First, I should mention that although I am a Political Science major, there is a great gaping hole in my education where biology should be. so please keep your answer very simple.
I discussed the Paleo Diet with my doctor, and referred her to a few appropriate sites. She stated that she wasn't going to read through every post, but that there was nothing obviously wrong with the medical claims being presented and that if I wanted to give it a shot, there was no likely harm. She lacked confidence in the "healing power of ketosis" as she put it, but agreed that there was no evidence that ketosis was harmful.
One thing she did state, however, was that if I was going to buy into the ideas presented in the Paleo Diet, I should substitute Safflower Oil for Canola Oil. She stated that while she didn't necessarily agree with the ideas, people who DID believe that Paleo was the way to go would find even more of the things which they believe are particularly healthy in Safflower Oil than in Canola. Does this seem correct to you?
No it is not. Both of those oils contain an inordinate amount of omega 6 linoleic acid which causes inflammation, oxidative stress, interferes with thyroid signaling, decreases testosterone, and is in many cases a carcinogen. The lower the omega 6 in an oil the better.
Utterly 100% totally wrong. First, canola oil isn't good for you. However, it is better for you than a few things on this planet and one of those things is safflower oil. Reducing vegetable, nut, and seed oil consumption is one of the most basic premises of paleo dieting. It is vitally important because these oils (with the major exception of olive and coconut oils) contain way too much omega 6. Over consumption of omega 6 is quite likely to be a major contributor to heart disease, cancer, autoimmune disease, and neurodegenerative disease (i.e., most disease).
Wow, proof that they really don't teach nutrition is med school. No culture, in the paleolithic or any traditional neolithic cultures, eat the massive amounts of omega-6 contained in safflower...well, except modern cultures. Sadly we are seeing massive increases in Western diseases as the East picks up our omega-6 habit. I was just at the Indian grocery where they were selling massive containers of corn and safflower oil.
There is high-oleic sunflower and safflower oil, which is low in omega-6 and could be decent if lard/coconut/palm/tallow isn't available.
A good omega-6 series at Whole Health Source http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2010/04/do-seed-oils-cause-multi-generational.html
I'm with Stabby--I'd advise against both, particularly if you're talking about cooking with them. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (like omega 3s and 6s) are unstable when heated, and prone to oxidation--this is bad.
I'd go with coconut oil for cooking, personally--health aside, it tastes awesome.
The most common paleo approach to oil is to use saturated fats for cooking (coconut oil, lard, tallow, duck fat) as they are stable in the heat.
Oils should only be used uncooked, and only oils with a high mono-unsaturated fatty acid profile. That would be olive oil, macadamia oil, avocado oil and possibly canola oil or any high-oleic "industrial oil" (though a lot of chemicals are used to extract them).
Safflower oil is not really good unless it is high-oleic, otherwise the high omega-6 content makes it inflammatory. And even if it is high-oleic, it is usually chemically extracted .
from "The Paleo Diet: Loose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Food You Were Designed to Eat", by Loren Coradain, Ph.D.:
For the Paleo Diet, you should try to achieve an overall balance of dietary fats from all foods, in which the omega 6 to omega 3 fat ratio is less than about 3 to 1, preferably closer to 2 to 1... The best oils are low in saturated fat and high in either polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fat... The next best bet is canola oil, with a ratio of 2.0...
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