Is corn good for weight loss?


Nagina Abdullah


March 18, 2019

Is corn good for weight loss - Feat

My weight loss clients and blog readers ask me all the time, “Is corn good for weight loss?”

It’s a confusing little golden vegetable.

Some people love grilled corn on the cob at a summer barbeque, others can’t imagine dinner without a side of the cheerful yellow veggie.

It has a nice sweet, plump bite to it that’s satisfying and summery.

In this post, I’ll talk about.

  • A chart comparing the calories and carbs for popular vegetables to shine a spotlight on whether corn is good for weight loss . . . or not
  • Corn byproducts that MUST be avoided if you want to lose weight
  • Health benefits of corn and how much corn is okay to enjoy once-in-a-while, but still keep your fat-burners in full gear

Is corn good for weight loss?

I understand why we love corn, but it’s not in my top recommended weight loss foods. However, it’s got its redeeming qualities.

Overall, corn is not an ideal weight-loss food. But small amounts of corn mixed in with other veggies can be part of a healthy weight loss plan (if you just can’t live without it).

Personally, I’ve always kept corn out of my diet because it is higher in carbohydrates and sugar than other vegetables. I advise eating other fibrous, less starchy vegetables other than corn whenever possible. But there is a way you can eat some corn and still lose weight.

When you look at the nutritional facts, the story tells itself.

Here are some corn nutrition facts. When looking at the 1 cup amount:

  • Corn has more than double the calories of carrots and four times the calories as green beans and broccoli.
  • It also has three to six times the carbohydrates and slightly more sugar than the other vegetables I highlight below.
  • In the best foods for weight loss, fiber would outweigh the sugar. Sugar and fiber are about even for corn (and carrots), but fiber is double or more than sugar in peas, broccoli, and green beans – making those much better for weight-loss because they will keep you more full, a result of having more fiber.

Let’s compare corn to other veggies that can be part of your weight loss plan.

is corn good for weight loss

(1), (2), (3), (4), (5)

As you can see, corn is higher in calories, carbohydrates, and sugar than other vegetables. The best way to work around this if you really miss corn is to be mindful of the portions you have.

In this way, small amounts of real, unprocessed corn CAN be part of a weight-loss food plan.

Can corn make you gain weight?

When wondering if corn is good for weight loss, I recommend you look to other vegetables when possible. Starchy veggies like corn, sweet potatoes, and winter squash have more sugar than non-starchy veggies like broccoli or leafy greens.

Corn CAN make you gain weight because it is higher in calories and carbs relative to other vegetables.

For example, say you are eating a meal with a protein and two sides. For your sides, if you eat a ½ a cup of corn, you’ll get about 15g of carbs. Then, say you want to have a side of toast. Ezekial bread is a high-fiber, low carb bread that I recommend. That has 14g of carbs. So now you have almost 30g of carbs, instead of 14 from the bread only. You could have had broccoli, asparagus, or another vegetable on the side and kept it at the 14g of carbs. This makes a huge difference over the course of the day, when you could be losing weight by managing your carbs more strictly.

It’s better that you eat the foods that actually quench your carb cravings for your carbs, like bread, instead of vegetables like corn. Eat vegetables for their fiber and nutrition, and not their carbs.

What will it be – Ezekiel bread or a small portion of corn?

If you were to eat corn instead of bread, it would be fine. But usually, that’s not what happens. We don’t ONLY want corn as a side.

However, because of the antioxidants and C and B vitamins, and fiber, corn is not bad food. It can help your body and is definitely better than other nutrient void foods like vending machine snacks. It’s healthy – just not ideal for weight-loss.

So having ½ a cup of corn in a vegetable mix or as a side dish a couple of times a week is a possible compromise – have a small, measured amount just two times a week.

Try adding it to bean and veggie salad, or serve it as a side with green veggies

You won’t miss the corn with my No-cook 3-Bean Salad recipe, or any of the tasty, salad recipes in this FREE Healthy and Filling Salads Cheat Sheet PDF.

However, beware eating processed corn products such as tortillas and corn chips! They can make you gain weight more easily. They’re also inflammatory, which can derail your weight loss efforts.

One definite corn-derived no-no is High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) or any of its byproducts. It will make you gain weight and increase your chances of developing diabetes. (6)

Corn benefits and side effects

I have to say again, real fresh corn is better than processed foods, but compared to other vegetables, it’s not the best option.

That being said, here are some things about corn that do make it beneficial if you’re going to have it.

Keep reading to find out which vitamins and minerals, and other health benefits make corn worth adding to your meal plan if you’ve been wanting it.

Corn has fiber, which is incredible for digestion, feeling satisfied for longer after a meal, and heart health. (7) It’s insoluble fiber, which absorbs water and bulks up stool to clean out your digestive tract and get things moving. (8Always drink extra water with insoluble fiber, to make sure it does move along and doesn’t hold things up!

It also has the antioxidant power of vitamin C, folic acid, and manganese, which contribute to bone health.

Plus, small amounts of corn could be good for weight loss because it has B-complex vitamins that boost metabolism, as well as some protein. (9)

In addition to its fiber content, low-calorie count (compared to corn chips), and vitamins, corn also contains something called “resistant starch.” This is a carb that digests slowly and might even help with weight loss in small amounts. (10)

But eating HFCS or other highly processed sweeteners derived from corn such as dextrose and glucose will add a lot of the worst kind of sugar. (6) These dangerous sweeteners are sneaked into soda, juice, candy, canned fruit, bread, and even sweetened yogurt!

Check out my top recommended yogurt brands for weight loss to avoid HFCS and other sneaky weight-gain sweeteners in what should be a healthy option.

Some last notes on “Is corn good for weight loss?”

If you do eat corn, I highly recommend you add a pinch of cayenne pepper, black pepper, or any of your other favorite spices for flavor plus an added weight-loss boost when you eat corn, for metabolism-boosting effects!

A Cornell study found that cooking corn increases the health benefits such as antioxidants by as much as 53%! (11) Those antioxidants in corn can help fight heart disease and Alzheimer’s and ferulic acid which fights cancer. (12)

The best way to enjoy corn is boiled or grilled with little to no butter and mixed with other low-carb veggies. I have a Spicy Black Bean Salad in my PDF that would be great to mix corn into. Too much butter can counteract the weight-loss benefits. Add those spices, though!

Is corn good for weight loss

Get 5 easy, mouth-watering salad recipes where you won’t even miss the corn in this Healthy, Filling Salads Recipes Cheat Sheet PDF.

How to lose weight with a desk job

Can you live without corn? What veggies can you replace it with – or which veggies/salads will you combine it with for a more effective weight-loss plan?

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Nagina Sethi Abdullah, BA, MBA

Nagina Abdullah is a health coach for middle-aged women and professionals. She coaches women to boost their metabolism naturally, shed pounds and keep them off. Her work with weight loss clients led to the creation of Masala Body, an online weight loss platform that provides an easy and accessible system that helps women sustainably lose weight. She has helped over 1200 women successfully lose from 10-80 lbs and create a sustainable lifestyle change. Nagina earned her degree in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley.

Reader Interactions


  1. Becky Nemchock says

    How about air popped popcorn?

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