How to Eliminate Corn From Your Diet

Corn is easy to eliminate from your diet, right? It may be harder than you think. Just giving up eating a cob of corn, a corn tortilla, or even eliminating anything with corn syrup sounds easy to do. Simply don't eat any of those products or anything with those ingredients. While this is a great start, corn, like most shady characters, has many aliases. When looking at your ingredients on the product you plan to purchase, understand you may be consuming corn even if corn is not specifically on the label. provided a great list to utilize:

• Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)

• Baking Powder (corn starch)

• Brown Sugar – look for use of Caramel color.

• Calcium Citrate - the calcium salt of citric acid.

• Caramel – coloring used in soft drinks, derived from corn “or cane sugar.”

• Cellulose, Vegetable, Powered, etc.

• Citrate - can refer either to the conjugate base of citric acid, or to the esters of citric acid. An example of the former, a salt is trisodium citrate; an ester is triethyl citrate. Forms of Citrate include: Calcium Citrate,Magnesium Citrate, Potassium Citrate, Sodium Citrate, and more.

• Citric Acid - the source sugar is corn steep liquor along with hydrolyzed corn starch

• Corn

• Corn Meal – items baked sitting on Corn Meal such as Bagels, Breads or Pizza, may not list Corn Meal as an ingredient

• Corn Starch – in most over the counter medicines that come in a dry pill form. Yes, this includes Benedryl too.

• Corn Syrup

• Decyl Glucoside - used in personal care products such as shampoo. It is produced by the reaction of glucose from corn starch with the fatty alcohol decanol which is derived from coconut.

• Dextrin, Maltodextrin – thickening agents found in sauces (check those frozen veggies!) salad dressings, and ice cream

• Dextrose (glucose) – corn sugar, found in cookies, ice cream, and paired with glucose in hospital IVs unless specified not to! Can also be used as a carrier with anesthetic shots such as Lidocaine and Novocaine! Dextrose is also injected into meat, lunch meats and deli cuts. Be weary of “honey baked” items, the sweet flavor may not be from honey.

• Ethanol - made by fermenting sugars produced from corn starch.

• Ferrous Gluconate - i.e. as found in canned olives, and comes from corn or potato acid.

• Flavoring - Artificial or "Natural Flavors" - as defined by the FDA regulations of labeling of spices, flavorings, and colorings.

• Golden Syrup - Sometimes recommended as an alternate to Corn Syrup, but it may contain Corn Syrup as well.

• Honey - May contain corn syrup, as HFCS is sometimes fed to bees, resulting in corn in the honey produced.

• Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP)

• Iodized Salt – Morton’s FAQ explains why they add Dextrose (corn) to their salt.

• Lactic Acid - Commercially, lactic acid can be made synthetically from chemicals or organically as a byproduct of corn fermentation.

• Lauryl Glucoside - is a surfactant used in cosmetics. It is a glycoside produced from glucose and lauryl alcohol.

• Magnesium Citrate - Magnesium salt of citric acid.

• Magnesium Stearate

• Malic Acid

• Malt

• Malt Flavoring

• Maltitol - (also known as Maltisorb and Maltisweet) Commercially, maltitol is a disaccharide produced by Corn Products Specialty Ingredients (formerly SPI Polyols), Cargill, Roquette, and Towa, among other companies. Maltitol is made by hydrogenation of maltose obtained from starch.

• Maltodextrin

• Maltose

• Mannitol - A naturally occurring alcohol that is often combined with corn derived sugars.

• Methyl Gluceth - an emollient used in cosmetics manufactured from corn sugar and corn starch.

• Modified Food Starch

• Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) –

• Polydextrose - is synthesized from dextrose, and contains sorbitol and citric acid. It is a food ingredient classified as soluble fiber and is frequently used to increase the non-dietary fiber content of food, replace sugar, reduce calories and reduce fat content. Note: Dextrose, Sorbitol, and Citric Acid are all on this list of ingredients derived from corn.

• Polylactic Acid (PLA) - Plastic made from corn starch (U.S.) or sugarcane.

• Polysorbates (i.e. Polysorbate 80) - Polysorbates are oily liquids derived from PEG-ylated sorbitan (a derivative of sorbitol) esterified with fatty acids.

• Potassium Citrate - See Citrate above for details.

• Powdered Sugar - contains corn starch

• Saccharin – in powder form IS Sweet’N Low and therefore contains Dextrose.

• Sodium Citrate - See Citrate above for details.

• Sodium Erythorbate - is produced from sugars derived from sources such as beets, sugar cane and corn. It is a food additive used predominantly in meats, poultry, and soft drinks.

• Sodium Starch Glycolate - is the sodium salt of a carboxymethyl ether of starch. It can be derived from any starch source (rice, corn, potatoes, etc).

• Sorbitan - is a mixture of chemical compounds derived from the dehydration of sorbitol.

• Sorbitan Monostearate - an ester of sorbitol and stearic acid. You will see this ingredient used in Yeast (and possibly other places as well).

• Sorbitol – You will find Sorbitol in Sugar Free items such as candy, chewing gum, cosmetics, mouth wash, and toothpaste

• Starch – often this is corn starch unless it specifies something else, like potato starch

• Sucralose - Sucralose by itself may be corn free, though it is likely one best to avoid. Repackaged as the brand Splenda, it will contain dextrose and/or maltodextrin.

• Sweet’N Low – contains Dextrose, and according to Sweet’N Low, ALL sugar substitutes in powder form contain Dextrose.

• Tocopherol (Vitamin E)

• Vanilla Extract – most brands will have corn syrup, though you can find organic brands that do not, though the alcohol may be corn-derived.

• Vinegar, Distilled White - can be made from any sugar, but the most common method is to use corn that has been converted from starch into sugar.

• Vitamins - Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) and Vitamin E (Tocopherols). Use caution with products that are "enriched" with added vitamins. The vitamins may be corn-derived, or corn-derivatives may be used in the binding (if solid) or suspension (if liquid) of the vitamin compound.

• Xanthan Gum - a food additive that is used as a thickening agent. It is found in sauces, spices, and commonly in Gluten Free foods. Xanthan Gum is most often grown on corn, or corn sugars. If an item includes Xanthan Gum and states it is corn-free, call the manufacturing company and inquire as to the source of Xanthan Gum to be sure.

• Xylitol - You will find Xylitol in Sugar Free items such as candy, chewing gum, cosmetics, mouth wash, and toothpaste

• Zein


What are you to do?

Understand corn has many aliases. Try to reduce these aliases from your diet. If you have a corn sensitivity or intolerance, you will want to eliminate all of these from your diet.


Steven Zahn

ACE Certified Personal Trainer

NASM Certified Personal Trainer

Pre and Post Partum Certified

Dragondoor Publications: HKC Russian Kettlebell Certified