Corn is an incredibly popular vegetable. It has a subtly sweet flavor and is incredibly versatile. It can be incorporated into many different dishes, and it can be used to make many of our favorite snack foods, such as chips and tortillas.
However, corn has been a topic of controversy in the diet world in recent years. Whilst it does boast some impressive health benefits, many claim that it actually does more harm than good. In fact, some diets cut out corn products altogether.
If you’re starting to follow a keto diet, you’re likely wondering, what’s the deal with corn? Is it low carb? Can I incorporate it into my diet? We are here to answer your questions. Take a look at the info-packed article below to learn more about corn and the keto diet.
We cover everything you need to know, from the nutritional profile of corn to its glycemic index, and everything in between! Our aim is to equip you with all of the information you need to make the most informed dietary decisions possible. So check it out!
Corn is a starchy vegetable that comes as kernels on a cob. It is one of the most popular vegetables in the US, primarily because of its versatility. In addition to being used in cookouts and as a popular popped snack, it can also be made into flour, tortillas, chips, and crackers.
Corn was first cultivated around 10,000 years ago in Southern Mexico. It became widely popular amongst natives of North and South America. When Europeans came to New England, they took corn back to their home countries and it became a global sensation.
Different Types Of Corn
There are actually four different types of corn. These are sweet corn, popcorn, flint or Indian corn, and dent corn. Sweet corn is likely the variety that you are familiar with. It comes in yellow, white, or a combination of yellow and white, and it has a subtle sweet flavor.
Popcorn, before it is popped, has a soft center inside a hard shell. There is also a very small amount of water inside the shell. When you heat this type of corn up, the water turns into steam, which then pressurizes and causes the corn to explode into fluffy popcorn.
Indian corn tends to be a bit harder than sweet corn. It also comes in many different colors, including red, white, black, blue, and even gold. In the West, this type of corn is used for decorative purposes.
Finally, dent corn comes in yellow and white. It is called dent corn because each kernel has a small dent in the top. Generally, this type of corn is used to feed animals. It is also included in processed food such as tortilla chips.
Corn Nutritional Profile
Sweet corn is often quite a controversial food. Whilst it does have some health benefits, many tend to steer clear of it due to its light sugar content. To learn more about its nutritional profile, take a look at the table below. It discusses the nutrition facts for 100 grams of boiled sweet yellow corn.
It is worth mentioning that corn can be cooked in many different ways. If you fry or bake it, it will likely have different nutritional content to the one described above because these cooking methods usually involve calorific and fatty oils.
Health Benefits Of Corn
There are a few health benefits associated with eating corn. Check them out below.
Improve Eye Health
Corn has many different antioxidants. However, two of its antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin, are thought to boost eye health by protecting your eye from oxidative damage caused by blue light.
Diverticulosis is a condition that causes cramps, flatulence, bloating, and sometimes, bleeding and infections. For a long time, it was thought that popcorn triggered this condition, however, evidence suggests that corn actually works to prevent this condition from occurring.
Problems Associated With Corn
Unfortunately, eating corn does come with a few risks. Take a look at the most notable below.
Whole grain corn contains phytic acid, which is a product that is present in all cereal grains. Phytic acid impairs your body’s ability to absorb minerals such as iron and zinc. This is likely to not be a problem for most people with a well-balanced diet, but it may be a concern for people with a very limited diet.
Mycotoxins are a toxin produced by fungi. They are a real health concern. Problems associated with these toxins are largely linked to the consumption of corn and corn products, particularly among people who significantly depend on corn in their diets.
High consumption of corn that has been contaminated poses a potential risk of cancer and neural tube defects. However, in most developed countries, the level of mycotoxins in foods is very closely monitored and regulated.
People with gluten intolerance or celiac disease may find that corn exacerbates their symptoms. It has also been reported to be a trigger of irritable bowel syndrome symptoms and FODMAP intolerance symptoms.
Is Korn Keto-Friendly?
If you’re a lover of sweet corn hoping to be able to snack on your favorite foods whilst following the keto diet, we’re afraid that we must be the bearers of bad news. Due to its very high carb content, and high glycemic index of 52, corn isn’t viable on a keto diet.
Keto-Friendly Corn Substitutes
If you eat a lot of corn, or use a lot of corn products, take a look at these great keto-friendly corn substitutes.
1. Corn Extract
Using corn extract is a great way of getting that classic corn flavor in your recipes without having to consume the carbs and kicking your body out of ketosis.
2. Fine Almond Flour
If you often use corn flour, this is an excellent option. It will help you make delicious, low-carb baked goods.
3. Keto-Friendly Veggies
Many other vegetables are keto-friendly. Instead of corn, you can eat asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, mushrooms, cucumber, green beans, eggplant, and many more!
Following a keto diet can be very rewarding, but it can also be quite tricky. We hope that this article has cleared up exactly why corn shouldn’t be incorporated into a keto diet. Remember, the results will be worth it!