Corn oil vs. sunflower oil: is it necessary to compare them? There was an opinion in the 1970s and 1980s that oils and fats worsened the heart health and their consumption should be limited. However, in the 1990s after several researches carried out on the oils several types of oils were admitted beneficial for the health. A variety of oils has appeared on the market. Nowadays people tend to consume mainly plant oils and corn oil and sunflower oil are among them. What oil is better? If we compare the calories, fat profile, vitamins content and smoke point of corn oil vs. sunflower oil we will be able to choose the oil.
Corn oil is derived from the corn germ and refined afterwards. The oil is light in color and neutral in flavor, just a bit sweetish. The oil has a lot of calories as it is mainly fat. One tablespoon of corn oil has 119 calories. Sunflower oil is extracted from the seeds of sunflower plants. Sunflower oil can be unrefined or refined. Refined oil is used more often. It is light and neutral as well. The calories content of sunflower oil is similar to the one of corn oil: 120 calories per tablespoon.
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Fat profile of corn oil vs sunflower oil
Both corn oil and sunflower oil are mainly fat. The kind of fat we eat matters for our health. Unsaturated fats are considered healthy while most of saturated fats are unhealthy. Sunflower oil contains 90% of unsaturated fats and 10% of saturated ones. The proportion in corn oil is 87% to 13%. We see that sunflower oil is bit healthier for the heart system. But the difference is not appreciable.
Next we’ll compare unsaturated fats of corn oil vs sunflower oil. Sunflower oil is available in two varieties. Let’s compare all of them according to the data from Wikipedia.
|100 g||100 g||100 g|
|Calories||884 kcal||884 kcal||884 kcal|
|Monounsaturated fat||27.6 g||45.4 g||83.6 g|
|Omega-6 fat||53.5 g||39.8 g||3.6 g|
|Omega-3 fat||1.2 g||0.2 g||0.2 g|
|Saturated fat||13 g||10 g||9.7 g|
We see from the table that the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in corn oil and linoleic sunflower oil is extremely high. The deficiency in omega-3 fats can lead to inflammation, heart disease and even cancer. High oleic sunflower oil is rich in monounsaturated acids, considered heart-healthy and can be chosen the best variant among these three oils.
The smoke point is one of the important attributes of any oil as it shows if it is healthy or not to use the oil for deep-frying and other high-temperature types of cooking. Corn oil is of a higher smoke point (450°F) than sunflower oil (440°F) as Wikipedia notes. However, 400°F is enough for high-heat cooking so both corn oil and sunflower oil can be used for all types of cooking.