4

votes

Corn cant be digested so is it really a big deal?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created January 23, 2012 at 5:38 PM

My 12 year old son and I were discussing Paleo and he asked why corn was a no no because as he put it "you dont digest corn anyway"? Which raises my question, if we dont indeed digest most of corn is it really that bad? I REALLY miss my chips and salsa, that is just some good stuff right there. I can do without all the other bread and grains but I just really liked that and havent found a good sub for it to this day. And before all the purists out there get their backs up and hammer me, no i am not looking for permission to eat what I want. Just curious as to how it could affect you so badly with so little of it being digested.

219ce991d8c94447870c824680de53e0

(457)

on January 24, 2012
at 05:01 PM

@ curmujeon - You are cracking on me for my post with that waste of a response? If you arent going to help, do us all a favor and zip it.

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on January 24, 2012
at 03:33 AM

Whole corn is not fully digested which is obvious to most. Ground corn as in tortilla chips, polenta, cornbread, whatever, I'm willing to bet digestibility is high.

C2ad96801ec1e22d2bf62475b6e52751

(1416)

on January 24, 2012
at 03:14 AM

I also love that we're now reduced to "Have you read any of the books?". Like, that's an argument now. Shit.

C2ad96801ec1e22d2bf62475b6e52751

(1416)

on January 24, 2012
at 03:14 AM

Way to insult the OP's child, that's helpful.

A912ff969107d3eda04ee78c683a6bc5

(178)

on January 24, 2012
at 01:09 AM

Wheat/oat bran can't be digested either but these are a big deal though many don't know it until they eliminate them from their diet.

A912ff969107d3eda04ee78c683a6bc5

(178)

on January 24, 2012
at 01:05 AM

Sounds like your son could be an industrial quality nutritional scientist. Do you always take what he says and run with it? Have you read any of the books?

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on January 23, 2012
at 11:28 PM

@Danny: Regardless, corn is digested and provides some energy.

B8592e62f9804ddabae73c1103d6bcb9

(1956)

on January 23, 2012
at 11:26 PM

Popcorn diet, already exists.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 23, 2012
at 10:26 PM

Most all plants have phytic acid. I'm less convinced phytic acid is a problem, particularly on a nutrient-rich paleo diet.

C56baa1b4f39839c018180bf63226f7d

(3499)

on January 23, 2012
at 10:07 PM

@balor123 yes, corn contains zein, a prolamin like gliadin and hordein.

001cd8e3885a870edc0ea8323ad9c719

(260)

on January 23, 2012
at 09:53 PM

At home I buy corn tortillas and fry them in coconut oil, but if I'm out at a restaurant I'll have a few corn chips. I just stack them so high with salsa or guacamole I don't have to eat too many.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on January 23, 2012
at 09:30 PM

Interesting, is it just corn or are there other plant products you don't digest as well?

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 23, 2012
at 09:22 PM

@PrimalDanny, well it's been a while since I ate sweet corn but I'd have to say I didn't chew it all that thoroughly. With the corn chips it depends on what else I eat but there's been quite a bit of evidence there too.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 23, 2012
at 09:20 PM

@Matt, I've already done the work and I don't digest corn. It's been true my whole life along with other GI issues. I'm certainly not the only one with digestive issues and, as I said, as I continue to heal this may change. Or not.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 23, 2012
at 08:22 PM

Nance- I'm pretty sure you're digesting corn just fine. It might look undigested, but it's really on the outside that's left. Find a local grain-fed cow and check it out. ;)

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on January 23, 2012
at 07:42 PM

And perhaps the bigger issue with corn chips is the high n6 oils that they are typically fried in (corn/canola/soy). Plain Fritos only has 3 ingredients: Corn, corn oil, salt. Yummy!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on January 23, 2012
at 07:40 PM

I use pork rinds for chips. I bring them to mexican restaurants. They love me there. No, really!

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on January 23, 2012
at 07:34 PM

This one I had was Bob's Red Mill brand, I believe the white flour component was replaced with sorghum and some other non-gluten grains. I LOVE cornbread and am pretty sad that even the gluten-free one did me in :(

363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on January 23, 2012
at 07:34 PM

But a GF cornbread would not have white flour.

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on January 23, 2012
at 07:34 PM

This one I had was Bob's Red Mill brand, I believe the white flour componenet was replaced with sorghum and some other non-gluten grains. I LOVE cornbread and am pretty sad that even the gluten-free one did me in :(

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on January 23, 2012
at 07:33 PM

Don't you, y'know, chew it sometimes? And since when did corn chips have recognisable kernels or shells for that matter?

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on January 23, 2012
at 07:31 PM

That's not how calories are calculated.

De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on January 23, 2012
at 07:29 PM

Does corn have no anti-nutrients like other seeds?

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 23, 2012
at 07:11 PM

I understand that most people handle everything but the shell/skin of the corn but I just happen not to absorb the starch either--the starch, the little kernel heart, it's all there. Very comical, actually.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 23, 2012
at 07:10 PM

I actually did this; I'm not saying everyone is the same but if I eat a ton of sweet corn in the summer it's guaranteed weight loss. I used to do it every year.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 23, 2012
at 07:08 PM

@James, yes I tested my blood sugar. I rarely eat corn, although I love buttered sweet corn--all I absorb is the butter but it sure tastes good when I eat it. And, for the record, I don't just see the shells at the other end.

