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Safflower Oil vs Canola Oil: Similarities and Differences

safflower oil vs canola oil

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What is the difference of safflower oil vs canola oil? Both oils are vegetable oils. They are considered healthy oils because they are a good source of unsaturated fatty acids rather than saturated fats. Thus, they contribute to heart health and low cholesterol level. Let’s compare them.

Fat type of safflower oil vs canola oil

Canola oil has a low content of saturated fats, only 7% as Wikipedia notes. It is a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids (61%) and, moreover, contains a comparatively large amount of omega-3 fatty acids (11%), namely alpha-linolenic acid. ALA is very important for people’s health that’s why oils with omega-3s are highly valued. Read more about canola oil nutrtion data.

According to Wikipedia safflower oil can be of two types:

-          High in monounsaturated fatty acids (high-oleic)

-          High in polyunsaturated fatty acids (high-linoleic)

High-oleic safflower oil is preferred on the edible oil market as monounsaturated fats are considered more beneficial than polyunsaturated omega-6 fats. High-oleic safflower oil has 70% of oleic acid. Regular safflower oil is low in oleic acid and high in omega-6 fats. As omega-6 fatty acids may increase inflammation, high-oleic safflower oil has been grown and cultivated.

SEE ALSO: Does Safflower Oil Have CLA?


Safflower oil as well as canola oil is of a mild flavor and taste. They don’t interfere with other ingredients in recipes and are barely detectable in dishes. You may find a lot of recipes with safflower cooking oil.

Smoke point

Canola oil is always refined. Its smoke point is medium-high, so canola oil can be used for the majority of cooking types. Only in case you are going to cook at very high temperatures over 400°F, for example, to do oven frying at 475°F you should use another oil instead of canola oil. Oils breaks down when they are used at temperatures higher than their smoke point.

There is unrefined and refined safflower oil on sale (see safflower oil brands review). Unrefined safflower oil has a low smoke point and can be used for salad-dressings and sauces. Refined safflower oil smokes at 510°F as Wikipedia states. So choose high-oleic safflower oil instead of canola oil if the temperature during your cooking process will rise above 400°F.

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Canola and safflower oil also contain vitamin E and K. If we compare its content in safflower oil vs canola oil we can see that safflower oil contains 23% of required daily intake, twice as much as canola oil.

Which oil to choose?

You see that canola oil and safflower oil have a lot of in common. Canola oil has omega-3 fatty acids, but the largest amount of it is genetic modified (more information about canola oil and GMO) and it is not well-studied yet.