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What’s Fresh: Is corn healthy or not?

By Carolyn Malcoun, July 14, 2010 - 11:08am

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When I was writing about corn for the July/August issue of EatingWell Magazine, I decided to pose this question online: What do you want to know about corn?

My friend Lee pointedly asked, “Is corn even good for you?”

Good question. Is corn even good for you? Actually, it is, for two reasons.

Related Link: Find fiber-rich recipes to help you shed pounds.

First, corn is a starchy vegetable, and like other starchy vegetables (potatoes, peas) it contains fiber—in this case 4 grams per 1 cup of kernels, which is about 1 large ear. Eating enough fiber is important for helping to prevent chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer. Research also suggests that consuming fiber-rich foods might boost weight loss by helping you to feel fuller after you eat.

Related Link: Find 7 more fiber-rich foods that do the weight-loss work for you.

Second, like most other yellow and green vegetables, corn is a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin, compounds that help keep your eyes healthy as you age. (Get 5 tips for healthier eyesight.)

So corn can be part of a healthy diet. And to answer another question that my friends asked: The corn that makes ethanol and high-fructose corn syrup is not the same corn you buy on the cob. (Find out if high-fructose corn syrup is really worse than sugar.) In fact, of the more than 94 million acres of corn grown in the U.S. in 2007, less than 1 percent of it was sweet corn, the kind that we eat. So support your local farmers and get it fresh from the field right now.

No one really seemed to have any questions about how to cook it—I guess we’re all fairly accustomed to that. (But I’ve included my new favorite recipe—Corn & Basil Cakes.)

Related Link: Here are 20+ more great recipes for sweet corn , including Mexican Grilled Corn, Corn and Tomato Pie and more.

Download a FREE Healthy Vegetable Side Dish Recipe Cookbook!

What’s your favorite way to eat corn? Tell us what you think below.

TAGS: Carolyn Malcoun, Health Blog, Nutrition, Quick meals, What's in season

Carolyn Malcoun
A graduate of New England Culinary Institute and University of Wisconsin with a degree in journalism, Carolyn pairs her long-standing love for food with writing as EatingWell's senior food editor. Carolyn’s culinary interest is rooted in her childhood; she grew up making thousands of Christmas cookies every year with her mom and picking leaves off bunches of parsley to make tabbouleh with her dad. Away from the kitchen, Carolyn enjoys seeking out rare craft beers and exploring the outdoors with her husband, young daughter and dog.

Carolyn asks: What’s your favorite way to eat corn?

Tell us what you think:

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