In today’s world, we often ask ourselves what food is healthy and what should be avoided. We try our best to be conscious of our food intake, and if that is not enough,
we try our best to find the best ingredients that would benefit our way of living. As we course through our newfound passion for healthy living, we zero in on our cooking and what are the healthiest options for us in terms of preparing our food. For instance, is corn oil healthy? Do the benefits outweigh its cons?
What Is Corn Oil?
Corn oil is derived from maize or the germ that is capable of growing into more corns. This variation of oil is deemed to be a refined oil because of the meticulous and lengthy process it undergoes before the by-product of corn oil is produced.
This lengthy process includes different methods such as pressing, hexane extraction, and winterization. These methods help remove fat from the corn, and they also improve the smell, appearance, and taste of the corn oil.
What makes corn oil an ideal oil for cooking and baking is that it has a high smoke point, which means that less smoke is produced when used for frying and baking.
11 Best Substitutes for Corn Oil
Corn oil is an important main ingredient in making margarine. It is also used in the production of non-kitchen items such as soaps, paints, and inks.
But like some other food, corn oil consists of both healthy and unhealthy components. Corn oil is rich in vitamin E, which helps build immunity for your eyes and skin.
It also contains phytosterols, which are compounds that are found in plants that help in lowering cholesterol levels by slowing the body’s cholesterol absorption.[Source]
However, the downside with corn oil is that it contains a high amount of omega-6 fatty acids that make corn oil not a healthy type of fat and must be avoided, especially in Western diets.
If you are looking for a healthier diet, following are some of the different oils you can use as substitutes for corn oil:
While you can consider any plant-based oil as vegetable oil, corn oil is usually not included. Canola oil or soybean oil mostly come to mind when talking about vegetable oil.
In general, vegetable oil is a perfect substitute for corn oil in terms of cooking and baking because, like corn oil, vegetable oil has a high smoke point that can reach up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Vegetable oil can also help enhance the flavor and texture of the food. It is deemed to be a healthier option than corn oil because it underwent less complicated processes and did not undergo any chemical substitution to produce.
Peanut oil is a type of vegetable oil derived from peanuts. It is also called Arachis oil or groundnut oil. Peanut oil is mainly used for cuisines rich in spices because it adds a roasted flavor and aroma.
They are also widely used for Asian cuisines such as Chinese and Vietnamese. There are different types of peanut oils because of the different methods used for their products such as refined peanut oil, gourmet peanut oil, unrefined peanut oil, and cold-pressed peanut oil.
Peanut oil is ideal for baking and is a great substitute for corn oil because it contains monounsaturated fatty acids which can help in weight loss and reduce the risk of heart disease by helping in lowering the cholesterol in your blood.
Some manufacturers would also add another process in producing peanut oil. This is the removal of allergens from peanuts that cause an adverse reaction to those allergic to it, making it safe to use in the kitchen.
Two types of coconut oil may be used in the kitchen. Virgin coconut oil is ideal for baking and sautéing dishes because of its smoke point of 350 degrees Fahrenheit, while refined coconut oil is ideal for deep-frying because of its high smoke point of 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Generally, coconut oil, whether virgin or refined, is a great substitute for corn oil because it is rich and flavorful.
Refined coconut oil is produced by heat pressing of copra to extract the oil, while virgin coconut oil is extracted from fresh coconut milk by the process of cold pressing to maintain its fragrant aroma and the nutrients found in it such as natural antioxidants.
Coconut oil is mostly saturated fat. It is enriched with lauric acid, which may help in weight loss and reduce the possibility of Alzheimer’s disease.
Some people are often surprised to discover that oil can be extracted from avocadoes. Avocado oil is extracted mechanically from the ground flesh of ripe avocados and not from its seed.
There are two types of avocado oil, cold-pressed avocado oil and extra virgin avocado oil, which is unrefined avocado oil.
Avocado oil is another good substitute for baking because it has a high smoke point of 480 degrees Fahrenheit, which is ideal for baking and frying. Some avocado oils that are sold commercially are unrefined avocado oil.
