When you are looking at all the restrictions of your renal diet, it can be difficult to know exactly what’s okay to eat. Changes to what you consume are essential to insure your body – especially your kidneys – can continue to work as best as they can.
You may be wondering if you can have corn in your renal diet. The answer may vary depending on your individual stage of chronic kidney disease and other issues, but this article is designed to give you a basic overview of corn and it’s nutritional benefits.
Nutritional Information About Corn
Corn has long been a vegetable that people consume for its nutritious ingredients. Developed from a wild grass over 7,000 years ago, corn is a great source of fiber, which provides its own host of benefits for CKD patients.
Benefits of getting fiber in your renal diet include:
- Keep your digestive tract healthy
- Correct or prevent constipation
- Help control blood sugar levels
- Promotes regularity
Corn is also loaded with Vitamin C (helpful in keeping the immune system healthy) and folate (assists with making DNA for new cells as well as new red blood cells).
Corn is typically higher in phosphorus than other vegetables. Those with a low-phosphorus renal diet may have to limit the amount of corn they eat. Typically, ½ of an ear of corn is acceptable for a CKD patient.
Starches On A Renal Diet
Starchy vegetables including corn, potatoes, and peas are categorized this way because of their carb and calorie content. They have way more of each than a healthy choice such as broccoli and cucumbers. For example, one cup of yellow corn can have 30 carbs and 133 calories, whereas one cup of broccoli only has 6 carbs and 30 calories. That’s quite a difference!
If you have chronic kidney disease and are looking to lose weight, you will want to limit the amount of these starchy vegetables you consume in your renal diet. It’s also good for CKD patients with diabetes to limit starches, since they raise your blood sugar.
Best Choices For Your Meal Plan
If you just cannot give up corn completely, make sure you are eating a fresh variety rather than frozen or canned. This ensures you get the most nutritious bang for your buck!
Those that can do without corn may find it better to choose non-starchy vegetables for meals, such as broccoli, kale, peppers, and squash. Watch out for items that contain corn too, like tortillas, corn chips, and popcorn. You can substitute these with whole grain tortillas, nuts, and gluten-free pretzels.
Corn syrup is a popular sweetener found in processed foods, snacks, and sweet drinks. Leave all of these at the store and opt for fresh produce, fresh meats, and nuts and make the switch to drinking water.
Also published on Medium.