Is Corn Good for You? Nutrition Facts and More
Corn on the Cob is here again! How nutritious is it?
Corn is a popular food that is considered both a vegetable and whole grain. It can be eaten whole as sweet corn or popcorn or processed into chips, oil and syrup. However, most corn is used for animal feed and fuel production.
Corn is very nutritious, being high in carbs and packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals. It’s also relatively low in protein and fat.
Most of the carbs in corn come from starch — which can quickly raise your blood sugar, depending on how much you eat. However, it’s also high in fiber that can help balance your blood sugar levels.
Due to its impressive nutrient profile, most people can benefit from eating whole corn and popcorn as part of a balanced diet. It’s also a naturally gluten-free food and can be eaten by those who avoid gluten. On the other hand, processed corn products may not be very nutritious, as refined oil, syrup and chips lose beneficial fiber and other nutrients during production. Also, many processed products are high in added salt, sugar or fat.
Corn is particularly high in lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids that may prevent cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
May Prevent Diverticular Disease and Other Digestive Issues
Dietary fiber intake has been linked to a lower risk of several diseases, including heart disease and some cancers. Even more, eating enough fiber promotes healthy digestion and may protect you against gut issues.
Corn, in particular, may protect against specific digestive issues, including diverticular disease, which is characterized by inflammation of the digestive tract.
Can Spike Blood Sugar and May Prevent Weight Loss
Since corn is high in starch, it can spike your blood sugar and may not be suitable for some populations.
People who have diabetes, in particular, may need to limit their starchy carb intake, including corn.
Research specifically focusing on corn intake and diabetes is limited, but studies suggest that low-carb diets are more effective at managing diabetes.
Eating less of other corn products, especially high-fructose corn syrup, may help prevent diabetes.
Corn can spike your blood sugar and may contribute to weight gain when consumed in excess. Individuals who have diabetes or are trying to lose weight may want to limit their intake.
Corn Crops are Often Genetically Modified
Corn is one of the most genetically modified crops in the world. Corn crops are modified to increase yield and improve resistance to insects, disease or chemicals used to kill pests.
The impact of modified corn and other crops on human health and environmental safety is one of the most widely debated topics in the field of nutrition and current research on the safety of genetically modified corn for humans is limited and conflicting.
More research is needed to help consumers make an informed decision about eating genetically modified corn. If you’re concerned about eating genetically modified crops, look for products that have a “non-GMO” label.
Corn is rich in fiber and plant compounds that may aid digestive and eye health.
Yet, it’s high in starch, can spike blood sugar and may prevent weight loss when consumed in excess. The safety of genetically modified corn may also be a concern.
Still, in moderation, corn can be part of a healthy diet.