Why Isn’t Sweetcorn Paleo?


why-isnt-sweetcorn-paleoYou know what else is in season in December? Sweetcorn! And in New Zealand, sweetcorn is a key element of the summer BBQ. But sadly for us paleo fans sweetcorn isn’t paleo (and most definitely not Whole30 either). 

What? But sweetcorn is a vegetable, right?


The way sweetcorn is marketed you could easily be led to think it is a vegetable, it’s even presented to us shoppers in the vege section of the supermarket. But in actual fact, corn is a grain – and one of the most starchy, empty and sugary grains there is. Grains and paleo are not friends. 

Corn on the cob, canned corn, corn oil cornmeal, polenta, popcorn – it’s all a grain. Corn is the number one ingredient in just about every processed and fried food. Corn is turned into oil, and into sugar – both of which are very very cheap to produce and buy – and so food manufacturers have jumped all over it. High Fructose Corn Syrup is sweeter than sugar, and can be found in fizzy drinks, lollies, cereals and many other packaged items you will find in the middle aisles of the supermarket. 

Why isn't sweetcorn paleo?

But back to sweetcorn. 

Sweetcorn is picked when it is immature (rather than harvested when the kernels are dry and mature) and presented to us as a vegetable (it’s not). Here at PICK + PALEO we believe having the odd corn on the cob at a summer BBQ should not be a big deal – it’s all about indulging in that rare and special treat. Our issue with sweetcorn arises when it fills up the “vegetable” section of your dinner plate, and pushes better, healthier vegetable options off it. If you choose to have corn, try to buy organic/nonGMO and do so with the knowledge of what it actually is (a grain, a special treat), and make sure you load up on delicious summer salads too. 

Finally, if you do go for sweetcorn, make sure you listen to how your body reacts to it. Corn can take a few days to process and it hard for our bodies to digest – so if it doesn’t make you feel so great after you eat it, then you are better informed for the next time it is presented to you. 

Are you a sweetcorn fan? Will you say yay or nay to corn on the cob this summer?