Corn on the cob is a summer classic, and creamed corn pairs perfectly with barbecue. But if you’re on a keto diet, fresh corn is a food you may want to think twice about. This article explains why.
Corn Nutrition Facts
Corn is considered a starch, says Scott Keatley, RDN, of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy in New York City. “It’s a high-energy carbohydrate,” he says. There are several ways you can enjoy corn — fresh on or off the cob, frozen, or canned.
Macronutrients in Corn
Here’s the macronutrient makeup for one cup of fresh, raw yellow sweet corn, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA):
Carbs in corn 27 grams (g)Net carbs in corn 24 g
Net carbs is a measurement determined by total carbs minus fiber and sugar alcohols, according to Atkins. Net carbs is the amount of carbohydrates that are digested and thus affect blood sugar. Net carbs isn’t an official macronutrient (like carbs, fat, and protein), but people following a keto diet often use this number as a guide to help them stay in their carb range.
Fat in corn 2 gProtein in corn 5 g
Other Nutrients in Corn
As you can see, corn is high in carbs. But in addition to a surprising amount of protein, corn offers B vitamins, zinc, magnesium, and iron, notes the Mayo Clinic Health System. Plus, corn has 3 g of fiber, which makes it a good source. Fiber is a nutrient that helps keep you regular.
Can You Eat Corn on Keto?
No, not typically. “I don’t recommend corn for someone trying to stay in ketosis,” says Diana Rodgers, RD, of Sustainable Dish in Concord, Massachusetts. You may choose to avoid corn on any low-carb diet, given its higher carb content.
That said, it’s possible to fit in a very small portion of fresh corn, such as a tablespoon or two, in low-carb diets such as keto, Keatley points out. Even that amount is “taking away a lot of your potential carbs,” so it really has to be worth it. If you’re wondering ‘Can I eat corn on the cob on a keto diet?’ the answer is definitely no — that is simply too much.
Is Corn Healthy?
Yes, corn is healthy, particularly because it offers a good source of fiber. But it’s not usually appropriate if you’re on a keto diet…