A recent study has found that corn oil lowers cholesterol compared with coconut oil. The findings, released as part of Heart Health Month, highlight consumer misperceptions of coconut oil, which has grown in popularity in recent years.
The study was conducted by MB Clinical Research, and sponsored by cooking oil maker ACH Food Companies, Inc. Researchers tested participants’ cholesterol, insulin and C-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation) while they consumed either corn oil or coconut oil as part of their daily diet for 4 weeks.
Results of the double-blind study showed adding corn oil to one’s diet resulted in lower cholesterol levels than coconut oil, supporting corn oil’s superiority over coconut oil when it comes to this indicator of heart health.
“There is a lot of confusion about the effects of coconut oil on indicators of heart health,” noted Kevin C Maki, PhD, Chief Science Officer of MB Clinical Research. “This study helps to show that coconut oil raises cholesterol levels compared with corn oil.”
One in four deaths in the U.S. is due to heart disease. Controlling risk factors like high cholesterol is critical to maintaining heart health, but when it comes to impact on cholesterol, not all cooking oils are created equal.
A previous study published in The Journal of Clinical Lipidology found that corn oil can also help lower cholesterol more than extra virgin olive oil.
Inside Corn Oil Goodness
Corn oil contains plant-based compounds called plant sterols, which are also found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, cereal, and legumes.
Plant sterols help block the absorption of cholesterol in the gut and work to lower LDL cholesterol in the blood stream. Corn oil contains 10 times more cholesterol-blocking plant sterols than coconut oil, four times more than olive oil, and 1 1/2 times more than canola oil.
Corn oil can be used for a variety of cooking techniques, from baking and grilling to sautéing and marinating.
With added heart healthy benefits, a high smoke point and a neutral flavor, corn oil is a great staple to add to any pantry.