The question today is, “is corn low FODMAP?” Yes, and no. Corn on the cob or sweet corn has a smaller serving size than canned corn. To answer “is corn low FODMAP?” We need to learn about the different kinds of corn. Corn is ok on a low FODMAP diet if you consider the type of corn, how it’s processed and how much corn you eat.
Sweetcorn may be high FODMAP but products like popcorn, corn flakes, tortillas, and even cornmeal are low FODMAP!
Here are some of the topics we’ll cover today:
- Why Is Corn High FODMAP?
- Helpful Tips
- Is Corn Low FODMAP?
- Low FODMAP Corn
- Low FODMAP Corn Products
- Corn Products That Are High FODMAP
Before we answer, “is corn low FODMAP” let’s find out why it’s labelled high FODMAP.
Why Is Corn High FODMAP?
Fructans and sorbitol are the FODMAPs in corn that make it hard for people with IBS to tolerate. Fructans are the ‘O’ (oligosaccharide) in FODMAP and sorbitol is the ‘P’ (polyol) in FODMAP. Sorbitol is the factor that makes corn sweet.
As mentioned earlier, how the corn is processed, what type of corn it is, and how much is eaten, is important. Sweet corn contains more FODMAPs and Monash recommends a serving size of 1/2 a cob or 38 grams.
There are corn products that have higher FODMAPs but that doesn’t mean you have to completely remove them from your diet. It’s called the low FODMAP diet, not the ‘No FODMAP’ diet. Everyone reacts differently to various foods.
The next section was really helpful when I started out with a low FODMAP diet and I hope it helps you too.
“Is corn FODMAP friendly?” Yes but only if you make sure to keep a few things in mind. Here are some helpful tips to help you add this food or any type of FODMAP foods in your diet.
- Change how you look at the produce: Look at corn as a small snack or garnish instead of a side dish to a meal
- Moderation is key: Eat corn-based products in moderation.
- Follow the low FODMAP serving size recommended by Monash App.
Now, without further adieu, let’s answer the question we’re all here for: Is corn low FODMAP?
Is Corn Low FODMAP?
Before 2020, the portion size for corn was tiny. But Monash University recently re-tested canned corn and upped the portion to 1/3 cup or 90 grams! I admit that this is a small win but what about barbeque season? Do you have to pass up on corn on the cob?
Portion and processing matters for foods like corn. Canned corn, fresh sweet corn, polenta, popcorn and corn flakes all have different levels of FODMAPs and serving size.
Take sweet corn for instance: fresh sweet corns 38 gram serving size goes up to 90 grams when it’s canned corn! FODMAPs are water-soluble and when you drain that corn liquid and rinse it, the FODMAPs go with it.
We use different types of corn to make a lot of corn products but the 6 major types of corn are sweet corn, flour corn, popcorn, flint corn, dent corn, and waxy corn. I’ll go into the more common ones and move down the list. First up is the most common variety: sweet corn.
This type of corn is the most common corn variety and is known for its sweetness (thanks to all the sorbitol). Sweet corn is harvested at an immature stage known as the milk stage and is sold like corn on the cob, canned or frozen. This variety of corn contains high amounts of polyols and should be eaten in moderation.
The next type of corn is popcorn!
I was shocked when I learned popcorn is a different type of corn. Popcorn is a delicious low FODMAP snack and has a generous serving size of 7 cups. You can make your own popcorn at home and season it with salt, butter, or whatever low FODMAP seasonings you love.
Make sure to keep an eye out on the ingredients label for high FODMAP ingredients in store bought flavored popcorn. Sweet popcorn may contain high fructose corn syrup, while savory cheese flavored popcorns may contain lactose like dry milk protein or whey, making them unsuitable.
If you thought finding out that popcorn is a different kind of corn is mindblowing, wait till you hear about flour corn.
This corn is used in corn products like cornmeal or tortillas. Flour corn has a soft starch that makes it easier to grind compared to other types of corn. This kind of corn is sometimes eaten whole like hominy or elotes.
Like flour corn, the next 3 types of corn don’t fall under the vegetable category. Dent, flint, and waxy corn are actually considered grains or starches. Starches aren’t a FODMAP and that’s why most corn based products are low FODMAP.
Dent corn is used to make foods like corn chips, taco shells or tortillas. It’s a type of field corn that is used in corn based products. While sweet corn is harvested young, dent corn kernels need to mature and dry before being milled or processed.
Flint corn is hard to miss since it’s so bright and colorful. This type of corn is a hard and dry mature corn with a low sugar content. These brightly colored kernels have a hard outer shell and are used in grits, polenta, and masa. Another unique looking corn is waxy corn.
This is a type of field corn that has zero starch. It gets its name from its waxy appearance but also from its lack of starch. Waxy corn only has amylopectin and is used in thickeners or maltodextrin.
Now that we’ve gone through the list of corn types, let’s finally get into ‘fresh’ corn FODMAP levels.
Low FODMAP Corn
Canned, frozen, creamed, there’s a lot of corn out there and not all of them have the same FODMAP levels. To make life easier, I’ve compiled a list of corn FODMAPs for you. All the information for serving sizes was gathered from Monash and FODMAP-Friendly:
- Is frozen corn low FODMAP?