This is healthier in some aspects because it has gone through fewer processes and had less contact with chemicals used for deodorization like other known cooking oils.
Avocado oil is also rich in lutein, which is beneficial in keeping your eyes healthy because lutein is an antioxidant.
Another good substitute for corn oil in baking is sunflower oil. The oil is extracted from the raw seeds of sunflowers through grinding and hot pressing of the seeds.
Sunflower oil is one of the healthiest options for you when it comes to baking. It contains unsaturated fats that help in reducing blood clotting and help in lowering high blood pressure.
Sunflower oil also contains vitamins A and E that help in maintaining healthy vision and boost the immune system. Sunflower oil has a high smoke point of 450 degrees Fahrenheit, which is ideal for sautéing, baking, and frying.
Moreover, sunflower oil has a neutral taste, which means that it won’t affect the taste of the food you are baking or cooking.
Canola oil is a type of vegetable oil that is extracted from canola plants that are a crossbreed of rapeseeds.
Canola oil has a neutral flavor that makes it ideal for cooking and baking if you don’t want any extra taste to be incorporated into your food.
It has a high smoke point and is a great substitute for vegetable oil or corn oil. It has a low percentage of saturated fat, which is ideal for reducing cholesterol levels and is high in monounsaturated fat.
It is also a good source for vitamins E and K that help in slowing the signs of aging such as acne and fine lines.
Soybean oil is another type of vegetable oil that is extracted from the seeds of the soybean. It has a natural taste and smell, and it is ideal for baking since it can be mixed well with other oils and ingredients without adding extra flavor to the food.
Soybean oil has a high smoke point of 490 degrees Fahrenheit making it a good option for baking and frying. It is also rich in polyunsaturated fat, which reduces the possibility of heart disease and helps in optimizing brain function.
Maybe one of the most common substitutes for corn oil is butter. Butter is produced from churned cream that has undergone the process of pasteurization, which is the process of heating the cream to kill bacteria.
Butter is mostly fat that helps in making baked goods more tender in texture, and its flavor helps boost the taste of pastries, cookies, and cakes.
Also for baking purposes, unsalted butter is a better option for you to help control the amount of salt being added to your pastries so as not to ruin their rich flavor.
It is the most versatile type of butter that is ideal for sautéing, baking, and frying.
A lesser-known oil, the safflower oil is extracted from the seed of the safflower plant. It is more expensive than most cooking oils used in the kitchen. However, it is a healthier alternative to canola oil or corn oil. Safflower oil is ideal for those who are weight conscious or on diet because it helps burn belly fat and curb appetite.
Safflower oil comes in two types: monounsaturated safflower oil, which has a high smoke point that can be used for stir-frying and deep-frying, and polyunsaturated safflower oil which is a much-preferred alternative for baking pastries.
Grapeseed oil is extracted from the seeds that are removed from grapes that have been pressed for winemaking. This makes grapeseed oil a by-product of wine-making.
Grapeseed oil has a high smoke point, and is relatively tasteless. This makes it a perfect all-purpose oil. It is bland and flavorless, so you don’t have to worry about it adding unwanted subtle taste to your pastries or food.
There are not many nutrients found in grapeseed oil. However, it is rich in polyunsaturated fat, which can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Grapeseed oil also contains omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E that are both beneficial for maintaining healthy skin and reproductive systems.[Source]
Olive oil is another good substitute for corn oil when it comes to baking. It is extracted from olive plants by grinding and fermentation. Perfectly ripened olives produce the best kind of olive oil.
Light olive oil and extra light olive are two different types of olive oil. However, the ‘light’ and extra light’ do not indicate the calorie count in each but describe the color of the oil.
Extra light olive oil has a bland and flat taste and has a higher smoke point compared to light olive oil, which makes extra light olive oil ideal for baking and frying.
Extra light olive oil has also fewer chemicals added to it. Thus, it retains more nutrients, unlike light olive oil. It can also be mixed with citrus extracts when baking to attain a more delicious texture for your pastries and cakes.
Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fat, which helps with weight loss, reduces inflammation, and lowers the risks of heart disease.