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Is Corn Oil Healthy?

| By Melodie Anne Coffman
Is Corn Oil Healthy?
Opting for corn oil can keep your heart healthy. Photo Credit Noel Hendrickson/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Corn oil fits in perfectly with a healthy diet. It’s full of good fats and a powerful antioxidant that can keep you in tip-top shape. Even though corn oil can be beneficial, it’s incredibly high in calories. Always use the smallest amount possible while cooking and pour into measuring spoons to help you monitor your portion.

Monounsaturated Fat Details

More than a quarter of the total fats in corn oil, nearly 4 grams per tablespoon, are monounsaturated fatty acids. Eating foods with these type of fats, known as MUFAs, is one of the best things you can do for your heart. MUFAs play a role in lowering your low-density lipoprotein, or LDL. This damaging cholesterol is the one that makes your arteries hard as it clogs them up, increasing your chances of having cardiovascular issues.

Perks of Polyunsaturated Fats

Over half of the fat in corn oil, or 7.4 grams per tablespoon, is polyunsaturated fat. Polyunsaturated fatty acids, more commonly known as PUFAs, are equally as important as monounsaturated fats for stabilizing cholesterol and safeguarding your heart. Some of the PUFAs in corn oil are omega-6 fatty acids, and a tiny fraction are omega-3s. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are essential in your diet, since your body cannot make them. You need them for brain cell communications, growth, reducing inflammation and further protecting your heart.

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Vitamin E Benefits

Corn oil is also high in vitamin E, giving you almost 15 percent of your recommendation from just one tablespoon. Vitamin E is a type of antioxidant, meaning it scavenges through your body, nullifying free radicals. Without the help of vitamin E, free radicals would be free to stick onto healthy cells, eventually causing chronic conditions like heart disease and certain cancers. Get 15 milligrams of vitamin E daily, the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine states. Corn oil has 2 milligrams in each tablespoon.

Consume in Moderation

Just because corn oil is full of good-for-you components doesn’t mean you want to have it regularly. Corn oil is a fat and full of calories. One tablespoon has almost 125 calories from the 13.5 grams of fat. Because you should consume only 44 to 78 grams of fat daily for a 2,000 calorie diet -- 20 to 35 percent of your total calories -- a tablespoon of corn oil takes up as much as 30 percent of your fat allowance for the day. Since calories and fat quickly add up, avoid pouring freely from the bottle and measure out corn oil instead.

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author image Melodie Anne Coffman
Melodie Anne Coffman has been writing for various online and print publications since 1996, specializing in human and animal nutrition. After receiving her master's degree in food science and human nutrition, she opened up her own nutrition consulting business in the New England area.
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