Research has proven safflower oil to be beneficial for health, especially for your cholesterol, blood sugar, and skin inflammation.
Safflower oil is a popular choice for cooking oil. It is derived from the seeds of the similar name. Science suggests that using this oil in your diet or directly on the skin can be really helpful for people.
Safflower is suggested as a more healthful option as compared to olive oil. This is particularly true when you are cooking at a high temperature because safflower oil has a neutral flavor and a high smoke point. This article will explore the top benefits of safflower oil and discuss its top effects on health and weight loss.
Health Benefits of Safflower Oil
Safflower oil has a number of potential benefits. Mentioned below are some of its uses for a better health.
- It is a Healthy Source of Fatty Acids
Safflower oil consists of a number of unsaturated fatty acids. Both mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids can be found in its composition. These fats are required by your body to function well. Besides this, the unsaturated fatty acids are generally considered to be the “good fats”.
Fats in your diet, such as those coming from safflower oil, are required for memory and hormonal regulation. These fats allow absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, D, E, and K. They can also make you feel fuller.
Safflower oil has lesser quantities of saturated fat of the bad fat as compared to avocado oil, olive oil, and sunflower oil. This oil is available in two forms; high-oleic and high-linoleic. Both forms are rich in unsaturated fatty acids.
- It can Improve the Blood Sugar Levels
A review of studies taken place in 2016 found that consuming a diet with high amounts of unsaturated fatty acids can cause improvements in blood sugar levels.
The study indicated that replacing the food items having carbohydrates or saturated fats with those having unsaturated fats can regulate the blood sugar levels. It can also have a beneficial impact on the secretion of insulin and its resistance.
A study performed in 2011 suggested that eating 8 grams of safflower oil every day for 4 months can reduce the inflammation in the body and improve blood sugar control in the patients of diabetes type 2.
It is important to know that the people that participated in this study were women who suffered from type 2 diabetes and obesity and were post-menopausal.
The researchers have said that quality dietary fats can be used along with diabetes treatment to decrease the risk of complications in the patients.
- It Lowers the Cholesterol and Improves Heart Health
The same study performed in the year 2011 also noted that while the participants using safflower oil had a better control of their blood sugar, their blood cholesterol levels improved significantly at the same time.
These findings strongly support the suggestion put forward by the American Heart Association which says that using unsaturated fats can lower the levels of LDL or the bad cholesterol in the blood.
High cholesterol is known risk factor for a number of heart diseases. Using safflower oil can, therefore, improve the health of your heart and protect it from different diseases as well.
The unsaturated fats present in the composition of safflower can thin down the blood. They can make your platelets less sticky and reduce the risk of blood clot formation.
In this way, safflower oil reduces the risk of heart attacks and stroke. Safflower oil can also relax the blood vessels and lower the blood pressure.
- It can Fight Inflammation
Safflower oil is said to possess strong anti-inflammatory properties. The unsaturated fatty acids present in its composition can improve the markers of inflammation. This means that you can use safflower oil to fight diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular complications.
- It Soothes Dry Skin
Application of safflower oil on the dry and inflamed skin can soothe it. It can also make the skin soft and smooth. This is why safflower oil is a popular ingredient in most of the cosmetics as well as the skin care products.
Safflower oil has vitamin E in its composition which is partly responsible for some of its skin benefits. Vitamin E is an important ingredient of dermatological importance and has been a part of skin products for a long time now.
It has been suggested that vitamin E can protect your skin from free radicals which may otherwise damage the cells and increase the risk of certain diseases.
Before you use safflower oil on the skin, do not forget to perform a patch test. Place a drop of this oil on your arm and rub it. Wait for 24 hours to check for any reaction. If nothing happens, it is safe to use safflower oil on the skin.
- It can be Used to Cook at High Temperatures
Did you know that not all types of oils can be safely cooked at high temperatures? This is because most of them convert into free radicals which may damage your body.
Safflower oil, rich in oleic acid, is a safe option to use for cooking at high temperatures. In fact, it has a higher smoke point as compared to a lot of other oils such as:
- Olive oil
- Canola oil
- Corn oil
- Sesame oil
Safflower also has a pleasant and a milder flavor as compared to coconut or olive oil. This makes it a perfect choice for pan frying, deep frying, or baking.
Polyunsaturated safflower oil, however, must never be heated. You should prefer it for drizzling over sautéed vegetables or making vinaigrettes. Keep it in the refrigerator to prevent it from getting spoiled.
Safflower Oil for Weight Loss
Safflower oil for weight loss is a popular topic among people. However, the research in this field is limited. A study performed in 2011 has reported that safflower oil for weight loss is not an effective remedy.
With 120 calories per tablespoon, this oil cannot be considered as a low-calorie food. Eating a lot of calories, irrespective of their source can seriously affect the weight-loss efforts in a negative way.
However, adding this oil in small amounts to your food can improve the flavor, balance blood sugar, and help achieve early satiety, all of which can boost your efforts of weight management.
If you are trying to lose weight, it is advisable to limit your intake of oils to the recommended quantities and focus more on consuming whole foods like vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and whole grains.
What are the Side Effects of Safflower Oil?
Most of the people do not develop any side effects due to the consumption of safflower oil. This is true as long as they consume it every day within the recommended amounts.
Safflower oil has blood thinning properties and sometimes, it may slow down the process of blood clotting. This can increase the risk of bleeding in:
- People undergoing surgeries
- People with bleeding disorders
Safflower oil is full of healthy fats known as unsaturated fatty acids. This oil can be extremely beneficial for your health as long as you are consuming it in moderation. You may use it to control blood sugar, improve heart health, reduce inflammation, and treat dry skin.