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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Diabetic Diet >>  Corn

Corn For Diabetes

Available throughout the year, but relished more when freshly harvested during the summer, corn is a versatile crop that can be eaten both raw and cooked. Roast it, boil it, steam it, this crop can be included in multiple dishes and crèmes, enhancing the overall flavor of the dish. Until recently, corn was not considered an important part of our diet and food. Today corn is gaining popularity because of its many health benefits.

Nutrients In Corn

Corn is not only rich in dietary fiber, but in other mineral and vitamins too.
Vitamin B3, B5 and C along with manganese are some of its main nutrients. Corn is rich in antioxidants. These benefits are also found in red, purple or white corn. Carotenoids are found in large quantities and these phytonutrients make corn a much-desired food. Cornmeal made from yellow corn is chockfull of goodness with up to 14 times the normal desired range of beta carotenes. The primary antioxidants besides beta carotenes in corn include anthocyanins, lutein, protocatechuic acid and zeaxanthin. More on calories in corn

Corn is also a great source of dietary fiber with a good ratio of insoluble to soluble fiber. Recent research shows that corn has immense potential to help healthy bacteria grow in our intestines which help lower the risk of colon cancer. For this to have a sizeable impact, you need to eat over 2 cups of corn in a day. This seems like a lot and scientists are hopeful on identifying the long term effects of eating some corn every day. Regular ingestion of corn is great for the digestive system. More often than not corn is dropped from diets for diabetes or from low fat diets. Corn, along with being high in fiber and antioxidants, is also high in natural sugar. Corn is categorized as a starch and therefore it is only allowed in small portions for diabetics.

For a diabetic, with controlled blood sugar, only a little corn is allowed. This could be by way of some cornmeal or some pop corn or just natural corn on the cob. As this is a rich starch, and usually a high GI food, portions should be strictly controlled. A high GI food is a high glycemic index food. A glycemic index is a way to categorize food depending on how slowly or fast it releases sugar or glucose into the blood stream. Corn does have a high GI, but its natural sugars, nutrients and vitamins make it a slightly more preferred food. Corn has also shown that the anthocyanins can reduce the risk of kidney damage, a complication that frequently happens in diabetics.

Current medical research says eating corn regularly can help the body develop better blood sugar control. This is still largely unsubstantiated and you should not stop medication and eat only corn, without checking with your doctor first. Corn is also a main ingredient for High Fructose Corn Syrup or HFCS. This is one ingredient most people, not just diabetics, should avoid. HFCS is added to many preserved and packaged food. This syrup is responsible for huge unnatural sugar spikes. HFCS is on the list for many chronic conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular, obesity and other lifestyle related conditions. HFCS should not be a part of the diet for diabetes. There is a good chance you would not be aware that you are consuming HFCS. It becomes important for diabetics to be able to read labels. If you consume too much corn, your body and blood sugar might react in different ways as compared to what you might have heard. You have to know how to prepare it right. Caramelized corn or popcorn with butter might not be the best idea. Steaming corn or grilling it lightly might be a good way to get your dose of corn.

Submitted on January 16, 2014