Debunking the Food Myth: Is Corn REALLY Bad For You?

Written by Tim Skwiat

Featured Video Play Icon

Is Corn Bad For You? As a nutrition coach, I can’t count how many times this question has been posed to me.

When it comes to health, fitness, and nutrition, it seems like we like to deal in extremes—all or nothing, good or bad. We have a tendency to view things in black and white. And we have a yearning to seek simple, absolute answers to complex, situational questions. But, we’re not computers; we’re humans. We don’t run on a binary system of ones and zeros—on or off.

There are countless examples of this…This food is “good”; that food is “bad.” Everyone should eat this food. You should “never” eat this. Didn’t your mother tell you to “never say never”?

One such example of a food getting tagged with a figurative scarlet letter is corn. That is, the common conception is that corn is, was, and always will be evil. But, is corn bad for you?

Is Corn Bad For You

Is Corn Bad For You? The Background

Let’s take a step back to see if we can lay the groundwork for the negatives associated with the question of “Is Corn Bad For You?”. I suppose corn has gotten a bad rap for several reasons. I’ll let you be the judge as to the validity and applicability of them.

• Although some consider it a vegetable, corn, which is known globally as the “queen of cereals,” is actually a grain. And certain camps and diets (e.g., Paleo) strictly prohibit grains.

Nutrition Fact: More than 220 million Americans fail to get the recommended servings of fruit and vegetables each day. MetaboGreens 45X is a simple, great tasting, and energizing greens supplement yielding the antioxidant power of over 20 servings of fruits and vegetables in each delicious scoop.

Special Offer: Get Metabo Greens 45X up to 31% OFF + FREE Shipping (very limited inventory)

• Corn provides predominantly carbohydrates, which specific diets heavily restrict (e.g., ketogenic, low-carb).

• A relatively large percentage of the carbs in corn are starch, and some folks believe it’s best to avoid starchy carbs. Interestingly, a medium ear of sweet corn contains 32% fewer total carbs and 84% less sugar than a medium apple. What’s more, corn contains a special type of starch called resistant starch, which we’ll discuss more below.

• Corn, known as the “mother grain” of Americans, is the number one crop grown in the United States. Although the topic of genetically engineered food (i.e., GMOs) is both complex and controversial, it’s also worth pointing out that around 90% of the corn grown in the US is genetically engineered.1

• Having said that, only a very, very small percentage of commercially available sweet corn is genetically modified. GM corn, commonly referred to as “field corn,” is used for animal feed and biofuels. It’s also a source for ingredients like corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), corn starch, corn oil, maltodextrin, alcohol, and others.

• GM status aside, highly refined corn-derived ingredients like HFCS and corn oil have been the subject of intense scrutiny. Worse, they’ve been implicated as major players in the obesity epidemic and myriad health issues. While these topics are complex and it’s not possible to point a finger at a single food or ingredient, the fact is the overwhelming majority of “foods” made with corn-derived ingredients are heavily processed, highly refined, and provide very little in terms of nutritional value.

Is Corn Bad For You? The Benefits of Whole Sweet Corn

With a little background on the “bad” and “ugly” of corn, let’s hone in on the “good.” You might be surprised by the nutrition and potential health benefits whole-grain sweet corn can provide as part of an overall balanced diet.2

• Corn contains vitamins A, C, E, and K along with the B vitamins thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, and folic acid, which are good for skin, hair, heart, brain, and proper digestion. Corn also contains noteworthy amounts of potassium and magnesium, which most people don’t get enough of, as well as selenium and phosphorus.

• Corn also contains a variety of phytonutrients, such as phytosterols. Phytonutrients are powerful antioxidants, which are naturally present in plants, that provide numerous health benefits and protect against various health issues. Phytosterols have many health benefits, including a cholesterol-lowering effect.

• Among the carotenoids in corn are lutein and zeaxanthin, which play a crucial role in eye health and vision (protecting our eyes from dangerous high-energy blue light), heart health, and cognitive function.

• As mentioned above, some of the starch found in corn is a special form called resistant starch (RS). RS is unique in that it escapes digestion and has various health benefits. For instance, research has shown that RS reduces hunger, increases satiety, reduces food intake, increases fat burning, decreases fat storage, improves insulin sensitivity, lowers cholesterol, and improves the makeup of gut bacteria. Even more, some have even hyped RS as a “weight loss wonder food.”3

Boost Your Healthy Gut Formula

Promote Bowel Regularity, Improve the Healthy Bacteria in the Gut and Support Intestinal Health With ProX10!

==> Get Pro-X10 20% OFF + 2 Free Reports (Special Offer)

• One medium ear of sweet corn contains 2.8 grams of fiber. While it’s a fairly modest amount, most people don’t consume nearly enough fiber, which is a nutrition all-star. Higher intakes of fiber reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers and have been associated with lower body weight. Of course, fiber is synonymous with digestive health, as it increases bulk and frequency and reduces transit time.4

• According the Environmental Working Group (EWG), which tests produce annually for pesticide contamination, avocados and corn are the “cleanest” produce. Only 1% of samples show detectable pesticides. Remember, little, if any, sweet corn found in the produce section of the supermarket is GM. Yet, because GM produce is not labeled, if you are at all concerned, consider choosing organic sweet corn.

Taken together, sweet corn is a far, far cry from highly refined corn-derived ingredients common in heavily processed foods. Quite the contrary. Whole-grain corn is bountiful in nutrients and phytochemicals, which possess various potential health benefits. Along those lines, delicious sweet corn—organic, when possible—can indeed be incorporated as part of an overall healthy diet.

So next time you are asked, “Is Corn Bad For You?”, you know the truth!

AVOID these fruits and veggies (they pile on BELLY FAT)

Often times people ask me why they aren’t losing weight even when they are eating healthy.
 
Well, most times, it’s simply because they are choosing the WRONG foods.
 
Fortunately, we just wrote a brand new report that you can download for free today, showing you 8 of the absolute WORST health foods for your waistline.  And YES, these include several fruits and vegetables!
 
If you’re eating ANY of these foods, it could be the difference between losing 20 lbs quickly, or watching your weight stay at a standstill. 
 
When you think about it that way, you’re going to want to make certain you are not eating ANY of these foods (your results depend on it).
 
Download the report and find out what foods you MUST avoid in just a few seconds here:

==>NEVER eat these fruits and veggies (if you want a flat belly)

BioTrust Nutrition- Share on Social
Share To:

More From Tim Skwiat

References

  • United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service. Recent Trends in GE Adoption. U S Dep Agric Econ Res Serv. July 2015. http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/adoption-of-genetically-engineered-crops-in-the-us/recent-trends-in-ge-adoption.aspx.
  • Shah TR, Prasad K, Kumar P. Maize—A potential source of human nutrition and health: A review. Cogent Food Agric. 2016;2(1):1166995. doi:10.1080/23311932.2016.1166995.
  • Higgins JA. Resistant starch and energy balance: Impact on weight loss and maintenance. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2014;54(9):1158-1166. doi:10.1080/10408398.2011.629352.
  • Dahl WJ, Stewart ML. Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Health implications of dietary fiber. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2015;115(11):1861-1870. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2015.09.003.
  • Kathryn Stefaniak

    Hello Coach Tim, I enjoyed listening to you speaking about sweet corn and the reasons why it is not bad for us. I like most people thought that corn was a gmo and therefore I had to stay away from eating it. I learned that it has many benefits especially for heart health and lowering cholesterol. I have been limiting my intake due to misconceptions about sweet corn, but after hearing you speak on this I will now include sweet corn in my diet. Thanks so much!