Is Corn Good for Diabetics?
Starchy vegetables must be included in our diet as they contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Although non-starchy vegetables are preferred for a diabetic diet, moderate consumption of starchy vegetables does not cause much harm. Contrary to popular belief, starchy vegetables gradually increase blood glucose volumes, despite their high carb content. They possess the goodness of vitamins, minerals, and fibers that benefit a person with diabetes. Corn is a staple starchy vegetable. But is corn good for diabetics? Let us explore its nutrient composition to find out.
The nutritional profile of corn
Corn may be considered both a vegetable and a cereal. It comprises a number of health-packed nutrients.
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Health benefits of corn
Corn is one of the most widely cultivated cereals in the world. It has many health benefits, making it a staple food in many countries. Corn improves cholesterol absorption and helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Being rich in vitamins and minerals, it promotes healthy-looking skin and hair. Consuming corn lowers the risk of hemorrhoids and colon cancer and boosts the immune system. Studies have even linked moderate corn consumption with decreased progression of diabetes and hypertension. This makes it one of the best food for diabetes control.
Corn and diabetes
To answer the question “is corn good for diabetics?” we need to learn about its glycemic index and glycemic load.
Glycemic index (GI) is a value assigned to food items based on their ability to raise glucose levels in the bloodstream. The GI of corn is 52, which makes it a low-GI food. This means that, in moderation, corn is a safe bet for individuals with diabetes. Its consumption does not cause sudden spikes in blood sugar levels.
Glycemic load (GL) measures the carbohydrates present in a single serving. The GL of a medium ear of corn is 15, which gradually increases the blood sugar level. This makes it safe for a person with diabetes to consume corn.
What makes corn suitable for a diabetes-friendly diet?
Corn is one of the best food for diabetes control. Here’s why a moderate serving of corn can be included in a diabetic diet:
- Low in fats: Consuming corn reduces the chances of obesity, a major risk factor in diabetes.
- Low in calories: A low-calorie diet helps manage insulin sensitivity, which keeps blood sugar levels in check.
- High in fiber content: Being rich in fiber, corn makes us feel full for a long time. It curbs hunger cravings, leading to better weight management.
- Presence of phytochemicals: This prevents insulin resistance and regulates blood glucose volumes.
- Limits macular degeneration: Corn is rich in antioxidants like carotenoids and flavonoids. These play an important role in maintaining eye health and preventing blurry vision, which is a serious complication in diabetes.
How to consume corn?
Here are some healthy options to consume corn:
- Eat it raw.
- Unsalted popped corn.
- Steamed or grilled corn as a side dish.
- Corn kernels in salads, stews, and soups.
What is the best time to consume corn?
Corn is a rich source of carbs and aids in slow digestion. Therefore, consuming it for breakfast or lunch is best to give our bodies ample time to digest it. For persons with diabetes, corn should be eaten in moderation. Since corn has a fair amount of sugar, it is not advisable to have it at night as it may affect our sleep.
We must remember to avoid over-consumption of corn, which may lead to increased blood sugar levels. Apart from that, it may cause other undesirable effects like stomach upset, feeling of nausea, bloating, and flatulence.
According to the US National Library of Medicine, consuming 200 g of carbs daily is safe for a person with diabetes. So, if we include corn in our daily diet, we must keep track of the portion size. Despite having relatively high sugar content, corn has numerous other health benefits that help manage diabetes-related complications. It is undoubtedly one of the best food for diabetes control when consumed in moderation.