Safflower oil is a type of cooking oil that is derived from a plant called the safflower, which is similar in many ways to a sunflower. As such, safflower oil is very similar to sunflower oil overall, and provides a healthier alternative to certain types of cooking materials, like lard and butter. Safflower oil has benefits in the kitchen because it is generally flavorless, so it won't impact the taste of a dish.
Safflower oil is heavily loaded with different types of fats. Therefore, if you plan to use it in your cooking, you'll be best served by limiting your use of this particular ingredient. Read on for a brief overview to the nutritional information and various health benefits of safflower oil, as compared with other types of cooking oils.
Safflower Oil Nutritional Information
A single serving of safflower oil is considered to be about one teaspoon. For most cooking with this type of oil, you'll use somewhere on the order of one to five teaspoons. In a single teaspoon of safflower oil, there are approximately 120 calories. Safflower oil in a single teaspoon also contains roughly 15 total grams of fat. However, while this is a major percentage of your recommended daily intake of fat (roughly 20 percent, in fact), only one gram out comes from saturated fat. The other type of fat is unsaturated, which is generally healthier for your body and has lower associations with heart disease and related conditions.
Other than this basic content, safflower oil has few if any nutrients. There are no major vitamins or minerals in this oil. Because of this, it is not best used as a staple ingredient in any type of dish. Instead, use it to help cook vegetables or meat by frying or grilling.
Safflower Oil Health Benefits
While safflower oil doesn't provide the same set of health benefits as a nutrient rich fruit, vegetable or whole grain, there are still many reasons to include it in your diet. First, it is important that you maintain a certain level of healthy fat in your diet; it's often stigmatized, but fat is another necessary part of the healthy human diet. Unsaturated fats are much better for you than saturated ones.
Safflower oil is an excellent exfoliant for your skin. it is a crucial ingredient in many different cosmetic products, and using a treatment of plain safflower oil can give your skin a healthy radiance and a clean feeling. Simply apply the oil to your face, allow it to rest for a few minutes, then wash it off.
For more information about the nutritional benefits and information on safflower oil, consult with a nutritionist. Generally, safflower oil can be substituted for other cooking oils in a direct ratio, though some cookbooks and recipes will give specific instructions on using it.