It seems that people have never been so cautious about the food they eat like today. Professional and amateur athletes, as well as those dedicated to a healthy lifestyle, are mindful of their meal choices.
We all know the basics, such as the rule that you shouldn’t eat overly-processed foods, snacks from the supermarket, etc. However, many food choices cause a big dilemma among the population. For example, does corn cause inflammation?
Corn has been a part of human nutrition for thousands of years. It is unique because it can be vegetable, grain, and fruit.  In the supermarket, you will find fresh corn in the vegetable section. The kernel and its variants are classified as grains, although botanic experts would insist that it is a fruit.
A Long List of Corn Products Available
You probably like popcorn or corn on the cob. But even if you don’t, then chances are you’ve still eaten corn. You might not be aware of it, but this grain is a part of numerous products that we consume daily.
Arguably the most common source of corn these days is HFCS or high-fructose corn syrup. The reason why companies developed HFCS is that they were looking for a cheaper alternative to sucrose.  High-fructose corn syrup met their expectations, but those weren’t good news for the buyers. HFCS is sweeter than standard sucrose used as a sweetener in many products up to that point, which can contribute to inflammation.
Other common corn products include cornstarch, as well as vegetable corn oil. If you take a look at the label and find “citric acid” or “ascorbic acid” on it, the chances are corn might be the main component of those compounds. This grain also participates in making dextrose, xanthan gum, and cellulose. The plastic containers used to pack food might also contain corn, as well as other ingredients that can’t be considered favorable for your health.
Beyond the health industry, you can find corn in makeup products and toothpaste. If you eat meat that was fed with grain, the chances are that corn was among those grains.
Does Corn Cause Inflammation?
The fact that corn is virtually everywhere wouldn’t be a big problem if it wouldn’t cause inflammation. However, if you take a look at the nutritional value of the corn, you can see that it is mostly carbs.  A hundred grams of corn contains 21 grams of carbohydrates and 4.5 grams of sugar.
The carbs that corn contains are quickly converted into sugar. According to experts, the sugar that you consume can increase chronic inflammation markers in your body.  That means corn is one of the foods that you should avoid if you are looking to decrease inflammatory markers in your blood.
Another problem with corn is that this food is frequently modified genetically. According to the statistics published by EWG, 90% of the US-grown corn in 2013 is GMO food. And no one can even guarantee that the rest is GMO-free. We already know that bees, birds, and winds all contribute to cross-pollination. That begs to question how much of US corn is free from GMOs.
Beware of Fungi and Lectin
We already established that you don’t have to eat corn on the cob or popcorn to ingest this grain. HFCS is extremely sweet, but it is still a staple food in the diets of most Americans. That is because it is cheap for the manufacturers, and they frequently don’t even consider how the ingredients will affect the buyers.
Did you know that corn has more than 20 fungi types? Storing this grain in humid and hot climates in silos is great for growing aflatoxins. These are dangerous chemicals that some studies relate to liver cancer.  Additionally, they might contribute to restricted development and growth in children.
Another compound found in corn is a lectin. Many grains and legumes contain this protein group, and the human body needs lectins for various reasons. They promote optimal immunity, assist in fighting viral and fungi infections, and have antimicrobial properties.
The problem with lectins is that they are difficult to digest.  Thanks to that, they limit the absorption of other nutrients, which might lead to nutrient deficiency. Apart from having anti-nutrient properties, they cause leaky gut because they damage the intestinal wall over time.
Signs of going too far with lectin include stomach discomfort, bloating, gas, constipation, vomiting, joint pain, etc.
Why Should You Avoid Grain-Fed Meats?
Whether you love eating red meat or prefer chicken, it is important to consider the source of your food. The only safe choice is going with grass-fed meat, which might be more expensive and harder to find. Despite that, always go with that option because grain-fed meats are unhealthy.
First, these meats contain more omega-6, which is the type of amino acids considered inflammatory. The reason why this meat has a high content of this amino acid is the soy and corn nutrition used to feed the cattle, pigs, and chicken.
These animals aren’t used to this type of food because they didn’t evolve using it. The reason why producers use corn and other grains is to ensure that the animals gain weight quickly. Thanks to that, they have more meat available, which equals higher earnings.
Apart from keeping the animals on an unhealthy diet, producers also resort to using antibiotics. That way, they prevent illnesses and other problems in animals. Unfortunately, this is all bad for the person eating the meat, and that’s us. You might think you are safe if you grill it at high heat, but carcinogens that contribute to inflammation are created that way.
Corn is rich in carbohydrates that get converted into sugars, and these are famous for increasing inflammatory markers in the human body. Apart from avoiding corn, you should also carefully pick other food choices. Stick to grass-fed meat, and avoid consuming food with high-fructose corn syrup, which is even worse than the grain itself. Otherwise, you risk raising inflammatory markers and increasing the risk of chronic inflammation and other health problems.