Tuesday, September 27, 2005

'Corn'y Idea Or Modern Scientific Breakthrough?

Dr. Daniel Gallie found a way to make corn high-protein and low-carb

A University of California-Riverside professor of biochemistry has conceived a way to double the amount of protein and oil found in corn while simultaneously slicing the number of carbohydrates nearly in half.

Dr. Daniel Gallie presented his findings before a congressional seminar in Washington, D.C. on September 23 that was sponsored by The National Coalition for Food and Agriculture Research.

This new discovery is certainly GREAT news for people who are livin' la vida low-carb and/or are on a high-protein eating program. Increased consumption of protein has been found in studies to be the secret to low-carb's success. For low-carbers who enjoy the taste of corn but have had to forgo it since beginning their low-carb lifestyle, Gallie's research is welcomed.

While nearly two-thirds of corn production in the United States is used to feed animals for meat production, the rest of the corn is used in a variety of ways, including creating the extremely unhealthy high fructose corn syrup that shows up in sugary soft drinks, producing alternative fuels such as corn ethanol, and, of course, the corn you can buy in the grocery store or your local farmer's market.

The corn industry should absolutely welcome Gallie's research with open arms as a way for them to grow sales and reach a market of consumers who have shunned corn because of its high carbohydrate content. I know I haven't had one single kernel of corn since I started livin' la vida low-carb in January 2004. I personally love the taste of corn, but it is just not worth putting that food in my mouth when I knew it would sabotage my efforts to lose and maintain my weight.

Gallie said his new high-protein, low-carb corn will be beneficial globally as people in poor and underdeveloped countries without any meat production capacity will be able to be nurished with the essential protein their bodies need.

“Nearly 800 million people in the world suffer from protein-energy malnutrition, which is a leading cause of death in children in developing countries, many of which already produce corn as a major cereal crop,” said Gallie. “The new corn we have developed has two embryos in its kernel, which is what doubles the content of protein and oil and reduces the starch content. It could provide a good source of protein for those that depend on grain as their primary source of nutrients.”

These two embryos, Gallie explains, are allowed to survive at the same time whereas previously one of the sister flowers would be aborted. Instead, now the two flowers for every kernel of corn are fused together to add greater nutritional value to the crop.

“Despite the fusion, the kernels are not bigger,” Gallie said. “It’s basically the same corn, except that it is protein-rich and starch-poor – something that, if applied to sweet corn, would appeal to a large number of weight-conscious people in this country who are interested in low-carb diets and who normally avoid corn in their diets.”

Yeah, I know a few people who will be pleased with this new corn. But let me caution people on a low-carb lifestyle about this new corn. While it is indeed LOWER in carbs than traditional corn, that does not mean it is necessarily "low-carb." According to Nutri-Facts, one ear of raw, sweet, yellow corn has 27g of carbohydrates and 4.5g of protein. Gallie's corn would therefore have approximately 13.5g of carbs and 9g of protein. While that's better, it is still slightly higher in carbs than what I would have allowed in my mouth while I was losing weight on my low-carb plan.

Cutting the carbs found in corn in half is certainly a good start, but people who are still losing weight on a low-carb program shouldn't go running out to buy this new corn right away. However, once you enter the maintenance phase and can increase your carbohydrate total for the day, then the new corn would be an excellent choice to add protein and fiber to your diet.

Send a congratulatory e-mail to Dr. Gallie for his "corn"y idea that truly is a modern scientific breakthrough. His e-mail address is


Blogger DietKing said...

Now, if Dr. Gallie would only apply the same science to Oreos, life would be alot better, wouldn't it?;-)

9/27/2005 9:39 AM  

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