Contains a much higher amount of oleic acid (Omega 9) than common sunflower oil, that is about 82% against 20-30%, and even compared to extra virgin olive oil, which has between 70% and 80%.
"For this reason high oleic sunflower oil, obtained by selecting special cultivars of the plant, is a very valid one ally in the fight against premature aging. Unlike normal sunflower oil, moreover, it contains few Omega 6: these are polyunsaturated acids, substances that in the body can have a pro-inflammatory action ", explains Sara Gilardi, nutrition biologist in Livorno, Volterra (Pi) and Turin.
A global action
«Oleic acid counteracts oxidative stress and promotes the assimilation of fat-soluble vitamins, which also have anti-aging action ", the expert continues.
«Furthermore, this oil contains a high content of tocopherols, antioxidants of recognized efficacy. This is combined with the traditional virtues of sunflower seeds, namely the richness in phytosterols and vitamin E: these substances constitute a mix capable of prevent cellular aging, degenerative diseases and even some types of cancer. The presence of magnesium, then, helps to keep the skeleton young ».
How it should be used
The ideal, as part of a healthy and varied diet, is alternate high oleic sunflower oil with olive oil.
"Although the content of Omega 9 and vitamin E is higher than extra virgin olive oil, and the quantity of saturated fat is lower (about 5,5 g against 14 g), it cannot completely replace extra virgin olive oil. In fact, unless you buy cold-pressed organic (not always easy to find) it is in any case a seed oil, therefore obtained by chemical extraction and refining and not purely mechanical, as is the case for extra virgin olive oil ", specifies the doctor Gilardi.
It is also good for the heart
High oleic sunflower oil has also been shown to be effective in keeping the heart muscle healthy.
"A study by the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at Tufts University, Massachusetts, published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, showed that oleic acid, and the tocopherols in which it is rich, cardiovascular risk factors decrease such as for example hyperlipidemia (ie the formation of atherosclerotic plaques), hypertension and obesity », explains Sara Gilardi.