Cooking oil is indispensable when it comes to preparing a meal and there are very few dishes that can be cooked without oil or fat of some form. From sunflower oil to olive oil, from coconut oil to canola oil, there are many varieties of cooking oil available at your disposal. Choosing the right cooking oil is very important as it can have a great impact on your health. As a cooking medium, oil plays an important role in the flavor and aroma of the final dish. Before we discuss the relative merits and demerits of different oils, we have to know all about different kinds of fats that are found in cooking oils. All fats can be divided into good fats and bad fats. Good fats are monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats that lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol. Saturated fats and trans saturated fat are bad fats which raises levels of LDL cholesterol and lowers HDL cholesterol. A healthy oil is one that contains high levels of monounstaurated fats and polyunsaturated fats, but lower levels of trans saturated fats and saturated fats. Both olive oil and safflower oil are healthy cooking oils that have high levels of monounsaturated fats. However, besides these factors there are other points like smoking point of the oil, its viscosity, aroma and taste that are also important.
Difference between Safflower Oil and Olive Oil
As mentioned earlier, an oil to be considered as a healthy cooking medium should have both high levels of monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats and low levels of saturated fats and trans saturated fats. Although both safflower oil and olive oil fulfill the two criteria, olive oil contains a higher level of monounsaturated fats and safflower oil contains higher level of polyunsaturated fats. So to get the full health benefits of these healthy fats, you should try to introduce both these oils in your diet.
The smoking point of an oil is the temperature at which an oil starts to emit vapors. It signifies that the oil is about to break down and when this happens, there is going to be some chemical changes that reduces the nutritional value of the oil as well as its flavor. So it is important not to heat oil beyond its smoking point. Safflower oil has a high smoking point around 450° F, which makes it ideal for preparing Chinese and Thai cuisines that uses high heat to cook food fast. Safflower oil is great for stir fries and sautéing. Olive oil on the other hand has a low smoking point, about 391°F, which does not lends itself well for deep-frying.
Another difference between safflower oil and olive oil is in its price. Olive oil, particularly extra virgin olive oil that is cold pressed, costs a lot more than safflower oil. This makes it difficult for most people to use it in day-to-day cooking. However, you can use virgin olive oil that are not as pricey for your normal food preparations. Extra virgin olive oil can be used to drizzle on salads, soups and pastas.
If you look at the safflower oil benefits, then you will find that safflower oil is high in omega 6 fatty acids. But it does not contain any omega 3 fatty acids. Olive on the other hand contains a low amount of omega 3 fatty acid and medium amounts of omega 6 fatty acids. Olive oil contains a higher amount of vitamin K and safflower oil contains higher amount of vitamin E.
These were some points of difference between safflower oil and olive oil. Both of them are "good" cooking oil and the benefits of using olive oil is well-known. To get the maximum health benefits, use both safflower oil and olive oil for different types of food preparations. But remember that cooking oil are high in calories, so use them as sparingly as possible in your food.