When deciding it is time to lose some pounds most people start to cut out from their daily diet any source of fat. Even if the idea makes sense, it is important to understand that not all fats are bad. Some of them are extremely important for keeping the body’s functions at normal levels and also boost the metabolism so the extra weight will melt away faster. Usually, oils are considered a dangerous factor for a slim silhouette, but nowadays there are available many types of cooking oils which can become part of the diet. Saturated fats can definitively harm our bodies, but the unsaturated fats contain substances essential for the proper function of the body. Safflower oil is one of those fat sources which not only help one keep the weight under control, but they also bring additional benefits for the health.
The positive influence of safflower oil on the weight loss is not a myth. There are many scientific studies which support the idea of consuming daily this oil. If ingested in moderate portions will rush the burn of calories in the body. It was noticed that the subjects who took this oil constantly had a better result on the scale compared to those who excluded any oil from their diet.
Contents of this article
Composition and uses of Safflower Oil
Safflower oil is obtained from a plant similar to the sunflower which seems to be one of the oldest plants ever recorded in traditional medicine as its name dates all the way back to the Ancient Egypt, 4.000 years ago. Safflower is original from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, but nowadays it is cultivated all over the world, including the western states of the USA like Arizona, North and South Dakota, Colorado, Nebraska or Idaho. Currently, India is the largest producer of safflower oil for commercial use in the world. California and Mexico follow close in the world top of manufacturers of safflower oil.
There are two types of safflower oil: with monounsaturated fatty acids, also known as oleic acid and with polyunsaturated fatty acids or linoleic acid. Scientific research showed that the oil obtained from this plant contains the exact recommended ratio between the unsaturated and saturated fats, which is 10:1. Safflower oil is an indispensable source of omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids which are essential for the health of the circulatory system. Statistics show that the usual American diet contains an excess of omega 6 which could lead to some health problems, especially if it is damaged by being used for cooking at high temperatures.
For the Ancient Egyptians, the extract from safflower was a very traditional dye for clothes, but today this plant has multiple uses in industry, foods or cosmetics. In addition to this, the safflower oil is considered to be a very effective as:
- Hair conditioner – before brand cosmetics, women from the old times used to massage their hair with safflower oil to keep it shiny and untangled.
- Spice – dried safflower oil is a perfect substitute for many expensive spices found mostly in the Middle East, like saffron. That is why it is also known under names like bastard saffron, false saffron, dyer’s saffron or thistle saffron.
- Oil solvent for paints – artists often use safflower as a substitute for linseed oil.2 when painting
- Industrial agent – since the early 60’s manufacturers of paints and varnishes started to use safflower as an ingredient for their products.
- Dietary supplement – recent medical studies revealed the fact that safflower oil has a positive influence on weight management and the cardiovascular system. Many dietary manufacturers included this oil into the formula of their products, and they gained a lot of popularity. Some people use to ingest it directly.
Benefits of Safflower Oil
Safflower was used as a treatment for various health problems since the ancient times when it was mixed with water or chicken stock to improve respiratory problems and cure constipation. Chinese believed that the petals of this plant could boost the blood pressure and heal fractures. Modern science discovered, through many medical studies, other benefits of including safflower oil in the daily diet like:
- Prevent the hardening of the arteries or atherosclerosis and lower the risk of another heart disease
- Alleviate cramps caused by menstruation because it improves the blood flow and dissolve the clots
- Reduce muscle and joint pain caused by arthritis or injuries by simply massaging the painful area with the safflower oil
- Improve skin condition by elimination acne and blackheads
- Control the blood sugar level, especially in people diagnosed with diabetes
- Boost the metabolism so the body can burn fat faster If you plan to drop some pounds and you want to include safflower oil in the diet, there are some secrets one must consider to obtain visible results.
Another way of adding this oil to the diet is to ingest one tablespoon once a day, and you will start to see some results because the metabolism should work faster and burn fat. Even if the taste is not exactly delicious, you mustn’t mix the oil with food or other drinks if you use it as a dietary supplement. This portion of safflower oil is enough to suppress hunger, and this way contribute to the weight loss. It also ensures you take the recommended dose of essential fatty oils in addition to vitamins.
Losing a significant amount of weight comes with some unpleasant side effects like stretch marks on the skin or cellulite. By applying safflower oil on the area of the body where these problems are evident and wrap with usual plastic foil for about 15 to 20 minutes the condition will naturally improve. Remove with hot water and repeat three times a week until you get the desired result.
The scientific research regarding the benefits of safflower oil is in the early stages, so there is still some controversy when it comes to its potential to reduce weight. Some scientists strongly believe that safflower oil can reduce the belly fat. A study conducted by the State University of Ohio 1 several years ago noticed that obese subjects diagnosed with diabetes who ingested 8 grams of safflower oil daily lost between 2 and 4 pounds of belly fat within 16 weeks. Eighter way, safflower will not cause harm to the general health. Evan so, one must keep in mind that oils are fats and if taken in large quantities, safflower oil can cause gaining weight instead of losing it. The secret to helping the body drop the extra pounds is to replace the other sources of fat with safflower oil, not simply add it to your meals. Changing the diet is only the first step towards a healthier lifestyle. To get noticeable results, one must find time and energy for regular physical exercise as well.
