Is sunflower oil keto?
You’re starting on a ketogenic diet, or you’ve been on a low-carb, high-fat diet for a while and you’ve been experimenting with different cooking oils.
Or maybe you could try the best source of fat to add to your crunchy salads.
Now you are asking if you can cook with sunflower oil.
The simple answer is that commercial oils are unhealthy because they are highly processed and high in linoleic acid.
But cold-pressed sunflower oil, which is high in oleic acid, may be suitable for a keto diet.
There is no easy answer, so let’s take a look at what sunflower oil is, how it’s made, and the different elements that may or may not make it keto-friendly.
What is sunflower oil?
As the name suggests, sunflower oil is made from sunflower seeds.
for this discussion We focus on two types of sunflower oil, the first is regular oil which is generously stored in your local supermarket.
The second is high oleic sunflower oil.
The third, which we will touch on briefly, is a combination of these two.
Before we can even consider whether it is healthy or keto-compatible, we must consider the composition of the products available.
So, let’s start with the fatty acids that we will find in sunflower oil.
It is high in vitamins E and K.
But when deciding if sunflower oil is good for the keto diet, we want to look at the lipid profile — the breakdown of fatty acids.
Sunflower oil consists of the following fatty acids.
Now, let’s look at the breakdown of each of these fatty acids in regular and high-oleic sunflower oils…
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Regular sunflower oils contain high levels of linoleic acid (70% and above) and low levels of oleic acid of 30% or less.
High oleic oil contains a very low level of linoleic acid and high levels of oleic acid – 70% or more.
Mid-range oils contain oleic levels of around 60%.
Well, why is this important?
High linoleic oil (regular)
About 70% of the fatty acids in sunflower oil are omega-6. Most seeds and seed oils are full of omega-6.
Although omega-6 is an essential fatty acid that the body cannot manufacture, we actually consume a lot of them and do not want to consume too much.
Ideally, we want to consume both Omega 3 and 6 daily but in a 1:1 ratio.
What about high oleic sunflower oil?
High oil sunflower oil
As you can see above, it is made up of only 4% linoleic acids and more than 80% oleic acid (omega-9).
There are fewer omega-6 fatty acids, and if our main decision about cooking with sunflower oil is the omega-6 level, then this seems like a better oil for your ketogenic diet.
Click on the image to see it on Amazon. The product is also available in single packs…
Medium range oils
There is a whole bunch of oils with ratios of linoleic and oleic acid in the middle of these.
This is an example of a mid-range product on Amazon…
Why are they different?
Initially all sunflower oils were rich in linoleic acid.
But based on a growing understanding of the health needs of the population, agricultural practices have been adapted to increase the oleic acid composition of sunflower seeds.
Therefore, over time, many types of sunflower seeds have been developed by standard plant breeding methods, to change the structure of the seeds.
It is claimed that none of these practices involve genetic modification. For more information about these changes, read –
So, in conclusion, the composition of the seeds has been changed over time to produce a healthier oil.
The next question is how are these oils processed?
How is oil produced?
The oil must be extracted from the seeds, in an ideal manner that destroys as few nutrients as possible, but also provides an adequate shelf life.
There are three steps to obtaining the oil from the seeds.
1 – Preparation
The seeds are cleaned with sieves and magnetic separation to remove impurities such as stems, leaves, stones and any other elements that should not be included in the seed oil.
2 – extraction
Then the oil is extracted from the seeds.
It can be extracted by cold pressing process through pressure repellent.
Or a hot pressing process where additional heat is introduced to extract the oil.
or a chemical process using chemical components.
3 – Refining
Once the oil is extracted, it must be refined.
This can be natural or include processes such as degumming, neutralization, bleaching, deodorizing, and antioxidants. To better understand this read more Here.
Obviously if you’re considering adding sunflower oil to your keto diet, you’ll want to make sure it’s a high-oleic oil and that it’s ideally cold pressed with as little filtration as possible.
What do macros look like?
Macros per 1 tablespoon (approximately 1 fluid ounce or 15 ml) –
The macros are pretty much the same whether you look at regular or high oleic oil.
What is different are the different types of fatty acids as can be clearly seen in the USDA source documentation which is discussed above under Composition.
Glycemic Index (GI)
Like most oils, sunflower oil contains neither sugar nor carbohydrates, so it does not affect blood glucose levels.
However it is discussed in our article – Is keto ghee environmentally friendly? When you add good keto-friendly fats to vegetables, they also improve the glycemic index of your meal.
Reasons not to use it
As you have seen, as long as you choose high oleic oil and not high linoleic oil, you can add small amounts to your ketogenic diet.
But here are the reasons why I prefer to stick with other fats:
Excessive consumption of omega-6
Most of them are rich in linoleic/omega-6 acids.
Change in seed composition
All sunflower seeds were rich in linoleic acids. So this is its normal form.
This was changed by agricultural practices. If that was my only option, I’d be fine with this.
There are healthy alternatives
There are many other healthy fat options that you can cook, sprinkle on top of vegetables, or add to salads.
Here are a few…
My favorite fats for cooking are:
I love cooking with animal fats like lard, tallow, and leftover fat. As well as with ghee.
This is my favorite for several reasons.
They all have a high smoke point. It’s all made up mostly of saturated fat, so it won’t go rancid like vegetable oil.
Here we discuss the best ghee for keto.
You can serve your own lard, but if you want to buy it, have a look at something like this…
If you like to cook with leftover grease, invest in a good grease preserver like this one…
This also makes a great gift for a keto friend.
If you’re in the market for gifts, check out our keto gift ideas.
If you prefer vegetable oils for cooking and for your salads, here are some options …
Sources of good vegetable fats for cooking include coconut, extra-virgin olives, and avocado oils.
To add to salad dressings, my favorites are olive, avocado, and MCT oils.
Delicious Portuguese olive oil has the same fatty acid structure as high oleic sunflower oil.
Another lovely gift idea.
After all, if you want to cook with sunflower oil, consider the following …
buy sunflower oil زيت
What do you notice from the outside?
This product is not bad but it is not certified organic…
At the conclusion of the question- he is Keto sunflower oil?
The answer is –
High oleic sunflower oil is keto.
Ordinary high linoleic sunflower oil is not keto.
Check out how it’s produced and refined and stick to cold-pressed oil.
And if you want to know more about sunflower seeds, check out this article.
Keto Stamp Approval?
Only high-oleic sunflower oil is suitable for a keto diet.
There are better oils for cooking or drizzling on salads that you might want to consider.
We need your help
If you have a question about your favorite cooking oil, please leave a comment.