Is Sweet Corn Good for Diabetes?

Sweet corn, in any form, shape or size, makes for a delicious hunger-crusher. Boiled corn kernels, jazzed up with lime juice and chaat masala, have been my go-to snacks for evening commute back home.

And who doesn’t enjoy munching on roasted corn-on-the-cob? But when it comes to complications of diabetes, one is always cautious. So, what is the verdict on sweet corn for diabetes? 

Is Boiled Corn Good for Diabetes?

The humble sweet corn packs a mighty punch when it comes to delivering nutrition along with taste. Yes, it does have a high amount of sugar and sweet corn carbs but it is also a good source of Vitamin C and antioxidants.

Moreover, its high fibre content helps regulate your bowel movement. Boiled corn has a low GI of 52 which means that it breaks down gradually during digestion and slowly releases glucose in the blood stream. 

Does Sweet Corn Raise Blood Sugar Levels?

In one word, yes, it does. Sweet corn carbs are the main constituents of this starchy vegetable and we all know how qucikly simple starch or carbs break down into glucose and spikes blood sugar levels.

However, sweet corn does have a low GI score and low glycemic load of 8.5. This implies that it doesn’t bring about a rushed or sudden spike in your blood glucose levels.

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And when we consume it moderately, in small portion sizes, paired along with the optimum food groups, it contributes towards our overall better health. Whew, what a relief!

Glycemic Index of Sweet Corn

Glycemic Index, also referred to as GI, is a type of system that assigns a number or numeric value to foods based on how much carbohydrate they contain and how fast eating each of these can increase your blood sugar levels.

Whatever food you partake has a direct impact on your blood glucose levels. Being aware of the GI count of the things you eat helps you be mindful of their effect on your blood sugar levels.

Keeping a track of GI count is all the more necessary for a person dealing with complications of diabetes mellitus. Glycemic index, or GI, is usually divided into three categories:

Low GI – between 1 and 55

Medium GI – between 56 and 69

High GI – 70 and above

Glycemic Index of raw sweet corn is 55 which makes it a low GI food.

Nutritional value of Sweet Corn

100 gms of sweet corn contains:

Fibre5 gms
Carbohydrate17 gms
Sugar8 gms
Protein8 gms

Apart from these, sweet corn contains a high amount of Vitamins A, B and C, potassium, magnesium, iron and zinc. It also has Vitamins E and K in smaller amounts.

Sweet Corn Benefits for Diabetes

There are plenty of sweet corn benefits that can help a person with diabetes lead a fulfilling life. Sweet corn contains carotenoids and folate in a good amount, like such as lutein and zeaxanthin that are good for eye health.

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This implies that consuming sweet corn can help you avoid and manage macular degeneration.

Besides that, sweet corn benefits also include:

  • High fibre content is an important health benefit of sweet corn. It helps to regulate one’s bowel movement by increasing gut health and aids in smooth digestion.
  • Sweet corn keeps you fuller for a longer period of time, thus, helping you restrain from unhealthy snacking and helping you in your weight management.
  • It lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

How Much Corn Can People With Diabetes Eat?

We must keep in mind that sweet corn is a starchy food with some good amount of sugar in it, thus, one needs to consume it moderately.

It is always a good practice to pair it with other, high fibre foods so as to keep a control on the blood glucose level. That way, you can take optimum advantage of all the health benefits of sweet corn, along with maintaining a healthy diet.

However, do pay attention to a slight risk factor. Sweet corn does contain some antinutrients – compounds that keep your body from thoroughly absorbing nutrients. Therefore, soaking and boiling your sweet corn before consumption makes for a healthy practice. 


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About the Author: Tung Chi