Substituting with safflower oil
Looking around on the shelves on of stores one can feel overwhelmed by the wide variety of oils available. So, it is not an easy task to choose the healthiest option for them all. As mentioned before there is an impressive list of health benefits safflower oil can provide and the fact that it naturally contains the right ratio of unsaturated and saturated fats is one of the most important. Scientific studies provide more and more proof that safflower oil is the best choice when it comes to living healthy. Here are some of the oils usually found in the kitchen which can b substituted with safflower oil for better health:
Corn oil is also rich in omega 6 fatty acids, and they are essential for the body’s function. Both safflower and corn oil are part of the polyunsaturated oil category which represents a healthier option of the saturated fats, usually found in meat, dairy products or coconut oil. Corn oil is an option for baking or light sautés, but the smoking point is considerably lower compared to safflower oil so the risk of damaging its composition is higher.
Another form of liquid polyunsaturated fats rich in omega 6 and omega 3 is obtained from soybeans. Unlike like safflower oil it has a neutral taste and it is easy to use for cooking because it won’t alter the meal’s flavor. Still, it’s smoking point is not high enough to be used for high-temperature cooking or baking.
Sunflower oil has quite a high smoking point, and it is suited for deep-frying. It also contains omega 6, but its composition is far from the recommended ratio of 10:1 between unsaturated and saturated fats. So if you plan on reducing the calorie intake, the safflower oil is the best choice.
Wheat Germ Oil
The oil obtained from wheat germs is not at all suitable for cooking. It is rather an option for cold dishes like salads. It is rich in omega 6, but it contains less omega 3, and it has a slightly nutty flavor. Safflower oil has a more complex formula which includes both omega 6 and omega 3, in addition to vitamins and unsaturated fats.
Borage Seed Oil
Borage seed oil is a very effective skin care product which safflower oil can successfully replace. They both have therapeutic properties which improve the skin condition making it smoother, but safflower oil can also be massaged onto joints to alleviate the pain caused by arthritis. So, in addition to reducing wrinkles and cellulite, it also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and reduces the pain.
Canola oil is also part of the polyunsaturated fat family with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and also vitamin K. It is only suited for uncooked meals. It is obtained from rapeseed which might contain traces of erucic acid, a toxic substance for the body. Even if it is more common on wild rapeseed, the hybrids used by large oil manufacturers contain this dangerous substance as well, but in smaller amounts. From all the oils counted so far canola oil is the one most similar to the safflower oil. If used in small amounts they are both good for health. Canola contains monounsaturated fats which are good for those who suffer from high cholesterol, while safflower has omega 3 which is good for the heart. Both types of oil have a particular mild taste, but they don’t affect the flavor of the meals. The advantage of safflower oil is its high smoking point. At 460 degrees F, canola oil starts to degrade and become toxic for the health, while safflower can be used for cooking at temperatures as high as 509 degrees F.
Safflower oil an ally for burning fat
Using fat for cooking makes the meals taste better, but if you know what kind of fat to include in your food, you can also get a better health in addition to a delicious meal. A diet rich in fats can cause heart and weight problems, but if you use the right kind of fat you will not only manage to avoid these issues, but you can even improve your general health. There are many unhealthy saturated fats we ingest along with dairy products or meat, and there are the unsaturated fats available in vegetable oils. Switching the butter o lard used for cooking with safflower oil can bring many benefits for the health and also help you lose some weight. It is never easy to go on a diet, especially when your family is not very supportive and continues with the old eating habits. Instead of fighting them until you give up on your goals and go back to the unhealthy lifestyle, try to make small adjustments to the daily meals, by replacing all the other oils and sources of fat you use for cooking with safflower oil.
Safflower oil has the highest smoking point of all the oils available on the market which means that you can fry, stir or bake at very high temperatures without causing its ingredients to alter and become toxic for the body. Safflower oil contains essential fatty acids like omega 6 and omega 3 which are essential for the health of the cardiovascular system and the body can’t produce them on its own. Medical research found evidence that including one tablespoon of safflower oil in the daily diet can provide the recommended dose of essential fatty oil in addition to vitamins. This oil can also suppress the hunger sensation and as a result, will help you lose some weight. The influence of safflower oil over the weight loss is still up for debate among scientists since the studies regarding this properties are in the early stages. To get full benefits of safflower oil for your health it is not enough to add it to your diet, it must replace the other oils you use for cooking or other sources of fat. Of course, it is important to make sure you also get regular daily physical exercise so you can obtain a more toned figure.
Safflower oil is a great addition to the eating routine regardless the weight because it can also improve the heart condition and reduce the sugar level in the blood.