Sunflower oil has become popular in recent years and is widely viewed as a healthy cooking oil. While its healthiness may be slightly overrated, it is still a versatile oil with some important applications. If you can’t find it or have concerns about it, you may need a replacement. Try one of the sunflower oil substitutes below.
Your best bet: Safflower oil
Because it comes from the same family (Asteraceae), safflower oil is considered by some to be the best possible sunflower oil substitute. Not only does it have sunflower oil’s neutral flavor profile, but it also has many of the same health benefits. Safflower oil is – like sunflower oil – rich in linolenic acid, which means that it may be beneficial for heart health. Safflower oil is low in saturated fat like sunflower oil. The high oleic acid versions of safflower and sunflower oil both cost about the same.
There are two versions of safflower oil compared to the three versions of sunflower oil. While sunflower oil comes in high oleic, mid oleic and linoleic varieties; safflower oil comes in two types: oleic and linoleic. The mid oleic and linoleic versions of sunflower oil are produced in much greater volumes than safflower oil, which means that they tend to cost a lot less.
A decent second choice: Olive oil
You can get a lot of vitamin E from olive oil, which is the nutrient for which sunflower oil is best known. Many people would consider olive oil a superior option for many of sunflower oil’s raw and low-heat preparations. Sunflower oil has a high smoke point but should still be reserved for low-temperature dishes since heating it causes it to produce aldehydes.
The downside of extra virgin olive oil is that it has a low smoke point, which means that you don’t want to cook with it over high heat. Also important is the fact that it has a strong, grassy flavor that is very different from the neutral flavors of sunflower oil.
In a pinch: Peanut oil
Peanut oil is extracted from peanuts. Not only is peanut oil full of vitamin E just like sunflower oil, but it also has a light flavor profile that is just as unobtrusive as that of sunflower oil. Peanut oil also has a high smoke point, which means that you can use it for stir-fries and other high-temperature cooking styles. Refined peanut oil has been filtered to remove all allergens.
One major downside of peanut oil is that it contains a significant amount of saturated fat. It contains quite a bit more saturated fat than sunflower oil. It is also high in omega-6 fatty acids, which is one of the downsides of sunflower oil. Omega-6 fatty acids can cause inflammation and the health problems associated with it.
Canola oil comes from specially bred rapeseed plants and has less saturated fat than any other cooking oil. It has the benefit of being rich in omega-3 fats. Not only does canola oil have a mild flavor just like sunflower oil, but it also has a low price. In many places, canola oil is one of the least expensive cooking oils. If you plan to cook at moderately high temperatures, canola oil is one of your best options due to its high smoke point.
Avocado oil is extracted from the avocado fruit and is renowned for its stellar health benefits. Its flavor profile is mildly grassy, and it is rich in several important nutrients, including vitamin E.