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Is Corn Keto Friendly?

The ketogenic diet (commonly called keto) is a high-fat and extremely low-carb diet that offers a plethora of health benefits. It is one of the dietary plans that various sets of individuals follow in shedding some weight and optimizing health.

The keto diet ensures prevention against certain health deficiencies such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, epilepsy, diabetes, and so many others. It is quite similar to the Atkins and low-carb diets, and it helps in beating down your carbohydrate consumption rate. This puts your body in a metabolic condition, which is known as ketosis.

Moreover, the keto diet also ensures there is a huge drop in insulin and blood sugar levels. This automatically takes the body’s metabolism from carbs to fat and ketones. The ketogenic diet has several variants, and each of them has a different mode of operation.

The ketogenic diet is undoubtedly a healthy one, and as such, it works with some carefully selected food classes and an especially low-carb food source. 

However, the main question to be answered in this article is this: Is the corn grain keto-friendly? Well, let us first consider the corn grain and its composition.

THE CORN GRAIN

The corn grain, which is also known as maize and Zea Mays botanically, is a cereal grain that was first refined by the peoples of southern Mexico millenniums ago. Ever since then, maize has gained wide prominence as it is now served in various ways around the globe.

More so, the corn grain is now used in preparing several dishes and for artificial food products. It can be used for dishes such as burritos, tacos, polenta, fritters, sauces, and soups.

An average bushel of corn weighs about 56 pounds, and it contains 70% of its overall composition is starch, 10% protein, 4% oil, and 2% is fiber. Interestingly, the corn grain has numerous benefits, and it can be easily gotten in almost all parts of the world. 

HOW MANY CARBS CAN BE FOUND IN AN EAR OF CORN?

  • A full cob of corn has over 22 grams of carbohydrate and 6 grams of natural sugar. More so, an ear of corn contains about 100 calories, which is very much similar to that of an apple.
  • Sweet and yellow corn has an estimated carb amount of 19 grams per 100-gram serving.
  • Corn Nuts has a whooping sum of 74 grams per 100-gram serving, and it isn’t fit for someone trying to maintain a low-carb diet.
  • Popcorn also contains 74 grams per 100-gram serving, and it should be taken less or better still, completely avoided. 

Generally, the corn grain is a rich source of carbohydrate, and it is quite difficult to maintain a ketogenic diet while consuming it. 

IS CORN KETO-FRIENDLY?

Corn has an abundant amount of micronutrients and a lot of health benefits. However, it is vital to be cautious if you would want to fit it into your Ketogenic diet.

An ear of corn contains up to 23 grams of net carbs per serving. So, it is best to reduce your intake on a keto diet.

Instead of adding corn into your daily carb intake, it may be advisable to build your meal plan based on healthy fats such as avocado, coconut oil, seeds, and nuts. You could also add high-quality protein meals, leafy greens, and non-starchy veggies.

Moreover, a standard Ketogenic diet usually recommends a diet with low-carb, moderate protein intake, and high fat to enter and maintain a Ketogenic state (ketosis). Taking low-carb meals means that your carbohydrate intake must not exceed 50 grams of net carbs per day, if not even less.

However, you should know that that isn’t the only type of keto diet that exists. If you are craving corn, one of the following options below may best suit you.

HOW TO MAKE CORN HAVE A PLACE IN THE KETO DIET

However, various keto diets could allow or permit you to have more carbs than the standard keto diet. Two of these diets are the cyclical Ketogenic diet (CKD) and the targeted Ketogenic diet (TKD). 

These diets are appropriate for active individuals. However, they differ when you begin to consume your carbohydrates.

If you are someone that lives a very active lifestyle and needs a little more carb around your workout, the TKD may be very suitable for you. This is because it allows an additional 20 to 50 grams of carbs before you begin a workout and after you’ve concluded.

 Thus, with TKD, you get a reasonable amount of carbs to fuel your workout without completely kicking you out of ketosis for long.

The cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD) on the other hand is much more suitable for bodybuilders and athletes. Besides, individuals who need more carbs to train a high intensity can also go on the CKD.

