Is Corn Good for Diabetics? Is It High in Carbs?

Well, corn is a moderately safe food for diabetics. That means that diabetics can have corn, but it must be under controlled limits only.

This is a very nice and efficient way to deal with food, and its portions as diabetics as keeping the amounts moderate helps to control the blood sugar levels with a proper balance.

Corn is good for your diabetic health as it is filled with energy-supplying nutrients. It can be an immediate healthy source of carbohydrates that keep the body energetic. On top of that, it has many vital nutrients to keep all the functions and organs in the body healthy and working well.

One of the best qualities of corn is that it is very low in fats. This is a crucial factor to consider when choosing diabetic-safe foods. Keeping the body weight under control is a very important issue for diabetic patients and needs to be paid attention to all the time.

Moreover, low-fat foods are good for the heart.

Another beneficial thing about corn is that it is also lower in terms of calories. The fewer calories a food item has, the better it is for diabetic consumption. Corns hence make a good snacking option.

They also have good amounts of fiber to balance out the sugar portions. This helps to control the direct release of sugars into the bloodstream and this, in turn, keeps the blood sugar levels under normal margins.

Corn is also safe according to its glycemic index values. We will have a look at the glycemic index of corn in detail later in this article.

Some restrictions have to be considered sweet corn; as the name suggests, some amounts of sugar need to be monitored for safety.

It depends on your current diabetic conditions, and therefore, asking a doctor about the consumption of corn is a helpful option.

Let us delve deeper into this discussion.

Is corn high in carbs?

Is corn high in carbs

No, corn has a medium amount of carbohydrates. Until now, we talked and clarified how corn is safe for diabetic consumption. We also had a look at its sugar levels according to the glycemic index and glycemic load.

But let us now closely look at how much carbohydrates corn contains.

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A medium corn cob accounts for around 100 g – 102 g of corn. One hundred grams of corn contains around 17 grams of carbs.

These 17 grams of carbohydrate are made up of 2 grams of dietary fiber and around 6.26 grams of sugar.

This is a medium amount of carbs in a food. Hence, the total quantity of corn consumed must be kept moderate.

Let us have a look at the total nutritional composition of corn.

Does corn raise your blood sugar levels?

Corn is said to be a healthy starchy vegetable. It is sweet and has sugars, but it is also high in other vitamins, minerals, and fiber that manage the overall sugar levels.

Corns, although they contain sugar, but are low in glycemic index and glycemic load. That is what proves that it is safe for consumption by diabetic patients.

The glycemic index is the measure of how the sugars in a particular food affect the body. This is a very effective way to predict how one’s diabetic health will respond to the consumption of that particular food.

The glycemic load of food is measured on a 0 to 100 rating scale. It is then ranked as per its sugar contents into safe, moderately safe, or unsafe for being consumed by diabetic patients.

The following table shows how glycemic index categories are classified:

Sl. No. Glycemic Index categories Glycemic Index ranges
1. Low Glycemic Index (safe for diabetics)  0 to 55
2. Medium Glycemic Index (safe when taken within moderate quantities) 55  to 69
3. High Glycemic Index (unsafe for diabetics) From 70 and above

Now, you must be thinking about what the glycemic index of corn is? Well, fortunately, it is has a low and safe glycemic index of 52. From the above table, it will be clear that corn falls under the low glycemic range and is fit for diabetic consumption.

This shows that corn does not have any spiking effects on blood sugar levels.

Along with keeping a check on the glycemic index, the glycemic load of food is also a great way to ensure that you include foods that do not affect your diabetic levels as much.

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The glycemic load of foods focuses on the effects of a specific portion of the food will have on your body. This is often more accurate as it takes into consideration the quantities of items consumed.

Like the Glycemic index, Glycemic load is measured on a scale and then classified as safe, unsafe, or moderately safe for diabetic patients.

The glycemic load categories are as follows:

Sl. No. Glycemic Load categories Glycemic Index ranges
1. Low Glycemic load (safe for diabetics)  0 to 10
2. Medium Glycemic load (safe when taken within moderate quantities) 11  to 19
3. High Glycemic load (unsafe for diabetics) From 20 and above

The glycemic load of one medium cob of corn is 15. This shows that it is under the medium glycemic load category.

Thus, relating to our previous explanation of why diabetics must be including corn in moderate quantities in their diets to prevent any risks or high blood sugar complications.

It must be clear that corn is safe to be had in regulated amounts and will not raise sugar levels when taken in limits.

What are the Nutritional values of corn?

Carbohydrates make up only one small portion of the many macro and micronutrients present in corn. Numerous helpful vitamins and minerals found in corn can help the body maintain healthy overall functioning.

The below table shows the nutritional elements found in 100 grams of corn:

Sl. No. Nutrients in 100 grams of corn Amount available
1. Calories 86
2. Carbohydrates 17 g
3. Proteins 3.27 g
4. Fats 1.35 g
5. Water 76.05 g
6. Cholesterol 0 mg
7. Magnesium 37 mg
8. Potassium 270 mg
9. Manganese 0.163 mg
10. Phosphorus 89 mg
11. Zinc 0.46 mg
12. Choline 23 mg
13. Iron 0.52 mg
14. Copper 0.054 mg
15. Sodium 15 mg
16. Selenium 0.6 µg µg
17. Calcium 2 mg
18. Vitamin C 6.8 mg
19. Vitamin A 187 IU
20. Folate 42 µg
21. Vitamin B1 0.155 mg
22. Vitamin B5 0.717 mg
23. Vitamin B3 1.77 mg
24. Vitamin B6 0.093 mg
25. Vitamin B2 0.055 mg
26. Vitamin K 0.3 µg
27. Vitamin E 0.07 mg
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Therefore, corn is filled with nourishing properties that can have several advantages on health. But can there be any disadvantages to eating corn?

What are the disadvantages of eating corn?

There are certain things that you must be careful of. Corn can have some side effects such as –

  • Excess eating of corn can cause issues like bloating, gas, and diarrhea. These effects are usually seen in people with sensitive digestive systems.
  • Corn can often be genetically modified, which strips it of its good nutrients.
  • Corn syrups can be harmful to diabetic health.

What happens if we eat sweet corn daily?

Having sweet corn daily can boost your health in many ways. It can have the following benefits:

  • Corn is enriched with fiber and can keep the metabolism healthy and functional. It can also reduce the occurrence of constipation and stomach issues.
  • Eating sweet corn can also aid in preventing anemia as it is a good resource of iron, vitamin B12, and folic acid.
  • Corn has many bioflavonoids and carotenoids that improve the cholesterol levels of the body. It is also good for decreasing the level of bad cholesterol in the body.
  • Corn has omega-three fatty acids that maintain heart health. It is known to prevent risks of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Vitamin A is also richly available in corn. This can benefit the vision as well.
  • Corn is also said to improve blood circulation to the skin and scalp. This results in healthy hair and prevents premature skin aging.




Dr Sharon Baisil MD

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