Corn: Golden High-Fiber Goodness

The mainstay of Native American diets for thousands of years, corn remains a popular food for modern Americans. There’s nothing corny about this succulent kernel, which provides an array of health benefits.


Corn is mostly a complex carbohydrate, the kind of starchy food the American Heart Association says should make up at least half our calories each day. And even though it’s a popular source of oil, sweet corn itself is low in fat. Corn is also great for people trying to lose weight. A single plain ear of corn (about a half-cup serving of kernels) has only about 80 calories.

Corn also provides about three grams of fiber per ear. It has both soluble and insoluble fiber. The insoluble fiber may help to protect against constipation and hemorrhoids. And the soluble fiber may help reduce blood cholesterol levels.

A study by researchers at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, showed that people who added 17 to 34 grams a day of fiber-rich corn bran to their daily diets had a 20 percent drop in cholesterol levels within 12 weeks.

Try fresh, air-popped popcorn to fill up on corn fiber. One cup provides over a gram of fiber, with only 23 calories and a negligible amount of fat. Eschew the oil and salt and season your popcorn with garlic, curry or even cinnamon.

To keep fresh sweet corn a healthy food, don’t slather it with salted butter. Try eating it plain. That’s no hardship if you can get your hands on some truly fresh sweet corn-corn that’s picked after the kettle is boiling.

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