The ketogenic diet, or "keto" as it is more commonly known, appears to be here to stay. The ketogenic diet, like many of the current eating fads (Paleo, Whole 30), is very stringent. In a nutshell, you want your body to enter a metabolic state called ketosis when fat is used for energy rather than carbohydrates.
How does that manifest itself, then? Dieters should aim to get at least 70% of their daily calories from fat. Yes, you can still lose weight while eating bacon and cheese. That leaves little room for protein and carbohydrates (like maize).
This is where most people's questions regarding carb-heavy foods like potatoes and corn emerge. How does corn fit into the keto diet? What about foods that are made primarily from corn, like corn tortillas, corn chips, and cornflakes?
Even though corn is technically a vegetable, it is a starchy vegetable, meaning it is high in carbohydrates rather than the fat that is preferred on the ketogenic diet. The amount of carbs in an ear of corn is about 41 grams. About 30 grams of carbohydrates can be found in a cup of maize.
Melanie Boehmer, M.S., a licensed nutritionist, insists that this fact in no way disproves the healthfulness of corn. Fiber, plant-based protein, vitamin C, and even a small amount of potassium and plant-based iron can be found in corn.
Moreover, corn is inexpensive, which is why corn-based items, such as corn syrup, can be found in many prepackaged foods. This means reading food labels while grocery shopping is essential; it's simple to consume unhealthy foods unwittingly.
Is Corn Considered a Keto Food?
Given how many carbohydrates are in maize, you probably aren't surprised to learn that it's not keto-friendly. However, keep in mind that according to Boehmer, a keto dieter can consume between 30 and 40 grams of carbohydrates daily.
Half a cup of maize has roughly 15 grams of carbohydrates, making it a great addition to a salad or an egg scramble.
May I Consume Corn-Based Products While on the Ketogenic Diet?
Corn is used in the production of a wide variety of meals, including tortillas, chips, pizza crust, and corn syrup. Is it safe to assume that these items are not suitable for keto dieters since they contain corn?
Simply put, products made from corn are likely to be heavy in carbohydrates.
Boehmer advises that if corn tortillas are your preferred source of carbs and you really enjoy them, by all means, include them in your meal. However, the rest of the food you eat should be rich in fat or moderate in protein. About 20 grams of carbohydrates can be found in a single corn tortilla.
Is Corn Healthy?
Since it contains a lot of fiber, corn is definitely good for you. But due to its high carbohydrate content, it's not a good choice if you're trying to stick to a ketogenic diet.
What Are Some of the Alternatives to Eating Corn?
Boehmer claims that there is an abundance of low-carb veggies that can be substituted for maize. Cauliflower, for instance, is increasingly being used as a gluten-free alternative to pizza crust, among other things. You can also eat vegetables like beets and carrots while on the keto diet.
The ketogenic diet may be stringent, but it leaves much room for culinary innovation. Beet pizza, anyone?
However, Boehmer warns that the diet isn't always appropriate for everyone, especially those who reside in food deserts and have limited access to healthy food options.
For success on the ketogenic diet, Boehmer adds, you need to be in close proximity to a high-end grocery stocked with the necessary items.
Overall, it is safe to consume corn while following a keto diet, but it is important to be mindful of the portion size. One ear of corn contains approximately 26 grams of carbs, which is a significant amount when following a low-carb diet. Additionally, corn is a starchy vegetable and should be consumed in moderation. Alas, it is still best to choose fresh or frozen corn over canned corn.
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