .

Benefits of olive oil

As you can see, sunflower oil has many properties and benefits. And ... in the case of olive oil? It has antibacterial properties and is particularly effective against Helicobacter pylori , a type of bacteria that can cause ulcers and stomach cancer. Therefore, it improves the health of the stomach and the digestive system, and increases the PH of the organism because it favors the absorption of calcium and magnesium.

It helps reduce joint pain and swelling of rheumatoid arthritis, which increases in combination with the intake of fish rich in omega 3. The polyphenols it contains potentiate the birth of new neurons, and studies suggest that it helps increase cognitive functions, metabolic functions and causes a greater brain development.

Prevents diabetes by its beneficial effects on blood glucose and insulin sensitivity. Improves skin health because it contains anti-aging agents and nutrients that fight osteoporosis and skin damage. It also prevents Alzheimer's, heart disease and improves the immune system. Finally, it helps to lose weight thanks to healthy fats and reduces cholesterol.

  • If you want to know more about the benefits of green gold, you can read our article: "13 benefits and properties of olive oil"

Healthy Cooking Oils 101 (March 2023).

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