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Corn is a hard-to-replace grain in a variety of cuisines. It’s vegetarian, vegan, low calorie, and has an unmistakable flavor… but is corn keto friendly?
Here are all the answers to your questions about corn on keto! We’ll go over carbs in corn, corn-y keto recipes, and carbs in a variety of corn-based foods.
Need a quick reference for carbs in other foods? This keto food list will help!
Is Corn Keto Friendly?
Can you eat corn on keto? Some people might consider corn low carb, but it is certainly not keto friendly.
A few kernels may not sabotage your macros, but a full serving of corn on keto has a high enough carb count to throw you out of ketosis.
If you’re looking for a truly clean keto diet, there are other compelling reasons to avoid corn:
- An overwhelming majority of corn is genetically modified [*] and designed for resistance to herbicides like glyphosate. The FDA considers glyphosate a possible carcinogen [*], so it’s worth avoiding.
- Corn can mimic the effects of gluten in your body [*]. If you follow a keto diet to avoid the side effects of gluten, you may want to avoid corn as well.
- Since corn is classified as a grain like wheat and rice, we can consider it a dirty keto option. (Use these keto cheat sheets for a full breakdown of clean and dirty keto.)
How Many Carbs In Corn?
Does corn have carbs? Yes — and understanding the carbs in corn will shed light on why it’s not keto friendly.
A 1-cup serving of cooked corn kernels is 36.8 grams total carbs [*].
Corn also has fiber, but not a lot. Each serving has 32.2 grams net carbs — that’s more than strict keto followers can have in a day.
How many carbs in corn on the cob?
How many carbs in an ear of corn, anyway? Sadly, too many to be keto friendly.
One medium ear of boiled corn contains 21.6 grams of carbs, and 19.1 grams of net carbs [*].
How many carbs in a corn tortilla?
Do corn tortillas have carbs? Yes. Are corn tortillas keto? No.
When it comes to corn tortilla carbs, one medium round tallies up to 12.5 grams of total carbs and 10.7 net carbs [*]. So, any keto corn tortillas you find will likely use a corn substitute.
And in case you’re wondering about carbs in corn tortilla chips: A single ounce serving contains 19.1 total carbs and 17.8 net carbs [*].
I have some replacement ideas for corn tortillas and corn chips below, but you may also want to check out my keto taco guide for more.
How many carbs in popcorn?
Popcorn is much more light and airy than other ways to eat corn, but is still not typically considered keto friendly.
Keto Corn Substitutes
Since you can find corn in so many foods, keto corn substitutes will vary depending on what you want to make:
- Corn Extract – This is the secret behind getting that unmistakable corn flavor in recipes — without the added carbs.
- Black Soy Beans – While they do not taste like corn, they can replace the texture of corn in Mexican-style dishes. (Keep in mind, this is a dirty keto option. Read more about why some people may want to avoid black soy beans in my post about soy sauce on keto.)
- Super Fine Almond Flour – Use instead of corn flour for low carb baked goods.
- Keto Friendly Vegetables – Sometimes you can simply trade corn for other veggies.
- Omit corn entirely – In many recipes, you can simply skip the corn without missing it. It’s the easiest way to cut the carbs in corn!
Top 10 Keto Recipes With Corn (Substitutes)
Capture the flavor of corn in these easy keto dishes.
Just as buttery and munchable as the real thing… and it only takes a few simple ingredients.
So tender and buttery! You won’t believe this cornbread uses almond flour for perfect texture (and a special ingredient to capture all the flavor of traditional cornbread).
Keto Corn Dog Muffins
Regular corn dog carbs are sky high, but this recipe makes the perfect swap. Kid friendly, too!
Almond Flour Tortillas
No corn flour, no problem. Use almond flour for perfect, golden tortillas.
Keto Tamale Pie
Regular tamales use a corn-based masa — this spin on the original recipe makes an almond flour base, all topped with a meaty, cheesy filling.
Keto Tortilla Chips
Corn chips carbs and tortilla chips carbs will surely spike your blood sugar. Try this crunchy, easy alternative instead.
Keto Taco Salad
Get all your favorite taco flavors, corn free! You won’t miss the taco shell or fresh kernels here.
This comforting soup proves that you don’t need corn to make a hearty meal.
Fajita Stuffed Peppers
Some stuffed peppers have high-carb fillings like rice and corn. Not this one — and you won’t miss them!
Just as dippable and versatile as corn fritters — without the crazy carb count.
So, is corn keto friendly? Not really — but with keto corn substitutes, you can still enjoy the flavor without the high carbs.