By Isabella Sorresso
Over the years there has been much speculation as to whether or not corn is good for you. Today we are setting the record straight.
Corn is a whole grain, meaning that what you are eating is the seed of the corn plant. According to the Whole Grains Council, “sweet corn” is usually what you will find at the grocery store and is named for its high sugar content. But, do not let that deter you from eating it because the whole grain offers important nutrients — one of the most important being vitamin A. Corn has more than 10 times more vitamin A compared to other grains.
Recent research shows that corn is also high in antioxidants and carotenoids that are associated with eye health, such as lutein and zeaxanthin and it is gluten free, according to the WGC.
However, corn is the most widely produced feed grain in the United States. Because of this, it can be found in varying forms in foods we eat every day like cereals, chips and anything with cornmeal, corn ﬂour or corn syrup.
High fructose corn syrup is the main reason corn is seen as unhealthy. According to the Food and Drug Administration, HFCS is created when “enzymes are added to corn syrup in order to convert some of the glucose to another simple sugar called fructose.” Once this product is broken down in the body, the end product is essentially 100 percent glucose — a naturally occurring molecule. As of January, the FDA had no evidence that HFCS is less safe or less healthy than other food sweeteners, such as sucrose or honey.
So what is the bottom line? If you want to eat corn, go for it! It is packed with nutrients and foods with HFCS are fine in moderation, so do not feel guilty about adding corn back to your barbecue lineup this summer!