Corn is one of those foods that can be prepared and incorporated in many dishes. Whether you eat it boiled or roasted on the corn cob as a snack, or you serve just the corn as a side dish with your main dish, or you incorporate it in salads, and sauces, it is safe to say that corn is a staple in many people’s kitchens.
But, when you are on the keto diet you need to look for and watch out for everything you consume, so it is understandable that you want to know more about the food.
So, can you eat corn on the keto diet and still stay in ketosis? Keep on reading to find out.
Corn Nutritional Information
Here is the nutritional information on 100 grams of boiled, sweet, yellow corn (*):
|Total Carbs||21 grams|
|Net Carbs||18.6 grams|
Corn glycemic index (GI) value
Most legumes and grains, which are generally high in carbohydrates, have medium or high GI. And corn is no exception to that, as it has a glycemic index of 52 ± 5. This means that sweet corn causes about 50% slower blood sugar spike when compared to glucose. (*)
Health Benefits of Corn
Corn is a food that contains a variety of nutrients like a relatively high amount of protein and fiber as well as vitamins and minerals like B6, pantothenic acid, or also called vitamin B5, folic acid or vitamin B9, niacin or B3 and potassium.
Corn, like other grains, also contains antioxidants. Antioxidants are chemical compounds that help the body prevent and combat oxidative stress caused by free radicals. They achieve this function by binding to the free radical and disabling its harmful effects.
In fact, one study shows that corn contains the highest total phenolic content among all the grains that were tested. There are a few main antioxidant families that are in corn and those are ferulic acid, anthocyanins and zeaxanthin, lutein, and phytic acid. (*)
Among the more significant antioxidants in corn are lutein and zeaxanthin, which are one of the most common types of carotenoids in plants, and they have been researched and linked to better eye health. Phytic acid has been linked to bettering the absorption of dietary minerals such as iron and zinc. (*), (*), (*)
Apart from the antioxidants, corn contains fiber that varies with the type of corn, but out of the dry weight, it can be found in rages from 9% to 15%. Most of the fiber found in corn is insoluble fiber.
Dietary fiber has been researched a lot of researchers conclude that it has a prophylactic and beneficial effect against certain gastrointestinal diseases such as constipation, colon cancer, hemorrhoids, duodenal ulcer, gastroesophageal reflux disease, diverticulitis as well as other chronic and potentially life-threatening conditions such as obesity, diabetes, stroke, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases. (*)
Can You Eat Corn On The Keto Diet?
Corn is a starchy grain that contains 21 grams of total carbohydrates and 18.6 grams of net carbs per 100 grams. This amount is about ⅔ of a cup of corn. It also has a GI (glycemic index) of 52 ± 5, with variations to different types of corn.
This means that less than a cup of corn can take up almost all of the daily intake of carbs that a strict keto dieter has. And while corn doesn’t have an extremely high glycemic index, it still affects blood sugar half as much as glucose, which is enough to kick you out of ketosis.
Even though corn is relatively low in calories and is packed with antioxidants, as well as other nutrients, it is a starchy food and the number of carbs and the GI value are enough to make this food not suitable or recommended for someone on a strict keto diet. It is not ketogenic friendly and it will stop ketosis.
If you are someone who is not on a strict keto diet, but you are still watching your carb intake or you are on a low carb diet and you still want to consume corn, then our suggestion is to carefully monitor the amount of corn you consume to make sure that you are within your limits.
Boiled corn contains 18.6 grams of net carbs per 100 grams.
No, corn is not strictly keto-friendly as it is a starchy food that can affect ketosis.
Corn is a starchy, tasty, and nutritious food that can be consumed as a snack, a side dish, or as an addition to a dish. However, if you are on a keto diet corn might not be suitable for you as it is not strictly ketogenic and it can raise the blood sugar enough to kick you out of ketosis.
If you are not on a strict keto diet, and you just want to fit corn into your daily limit, then we recommend carefully monitoring how much you consume.
Up Next: Is popcorn keto friendly?
Image by Vitoria71/depositphotos