Carbs in Corn and Other Nutritional Info

Carbs in corn, along with fiber, calories, selection and storage

Grilled corn
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Corn is usually thought of as a vegetable, but it is probably more accurately categorized as a grain (and, indeed, is sometimes called a "whole grain"). A corn plant is essentially a grass with exceptionally large leaves and seeds. Given this, it should be no surprise that corn is high in carbohydrates, mainly starch. Yellow and white corn have similar nutritional profiles, including in terms of carbohydrates.

  That said, we usually think of whole corn kernels as a vegetable, while dried, ground corn is more thought of as a grain.

Check out Carb Information for Cornmeal, Polenta, Grits, and Popcorn

There is not a lot of nutritional information available for blue corn and other colors of corn, so the nutritional information here is only for yellow corn.  White corn is similar in carbs to yellow corn, although it does not have as high a concentration of phytonutrients.

Corn is a New World crop, and was and is a staple food in parts of the Americas.  It is called maize in many parts of the world.

Carbohydrate and Fiber Counts for Corn

  • ½ cup raw of corn kernels: 12 grams of effective (net) carbohydrate plus 2 grams of fiber and 63 calories
  • 1 small ear corn (5½ to 6½ inches long; about 3 oz.): 12 grams of effective (net) carbohydrate plus 2 grams of fiber and 89 calories
  • 1 large ear corn (7¾ to 9 inches long; 4-4½ oz.): 27 grams of effective (net) carbohydrate plus 3 grams of fiber and 123 calories
  • ½ cup canned corn kernels: 14 grams of effective (net) carbohydrate plus 2 grams of fiber and 67 calories
  • ½ cup frozen (unprepared) corn: 15 grams of effective (net) carbohydrate plus 2 grams of fiber and 72 calories

Glycemic Index for Corn

Glycemic index studies of corn report averages of anywhere from 37 to 62.

An average GI of 54 is commonly used.

More Information about the Glycemic Index

Estimated Glycemic Load of Corn

  • ½ cup raw corn kernals: 8
  • 1 small ear corn (5½ to 6½ inches long; about 3 oz.): 9
  • 1 large ear corn (7¾ to 9 inches long; 4-4½ oz.): 12
  • ½ cup canned corn kernals: 6
  • ½ cup frozen (unprepared) corn:7

More Information About the Glycemic Load

Health Benefits of Corn

Corn is a very good source of thiamin, and a good source of folate, vitamin C, niacin, and pantothenic acid. Yellow (but not white) corn is an excellent source of lutein and zeaxanthin.

How to Select and Store Fresh Corn

Seek out ears of corn where the husk looks fresh and not beginning to dry out, and fits tightly around the ear.  If you peel back the husk, the kernels should also like plump and not as though they are drying out.

Ideally, you won't need to store fresh corn because you will be eating it right away.  People who grow their own corn will talk only have kiddingly about having the water boiling before going out to pick it.

  But if you have to store it, the refrigerator is the best place.  Corn also freezes exceptionally well, even on the cob.

Low-Carb Recipes with Corn?

I don't have any low-carb recipes with corn, but this recipe with yellow squash is similar to a corn casserole:

More Information About Corn at Calorie Count.

More Carb Profiles:

Sources:

Leroux, MarcusFoster-Powell, Kaye, Holt, Susanna and Brand-Miller, Janette. "International table of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2002." American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Vol. 76, No. 1, 5-56, (2002).

USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28.

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