Safflower oil is considered a healthy oil that can help improve your blood levels of good cholesterol and may even reduce your waistline when taken as a dietary supplement. You can use safflower oil in recipes that call for cooking oils, from whisking up salad dressings to sauteing and baking. Refined safflower oil works well for cooking at high temperatures. It has a smoking point of 450 degrees Fahrenheit, the same as refined peanut oil and refined soybean oil.
High oleic safflower oil is rich in monounsaturated fats. Regular safflower oil is rich in omega-6 essential fatty acids, a polyunsaturated fat. Monounsaturated and poly unsaturated fats are "good" fats that help lower your blood cholesterol. Omega-6 plays an important part in proper brain function, maintaining bone health and regulating metabolism. Olive, sunflower and fish oils are other good fats.
Safflower oil taken as a supplement may help reduce your waist circumference and gain muscle, according to a study from Ohio State University, reported in the September 2009 issue of the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.” The 35 subjects in the study were postmenopausal, obese women with type 2 diabetes. They took 8 g of safflower oil every day for 16 weeks. The researchers found the safflower-oil supplements reduced the percentage of fat in the trunk area and increased lean muscle mass. In this study, safflower oil did not affect body mass index or total amount of body fat.
Improve Your Health
Safflower oil can improve health, according to research from the same study from Ohio State University, published in 2011 in the journal “Clinical Nutrition.” A second analysis of the data reveals that safflower oil can improve good cholesterol, or HDL, and inflammation response. It also improves sensitivity to insulin and blood sugar levels, which is an important finding for diabetics. The participants in the study did not go on a diet or start exercising; they simply added a daily dose of safflower oil to their diet.
Safflower oil is good for your health, but it’s high in calories. In fact, 1 cup of high oleic safflower oil has 1,927 calories, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture publication, the Nutritive Value of Foods. Most of us are more likely to consume safflower oil in smaller amounts. One tablespoon of high oleic safflower oil has 120 calories and 14 g of fat, with only 0.8 g of saturated fat.
- “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition"; Comparison of Dietary Conjugated Linoleic Acid vs. Safflower Oil on Body Composition in Obese Postmenopausal Women With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus; Leigh E. Norris, et al.; September 2009
- "Science Daily"; A Dose of Safflower Oil Each Day Might Help Keep Heart Disease at Bay; March 2011
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Polyunsaturated Fats and Monounsaturated Fats; February 2011
- Medline Plus; Fat; August 2009
- U.S. Department of Agriculture; Nutritive Value of Foods; Susan E. Gebhardt et al.; 2002
- Cooking for Engineers; Smoke Points of Various Fats; Michael Chu
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.