Safflower Oil Nutrition Facts

Calories, Carbs, and Health Benefits of Safflower Oil

Safflower Oil
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Safflower oil is a heart-healthy oil that can be used throughout the kitchen. You'll find monounsaturated safflower oils and polyunsaturated safflower oils on store shelves. Each type of oil provides different benefits. 

Nutrition Facts

Safflower Oil Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 tablespoon
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 120 
Calories from Fat 120 
Total Fat 14g21%
Saturated Fat 1g1%
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g 
Monounsaturated Fat 10g 
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 1mg0%
Potassium 0mg0%
Carbohydrates 0g0%
Dietary Fiber 0g0%
Sugars 0g 
Protein 0g 
Vitamin A 0% · Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 0% · Iron 0%
*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Fats in Safflower Oil

There are three different types of fat in safflower oil. 

There is a very small amount of saturated fat in this oil. Saturated fats are considered to be less healthy fats as they may contribute to heart disease. The American Heart Association suggest that we choose oils with less than four grams of saturated fat per tablespoon. Safflower oil provides only one gram of saturated fat per tablespoon.

You'll also get two grams of polyunsaturated fat when you consume a tablespoon of safflower oil. Polyunsaturated fatty acids have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system, so they are considered to be healthy fats.

Most of the fat in safflower oil is monounsaturated fat, specifically oleic acid. It's important to note that there are two different types of safflower that produce oil. One is high in oleic acid (monounsaturated fat) and the other is high in linoleic acid (polyunsaturated fat).

The one you are more likely to buy in the grocery store for use in cooking is the one high in monounsaturated fats.

Monounsaturated fats are believed to increase your HDL cholesterol, also known as "good" cholesterol. So health experts recommend that you replace less healthy fats (such as saturated fats and trans fats) with monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fat.

 The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that 15 to 20 percent of your caloric intake come from monounsaturated fatty acids.

Carbs in Safflower Oil

There are no carbohydrates in safflower oil. The estimated glycemic load of safflower oil is zero.

Protein in Safflower Oil

There is no protein in safflower oil.

Micronutrients in Safflower Oil

Safflower oil contributes vitamin E to your diet. You'll get 4.6 mg of the vitamin or 23 percent of your recommended daily intake when you consume one tablespoon of safflower oil.

Vitamin E, or alpha-tocopherol, plays an important role in cell metabolism and is believed to have anti-aging benefits. This important vitamin may also help to protect against certain diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, cataracts, and diabetes.

Health Benefits

Because monounsaturated safflower oil is high in oleic acid, you gain heart-healthy benefits when you consume it. Oleic acid is believed to lower LDL cholesterol (also known as "bad" cholesterol) to help decrease your risk for heart disease.

There is even some evidence that suggests safflower oil may help with weight loss and glycemic control.

However, it is important to remember that safflower oil, like all oil, is still fat.

Fats contribute nine calories per gram as opposed to 4 calories per gram for carbohydrates and protein. So even though safflower oil is considered a healthy fat, you should still consume it in moderation in order to reach and maintain a healthy weight.

Common Questions

What should I look for when I buy safflower oil?

Buy safflower oil based on how you plan to use it. Most of the safflower oil that you see in the store will be monounsaturated safflower oil. If you plan to cook with the oil, this is the kind that you should buy as it is an easier oil to cook with. However, many cooks prefer the less common polyunsaturated safflower oil to use in salad dressings and marinades.

What is the best way to store safflower oil?

Most oils should be stored in a cool dry place, out of direct sunlight. If you buy monounsaturated safflower oil (oleic safflower oil) it will last longer than the less shelf-stable polyunsaturated safflower oil (linoleic safflower oil).

Cooking and Preparation Tips

Safflower oil has a higher flash point than other types of healthy oil such as canola oil or olive oil. The flash point, or smoking point, is the temperature at which an oil begins to smoke fumes. The smoking point of safflower oil depends on how it is processed (whether it is refined, semi-refined, or unrefined) but it ranges from 225° to over 500°F.

Safflower oil also has a neutral taste, so it is easy to use in salad dressing and recipes because it won't change the taste of your dish. The American Heart Association recommends that you use a liquid vegetable oil, such as safflower oil,  just like you would use a solid saturated fat in the kitchen. In addition to salad dressings, you can also use the oil in marinades, dips, and sauces, and also to grill, sauté, or stir-fry foods. You can even use it to coat pans to keep foods from sticking or to season cast-iron cookware.

Allergies and Interactions

If you have any seed allergy, you may want to be cautious when consuming safflower oil. This oil is extracted from the seeds of the safflower plant. While there is very little information about specific safflower seed or safflower oil allergies available, experts at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology report that cross-reactivity with seed allergies is possible.

In addition, they state that even people with nut allergies may have symptoms when exposed to seeds or seed products.  The medical organization recommends that you follow up with your allergist to determine if treatment is needed and to discuss a plan of care. They suggest that testing and potential oral challenge(s) to the seed(s) may help guide care.

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Article Sources
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