Differences between oil olive and sunflower oil

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.


What is the difference between sunflower oil and olive oil?

The main differences are the following:

  • Olive oil is darker: According to appearance, although, there are many varieties of olive oil with a very different color, olive oil is usually darker green than sunflower oil. The latter has a lighter color and slightly yellowish.
  • Sunflower oil has virtually no flavor, while olive oil has a very distinctive flavor.
  • Olive oil has a higher content of oleic acid: According to fat content, we can say that olive oil has a higher content of oleic acid, whereas normal sunflower oil (there is high oleic variety) has a higher content of linoleic.

What are the advantages of olive oil because of having more oleic acid than sunflower oil?

Differences between sunflower oil and olive oil

Sunflower oil on the left bottles and olive oil on the right. Look that olive oil is darker.

This implies:

  • Increased resistance to high temperatures in the olive oil. This implies a lower willingness to free radical formation caused by high temperatures.
  • Olive oil does not interfere with the balance of omega 6 with omega 3. (More information)
  • A greater power conservation in the olive oil. Polyunsaturated oils like sunflower become rancid more easily.
  • Low proportion of saturated fats in olive oil.
  • Increased therapeutic properties because of more omega 6 in sunflower oil

Table of main fatty acids in olive oil per 100 g

Table of main fatty acids in olive oil per 100 g
Saturated fats 13,500 g
Palmitic acid 11g
Stearic acid 2.200 g
Monounsaturated fats 73,700 g
Oleic acid 72.500 g
Palmitoleic acid 0,800 g
Eicosenoic acid 0,300 g
Polyunsaturated fats 8, 400 g
Linoleic acid 7.900 g
Alpha-linoleic acid 0.600

Table of main fatty acids in sunflower oil

Table of main fatty acids in sunflower oil per 100 g
Saturated fats 10,300 g
Palmitic acid 5.900 g
Stearic acid 4.800 g
Monounsaturated fats 19,500 g
Oleic acid 19.500 g
Polyunsaturated fats 65.700 g
Linoleic acid 65.700 g

Which is better, sunflower oil or olive oil?

Olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil is considered the best vegetable oil, specially to fry or cook. This does not mean we should rule out other types of oils.

Sunflower oil, unlike olive oil, is considered to have a neutral taste. This may be good for some and bad for others.

What it is certain is that sunflower oil has a milder and less pronounced flavor, which does not alter the taste of foods to which it is added.

If you are among the people who dislike the intense flavor of olive oil, instead of removing the oil consumption of your food, you can use sunflower oil or other oil with a bland flavor, but it also will provide you with nutritional benefits. You must remember that with only a spoonful of this oil, it will bring you almost daily recommended amount of vitamin E.

  • Don’t forget that in case of frying or cooking, olive oil is the best oil you can use

best oil to fry

What is the best vegetable oil for frying?

punto rojo More information on olive and sunflower oil.

Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

22 April, 2019

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