Frozen corn is untested but it probably isn’t because it’s basically frozen sweetcorn. Stick to the serving size of 38 grams when eating frozen corn.
- Is corn on the cob low FODMAP?
Corn on the cob has a serving size of 1/2 a cob or 38 grams. It is high FODMAP in moderate or high serving sizes.
- Is canned corn low FODMAP?
Yes! Canned corn is low FODMAP at 1/3 cup or 90 grams. Corn kernels (canned) are have a serving size of 75 grams. Canned baby corn is low FODMAP at 1 cup. Hominy (a type of whole kernel) is low FODMAP at 1/2 cup or 90 grams when it’s canned and drained.
Now that we’ve gone over if corn low FODMAP, let’s checkout which products are low FODMAP.
Low FODMAP Corn Products
Earlier we learned about the different types of corn and how they produce various corn based products. This is a list of corn based products and their FODMAPs. All the information for serving sizes was gathered from Monash and FODMAP-Friendly:
Is popcorn low FODMAP? You bet it is! And it even has a generous serving size of 7 cups or 56 grams. Keep in mind that seasoned popcorn may not be because of ingredients like high fructose corn syrup or milk proteins. Kettle’s Sea Salt and Skinnypop’s popcorn are both low FODMAP.
Is corn oil low FODMAP? Corn oil is no FODMAP really. So yes, it’s safe to eat. Oil (no matter the ingredient) is not a FODMAP.
Corn Flour or Cornstarch
Is corn flour low FODMAP? Yes, also known as cornstarch it’s low FODMAP at 2/3 cup, 100 grams or 3.43 oz. Sometimes corn flour can contain wheat, so make sure that the corn flour you choose is made from maize and is 100% corn.
Cornmeal or Polenta
Is cornmeal low FODMAP? Also known as polenta, cooked cornmeal is low FODMAP at 1 cup or 225 grams.
Grits like cornmeal or polenta are low FODMAP at 1 cup or 225 grams. Make sure to choose plain and unseasoned corn grits.
Corn flakes like Kellogg’s corn flakes are certified low FODMAP at 1 cup or 28 grams. Regular corn flakes serving size is at 1/2 cup or 15 grams. Make sure to read the ingredient list and avoid corn flakes with added fructan like sugars or sweetened with fruit juice concentrates.
Are corn tortillas low FODMAP? Yes! The recommended serving size is 1 tortilla or 26 grams but if you find tortillas made from corn flour or maize flour, then it’s okay because starch is not a FODMAP.
Tortilla chips are low FODMAP at 28 grams or a small packet. Make sure to avoid pre seasoned tortilla chips as they may contain flavorings like garlic or onion powder.
Corn chips are low FODMAP at 50 grams or 1.7 oz. Again, please avoid pre seasoned chips as they may contain high FODMAP ingredients.
Monash University states that cornbread is low FODMAP at 1 slice. But cornbread is only low FODMAP if there is no milk or wheat flour. Opt for a low FODMAP cornbread recipe without any lactose or wheat.
Corn pasta is low FODMAP at serving sizes of 100 grams or 2/3 cup. It’s reasonable to say it is low FODMAP because it’s made from corn flour.
Corn syrup is a low FODMAP sweetener and is often known as dextrose or glucose syrup. Not to be confused with high fructose corn syrup which is high FODMAP.
Corn thins are low FODMAP at 1 corn thin. Real Foods Corn Thins are low FODMAP. Make sure to check the ingredient label for high FODMAP items like wheat or seasonings.
Corn (Maize) Couscous
Corn couscous is high FODMAP like wheat and rice couscous. But Monash University has said that gluten-free couscous made from maize flour is low FODMAP at 1/2 cup.
I couldn’t find a spot for it but Maltodextrin is a low FODMAP corn based product that is used as a thickener. Isn’t it amazing how limiting serving sizes and processing food can immediately open up your diet to so many foods?
Be that as it may, there are still plenty of high FODMAP corn products out there. Let’s get into corn products we should avoid.
Corn Products That Are High FODMAP
For the first time ever the tables have been turned. There are more low FODMAP corn products on the list than high. So let’s get these out of the way:
- Sweetcorn or Corn on the Cob: serving size no more than 1/2 a cob or 38 grams.
- Frozen corn: is untested but should be limited to the same serving size as sweetcorn.
- Canned cream of corn: serving size or 1/3 cup or 90 grams unless there’s added sugars, then use caution.
- Cornbread: Unless it’s wheat-free and lactose-free, cornbread is high FODMAP.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup: regular corn syrup is low FODMAP but high fructose corn syrup is high FODMAP because fructose is added to corn syrup (glucose).
- Corn fiber: Corn fiber is untested and therefore should be approached with caution. There’s some concern that it can cause gut distress but the verdict isn’t out yet.
How’s that for an answer to, “is corn low FODMAP?” We covered 6 different types of corn, a long list of low FODMAP corn products, high FODMAP and untested corn products, folks. Have you got any other questions or ingredients you’d like me to tackle next?
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