Why You Should Start Eating More Canned Corn

When you think of canned corn, you might picture a puddle of creamed corn or an ingredient in a highly suspect cold "salad" (think bean salad, pasta salad). It's not the most glamorous food. But strangely enough, canned corn has advantages beyond being a convenient, inexpensive ingredient in a meal. According to a study from 2012 that compared nutrition values for canned, fresh, and frozen veggies, canned corn actually retains comparable nutrients to fresh corn – and is often a cheaper alternative (via the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources).

Turns out, the canning process doesn't affect nutrients as much as you might expect. The researchers found that for vitamin intake per calorie consumed, canned corn and fresh corn had the highest values, both a little more than frozen. And when compared to fresh corn at $1.17 per cup, canned corn was the better buy at $.69 per cup. The authors found that fiber in canned vegetables may become more soluble, or more useful to the body in canned form than in fresh. Corn does lose out a little bit, however, when it comes to antioxidants and Vitamin C (via University of California, Davis).

The benefits and drawbacks of corn

Corn has a relatively controversial reputation, possibly because of its identity as a "starchy vegetable" (via Down to Earth). It can be hard to make sense of a vegetable, which we typically think of as "healthy," that is also full of carbs, which are often seen as "unhealthy" or "bad." Corn is very high in carbohydrates when you compare it with green vegetables, and it can also lead to spikes in blood sugar, according to Byrdie.

But nutritionists say that because corn is very high in certain nutrients that aid with eye health, and fiber that aids with digestion and digestive-tract related disease, corn can and should be part of a healthy diet (via Healthline). As with anything, though, it's never a good idea to overdo it — and people with diabetes or who are watching their weight should limit their corn consumption. For a fresh but wintry take on corn — canned or otherwise, try a corn and zucchini quesadilla, corn fritters, or a Thai-style corn chowder.