Cold-Pressing and the Sunflower Oil

Which Sunflower Oil to choose?

Conventional, Cold-Pressed, hydrogenated? Supermarket shelves are loaded with Sunflower Oil in various forms. When looking for a healthy choice, avoid products that contain hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated sunflower oil, which can be found in margarines. These contain trans fat – a type of fat that has been proven to be harmful to humans. Trans fats increase risk of heart disease, cancer and other health problems. The difference between cold-pressed and cheap conventional oils is the presence of vitamins and phytonutrients. The latter have a decreased content of them, due to way of processing.

Benefits of Sunflower Oil

Choosing healthier sources of fat can lower your risk of the heart disease. Saturated fatty acids like animal fats are unhealthy if consumed in excess, because they can raise your cholesterol levels to an abnormal level. And this is where the cold-pressed Sunflower Oil may help. Most of the fat in Sunflower Oil is unsaturated. It’s good to know that unsaturated fats have been proven to decrease the levels of bad cholesterol.

Abundance of vitamin E

What makes the Sunflower Oil so unique is its vitamin E content.  A tablespoon of this oil provides your daily vitamin E needs. Comparing to the popular Vegetable (Rapeseed) Oil,  Sunflower Oil contains twice as much of this vitamin needed by our bodies to maintain a healthy skin and eyes and the immune system.

Phytosterols

Just like Sunflower Seeds, the cold-pressed Sunflower Seed Oil is one of the best sources of phytosterols, a family of molecules related to cholesterol. In plants, they play important roles, just like cholesterol in humans. However, when taken by humans, phytosterols displace cholesterol and inhibit cholesterol absorption and lower the concentrations of the LDL cholesterol. Regular intake of phytosterols prevents the development of atherosclerosis.

How to store cold pressed oils?

Do cold-pressed oils have any disadvantages? Yes, they do. Unlike refined oils, cold-pressed oils are more sensitive to light and should be stored in a dark place. After opened, they should be kept in 5 – 10 °C, which means, the best place to store them is the bottom shelf of your fridge.