There is a simple difference between sunflower oil and safflower oil: they are two different plants. However, both safflower oil and sunflower oil are great for cooking and they have beneficial health properties.
Sunflower oil is the beautiful creation of the sunflower plant. To make sunflower oil, sunflower seeds are pressed to extract sunflower oil, and the result is a golden-yellow colored oil with loads of health benefits!
Safflower oil is similar to sunflower oil in many nutritional characteristics, and it is produced from a similar process but using safflower seeds instead.
Safflower oil and sunflower oil are similar, but choosing the right one could make a significant difference in your cooking!
You can find both of these oils in just about every grocery store, or you can order them online. However, only about 60 countries currently cultivate safflower around the world; showing its lack of usage, especially in the West.
Both safflower oil and sunflower oil serve as healthy alternatives to vegetable and other cooking oils, and they are perfect when you want to cook at high heats (such as using a deep fryer).
Other healthy oils such as olive oil and coconut oil are great for many purposes, but you cannot use them at high heat.
Keep reading below to find out more about the difference between sunflower oil and safflower oil!
Sunflower and Safflower Oil – The Best Oils for High Heat Cooking
Although there are tons of health benefits of sunflower and safflower oil, the main reason that these two are the best oils for deep frying is that they have a very high smoke point.
Sunflower Oil Smoke Point – 440°F/225°C
Safflower Oil Smoke Point – 510°F/266°C
Understanding the smoke point of the deep fryer oil you use is crucial because using an oil with a low smoke point will produce toxic fumes and harmful free radical cells.
The key to finding the best oil for deep frying is to find an oil with a high smoke point, but also a healthy balance of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids.
Both sunflower and safflower oil contains ample amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids, along with various other nutrients as well!
Health Benefits of Safflower Oil – Is Safflower Oil Healthy?
Not only does safflower oil have a suitable smoke point for high-heat cooking, but it also has many other health benefits as well.
Linoleic Acid in Safflower Oil
One of the main beneficial properties of safflower oil is that it contains linoleic acid and linolenic acids which have shown promise in their ability to:
- Prevent the Hardening of Arteries
- Lower Cholesterol
- Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
Safflower oil is a good source of the weight loss supplement Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) which is why manufacturers can convert safflower oil into a CLA supplement.
According to a study produced in National Product Research, about 70% of safflower oil is linoleic acid.
Linoleic acid is a polyunsaturated Omega-6 fatty acid, which means it is one of the few omega-6 fatty acids which is good for our health.
The typical Western diet is already higher in Omega-6 fatty acids compared to Omega-3 fatty acids, yet safflower oil does still provide health benefits.
The linoleic acid in safflower oil helps prevent and manage diabetes due to is linoleic acid content, which helps manage the level of sugar in the body.
Along with that, safflower oil also helps to promote a healthy heart because of the presence of good Omega-6 Fatty Acids. Our body needs linoleic acid as it helps the body maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
Having a healthy cholesterol level lowers your chances for developing atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.
The presence of linoleic acid also promotes a state of fat oxidization, instead of fat storage. Choosing safflower oil is a simple and useful alteration for anyone who does a large amount of cooking since it assists in weight loss without making any major change to the diet.
Oleic Acid in Safflower Oil
Although the majority of safflower oil is linoleic acid, it also contains about 10% oleic acid.
Oleic acid is present in both animal and plant oils, and it is a monounsaturated Omega-9 fatty acid.
According to a study produced in Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry, similar to olive oil (which is also rich in oleic acid), safflower oil can present modulatory effects on wide physiological functions.
Potential areas of benefit are:
- Autoimmune Diseases
- Inflammatory Disease
- Wound Healing
Safflower oil does not contain as much oleic acid as olive oil, but it does contain enough to benefit your body.
Furthermore, oleic acid has direct benefits for your hair and scalp. Oleic acid helps increase circulation on the scalp which strengthens follicles and stimulates hair growth. It also can enable vibrant and shiny hair, explaining its use in many organic cosmetic applications.
The linoleic acid and oleic acid content of safflower oil make it an excellent deep fryer oil!
Best Safflower Oil to Buy Online?
If you don’t want to drive to the grocery store to buy safflower oil, I suggest you purchase Hollywood Expeller-Pressed Safflower Oil on Amazon.
The Hollywood Expeller-Pressed Safflower Oil contains additional Vitamin E and is naturally expeller-pressed.
You can order one bottle for less than 9$, or sign up for a monthly subscription to save even more.
Health Benefits of Sunflower Oil – Is Sunflower Oil Healthy?
Sunflower seed oil shares many of the same health benefits as safflower oil, along with a few other unique benefits.
Colon Cancer Protection
According to a study produced in the International Journal of Cancer Research, sunflower seeds are potentially effective as chemoprotective agents against colon cancer due to their content of phenolic acid and flavonoids.
Rich In Antioxidants
Sunflower oil is rich in a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Specifically, sunflower oil contains a large amount of the powerful antioxidant Vitamin E. Vitamin E possesses a compound known as tocopherols, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps eliminate free radical cells within the body.
Overall, intaking foods rich in Vitamin E is a great way to reduce oxidative stress.
The antioxidants found in Sunflower oil can affect the immune system positively greatly and empower the body to resist attacks from future infections.
Improve Your Energy Level
The presence of the beneficial fatty acids in Sunflower oil is related to the energy levels in the body.
Unsaturated dietary fats, like the ones found in sunflower oil, are often better for your body than saturated fats. The only concern about intaking too much sunflower oil (or safflower oil) is the abundance of Omega-6 fatty acids.
However, the unsaturated fatty acids in sunflower oil are a great fuel for your body to run on.
Sunflower Oil Potential Side Effects
For those having issues with blood clotting, you may have to avoid the use of safflower oil as it is capable of slowing down blood clotting.
If you are allergic to ragweed, you may have to avoid it as well because they come from the same family, and safflower oil can potentially cause an allergic reaction.
One final word of caution regarding the use of safflower oil and sunflower oil- although the types of fatty acids present in these oils are beneficial in many ways, they do contain a higher Omega-6 fatty acid ratio than other options.
As a general rule, having excess Omega-6 fatty acids in the diet is never good.
Balancing your body’s Omega-3 fatty acid to Omega-6 fatty acid ratio can be affected more by these two oils than others, but it will only be problematic if you are eating very large amounts of Omega-6 fatty acids from other sources as well.
Best Sunflower Oil to Buy Online
If you are interested in purchasing sunflower oil online, Baja Precious Organic Sunflower Oil is as good as it gets.
Baja Precious Organic Sunflower Oil is an organic sunflower oil with high oleic acid content. Also, it is all-natural, and expeller pressed.
Compared to other sunflower oils on the market, Baja Precious Organic Sunflower Oil is higher in monounsaturated fat and lower in both saturated and polyunsaturated fats. For these reasons, Baja Precious Organic Sunflower Oil is both heart-healthy and an effective butter substitute.
Concluding Thoughts – Safflower Oil vs Sunflower Oil
Using a deep fryer with an oil that is high in Omega-3 fatty acids is a messy problem, and I honestly don’t suggest it. The goal is to use an oil with a high smoke point, which is most likely going to be an oil high in Omega-6 fatty acids.
Compared to other options, sunflower and safflower oil are healthy choices, and using safflower and sunflower oil for cooking will help you get healthy and stay healthy.
Furthermore, sunflower and safflower oils are affordable options that you can easily find at your grocery store, or online.
Although I am sure there are other oils out there that are good options for deep frying and high heat cooking, sunflower and safflower oil are clearly two of the best!