Health Risks Associated with Corn

Posted by Eric Lancaster on

As with most other kinds of foods, corn should be consumed in proper moderation. What makes corn unique, however, is its ubiquity. Nearly every form of prepared food on the grocery store shelves or in your favorite restaurant makes use of corn in one way or another, whether it is a savory dish full of corn-derived oil or one of the countless entrees that has a corn-based sweetener. “Moderation” in this case becomes a difficult task that involves both identifying and limiting food that contains the grain. However, the health risks associated with excessive corn consumption make such effort all the more necessary.

High Carb Content

Despite the fact that it is commonly thought of as a vegetable, corn is a grain. Like all other grains, it is an excellent source of carbohydrates, which is why it is so often used as a sweetener in soda, candy and other treats. The corn we have today is sweet. It is not the corn that was part of traditional diets. It has been bred over years for more and more sugar content. Carbohydrates are common in western diets, and most Americans and Europeans eat far more carbs than they need to meet their nutritional requirements. Look for opportunities to replace carbohydrates in your diet with green leafy vegetables, healthy fats, and lean proteins for a better balance.

Fat Imbalances

Corn is also rich in Omega 6 fatty acids. In moderation, of course, this would be a good thing, but consuming Omega 6 without an equally adequate source of Omega 3 can lead to an unhealthy ratio of the two fats. An imbalance in Omega 6 and Omega 3 can lead to inflammation and other discomforts throughout the body. Read ingredient lists carefully, and avoid too many foods that contain corn fat. Canola oil contains a much better ratio of the two fatty acids. However, coconut oil is probably the best oil to use in cooking for a variety of reasons.

GMO Concerns

Corn possess a special obstacle for those basing their diet on natural foods. Finding non-GMO corn products is far more difficult than finding other kinds of truly organic food. Even otherwise natural packaged foods can contain additives derived from GMO corn, and these products must be purchased with caution. Many consumers have reported severe allergic reactions and digestive issues after consuming GMO corn. More and more research is coming out demonstrating the connections between digestive issues and GMO foods. The only way to know foods do not contain GMO ingredients is to purchase certified organic foods from that are certified by a reputable certifying agency. Organic foods in the USA will have the USDA Organic seal on them if they contain 95% or more certified organic ingredients.

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