Can I Substitute Safflower Oil for Vegetable Oil?

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You might wish to substitute safflower oil for vegetable oil for a number of reasons. Perhaps you are halfway through a recipe and realize that your bottle of vegetable oil is almost empty but the bottle of safflower oil is full. Or perhaps you have heard of some of the health benefits that may come from use of this ancient, flower-derived oil.

Safflower Oil

Safflower oil is a polyunsaturated oil related to sunflower oil and derived from the yellow safflower flower, according to University of California Los Angeles. Ohio State University suggests that a bit of safflower oil in your daily diet may improve beneficial cholesterol levels, blood sugars and insulin production in those with Type 2 diabetes. The oil contains polyunsaturated fatty acids that are good for heart health.

Safflower Oils in Foods

According to cookbook author Sarah Phillips, safflower oil has similar properties to vegetable oils, making it a good choice for substitution in a recipe that calls for veggie oil. She calls safflower a light oil that's good for all purposes from baking to frying and sauteing. It can have a slightly nutty flavor and can withstand high heat cooking.


According to the American Heart Association, safflower oil can be used in place of any other cooking oil, and they call for it to be used as a heart healthy substitute. You can use safflower oil in your recipe in the same measure as vegetable oil.

Balanced Diet

Though safflower oil may have some health benefits, you should still limit the amount of fats in your diet. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that you glean no more than 35 percent of your calories from fats, and no more than 10 percent of those should be from saturated fats. The rest of your daily caloric intake should come from whole grain products, vegetables, fruits and lean protein sources.