Health Benefits of Corn Oil
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- Sulaiman Alghunaim
What Oil We Should Avoided to Live Healthy
Corn oil is an oil which is extracted from the grains of corn, also known as maize. This oil has a various usage but mostly popular for cooking and frying. This oil is relatively inexpensive than other cooking oil. Margarines are often made of corn oil although other oils are used as well. Other than being used just as a cooking oil, corn oil has a lot of industrial uses. Corn oil can be used as ethanol and can act as bio-fuel and it is also a renewable source of energy. It is often said that corn oil is very healthy compared to other cooking oil in so many ways.
There is a lot of usefulness of corn oil. We can feel the necessity of corn oil in many sectors. This oil is used as ethanol which is a bio-fuel and used in motor vehicles as a replacement of gasoline. In addition to that," Government laboratories researchers have discovered a way to convert corn oil into commercial chemicals that are now made of petroleum." However, all these advantages are in terms of commercial usage.
Corn oil can be used as a bio-fuel and corn oil can also be used in chemical industry. However, using corn oil as a cooking oil is not a very good choice. People use corn oil with the notion that it is healthy and since it is relatively cheaper than other cooking oils. But they are terribly mistaken. Corn oil is very bad for our health. Corn oil is a hydrogenated oil. It means that the corn oil is hydrogenated before it is ready to be used. Manufacturer goes through the process so that the oil does not expire. In this process, trans fats get generated as well. Many doctors declares that trans fat is one of the most dangerous types of fats, although, they are not exactly certain why the addition of hydrogen in oil generates trans fats. Many food manufacturers use corn oil in their manufacturing process so that the food does not expire and have a less greasy feel. Corn oil is almost impossible to use without being hydrogenated.
Trans fats raises what is known to be the "bad"(LDL) cholesterol and lowers what is know to be the "good"(HDL) cholesterol. When the level of bad cholesterol goes up and the level of good cholesterol goes down, there are higher chances of heart diseases which can also cause death. Moreover, Scientists believe that addition of hydrogen to corn oil makes a human body difficult to digest. Human body recognizes trans fat as saturated fat and so, our body can intake this kind of fat but due to this fats, our digestive system gets dysfunctional.
That was just one phase of the problems of consuming corn oil. Corn oil is also a culprit in causing cancer. Polychlorinated Biphenyl's (PCBs) have been related with cancer for decades. " Since the late 1990s, evidence has also linked the pollutants to cardiovascular disease among workers with long-term exposure to PCBs in electrical equipment." Bernhard Hennig of the University of Kentucky in Louisville and his colleaguesran experiments on mice. In a four week experiment, the fed corn oil to a group of mice and then injected each of them with a dose of PCB's. Those PCB's damage to cells lining blood vessels. At the end of the experiment the team analyzed the animal's blood and tissues. They came with a conclusion that the damage of cells lining blood vessels increased the buildup of artery-clogging in heart disease and worst of all can also cause cancer.
Most people argue how corn oil is very healthy. Scientifically, corn oil is very unhealthy. Some people think that it lowers the cholesterol level. Just like previously said, it lowers the good cholesterol and raises the bad cholesterol. In 2003 ACH food companies made a "qualified health claim" for corn oil. FDA OKs that petition. They made the claim that one table spoon of corn oil per day which is 16 grams is not bad for health, that is in fact good for heart. They also added that this 90 calorie is not a deal breaker and people consume more trans fats within their meal even if they do not use corn oil. Their objective was to achieve the possible benefits from corn oil. They also made this claim that most of the Americans are getting obese from their regular unhealthy diet plan. It is not just the corn oil itself that is making them overweight. They tried to convince that one table spoon of corn oil a day is a fair amount. It does not cause overweight.
