Healthy cereals consumption forms the foundation of a healthy population. Corn is the most produced cereal with 1099.61 million metric tons, followed by wheat (734.74 Million metric tons), rice (495.87 million metric tons), and oats with a production of 144.26MMT. (https://www.statista.com/statistics/263977/world-grain-production-by-type/)
Cereals, chiefly corn, wheat, and rice, are a staple food in most parts of the world. Of the approximately 2.3 billion tons of cereals currently produced, roughly 1 billion tons are destined for food use, 750 million tons as animal feed, and the remaining 500 million tons are processed for industrial use, used as a seed, or wasted (FAO).
More than 50% of the world’s daily caloric intake is derived directly from cereal grain consumption. The grain used for human food is milled to remove the bran (pericarp) and germ. These strip the grains of important nutrients beneficial to health, including dietary fiber, phenolics, vitamins, and minerals (Awika 2011).
As human understanding of nutrition and food improves, people have started to realize that, just like medicine, food too, needs to be customized to the needs of an individual. Healthy cereals are critical to improving the nutrition profile. Customization is leading to the emergence of the science of genomics-based precision nutrition.
Corn, like all cereal grains, is primarily composed of carbohydrates. Starch is the main carbohydrate in corn. It ranges from 28 to 80% of dry weight varying with varieties and local conditions.
Sweet corn is a low-starch (28%) variety but has a higher sugar content of 18%. Sugar is primarily in the form of sucrose.
Corn is somewhere in the center of the glycemic index. It, therefore, does not lead to an unhealthy spike in blood sugar. A limited amount of corn can therefore be consumed by people with diabetes.
Oats’ nutrient profile is as under:
Dietary Fiber 29%
Total fat 7% of which saturated fat is 4%
Based on the nutritional profile, oats emerge as a more healthy cereal when compared to corn. However, the body requires a combination of nutrients, which are best provided to the body when we consume various foods.