February is American Heart Month, a month dedicated to raising awareness about heart disease and prevention. Adding sunflower oil to your diet is an easy way to reduce your risk of heart disease.
“Sunflower oil is a heart-healthy option. Sunflower oil produced in the United States is naturally trans fat-free,” says John Sandbakken, executive director of the National Sunflower Association. “We’ve worked with researchers at Penn State University who have discovered sunflower oil is actually even better for you than olive oil.”
That Penn State study compared NuSun sunflower oil to the average American diet and to an olive oil diet. According to the study, substituting two tablespoons of NuSun sunflower oil daily in place of saturated fat lowered cholesterol more significantly than did olive oil. In addition, the NuSun diet may have lowered total and bad LDL cholesterol levels more than the olive oil diet because NuSun sunflower oil is higher in polyunsaturated fat.
Sunflower oil is low in saturated fat – too much saturated fat can cause cholesterol levels to rise, and that can lead to heart disease.
“Switching to sunflower oil seems like a small thing, but it combined with other healthy changes, it can help reduce your risk of heart disease,” says Sandbakken. “We encourage everyone to use sunflower oil instead of olive oil, or vegetable oil, or whatever you’re currently using. We think you’ll like the taste, as well as the health benefits.”
Sunflower oil is available at most major retail stores. For more on the health benefits of sunflower oil visit www.sunflowernsa.com/oil