Not only is corn great in taste, but it has also long since been hailed as one of the best foods for losing weight. It is a starchy food high in carbs, which should ideally make it a no-no on a weight loss diet. But despite this, corn remains a staple in the diets of most weight-watchers. So what makes corn good for weight loss? Let’s find out!
Nutritional Profile of Corn
Corn is considered a vegetable when raw and a whole grain when dried. There are several varieties of corn, all of which are used for various purposes (to make oil, corn syrup, popcorn kernels, cattle feed, etc.) One such variety is sweet corn.
Sweet corn is an excellent source of fiber, carbohydrates, protein, vitamin C, vitamin A, carotenoids, potassium, and other essential nutrients and antioxidants. It is also relatively low in calories while having a high carbohydrate (starch) content.
The following is the nutritional profile for 100 g of raw sweet corn, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Sweet Corn: Benefits for Weight Loss
Sweet corn is high in water, fiber, and protein content, which helps in curbing hunger and promoting satiety. The fiber in corn is called cellulose, which is insoluble in water. However, it still absorbs water and bulks up, which keeps you full for a longer time. This helps you cut down on overeating and snacking, leading to a lowered calorie intake. Dietary fiber also slows down the absorption of calories in your gut.
The fiber in corn can help speed up the digestion process, which can alleviate digestive problems like constipation. A healthy and functional digestive system is crucial to maintaining and losing weight.
How Much Corn Should You Eat in a Day to Lose Weight?
Limit your corn intake to one cup or 160 to 170 g per day to lose weight. Though corn is low in calories and high in fiber, its high carbohydrate content could cause weight gain if eaten in excess.
What is the Best Time to Eat Corn for Weight Loss?
Including corn in your breakfast can help kickstart your metabolism so you can burn more calories throughout the day. It also curbs your appetite so you can go without a snack till lunchtime.
Making corn a part of your appetizer dish can prevent you from overeating during meals, which lowers your calorie intake.
As a snack
If you often feel hungry in the evening or between meals, try snacking on corn instead of items such as biscuits, chips, namkeen, etc.
Pre or post-workout
Corn is an excellent source of carbohydrates that can fuel your body before and after a workout. It is essential to eat a carbohydrate-rich snack when exercising so that your body does not use protein as a fuel source. Further, the protein in corn helps you build lean muscle.
How to Eat Sweet Corn for Weight Loss?
- Roasted corn on the cob is one of the best ways to eat sweet corn. Avoid using butter or oil while roasting corn, as these can double the number of calories you are consuming.
- Boiled corn is a great option for weight loss. You can also turn it into a salad by adding sprouts, veggies, and/or seasoning. Avoid using high-calorie salad dressings to lower your calorie intake.
- Popcorn can be a good snacking option as it has very few calories. Prepare your popcorn at home with some salt and very little oil. Avoid using butter to keep the calorie count low.
- A cup of sweet corn soup can help fill you up before a meal so you do not overeat. Add plenty of veggies like carrots, broccoli, beans, etc. and a protein of your choice to boost the nutritional value of the soup. Avoid using butter and/or corn flour (corn starch) as these are high in carbohydrates.
Risks of Overconsumption of Corn for Weight Loss
Like any other food, eating too much corn could lead to weight gain as it is rich in carbohydrates. Portion control is the key to keeping your weight in check when eating corn. The fiber in corn can cause bloating and indigestion if eaten in excess.
Also, always consume dried corn as whole grain as some of its products like corn syrup and corn flour (corn starch) are processed foods that have been proven to cause weight gain and other health issues.
What Are the Other Health Benefits of Corn?
- The carotenoids in corn can help keep your eyes healthy.
- The fiber in corn can help prevent diverticulitis, relieve constipation, and support the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.
- The antioxidants in corn can reduce inflammation and prevent cell damage.
- Corn has a moderately high potassium level, which can help lower blood pressure and prevent potassium deficiency (hypokalemia).
Don’t Have Time To Read?
- Sweet corn is rich in carbohydrates, proteins, dietary fiber, antioxidants, vitamins C and A, minerals, starch, and carotenoids. It is also relatively low in calories, sugars, and fats.
- The fiber, protein, and water content in sweet corn can keep you satiated for longer and improve digestion. Both of these factors can contribute to weight loss.
- Limit your consumption of corn to one cup (160 to 170 g) for weight loss.
- Sweet corn can be eaten at breakfast, as an appetizer before meals, as a snack between meals, and before or after a workout.
- Corn is a versatile food that can be eaten roasted, boiled, grilled, or raw.
- Dried corn is best eaten as a whole grain for weight loss as products like corn flour (corn starch) and corn syrup are extremely high in carbohydrates.
- Consuming too much corn can cause weight gain, bloating, and flatulence.
- Corn is beneficial for your eye and gut health, reduces inflammation, and prevents digestive tract problems like diverticulitis.
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An average corn cob has about 100 to 110 g of corn kernels, the caloric value of which would be around 85 to 95 kcal with no added toppings.
Yes, a serving of 100 g of corn has about 18.7 g of carbohydrates.
Corn can cause weight gain if eaten in excess like any other food. However, when eaten in moderation, the high fiber content in corn can contribute to weight loss.
Corn can contribute to weight reduction as a whole, and it does not have any particular effect on belly fat.
No, corn flour or corn starch is a refined flour that is very high in carbohydrates and calories and can lead to weight gain. It is best avoided or substituted with a whole-grain flour.
Yes, boiled corn with little to no butter or oil is a good alternative to processed foods and high-calorie snacking options. Eating boiled corn before a meal can also reduce your appetite, which leads to weight loss.
Corn and potatoes are both starchy foods that are high in carbohydrates. Corn has high quantities of fiber, whereas potatoes are richer in micronutrients like vitamins and minerals. You should include both corn and potatoes in a healthy balanced diet.