Can you eat corn on a keto diet? 

In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question, “Can you eat corn on a keto diet?” with an in-depth analysis of the ketogenic diet, some characteristics of corn, and the effects of eating corn on a ketogenic diet. 

Can you eat corn on a keto diet? 

Corn is a vegetable that is rich in starch, meaning that it has high amounts of carbohydrates that are not keto-friendly. One cob of corn contains about 41 grams of carbohydrates while a cup of corn has about 30 grams of carbohydrates. 

Keto dieters are allowed approximately 30 to 40 grams of carbohydrates a day. That means if you want to eat corn on a keto diet, you will have to limit the number of carbohydrates from other sources. 

What is a ketogenic diet?

The keto diet is a truly low carbohydrate and high-fat diet that has many characteristics in common with the Atkins and low carb diets.

A ketogenic diet involves considerably decreasing carbohydrate consumption and substituting it with fat. This reduction in carbohydrates sets your body into a metabolic phase termed ketosis.

When this happens, the body becomes extra proficient at burning fat for energy. It also transforms fat into ketones in the liver, which can give energy to the brain.

Ketogenic diets can cause notable reductions in blood glucose and insulin levels. This, together with the increased ketone levels, has various health benefits.

Traditionally, a ketogenic diet was solely used in clinical contexts to overcome seizures in epileptic patients. Now, this diet is effectively used in helping with other neurological conditions, cancer, diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), obesity, high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease. People also use a ketogenic diet to lose weight. 

The standard ketogenic diet consists of a diet that includes high fat, low carbohydrates, and moderate protein intake, to enter and maintain a ketogenic state. A low carbohydrate diet means a carbohydrate intake of no higher than 50 grams of total carbohydrates in a day, and sometimes much more limited.

Nutritional value of corns

Corn is rich in carbohydrates and full of minerals, fibre, and vitamins. It contains relatively less protein and fat content.

One cup serving (164 grams) of corn contains:

  • Calories: 177 
  • Fat: 2.1 grams
  • Carbs: 41 grams
  • Fibre: 4.6 grams
  • Protein: 5.4 grams
  • Thiamine: 24% of the daily value (DV)
  • Vitamin C: 17% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 11% of the DV
  • Folate: 19% of the DV
  • Potassium: 10% of the DV

Most of the carbohydrates content in corn comes from starch which can instantly increase the blood sugar levels, depending on the amount you consume. But, corn also has a good amount of fibre that can help maintain the sugar levels in the blood.

Because of its powerful nutritional value, most people can consume either whole corn or popcorn as part of a balanced diet. Corn is also free of gluten naturally and can be consumed by people who prefer a gluten-free diet.

Reason to avoid corn on a keto diet

The high carbohydrate content of corn is not the only reason to avoid it on a ketogenic diet. One of the most prominent benefits of shifting to a keto diet in the first place is to overcome inflammation. 

Apart from overcoming inflammation, the ketogenic diet can maintain blood sugar levels, decrease hunger, improve skin texture, and the overall condition of the digestive tract.

Unluckily, corn may consist of toxic compounds. Corn may tend to accumulate aflatoxins, which are produced by a particular type of fungi observed particularly in corn and peanuts.

Aflatoxins are poisonous to humans and have been associated with liver cancer. In addition, the World Health Organization predicts that aflatoxins may cause DNA damage, provoke birth defects, and act as immunosuppressants, decreasing immunity towards dangerous diseases.

How to compensate for corn on a keto diet?

If you want to eat corn on a keto diet, consider the following points:

  • You are following the targeted keto diet and consume a minute amount of corn pre-or post-workout.
  • You are following the cyclical keto diet and are eating corn on the carbohydrate backloading days.
  • Your carb consumption for the day (with the corn) is under 50 grams, depending on your ability to manage carbohydrates and enter in and out of ketosis.

Substitute for corn while on a keto diet

There are a lot of low-carbohydrate vegetables that you can eat in place of corn. For example, you can have cauliflower, which has become a great gluten-free alternative for pizza crust, among other things, also. Beets and carrots are keto-approved alternatives.

Other FAQs about Corn that you may be interested in.

What is dried corn?

What is the difference between maize and corn?

How to know when corn is cooked?


In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question, “Can you eat corn on a keto diet?” with an in-depth analysis of the ketogenic diet, some characteristics of corn, and the effects of eating corn on a ketogenic diet. 


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