For five or six days of the week, the CKD follows an STD template with the other day or the next being full-on carb backloading period. When you get on carb backloading, you get the opportunity to consume as much as 600 grams of carbs within 24 to 48 hours to have a complete refill of your muscle glycogen stores.

Do you know there are a lot of keto-friendly veggies you can enjoy alongside a small portion of corn to lessen the effect?

Some of these includes:

AVOCADO 

The Avocado contains just 2 g. of carbs per 100-gram serving. It is chock full of healthy fats and nutrients. It can be served with salad, mashed with as guacamole, or enjoyed as a condiment depending on how you prefer yours. Its numerous health benefits have ranked it as a wonderful keto meal.

ZUCCHINI

This delicious veggie can be roasted or spiralized to make healthy keto-friendly noodles. It contains 3g of carbs per 100-gram serving.

KALE

This awesome vegetable contains 3gram of carbs per 100-gram serving. You can conveniently add it raw into salads or steam and add to your favorite dish. 

Moreover, this veggie can also be baked in the oven, drizzled with olive oil, and sprinkled with salt to make crunchy kale chips which is a delicious snack that is keto-friendly.

CABBAGE

This veggie contains 6 grams of carbs per 100-gram serving. It stands out when sautéed in olive or butter oil. It can also be added to stir-fried dishes and flavored with cayenne pepper and soy sauce. It is packed with vitamin K, reasonably low in carbs, and super healthy.

CAULIFLOWER

Cauliflower contains 3grams of carbs per 100-gram serving. This veggie is very versatile and has a mild flavor. You can puree it into soups, sauces, and chowders to make them creamy and thick. It is a healthy and tasty keto-friendly diet.

These keto-friendly veggies listed above can be enjoyed with a small amount of corn. This is also a way to reduce the intake of too much corn due to the high amount of carb it contains.

As much as the corn grain possesses numerous health benefits given the nutritional materials it contains (vitamin B, fiber, magnesium, vitamin C, and the likes), it is not keto-friendly. As mentioned earlier, it is a rich source of carbohydrate, and the keto diet system demands carbohydrate consumption is reduced to the barest minimum.

HOW ABOUT CORN FLAKES?

The breakfast cereal, Cornflakes, has about 84 grams of carbs per bowl of 100 grams. Keto dieters will do well to avoid this processed cornmeal given its nature of production. Most of the corn grains used to make such cereal foods are usually genetically modified (otherwise called GMO).

KETO-FRIENDLY MEALS WITH CORN

Well, there some recipes that demand a little amount of corn, and they are also recommended for low-carb diets. 

You could try Southern Chili with ground beef, chicken, or turkey, a well-seasoned tomato base, and also a handful of beans and corn. You could even try sprinkling one or two tablespoons of corn niblets over a taco salad.

Other recipe alternatives you could try are the Corn Chowder recipes. You can modify the corn chowder recipe by halving the amount of corn that should be originally used for it. If one cup of corn is used for a whole pot which contains 6 servings, each bowl will have only 5 grams of carbs! 

These are some of the dishes that you could try with a little amount of corn and still maintain your ketogenic diet, but you have to be careful and disciplined in your consumption. 

As a keto dieter, you must be careful about the foods you consume, and you must be able to meet the prescribed food demands and lifestyle of a ketogenic dieter. The corn grain can interrupt your keto dietary system unless it isn’t consumed excessively. 

FINAL THOUGHTS ON CORN AND KETO

Corn can only be considered a keto-friendly diet if:

  • You make sure you strategically follow the targeted Ketogenic diet and only have small amounts of corn before or after a workout session.
  • Your intake of corn is below 50 grams depending on how you can handle carbs and enter and maintain a ketosis state.
  • You follow the CKS and make sure you consume the corn on your carb backloading day(s).

 

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3945587/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4994556/

https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/glycemic-index-and-glycemic-load-for-100-foods

https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/food-beverages/glycemic-index-glycemic-load

https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/glycemic-index/

 

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