This Week’s Question: Will Eating Corn Make Me Fat?
It's difficult to say no to a delicious, piping hot corn on the cob seasoned with spices in this monsoon weather. But lately, it seems that many people are more reluctant than eager to take a bite. This is because of the latest health buzz that eating corn will make you fat. As a matter of fact, nowadays many people have parted ways with corn altogether because of the fear of weight gain. Today, we take a look at this dilemma and help you answer the question: Will eating corn make me fat?
Tender corn has about 1/3rd the calories of dry corn. At 125 calories per 100 g, it contains about 5 g of protein and negligible amount of fat.
Bangalore-based Registered Dietitian and Wellness Consultant, Sheela Krishnaswamy answers the top 5 FAQs on corn for us:
- Corn is full of natural sugars and carbs; does this make it unhealthy? Corn is not at all unhealthy. Since it's rich in carbs, it’s a great source of energy. High in nutrients, corn is extremely rich in Vitamin B1, Vitamin B5 and Vitamin C, which helps in fighting diseases and generating new cells. High in fibre, corn also helps in lowering cholesterol levels in the body by reducing the levels of blood sugar in diabetics too. A whole grain product, it can be easily included in a healthy diet.
- If raw and fresh corn is healthy, then why is popcorn unhealthy? Popcorn is not unhealthy either. It’s a great filler between meals, as long as it’s unbuttered and contains less salt. The buttered and salted popcorn should be restricted because of the fat and sodium content in it. Also, since popcorn is normally eaten while watching television or a movie, there’s a greater chance of eating large quantities of popcorn because one is more engrossed in the film rather than the quantity of popcorn eaten. Excess intake of fat and sodium has its consequences on health, as we all know.
- Will eating corn chips make me fat? Yes, if the chips are fried and it’s consumed in large quantities and the excess calories are not burnt off, they are sure to make you fat. Weight gain is not about just one food, but an energy balance.
- Are cornflakes healthy? Cornflakes are very low in fat and contain mostly starch. Also it’s eaten in combination with milk, which brings in a balance of carbohydrates and protein.
- Regular consumption of corn, in moderate quantities, has been associated with better cardiovascular health. How true is the statement? Corn by itself cannot protect the heart. But yes, it’s as good as any other grain like brown rice, wheat, ragi, jowar, etc.
Corn can be used in many ways – as a breakfast cereal, as a snack (boiled corn / corn cup / popcorn), as part of a salad or soup, as an ingredient in a baked dish, etc. At the risk of sounding clichéd, weight loss or gain is not about one single food. It’s about a healthy lifestyle.
Bottom-Line. Add corn to your meals and snacks to receive its health benefits. Just watch the amount you eat and practice portion control when eating corn and it will not make you fat!
*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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