Sunflower Oil Vs. Olive Oil – Which Is Better?

Image : © Mqdee

This is a common debate among the health conscious foodies and food experts. Sunflower oil and olive oil have both been praised for their nutritional values and health benefits. But if they are compared with each other, which one is better?

Sunflower Oil Vs. Olive Oil:

Let’s compare both the sunflower oil and olive oil to know which one is better for our health:


Both the oils are plant based and contain roughly 120 calories per tablespoon. Both are rich in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. These kinds of fatty acids are known to bring down the bad cholesterol in your blood while promoting good cholesterol.

  • Linoleic Acid In Sunflower Oil:Sunflower oil contains almost 65% linoleic acid while olive oil contains just 10% of it. It also contains omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids, which enhance neurological functions and reduce inflammation.
  • Oleic Acid In Olive Oil:Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fatty acid, which is known to suppress oncogene in the body. So, the next time you add olive oil to your Caesar salad, remember, you are fighting cancer as well! The oleic acid has been shown to protect cells from toxins released by carcinogens as well. It also reduces the amount of carcinogens formed in meats when they are cooked.

Vitamin E:

Vitamin E should be taken in healthy doses every day because of its various benefits. It reduces formation of free radicals, which can lead to the development of certain types of cancer or chronic diseases. Vitamin E also prevents vascular complications like arteriosclerosis, chest pain, leg pain due to arterial blockage etc. It also alleviates diabetes and its symptoms. Vitamin E is used for asthma, skin disorders, cataracts etc.

  • Sunflower oil:It is a rich source of vitamin E. It has been found that vitamin E found in sunflower oil can also prevent rheumatoid arthritis and colon cancer. People from countries that use olive oil and sunflower oil as their main cooking oils are found to have lower asthma rates.
  • Olive oil: It also contains a good proportion of Vitamin E. The vitamin E found in other oils like canola, corn or soyabean are found in the gamma-tocopherol form, which has a negative impact on lung function. But olive oil and sunflower oil both contain vitamin E in the alpha-tocopherol form which has no such adverse effect.

Vitamin K:

Vitamin K is another important nutrient that provides various health benefits. It serves as an important factor in the blood clotting mechanism and stops excessive bleeding. It also strengthens the bones and can prevent osteoporosis in older women.

  • Sunflower Oil:It has barely 1 microgram of vitamin K per tablespoon.
  • Olive Oil:It contains more than 8 micrograms of Vitamin K per tablespoon.


Plant oils contain fewer mineral oils than those obtained from animal sources. Here is a comparison between the mineral content in sunflower oil and olive oil

  • Sunflower Oil:
     Being a vegetable oil, it does not offer minerals at all.
  • Olive Oil: Olive oil is a fruit oil and has several minerals, although in trace amounts. It contains:
  • Iron which is an important component of hemoglobin, the oxygen carrier in your blood.
  • Potassium, which maintains muscle tone and heart health.
  • Sodium, which has functions similar to potassium
  • Calcium, which is good for bone and teeth.

Verdict: Olive Oil Is Better!

From the above comparison, it is clear that olive oil is healthier than sunflower oil in terms of Vitamin K content, fatty acids and minerals. Olive oil does not interfere with the omega 6 fatty acid and omega 3 fatty acid balance, whereas sunflower oil may increase the ratio of these fatty acids. The polyunsaturated fats in sunflower oil can make it go rancid more easily than olive oil. Olive oil also has a fruity taste unlike sunflower oil, which is bland.

So, the next time you go shopping for cooking oil, make sure you make the right choice!

What oil do you use for cooking? Have you tried olive oil? Share your views with us in the comments section below.

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