The shortage of sunflower oil will continue for the time being due to the war in Ukraine, which is a major producer of vegetable oil. However, there are plenty of alternatives on the shelves. But which oil is best to use and which is not?
The Federation of the Dutch Food Industry announced in mid-March that the stock of sunflower oil in the Netherlands at that time was good for another four to six weeks.
Alternatives to sunflower oil
However, during the same period, the trade association for companies in the field of animal and vegetable oils stated that there are plenty of alternatives. For example, according to the organization, rapeseed, olive, soybean or palm oil can be used instead of sunflower oil. But what about the nutritional values and other properties of these oils? Business Insider (BI) looked it up and listed the different ones.
To get straight to the point: Olive oil is the best alternative to sunflower oil. This oil consists of many unsaturated fatty acids, which reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. It is also good to know that olive oil contains a high amount of vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant.
- Disadvantages: Olive oil, however, has less vitamin K than sunflower oil. Among other things, this vitamin contributes to good blood coagulation. In addition, olive oil may have a stronger taste in food than sunflower oil.
- Plusplut: ‘The unsaturated acids lower the bad LDL cholesterol and thus reduce the risk of heart disease’, says the Nutrition Center.
Rapeseed oil is also called rapeseed oil. You can use it as an alternative, but it is recommended that you use 100 percent pure rapeseed oil.
- The downside: ‘The chemical process that makes the oil suitable for human consumption requires substances in large quantities, which can be harmful’, says the business news platform. In addition, the taste of this oil is also characteristic. So keep that in mind when cooking.
- Plus: rapeseed oil also contains a lot of good unsaturated fats and vitamins like E, K and other antioxidants.
According to BI, palm oil can be compared to olive oil, as it contains more or less the same amounts of unsaturated fatty acids. It is the most widely used vegetable oil in the world. It is estimated that half of all packaged products in supermarkets contain palm oil.
- The disadvantage: the main disadvantage of palm oil is that its production contributes to deforestation of the tropical rainforest.
- Plus: The oil has a high smoke point, which makes it suitable for grilling and deep frying. Because it has a neutral smell and taste, it is very diverse.
Soybean oil is a good alternative to sunflower oil, but it is recommended to use olive oil because it contains more nutrients.
- The downside: ‘Unfortunately, it is not so easy to choose sustainably grown soy’, reports MilieuCentraal. “After all, there are no special logos or brands for sustainable soy on the packaging in the store. However, you may be aware of the logo for organic farming: the green leaf. Organically grown soy is not genetically modified (GMO) and no synthetic pesticides and fertilizers are used. ‘
- Plus: The Nutrition Center reports that soy is rich in protein, unsaturated fats, iron and vitamin B1, which lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease. If soy is grown sustainably, it has little effect on the environment.
Peanut or peanut oil
Peanut oil has a high content of unsaturated fats, making it a healthy alternative to sunflower oil. We immediately identified the plus point.
- The downside: it is a slightly worse alternative than olive oil due to the high amount of omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 has been linked to inflammation and health problems. Peanut oil also has a powerful flavor that you need to take into account when cooking.
- Disadvantage: You can bake with, but due to the strong taste, it is better to use this oil as a spice than as a cooking oil.
- Plus: The nutritional value of sesame oil is comparable to that of rapeseed oil. The antioxidants reduce the risk of diseases such as Parkinson’s.
The nutrition center advises against using coconut oil for cooking and states that it is the least good alternative to sunflower oil. It contains much more saturated fat than sunflower or olive oil, which is bad for your cholesterol. In addition, unlike olive oil, it does not contain vitamins E and K. In addition, areas for the construction of coconut plantations are being cleared.