Canola oil vs sunflower oil – what is the difference?

Casandra Greer
It takes approx. 4 minutes to read this article

What exactly is the difference between rapeseed oil and sunflower oil? The former is undoubtedly more popular in Polish kitchens, but is it really the optimal solution for our diet? We compare the two most popular vegetable oils.

Vegetable oils in the kitchen – various properties

When we talk about vegetable oils, we mean a fairly wide range of products, which are obtained from oil plants through pressing. The biggest advantage of these substances for our health is that they contain unsaturated fatty acids. These in turn have a good impact on the prevention of cancer and hypertension or atherosclerosis. They are also very important for the proper functioning of the circulatory system. They also have a beneficial effect on cholesterol levels and contain in their composition polyunsaturated acids – including omega-6. Some of them, such as thistle oil, have a very good effect on the human liver. It is worth adding, however, that they are also used in animals (e.g. pigeons, poultry). What can we appreciate rapeseed and sunflower oils for?

What advantages does rapeseed oil have?

Canola oil is called the “oil of the north” – is this an overstatement? As it turns out, not necessarily. Like the Mediterranean specialty, rapeseed oil has a high content of monounsaturated oleic acid (10%). Omega-3 acid is a deficient ingredient in our diet, which can be supplemented thanks to rapeseed oil. Its popularity in our cuisine is not only related to the high availability of the raw material, i.e. rapeseed, but also to the actual needs. Other oils, even sunflower, are not so rich in this component

Ideal for baking and frying

Canola oil is also not very rich in saturated fatty acids, the consumption of which increases the risk of heart disease. In addition, it is not adversely affected by heat, so it is ideal for frying and baking

What do we appreciate sunflower oil for?

In the case of sunflower oil we encounter slightly different advantages than in the case of fat obtained from rapeseed. Among its advantages, we should first mention the richness of vitamin E. It is called the “vitamin of youth”, because its action comes down, inter alia, to neutralizing free radicals that affect skin aging. In addition, it nourishes and regenerates. Sunflower oil has the most of it and in this respect it is even ahead of olive oil

High content of omega-6 acid

It is a substance, which sunflower oil contains a lot, is omega-6. The problem is, however, that it has only trace amounts of omega-3. Consuming only sunflower oil, it is difficult to obtain a favorable ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 of 2:1

>> See also: How to start eating healthy?

What is the best use of sunflower oil?

When choosing sunflower oil, we should use it primarily to make salads and for cooking. The bigger problem arises when we use it for frying. Research indicates that it should not be heated above 100℃. In such cases, canola oil is a safer choice.

Canola or sunflower: which is better?

Both oils described above allow us to obtain slightly different benefits from their use in our diet. Undoubtedly, a better solution for the prevention of cardiovascular disease will be the choice of rapeseed oil. In both cases, using a vegetable substance will be a much better choice for our health than relying on animal fats in our diet

However, the quality of the oil and how it is stored is very important. It is encouraged that these fats be poured into dark glass bottles and stored in a place that is dark and cool. This way they will retain their essential properties and taste

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