You may be more familiar and use palm oil more often for cooking. But actually, there are various types of cooking oil that are more healthy. The criteria for good cooking oil are those that contain less saturated fat than unsaturated fat. Good cooking oil should also have a high boiling point. One type of cooking oil that meets all of these criteria is safflower oil. However, is it true that your cooking automatically becomes healthier when processed with safflower oil?
What is safflower oil?
Safflower oil is vegetable oil derived from the extraction process of safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) plant seeds. Safflower flowers appear clustered bright orange and have wide leaves. Safflower flowers from the family Compositae or Asteraceae are widely grown in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
Safflower oil consists of two types, which are high in linoleic and high in oleic. High-linoleic safflower oil is rich in polyunsaturated fats, while high-oleic safflower oils contain more monounsaturated fats.
Is cooking with safflower oil healthier than ordinary cooking oil?
Safflower oil is an oil that is rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. According to the American Health Association, both of these fats belong to the good fat group. The content of unsaturated fatty acids can help reduce bad cholesterol in the blood.
Oleic-rich safflower oil contains 78 percent monounsaturated fat, 15 percent polyunsaturated fat, and 7 percent saturated fat. This oil has a high smoke point which is around 107 degrees Celsius for crude oil and 266 degrees Celsius for oil that has been purified. In addition, this one oil also has a neutral taste so it will not interfere with the taste of the food you make.
Monounsaturated safflower oil is ideal for cooking at high temperatures because it has a high boiling point so it is more stable when heated, aka not quickly oxidized and creates free radicals. Meanwhile, polyunsaturated safflower oil is more suitable for dressing on raw ingredients such as salads, or when cooking on low heat like stir fry.
Well, usually you use palm oil for cooking. This cooking oil also has a high boiling point so it is safe to use frying or sautéing. However, more saturated fat from palm oil than safflower. about 50% of the content of palm oil consists of saturated fat.
Eating excessive saturated fat can increase LDL bad cholesterol levels in the blood. This increases your risk of heart disease. Therefore, to reduce the risk it is recommended to consume foods and ingredients that are low in saturated fats. In this case, safflower oil is a healthier choice compared to palm oil which is commonly used for frying.
Don't use oil repeatedly
Apart from the type of oil, you also need to pay attention to how to use oil. Try not to use oil repeatedly (used cooking oil). The oil used repeatedly will experience a faster oxidation process until it is finally damaged. This triggers the appearance of free radicals that are carcinogenic (trigger cancer).
In addition, repeated use of oil can also increase the content of trans fatty acids which causes bad cholesterol levels to increase. This condition can cause blockage of blood vessels and increase the risk of heart disease.
Therefore, it is wise to choose oil for cooking. Besides needing to pay attention to its type, you also need to understand that oil cannot be used repeatedly because it can endanger your health and your family.
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