Corn and Diabetes

Corn and Diabetes


Glycemic index:


Calories per 100 g:

111 kcal

Certain controversies abound on what foods to consume if you have diabetes, and corn is no exception. Although corn has a rich fiber, minerals, and vitamins profile, it is pretty high in carbs. Hence, you can eat corn if you have diabetes, but only in moderation, as recommended by the American Diabetes Association.


Nutritional value

  • Protein 3.4 g
  • Carbohydrate 21 g
  • Fat 1.5 g
  • Fiber 2.4 g
  • Sugar 4.5 g
  • Cholesterol 0 g

Does Corn Contain Excess Carbs?


One medium ear of cooked yellow sweet corn offers 17.1 g of carbs and 2.9 g of sugar. While this might seem pretty high, experts lean more towards the glycemic index (GI) when suggesting what foods to consume for people with diabetes.

Corn has a GI of 52, placing it in the low-glycemic foods bracket. This food category is best for diabetes patients as they slowly and steadily release glucose into the blood, which is ideal for blood sugar control.


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How Corn Can Benefit Those with Diabetes

A recent study on corn and diabetes revealed that corn offers a decent amount of flavonoids — polyphenolic antioxidants in vegetables and fruits - that protect from diseases like diabetes and obesity. Moreover, sweet corn and corn oil increase the body’s blood flow while regulating insulin and lowering cholesterol, making it an ideal food choice for diabetes patients with high cholesterol levels.

Corn also contains a decent amount of fiber, giving the feeling of fullness after consumption. This results in a reduced eating frequency, aiding weight loss in diabetes patients. This is especially beneficial as losing just 5–7% of body weight diminishes the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in high-risk adults by as much as 50%.


How Much Corn is Enough for a Person With Diabetes?


Overall, corn has been established as a pretty decent food for people with diabetes. However, the problem for many people lies in resisting the temptation to eat more than they should. Although the US National Library of Medicine suggests a daily carbs limit of 200 g for most adults with diabetes, the ideal amount will depend on your blood sugar level. Hence, consult your physician to help you determine just how much you should consume based on your blood glucose level.

The Nutritional Benefits of Corn for Diabetes Management

The Nutritional Benefits of Corn for Diabetes Management


When it comes to managing diabetes, incorporating nutrient-dense foods into your diet is crucial. Corn is a good source of many essential nutrients, including:



One medium-sized ear of corn contains approximately 3.5 grams of fiber, and consuming fiber-rich foods can help regulate blood sugar levels in individuals with diabetes. The fiber content in corn slows down the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream, which helps to prevent blood sugar spikes.


Vitamins and Minerals

Corn is also a good source of many essential vitamins and minerals. It contains vitamin C, thiamin, and folate, which are crucial for optimal health. Corn is also rich in minerals like magnesium, iron, and phosphorus.



Phytochemicals, also known as plant compounds, are essential nutrients that help protect the body from diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Corn is rich in many beneficial phytochemicals, including carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin, which are important for eye health.


Ways to Incorporate Corn into Your Diet


Corn can be enjoyed in many ways, making it a versatile ingredient in any diabetes-friendly diet. Here are a few ways to incorporate corn into your diet:


Grilled Corn on the Cob

Grilled corn on the cob is a classic summertime dish that is delicious and healthy. To make grilled corn, brush corn with a little bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper before grilling until the kernels are tender and slightly charred.


Corn and Black Bean Salad

Corn and black bean salad is an excellent side dish that can be made in just a few minutes. Simply combine corn, black beans, diced tomatoes, red onion, and cilantro in a bowl, and toss with olive oil, lime juice, salt, and pepper.


Corn Tortillas

Corn tortillas are a staple in many Mexican and Central American cuisines and are an excellent alternative to wheat-based tortillas. They are also an excellent source of fiber and protein, making them a great addition to any diabetes-friendly diet.


While corn is high in carbohydrates, its low glycemic index and numerous health benefits make it an excellent addition to a diabetes-friendly diet. Corn can provide many essential nutrients, including fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals when consumed in moderation, that help regulate blood sugar levels and promote overall health. So enjoy some delicious grilled corn or corn salad as part of your diabetes management plan!

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