Is corn oil healthy or is it better to avoid consuming it? Corn oil is derived from corn kernels. As corn is abundant all over the world its oil is inexpressive and widely used for cooking and especially for commercial food production. You may find corn oil in popcorn, salad dressings, bakery, French fries and what not. Corn oil is easy to buy and you may use it to fry chicken, to bake a cake or to add to salads. However, is corn oil good for you?
Amount of calories
Corn oil is mainly fat, as almost all oils. According to nutritiondata there are 13.5 g of fat in 1 tbsp. Hence, the oil is highly-caloric. One tablespoon includes 119 calories which makes up 6% of a 2,000 calories/day diet. Nutritionists recommend consuming maximum 3 tablespoons of oil per day and excessive oil consumption may lead you to gain weight. Remember that you should count all the oil you eat.
Type of fat
Corn oil is rich in fat as well as butter or spread, for example. However, the fat of corn oil is mostly unsaturated and butter is saturated fat. The American Heart Association strongly warn against consuming saturated fats as saturated fat can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol level and the risk of a heart attack. They limit the consumption to 16 g a day. Unsaturated fats, vice versa, reduce the increased cholesterol level and the risk of a heart disease. Corn oil contains 11.8 grams of unsaturated fat and 1.7 grams of saturated one in a 1 tablespoon serving. Is corn oil healthier than butter? Undoubtedly, yes.
Essential fatty acids
The main kind of unsaturated fat corn oil contains is omega-6 fatty acids. As Wikipedia states omega-6 fatty acids make up 54% of all unsaturated fats. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, omega-6s are essential for brain and necessary for our skin, bones and hair. However, omega-6 fatty acids are also considered pro-inflammatory, thus they may increase inflammation in the body if consumed in excess. Unfortunately, corn oil has a lot of omega-6 fatty acids and almost no omega-3 fats, the anti-inflammatory ones. Is corn oil good for you if it is the only oil in the diet? No. In case of consuming only corn oil you have the risk not to receive enough omega-3 fats. If you use corn oil for cooking or buy foods containing corn oil you’d better add fish oil or flaxseed oil high in omega-3s to your diet.
UNEXPECTED FACTS: Is Corn Oil Bad for You?
Vitamins and minerals
Corn oil is a source of vitamin E, which is considered a strong antioxidant and can help protect the cells from free radicals and maintain the immune system, and vitamin K. The oil has no more vitamins or minerals.