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on January 23, 2012
at 06:56 PM

cornbread typically is made with cornmeal and white flour (to a ratio of anywhere between 75%/25% to 50%/50% and all in-between), at least in my Southern culinary experience. Plus, depending on where you are, it will have at the least *some* sugar, to an almost birthday cake amount.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on January 23, 2012
at 06:38 PM

Oatz *

7f7069fc4d8d2456cec509d0f9e9bb34

(865)

on January 23, 2012
at 06:27 PM

I agree that GMO is a real issue, as well as glycophosphate contamination from the Roundup. As far as the non-digested argument, then the same applies to peanuts. We always jiked about corn and peanuts in poop. Ask any 12-year-old.

219ce991d8c94447870c824680de53e0

(457)

on January 23, 2012
at 06:01 PM

@ jeremiah, thanks or the link. Pretty interesting.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on January 23, 2012
at 05:58 PM

Did you test your blood sugar afterwards? I'm wondering if the "non-digesters" are really "non-visibly digesters". The starch is all inside the shell, and usually what you see come out is the shell itself.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 23, 2012
at 05:51 PM

In my case, at least, since I don't digest it there is no BG response. Sorry if that seems weird but it is true.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 23, 2012
at 05:50 PM

The problem for most of us is that we digest corn too well. Instant blood sugar, and when combined with all the fryer fat an easy way to deposit fat.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on January 23, 2012
at 05:46 PM

And btw, chips and salsa seems relatively benign to me.

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10 Answers

8
E91fd339d760ed76cc72570a679ebf5a

(2369)

on January 23, 2012
at 06:29 PM

If corn wasn't digested there would be a huge market in the diet industry for "The Corn Diet", in which you stuff yourself with nothing but "zero-calorie" corn all day long and lose amazing amounts of weight...

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 23, 2012
at 07:10 PM

I actually did this; I'm not saying everyone is the same but if I eat a ton of sweet corn in the summer it's guaranteed weight loss. I used to do it every year.

B8592e62f9804ddabae73c1103d6bcb9

(1956)

on January 23, 2012
at 11:26 PM

Popcorn diet, already exists.

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on January 24, 2012
at 03:33 AM

Whole corn is not fully digested which is obvious to most. Ground corn as in tortilla chips, polenta, cornbread, whatever, I'm willing to bet digestibility is high.

6
095ef76482234d3db444b77d7ed01c29

(2755)

on January 23, 2012
at 06:06 PM

Corn does digest. Your body does absorb the sugar from it as well as what starch is there. What appears to be undigested is the outside fiber hull around the kernel that is filled with water and excrement when it's passed from the body.

It actually has very little nutritional value so why eat the calories without getting some benefit? Our modern hybrid corn is much worse for us than natural corn that can grow wild like Indian corn.

I'll choose to pass on it myself. If you want to eat it, go ahead... but it will not help you move towards your goals whatever they are. When I was bodybuilding, I did eat corn and grits just for the carbohydrates, but those calories were not as useful as ones from things like oats.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on January 23, 2012
at 06:38 PM

Oatz *

3
24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on January 23, 2012
at 06:16 PM

Corn seems to cause me problems- I've had a gluten-like reaction to GF cornbread (I don't think this was due to cross-contamination, as I am not highly sensitive), and I got bloated this weekend after eating corn chips at a Mexican restaurant (which probably aren't just made from corn and may have gluten, but I'm not sure). I'd give it a try and see how it goes.

363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on January 23, 2012
at 07:34 PM

But a GF cornbread would not have white flour.

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on January 23, 2012
at 06:56 PM

cornbread typically is made with cornmeal and white flour (to a ratio of anywhere between 75%/25% to 50%/50% and all in-between), at least in my Southern culinary experience. Plus, depending on where you are, it will have at the least *some* sugar, to an almost birthday cake amount.

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on January 23, 2012
at 07:34 PM

This one I had was Bob's Red Mill brand, I believe the white flour componenet was replaced with sorghum and some other non-gluten grains. I LOVE cornbread and am pretty sad that even the gluten-free one did me in :(

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on January 23, 2012
at 07:34 PM

This one I had was Bob's Red Mill brand, I believe the white flour component was replaced with sorghum and some other non-gluten grains. I LOVE cornbread and am pretty sad that even the gluten-free one did me in :(

3
564ede5c7af40ac272d3438e3ec0495c

on January 23, 2012
at 05:49 PM

I think rather than digestion your concern should be blood sugar. Glycemic Load for corn chips is similar to sponge cake, banana bread and even popular kids cereals.

http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/Glycemic_index_and_glycemic_load_for_100_foods.htm

219ce991d8c94447870c824680de53e0

(457)

on January 23, 2012
at 06:01 PM

@ jeremiah, thanks or the link. Pretty interesting.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 23, 2012
at 07:08 PM

@James, yes I tested my blood sugar. I rarely eat corn, although I love buttered sweet corn--all I absorb is the butter but it sure tastes good when I eat it. And, for the record, I don't just see the shells at the other end.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 23, 2012
at 05:51 PM

In my case, at least, since I don't digest it there is no BG response. Sorry if that seems weird but it is true.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on January 23, 2012
at 09:30 PM

Interesting, is it just corn or are there other plant products you don't digest as well?

