Don’t be so Critic-Oil: The Positive Side to Safflower Oil

By: Daniel Csete

Safflower seed oil comes from a thistle-like plant with bright orange flowers that is related to a sunflower. Although there is room for debate about the consumption of seed oils and how they may contribute to inflammation, there is lots of evidence of the benefits of safflower oil, when consumed in moderation. Safflower oil is rich in vitamin E, and also unsaturated fatty acids, including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. The body needs these fats to function and these fats are essential for hormone regulation and memory. These fats are also vitally important in allowing the body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, like vitamin A,K, D, and E. Safflower oil contains 32% of your needed vitamin E per tablespoon; consuming vitamin E has been shown to lower your risk of eye and vision disorders. Safflower oil is also lower in saturated fats, which are considered the “bad fats” compared to olive oil and avocado oil.  A diet high in unsaturated fats and low in saturated fats helps to improve heart health and reduce inflammation. Safflower oil is also high in oleic acid, which is believed to lower your LDL cholesterol, also known as your bad cholesterol, while the monounsaturated fats in safflower oil work to raise your HDL cholesterol, or the good type. A  2016 study found that replacing some sources of carbohydrates with polyunsaturated fats had a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels and insulin resistance.  In conclusion, while the debate on the consumption of seed oils continues, safflower oil has proven to be a rich source of essential fatty acids and vitamin E that can offer several health benefits when consumed in moderation. With its lower saturated fat content and high levels of oleic acid, safflower oil can help improve heart health and lower LDL cholesterol levels while raising good HDL cholesterol levels. Incorporating safflower oil into your diet, like in Dan the Baking man cookies, can be a tasty and healthy addition to your lifestyle.