Corn and Carbohydrates
A familiar site at this time of the year is the fruit and vegetable stands that pop up when the local, fresh produce becomes plentiful. I drive past a stand on the way to and from work each day, and there are usually at least two other stops along the highway where local farmers are selling fresh sweet corn. Yum! What can be better than fresh sweet corn that is picked and served in the same day?
Corn is one of those starchy vegetables, and so if you have diabetes or are “counting carbs,” the calories and carbs in corn can add up pretty quickly. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t eat corn or starchy vegetables. It means you have to be careful and not eat too many.
It’s also helpful to not think of foods as just “carbs” or “proteins.” Foods are usually packages of varied amounts of nutrients. Even though corn has carbohydrates in it, it is also a good source of fiber, contains some protein and potassium and is low in sodium (if you don’t add any salt to it).
If you do have diabetes, carbohydrate counting helps keep your blood glucose levels on target. Carbohydrate foods also provide a variety of important nutrients and give your body the energy it needs. Other foods containing carbohydrates include:
- Breads, grains and cereals
- Dried beans, legumes and starchy vegetables
- Fruit and fruit juices
- Non-starchy vegetables
- Dairy foods such as milk and yogurt
- Combination foods such as casseroles and pizza
- Sweets and desserts
The amount of carbohydrates you need each day varies from person to person and depends on your age, weight and activity level. Generally speaking, an average meal would contain three to four carb choices. Certainly corn on the cob can fit into that pattern; just watch the serving size and think moderation!