Ask Your Reasor’s Registered Dietitians: Corn

Posted on September 28th, 2017

 

Often times the Reasor’s Registered Dietitians get asked what good corn actually is for our diets – here is our answer!

Whole Grain Goodness
Did you know corn is a whole grain??? That’s right! Think about it – corn bread, polenta, corn tortillas, it’s the grain in many meals! MyPlate teaches us to make half of our grains whole grains, and a serving of corn is only 1/2 cup of corn or about a 4 inch long section of corn on the cob.

Grains should make up one quarter of our MyPlate

We consume corn in a variety of formats: corn on the cob, popcorn, corn chips, corn tortillas – the list could go on and on! It is a common grain in many of our diets, but quite a few people have a fear of fresh corn because they think they are unable to digest it. We don’t want you to be afraid of it, though – corn is actually quite helpful to our GI tracts!

Mmmm, Fiber!
Corn is a fairly good source of fiber, and most of the fiber present in corn is called “insoluble fiber”. What’s “insoluble fiber” you ask??? Well, there are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble, and we’ll tell you all about them!

Soluble Fiber attracts water and turns into a gel-like substance to help slow digestion and feed the bacteria in the colon (probiotics). Simply put, soluble fiber dissolves in water. Soluble fiber can also help lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar. Some examples of soluble fibers include:

  • Fruits like citrus fruits and berries
  • Oat products
  • Beans

Dry Pinto Beans

Insoluble Fiber cannot be dissolved in water or used to feed the bacteria in the colon, but it helps promote regular bowel movements and can alleviate constipation. Some examples of insoluble fiber include:

  • Whole grains like wheat, rye, brown rice, and corn
  • Many non-starchy vegetables like carrots and greens
  • Nuts and seeds

Corn is a beautiful whole grain and tastes great boiled, steamed, and even grilled!

How Much Fiber Do We Need?
Here are the recommended daily fiber intakes in grams for adults:

  • Children Age 1 to 3 = 19 grams
  • Children Age 4 to 8 = 25 grams
  • Females Age 50 & Younger = 25 grams
  • Females Age 51 & Older = 21 grams
  • Males Age 50 & Younger = 38 grams
  • Males Age 51 & Older = 30 grams

Don’t Forget to Drink (Water, That Is!)!
When we add fiber into our diets it is very important we also remember to stay properly hydrated. Fluids help keep fiber moving through our digestive tracts, and we want to keep our gut movin’ and groovin’!

At minimum you should drink half of your weight in ounces each day. So, if you weigh 200 pounds, you want to make sure and drink at least 100 ounces each day. Fluids come from beverages like water, tea, and coffee and can even come from foods, too!

So see, corn has many benefits to offer our bodies and well-being! Corn is:

  • A whole grain providing us with necessary nutrients like fiber
  • A source of fiber aiding in the process of digestion
  • Pretty darn tasty, to boot!

Content was originally published as a Facebook note for Reasor’s Healthy Living on April 20, 2017.

Sydney Cavero-Egúsquiza, MS, RD/LD is a Reasor’s Registered Dietitian, and she recently tried grilled corn on the cob and loved it! Sydney offices out of the Bixby Reasor’s, and she also provides dietitian services at the Reasor’s stores at 71st & Sheridan and in Sand Springs.

Information included does not constitute medical advice and should only be used as a general recommendation for a healthy, balanced diet and lifestyle. Reasor’s Registered Dietitians’ opinions and recommendations are their own; they are not paid to endorse any products or services.

Sources: Text: The Science of Nutrition by Thompson, Manore, and Vaughn (2008)

USDA: https://www.nal.usda.gov/sites/default/files/fnic_uploads//recommended_intakes_individuals.pdf