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Q&A: What's the nutritional value of corn?

Consumer Reports News: January 12, 2010 06:38 AM

I love corn but rarely see it in your nutritional tables. Is it good for you? —F.A., Stockton, Calif.

It can be, if you eat it in the right form. Corn can be classified as either a vegetable or a grain. Kernels of corn, on or off the cob, are vegetables. But popcorn and the processed corn used to make corn muffins and cereals are grains. While the grain form doesn’t offer much in the way of nutrition, the vegetable form is a decent bet. It’s not rich in vitamins and minerals—just small amounts of niacin, phosphorous, potassium, and vitamin A. But it has a lot of water and a moderate amount of fiber, which can help keep you full, and has a minimal effect on blood sugar, which may help suppress your appetite. And yellow corn contains impressive levels of some disease-fighting phytochemicals, including lutein, which may help protect the eyes. To keep corn healthy, skip the butter and salt in favor of lime juice or fresh pepper.

Read more on how to fill your nutritional gaps with healthful foods , and for more on dieting and choosing the right foods, see our Diet & Nutrition section.

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