What Kind of Carbohydrates Are in Corn?

Ears of sweet yellow corn in a basket on wood.
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Carbohydrates are your body's main source of energy, giving you fuel to exercise and perform daily tasks. The Institute of Medicine advises consuming 45 to 65 percent of your daily calories in the form of carbs. There are different types of carbs, which produce different effects in your body. The kind of carbohydrates you eat affect how much energy you have and how long your energy will last. Knowing what kind of carbohydrates are in corn will help you design a nutritious eating plan that keeps you energized and healthy.

Corn is a type of maize that is grown for people and livestock to eat and comes in different forms, including sweet corn, yellow corn and field corn. Corn is included in the grain group in the USDA food groups and is rich in carbohydrates. Corn by itself is a whole grain, which is rich in nutrients, including iron and fiber. Corn is often processed to make foods such as cornmeal, cornbread and corn tortillas, which are refined grains. The USDA advises making at least half of the grains you consume each day whole grains, such as whole corn, which offers more nutrients than refined grains.

Types of Carbs

Carbs come in simple and complex forms. Simple carbs are also called simple sugars and are found naturally in fruits and milk and can also be made, in the form of table sugar and other refined sugars. Simple carbs give your body a quick boost of energy that does not last long, which can lead to an energy crash an hour or two after your body burns off the carbs. Complex carbs offer a slower-burning, steadier source of energy and should be your main source of carbs. When choosing simple carbs, natural forms of sugar in fruits and vegetables are better than refined sugars added to food, as natural sugars offer more nutrients.

Carbohydrates in Corn

Corn offers a source of complex carbs, giving your body fuel for a long period. Corn is a starchy food, which means your body must break down and digest the carbs in corn before creating glucose for energy. Depending on the type of corn you eat, your corn may also offer a few grams of sugar, or simple carbs. Sweet corn -- named for its sweet taste -- offers small amounts of sugar, whereas regular corn contains little to no sugar.


Corn is rich in fiber, which is considered a form of complex carbohydrate, according to the CDC. Fiber is a nutrient which your body does not digest but passes through your system and helps keep wastes and toxins moving through your system for disposal. The CDC advises consuming 14 grams of dietary fiber for every 1,000 calories that you eat each day to stay healthy. Corn usually contains from 3 to 12 grams of fiber in one serving.

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