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Frans van Hofwegen asked...

I would like some information on Safflower oil.

I would like some information on Safflower oil, to help lower LDL and total cholesterol.

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The answer

Safflower oil is derived, as you would, expect from safflowers. It is not widely available in the UK – health food shops are the key stockists. Safflower oil is also a good source of vitamin E, a body-protecting antioxidant.  When it comes to cholesterol lowering, a key dietary step is to lower your intake of saturated fat (think butter, cream, fatty meat, pastries) and instead choose foods high in mono or polyunsaturated fats – oils such as safflower, sunflower, olive and rapeseed for example.  There have only been a few small studies using safflower oil and a recent finding was that an intake of 8g (about 2 level teaspoons = 72 calories) a day, as part of a usual diet, didn’t affect ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol, but appeared to increase ‘good’ protective HDL cholesterol.  When it comes to cholesterol lowering, and heart health, our diet overall is important.

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