The next article in our nutrition series is about corn. It is the ubiquitous vegetable that isn’t actually a vegetable at all. It is a grain. No less, it is a starchy, sugary grain with little nutritional value. Because it is so high in carbohydrates, it turns to sugar in your body very quickly and can mess with your blood sugars.
It is everywhere, in various forms, and if your body doesn’t tolerate it well, it can be really difficult to avoid. In reality, unless you seek out grass fed meats, there is even corn in your corn fed meats from the average grocery store. You will find one of the following ingredients in a great many processed and/or fried foods and this is not all-inclusive:
- Corn syrup
- High fructose corn syrup
- Corn starch
- Modified corn starch
- Corn meal
- Dextrose, fructose, dextrin and maltodextrin are all sweeteners derived from corn
- Even supposed healthier sweeteners can come from corn, such as some brands of xylitol and erythritol. They are often considered healthier because they may not spike your blood sugar as much as other sweeteners when eaten.
- Corn oil, doesn’t contain the protein that most people react to however some can be sensitive to this as well
So what does an allergy or intolerance to corn look like? As always, it varies and can be difficult to figure out. Just like any other food allergy, most people who react to corn end up with reactions like hives, a rash and in extreme allergy cases, anaphylaxis. If you have an intolerance instead, it can leave you with just a general feeling of less than stellar health, such as sinus stuffiness, that you don’t even recognize until you have eliminated it from your diet. See the previous articles listed below for a full list of symptoms related to food allergies or intolerances.
There are foods that obviously use corn, such as corn tortillas, corn chips, cornbread, grits, hominy, etc. Here are some surprising places you’ll find corn of some kind, again not an all-inclusive list:
- Baking powder, look for brands with arrowroot powder instead or make your own
- Powdered sugar, look for brands with tapioca starch instead
- Anything with a gravy or thickened sauce typically has corn starch in it
- Peanut butter
- Vanilla extract
- Caramel colorings
- Canned and dried soups
- Canned fruits in a syrup
- Salad dressings
- Chocolate syrup
- Luncheon meats
What can you do about it? You can find out about food allergy testing in the previous articles within this nutritional series, see the links below. Food allergies require a complete avoidance of the problem food, in all forms. An intolerance can allow you to eat the food if you are willing to deal with the reaction your body has. You, also, have the wear and tear on your body’s systems each time you have a reaction. They can add up over time.
As mentioned previously, working with a clinical nutritionist can be a simple step toward better overall health. Here in Fort Collins, contact Pati Thomas, CN at Mountain Centre for Healing to take the first step. She works with people locally and across the country with great success.
Does anyone in your family have an allergy or intolerance to corn? How have you dealt with it successfully? What challenges have you faced? Let us know in the comments below.