Okay, so this is where things turn a little gray, and when I say gray, I don’t mean gloomy, I mean there is black and white, and corn makes up the gray part.
Corn is extremely pro-inflammatory. When I first started my weight loss program a couple of years ago, every elimination diet I read about said to pluck the corn right out. Forever. Permanently. I tried doing this, but it didn’t last. It’s far easier to find gluten free foods now versus ten years ago, but a lot of gluten free items will be made of quinoa, rice, or corn. So going corn-free and gluten-free at the same time is far too expensive, and far too difficult for my taste. The objective is to be able to afford your groceries- telling you to go gluten-free and corn-free simultaneously is setting you up for a great challenge.
I will use this section to teach you about the genetically modified aspect of corn, elaborate on the effect corn has on your body, tell you where corn hides, and give you tips and advice on how to limit your intake of corn easily.
Corn is a cheap, unhealthy grain. Almost all U.S. corn is genetically modified. A lot of people will consider corn a vegetable, but it’s not. It’s a grain. Because corn has a high glycemic index, cornstarch (and corn syrup) tends to very easily break down into sugar. Making you fat and prone to diabetes, among other health problems, not to mention food intolerance’s!
There are 22 different types of fungi in corn, the worst of them being Aflatoxin, which is highly carcinogenic and deadly. The USDA inspects every batch of corn for this, and affected corn ends up in animal feed for both livestock and pets. Corn is also very high in lectins, which as we discussed previously, attach themselves to your microvilli preventing you from properly absorbing nutrients and making you prone to Leaky Gut Syndrome.
Want to know what is the absolutely worst part of this whole corn thing? High-Fructose corn syrup! Do you know what fructose is? Remember, let’s revisit biology class again. Fructose is a sugar found in … you guessed it, fruit! Now I’m not saying eating a melon or pineapple is bad, not at all! These are the natural foods that our magnificent machines of bodies were intended to consume, however, do you know what type we’re not meant to consume? High-fructose! When high-fructose is present, everything we eat bypasses the hunger response (leptin resistance), and tells our body to keep eating. More. More. More. The fructose that is found inside high-fructose corn syrup raises blood pressure and triglyceride levels. Unlike glucose, it’s metabolized in the liver, where it increases fat production, making you fat. Fructose doesn’t stimulate insulin like glucose does, leaving you on a spike without a fall.
Again, like I mentioned in the section on gluten, I want you to do your homework by researching more on corn. However, try to avoid the corn as much as you can, at least half of the time, more if you can. This means avoiding the fried foods with corn starch (because it’s fried, too! And often in corn oil) and definitely avoiding the high-fructose corn syrup, and even corn syrup in general. You don’t need it, nor do you need the foods that it’s present in. More than likely, they’re going to be unhealthy, too.
When I say avoid corn half of the time, I mean to try your best to find completely corn free options, but when you do eat corn, eat as little as possible. As far as the high-fructose corn syrup (and regular corn syrup) we discussed earlier, avoid it all together. Completely. There is no reason to consume it, and it’s extremely easy to avoid it.
I am all about buying organic, but it can get expensive. I like to tell clients to let’s first work on getting healthy and losing weight, then down the road let’s work on eating 100% organic. Except for corn. When you do choose a food containing corn, make sure it’s organic and GMO free. This is the one time you want to spend the extra money and buy it GMO free and organic.