What is high oleic oil? While you may not know what it is exactly, it's very likely that you ingest this ingredient on a pretty regular basis.
Probably, it is just now that you're taking notice of your food labels or you have another reason for wondering what exactly does high oleic sunflower oil means, but keep reading as we tackle this subject to help you understand it better.
What is High Oleic Sunflower Oil?
When you refer to oil as high oleic, it essentially means that the oil has a high amount of monounsaturated fats. High oleic oils contain a high amount of monounsaturated fats.
Good examples of this are olive oil and canola oil. Unprocessed, they contain a high amount of polyunsaturated fats. Containing a significant amount of the latter makes them rather short-lived, which means they don't have a very long shelf life compared to other cooking oils. This is where the relevance of high oleic sunflower oils come in.
Albeit oil from sunflowers containing a high amount of monounsaturated fats, it contains a much lower amount of polyunsaturated fats which makes them last significantly longer and so much easier to store.
What's Their Use In The Food Industry?
Food packaging and preservation is more of an evolution than anything else. I suppose you can say that the way people treat their food evolved with the way they lived their lives.
Our ancestors didn't have the luxury of freezers and would make their own bread, if not every single day, then at least every week.
But now, people are always looking for the easiest and most convenient, but delicious food packs, and food companies have been finding ways to cater to that demand.
Initially, food companies would use trans fats, otherwise known as hydrogenated oils, to prolong the shelf life of food. Not only are they useful for preventing spoilage, but they're also great for preserving the flavors.
But then, the relationship between heart diseases and other known illnesses have been discovered, and food companies have seen the need to find another alternative.
While we can't say that all food companies have stopped using trans fats, we can say that many have switched over to the use of high oleic oils to make their food last longer. Not only are they good for the heart, but they also won’t fatten you the way trans fats would.
What do you use it for?
High-oleic oils are often used to preserve baked products such as cakes, cookies, biscuits, and the like. You would also see them among the ingredients of cereals, dried fruits, and breading mixes.
Note that the ones usually containing high oleic sunflower oil aren't the straight-from-the-bread-shop kind of baked products, but rather, the boxed ones or packets you can buy at retail. However, their use is not limited to preserved goods.
With people’s growing interest in healthier food options, high oleic sunflower oils have been proven to be great as a seasoning or a garnish for salads and other recipes. They can be used as an alternative to olive oils and may sometimes even be cheaper, but giving you the same healthy benefits.
What are its implications to your health?
High oleic oil sunflower oil doesn't contain any trans fat, contains a low amount of saturated fat, but is high in unsaturated fat. Research shows that a large amount of monounsaturated fat in high oleic oil lessens your bad cholesterol without lessening good cholesterol.
Good cholesterol is essential to certain body functions, and we can't be cholesterol-free. Note that when the level of bad cholesterol in your body goes down, the lower your risks of having any heart-related diseases and illnesses.
Here’s a quick and to-the-point video about our body’s cholesterol levels. Watch it here.
Why should this interest you?
While high oleic oils are not bad for you, we don't claim that it can perform miracles for you either. While having it in your diet has its perks, it is still much better to have a diet that's balanced and filled with fresh foods.
High Oleic Sunflower Oils, or even just high oleic oil in the label should not scare you off. If you need to eat something from a package, it is better to have this ingredient than a trans fat. High oleic sunflower oil will be a lot kinder to your weight and heart.
If you're looking for oil to use as a dressing, but don’t want any strong flavors to affect your recipe and would like to keep it as healthy as possible at the same time, use this. It has a very neutral taste which can serve your purposes well. But if you're looking for something to give your salad a new dimension, then this isn't your oil.
Give It A Try!
We sure hope you were able to pick up some useful information from this article. Remember, when it comes to food packaging, high oleic is better than trans fat. When it comes to oil, try sunflower oils!
Whether you're trying to lose or would just like to manage your weight, give it a try and let us know what you think! Share this article with your friends and post your comments below. Happy reading!