Serving the right side of sunflower oil

An expert's take on the benefits and precautions surrounding the consumption of sunflower oil.
Sunflower oil. (Representational image)
Sunflower oil. (Representational image)

CHENNAI: Over the years, sunflower oil has slowly crept into Indian kitchens, finding its way to becoming a staple. And for a gamut of reasons. The versatile oil can be used in diverse cooking techniques that are popular in the nation. “India consumes 1.7 million metric tonnes of sunflower oil. It’s popular because of its low absorption level which is perfect for Indian cooking,” says Preeti Raj, dietician and founder of Wootu Nutrition. While refined sunflower oil can be used for stir-frying, sauteing, roasting and frying, the unrefined oil can be utilised for baking and dressing, she adds. 

The seeds of the sunflower, from which the oil is extracted, also lend it their rich reserve of vitamin E. This, along with its composition of oleic and linoleic acid, can be beneficial to our health as well as skincare. Preeti further elaborates on the many rewarding gifts of sunflower oil.


  • Those who are hypersensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae plant family could have some side effects or allergic reactions to sunflower oil.
  • Diabetics should avoid refined sunflower oil as a diet high in it seems to increase fasting insulin, blood sugar levels and can also increase after-meal blood fats, eventually raising the risk of atherosclerosis.


  • The oleic acid present in this type of oil can help with the reduction of LDL cholesterol or bad cholesterol without bothering the total cholesterol status.
  • Consuming this oil increases the adiponectin in the body that helps with the breakdown of fat and 
  • aids fat loss.
  • The linoleic acid in the oil helps prevent inflammation and help those with arthritis by activating the peroxisome proliferator activated receptor alpha.
  • Vitamin E, being a good bronchodilator, can help prevent asthma, wheezing and cough.
  • Linoleic acid is a required fatty acid for B and T cell mediated immunity. 

The vitamin E in sunflower oil, along with the antioxidants can prevent atherosclerosis, which is a build-up of fats and cholesterol in and around your arteries.

A good source of vitamins A, D, E and C, this is a good massage oil for infants, a moisturiser for dry skin, and prevents erythema (skin rashes due to injured capillaries).

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The New Indian Express