The Truth About Corn

Corn has an undeserved reputation as a fattening, carb-laden, genetically altered food. Add to that its association with high-fructose corn syrup and you may find yourself wondering if corn on the cob deserves a place at your dinner table this summer. 

Information bullies live on the internet and lure on the people who are on the fence about tons of different nutritional topics. They scare us by using our indifference against us. I personally can't stand an information bully. They live to sway you to their camp or belief system. I always tell people who I come in contact with that the truth is somewhere in the middle. There are no absolutes in this lifestyle. 

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Let's break down this corn phenomenon. The short of it is you should enjoy corn guilt free. 

Admit it, there’s nothing quite like a crisp piece of corn on the cob. There seem to be a few myths that surround corn about the healthfulness of it as a vegetable. After all, something so sweet and delicious surely has to have a downside, right?

I often hear people say, "Humans don't digest corn."

Dietary fiber, the indigestible part of plant material, is made up of two main types. Soluble fiber easily dissolves in water and is broken down into a gel-like substance in the part of the gut known as the colon. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and is left intact as food moves through the gastrointestinal tract.

Corn has high amounts of insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber is the kind of fiber that goes through the body intact and gets those bowel movements going. if you eat a lot of corn, you might see some of it in your stool, but insoluble fiber has been shown in research to help feed the “good” bacteria in our gut. If we’re looking at getting lots of good fiber in our diet, it’s good that [corn] has a higher ratio of insoluble to soluble fiber because it feeds the good gut bacteria in our body.

Vegetables like kale and spinach may have better reputations as nutrition all-stars, but corn has something to contribute, too. Corn contains certain B vitamins and vitamin C, as well as magnesium and potassium. Yellow corn is also a good source of two antioxidants, zeaxanthin, and lutein, which are good for eye health.

I've also heard the comment, "Corn is high in sugar." 

You don’t steer clear of bananas because you think they’re high in sugar, do you? Then why should you do the same for corn? A banana contains about the same amount of calories as an ear of corn. Both of them are around 110 calories. Guess what? A banana has more sugar than corn.  A cob of corn has around 6 to 8 grams of sugar, while a banana has about 15.

Don't let food bullies sway you one way or another. As you have heard from me before, there are no bad foods.