The claim that ACH made was wrong and misunderstood. Let's start with the explanation of being overweight. Overweight has been a common problem all over the world. People who do not eat healthy are more likely of having overweight issues. That is true. But in the past few decades, scientists have been observing people who eat healthy but still weighs more than what they should. They often complain about being overweight even though they eat healthy cooked food at home and they eat just the right amount. The problem is not just what they eat, the problem is what they use to cook the food with. Scientists have observed that most of the people eating healthy with obesity problems, use corn oil in cooking their meal. They have found that people in England has put on a lot of weight than they were 50 years ago. Now, they are 19 kilograms(three stones) heavier than they were before. The reason being, consuming corn oil is making people obese. Corn oil contains trans fat, which was previously discussed that it causes heart disease and is also a reason why people have obesity problems. Corn oil not only makes people fat but also, in our brain, it activates something called orexin neurons. Orexin is a Greek word for "appetite". It is a very sensitive part of our brain and consuming corn oil activates orexin neurons and that enables man to eat a lot more than the right amount. Moreover, with the activation of this part of brain, people tend to be more laze, people tend to sleep more and get tired from their regular activity. It is believed that unbalanced eating with little or no physical activity is an adamant way of getting fat and so people gain weight.
Being one of the cheapest cooking oil, corn oil is vastly used in junk foods. Most of the fast food restaurants and most of the packaged and canned snacks are made with corn oil. Those food are dangerous for health. First of all, those food are all made with cheap unhealthy ingredients and then the oil they use to make them. In these cases, corn oil cannot be used less. When the ingredients are fried or cooked, in a process, it needs a lot of oil. People without realizing, consume these food and slowly kill themselves. But sometimes people with lower income do not have a choice, so they have to make the decision to cook food with corn oil or eat junk food that is made of corn oil which is a very unfortunate case.
Corn oil contains what is known as the omega-6 fatty acids also known as polyunsaturated fatty acids. Scientists say that this particular type of "fatty acid" is very essential for our body. It is one of our body's necessity especially for our brain functioning and also it helps in stimulating skin and hair growth, maintaining bone health, regulating metabolism, and also maintaining our reproductive system. These facts are very true about omega-6. British Journal of Nutrition, however, thinks the opposite. They have narrowed down the whole concept of omega-6. Again, it is true that omega-6 fatty acid is very essential but it cannot process in our body alone. It goes trough our body along with omega-3 fatty acids. And in our body omega-6 fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids has to somewhat balance to work. "In fact, some studies suggest that elevated intakes of omega-6 fatty acids may play a role in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome." In a regular American diet, it is found by the studies that they intake fifteen to twenty five times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids. As a consequence, they have a risk of developing heart disease. Nevertheless, in a Mediterranean diet has a balance between the omega -6 fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids. Studies show that people following this diet are less likely of developing a heart disease. Although, people following this diet use little or no oil in their food.
Krafts Foods is looking for a solution to get rid of the trans fat. Wilson and his team of food scientists and engineers have invested thirty thousand hours and tried to convert the cookie we know and love as "oreo" that has no trans fats meaning no corn oil with the taste of it unchanged. They have tried over 200 recipes in 100 different trials and they said that the formulation was very critical. Wendy's on the other hand has found a solution to the problem with trans fats. They have replaced corn oil with one of their new non-hydrogenated oils. A large order of Wendy's fries trans fats has dropped from 7 grams to 0.5 grams which is a indubitable success and happened just by replacing corn oil with their new non-hydrogenated oil. They have made fortune out of this. They had the highest revenues that year. This revolution has left "number one" McDonald's in the dust. People who are somewhat health conscious and has to eat fast-food as a fast alternative of food, prefer Wendy's than other fast food restaurants.
As days are changing, new technologies are bringing us new gifts. So corn oil is not the only viable option for us. There are alternatives. In conclusion, we can say that corn oil is very bad for our health. All the harms that it does to our body is cruel. And the worst of all, it causes death. In order to live a healthy and better happy life we should avoid corn oil as much as we can and by all means we should be aware of the harms of corn oil.
Horovitz, Bruce. "Wendy's will be 1st fast foodie with healthier oil."USA today8 June 2006: n. pag.
Unmesh, Kher , Caplan Jeremy, Kettmann Matt, Kristin Kloberdanz, and Liston Barbara. "Target: Trans Fats.." TIME24 Oct. 2005: 53-54.
"FDA OKs Corn Oil Claim.." Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter 25: 3.
D, Parsell. "Fat Fuels PCB Damage.." Science News 10 Oct. 2004: 245-246.
Cann, Sara. "4 " Healthy Food" Offenders.." Men's Health 1 Aug. 2011: 130. Print.
"Corn could replace oil in making chemicals.." Christian Science Monitor 4 Feb. 1997: p9.
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