Corn oil is a thick, high-calorie liquid extracted from corn. This oil is an ingredient in a variety of food products, including salad dressings and baked goods. You can also use corn oil to saute or cook foods, and due to the abundance of corn globally, it is relatively inexpensive. Although corn oil can be useful, it may not be a healthy choice in all cases, depending on your nutritional goals.
Corn oil is calorie-dense, as 1 tablespoon contains 120 calories, or 6 percent of a 2,000 calorie a day diet. If you are trying to lose weight, corn oil is not a healthy choice, as it may lead you to consume too many calories, stalling your weight loss or causing you to gain weight.
Amount of Fat
Corn oil is high in fat, with 13.6 grams in each 1-tablespoon serving. Although calorie-dense, corn oil provides nutritional benefits, such as helping your body absorb vitamins, sustaining long exercise sessions and keeping your skin and hair healthy.
Saturated vs. Unsaturated Fat
Although corn oil is high in fat, most of it is unsaturated. Each 1-tablespoon serving of corn oil contains just 1.7 grams of saturated fat, with 11.9 grams derived from unsaturated fat. Too much saturated fat can promote increased blood pressure, so the American Heart Association suggests a daily limit of 16 grams or fewer.
Omega-3 vs. Omega-6 Fat
Corn oil contains more than 7 grams of omega-6 fat, and is not a significant source of omega-3s. As the University of Maryland Medical Center explains, omega-6 fatty acids are vital for brain development and can also help maintain the health of your bones, skin and hair. However, UMMC suggests that omega-6 fats may encourage inflammation, and consuming a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fats may help reduce your risk of heart disease.
Vitamins and Minerals
Corn oil contains no vitamins or minerals other than vitamin E. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant, so it can help prevent inflammation, and is also involved in immune health.
- What's Really Inside Those McDonald's Chicken McNuggets?
- How to Cook Healthy With the Right Oil
- Eat Fat To Burn Fat
- 21 Foods That Sound Healthy, But Are Not!
- What's Really Inside That Cinnabon Classic Cinnamon Roll?
- Problems With Fructose Corn Syrup
- The 5 Biggest Healthy-Cooking Mistakes
- 11 Tasty Halloween Treats that Won't Haunt Your Diet
- How to Remove Water-Resistant Lotion From Your Face
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Oil, Corn, Industrial and Retail, All Purpose Salad or Cooking
- Mayo Clinic; Exercise for Weight Loss: Calories Burned in 1 Hour; December 2009
- MedlinePlus; Dietary Fats Explained; October 2010
- American Heart Association; Know Your Fats; June 2011
- UMMC; Omega-6 Fatty Acids; June 2009
- Office of Dietary Supplements; Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin E; December 2009