Secrets of the Superhuman Food Pyramid: Negative Effects of Safflower Oil

Safflower oil is a colorless, flavorless, and odorless edible oil extracted from the safflower plant. Safflower’s history dates back to the ancient times, with the crop cultivated for its use in fabric dyes. Today, safflower is mainly farmed for its seeds which is the source of this plant’s edible oil. The United States is one of the major producers of the crop, making this edible oil available throughout the year. Though you can readily buy safflower oil, keeping it from your diet is advised for a host of health reasons.

Read further and discover more about the negative effects of safflower oil and why the Superhuman Food Pyramid recommends you avoid this source of dietary fats.

Safflower Oil’s Risks:

Safflower oil is a potent source of polyunsaturated fats or PUFAs. PUFAs assist in the lowering of bad cholesterol levels in the blood, and can therefore mitigate the risks of developing heart diseases especially if PUFAs are utilized as a substitute for saturated fats and trans fats. But there is a downside to this. As it turns out, PUFAs not only lower the bad cholesterol levels called low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, PUFAs simultaneously decrease the good cholesterol levels called high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol as well. So unless safflower oil is taken alongside edible oils like olive oil, which by the way are high in monounsaturated fats and therefore will not lower the HDL levels, then steering clear of safflower oil would then be prudent.

Safflower oil is one of the few edible oils that do not contain vitamin E. This conventional antioxidant vitamin is crucial as it helps in the eradication of free radicals in the body and therefore minimizes overall oxidative damage which can cause a host of conditions from skin aging to cancer. Opting for other edible oils that are rich in vitamin E like macadamia nut oil and coconut oil is then better than settling for safflower oil.

Safflower oil supplementation appears to aggravate renal injury as well. In a Japan-based study, stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats were given a variety of edible oils, one of which was safflower oil. As it turns out, those fed with the latter had increased serum protein in their urine, indicating severe damage to the kidneys. It would then be prudent for individuals who have had strokes, or have existing heart or kidney diseases to steer clear of safflower oil unless otherwise advised by their respective healthcare providers.

Safflower oil consumption may trigger allergic reactions as well. This is because safflower belongs to the same family of flowers as daisies, and individuals with sensitivity to the latter should avoid safflower oil at all costs. Safflower has cross-allergenicity with ragweed, mugwort, as well sagebrush pollen, and so individuals with known sensitivity to said plants should stay away from safflower oil as well.

Safflower oil may bring about gastrointestinal maladies, too. Stomach cramps, nausea, and vomiting were reported by individuals who took safflower oil supplements. Taking safflower oil in large doses may result in lowered blood pressure as well and so individuals with hypotension should see to it to speak with their doctors first prior to taking this edible oil. Safflower oil appears to affect the body’s capability to clot blood as well, and so those with bleeding disorders, or who are taking antiplatelet or anticoagulant medications, or those who will undergo surgery, need to avoid safflower oil at all costs.

In the next post, I’ll tell you the negative effects of sunflower oil and why the Superhuman Food Pyramid recommends you avoid this source of dietary fats.

In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the dietary sources of fats on the Superhuman Food Pyramid:




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