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on January 23, 2012
at 05:58 PM

Did you test your blood sugar afterwards? I'm wondering if the "non-digesters" are really "non-visibly digesters". The starch is all inside the shell, and usually what you see come out is the shell itself.

2
6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on January 23, 2012
at 09:10 PM

Since corn is a seed there is a good dose of phytic acid unless you soak the corn before you eat it.

The phytic acid will block the absorption of minerals.

http://www.phyticacid.org/grains/corn-phytates/

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 23, 2012
at 10:26 PM

Most all plants have phytic acid. I'm less convinced phytic acid is a problem, particularly on a nutrient-rich paleo diet.

2
6498694060d879a7960b35913539b75f

(1307)

on January 23, 2012
at 08:48 PM

Corn makes my blood sugar skyrocket, and I have digestive issues for hours afterwards. This is a big deal to me!

2
5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on January 23, 2012
at 06:07 PM

Prove it isn't digested. You see the cellulose shell coming out, but what about the insides of it? That's where all the high calorie starchy goodness is.

On the Paleo front. Historically, modern corn didn't exist back then. It's a neolithic crop that was "created" by crossbreeding grasses/grains. So, didn't exist way back, based off grains.

On the modern front, the vast majority of corn in the US is GMO corn. Why is this bad? There are components in it that your body doesn't know what to deal with, or can't filter out as well. Example, GMO items with pesticides in it to protect the plant from bugs. Your liver has to filter that out and process that. I don't believe there's any long term studies on impacts on humans, but I've seen at least one where it's bad for animals.

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on January 23, 2012
at 07:33 PM

Don't you, y'know, chew it sometimes? And since when did corn chips have recognisable kernels or shells for that matter?

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 23, 2012
at 07:11 PM

I understand that most people handle everything but the shell/skin of the corn but I just happen not to absorb the starch either--the starch, the little kernel heart, it's all there. Very comical, actually.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 23, 2012
at 09:22 PM

@PrimalDanny, well it's been a while since I ate sweet corn but I'd have to say I didn't chew it all that thoroughly. With the corn chips it depends on what else I eat but there's been quite a bit of evidence there too.

7f7069fc4d8d2456cec509d0f9e9bb34

(865)

on January 23, 2012
at 06:27 PM

I agree that GMO is a real issue, as well as glycophosphate contamination from the Roundup. As far as the non-digested argument, then the same applies to peanuts. We always jiked about corn and peanuts in poop. Ask any 12-year-old.

2
5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on January 23, 2012
at 05:44 PM

Corn is almost entirely digested, or else it would not contain calories. And the arguments I've heard against corn have not really been coherent enough to be memorable, so I treat it as a safe starch.

De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on January 23, 2012
at 07:29 PM

Does corn have no anti-nutrients like other seeds?

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on January 23, 2012
at 05:46 PM

And btw, chips and salsa seems relatively benign to me.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 23, 2012
at 05:50 PM

The problem for most of us is that we digest corn too well. Instant blood sugar, and when combined with all the fryer fat an easy way to deposit fat.

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on January 23, 2012
at 07:31 PM

That's not how calories are calculated.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on January 23, 2012
at 11:28 PM

@Danny: Regardless, corn is digested and provides some energy.

C56baa1b4f39839c018180bf63226f7d

(3499)

on January 23, 2012
at 10:07 PM

@balor123 yes, corn contains zein, a prolamin like gliadin and hordein.

1
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 23, 2012
at 05:45 PM

I'm in the group that really doesn't digest corn--pretty much comes out as it goes in. That may change as I continue to get healthier, but there's no sign of change yet.

That said, it can't be ideal to have soggy corn working its way through your innards--if my gut flora don't want it and I'm not getting anything good out of it, then the only possible outcomes are neutral or negative. I can't consider it part of my nutritional regime or a food justified in any way as part of my overall diet.

As a splurge, though, I've used it twice now with no ill effects, once as organic corn chips and the other day as hard-shell tacos. I'm not proud but I have no regrets either. Since I do tend to have bloating and other discomfort after eating sweet potatoes, I think you could have a fun debate about which is worse for me.

Anyhow, as long as you don't claim it's healthy what's to stop you from having an occasional splurge?

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 23, 2012
at 09:20 PM

@Matt, I've already done the work and I don't digest corn. It's been true my whole life along with other GI issues. I'm certainly not the only one with digestive issues and, as I said, as I continue to heal this may change. Or not.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 23, 2012
at 08:22 PM

Nance- I'm pretty sure you're digesting corn just fine. It might look undigested, but it's really on the outside that's left. Find a local grain-fed cow and check it out. ;)

0
6eecd93cf3007838f9a5efd04fa82786

on July 26, 2013
at 04:44 PM

try chewing the corn for petes sake

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