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Cotton Seed Oil
Cottonseed oil is a cooking oil made from the seeds of the cotton plant. It belongs in the same category as canola oil, soybean oil and safflower oil, as it’s really an inflammatory “vegetable” oil that’s processed and can easily oxidize when exposed to high heat, light and air.
Cottonseed oil is refined in order to remove gossypol, a naturally occurring toxin in the seed’s oil that works to protect the plant from insects. If consumed, this natural pesticide may be toxic, so it’s always removed from the seeds that are used to make cooking oil or flour.
You’ll find hydrogenated cottonseed oil on the ingredient list in many processed and packaged foods. It’s used in salad dressings, baked goods, cereals and more.
1. Contains Linoleic Acid
About 55 percent of refined cottonseed oil is made up of polyunsaturated fats like linoleic acid. This is an omega-6 fatty acid that, when consumed in moderation, has been shown to help reduce inflammation, lower the risk of heart disease, improve brain function and boost immune function.
Linoleic acid is also found in safflower oil, sunflower oil, corn oil and sesame oil.
These types of omega-6 fatty acids should be consumed along with omega-3 fatty acids. Unfortunately, the standard American diet consists of way too much omega-6 fats, which can actually have adverse effects on your health.
2. Provides Oleic Acid
Almost 20 percent of oil from cottonseeds contains oleic acid, an omega-9 fatty acid that’s found naturally in vegetable fats. Oleic acid is known for its ability to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol.
It may also help prevent type 2 diabetes, fight infections and promote brain function.
Olive oil, almond oil and avocado oil contain even higher amounts of heart-healthy oleic acid.
3. Promotes Skin Health
Cottonseed oil benefits the skin because of its moisturizing and soothing properties. Unrefined cottonseed oil contains vitamin E oil, which has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant effects.
Although there isn’t any scientific evidence of this cottonseed oil benefit, it’s commonly used topically for these reasons. Keep in mind, if you aren’t using an organic product, there may be pesticides present.
4. Protects Hair
Cottonseed oil for hair helps moisturize your hair and scalp, and it may help reduce or eliminate dandruff. It can also be used as a styler, helping add shine and tame your hair, reducing the need for hair products that contain chemical additives.
Your hair may be less likely to break when you use just a bit of cottonseed oil before styling.