Last Updated on by Eat Better Move More
Corn tortillas have always been a staple integral part of Mexican cuisine. Corn tortillas, simply known as tortillas, have been around even before the arrival of Europeans. Not only are they delicious, but they are also easy to make as well.
You can use corn tortillas as a wrapper for your meals. With an increased focus on staying healthy, especially these days, should you even consider tortillas? Are corn tortillas bad for weight loss?
In this article, we are going to explore corn tortillas and see how they can benefit you.
What Are Corn Tortillas?
Corn tortillas are a type of unleavened bread made from hominy, which is from whole kernels of maize treated with Akali to improve their nutritional value through the process called nixtamalization.
To start cooking, a simple flatbed dough, made of grounded dried hominy, salt, and water, is then formed into the familiar discs we know. These flat disks are then cooked on a very hot surface, typically with an iron griddle called a comal.
In South America, they have their own version of tortillas which uses the same ground maize. However, their cooking process results in a much thicker tortilla.
Corn Tortillas vs. Flour Tortillas
Corn tortillas are vastly different from the typical tortillas most of us know. Most tortillas you can see in stores are not made out of corn but instead flour.
Corn Tortilla Production
The traditional way of cooking is through using 100% corn. Today, mass-produced corn tortillas you see in stores are made of dehydrated cornflour with some wheat blended with it.
The cooking process used is still nixtamalization, but it in an industrial scale. Nixtamalization is an important step to ensure that the nutritional value of the corn tortillas stays relatively the same.
Flour Tortillas Production
On the other hand, we have flour tortillas, which are typically made of flour, wheat flour, water, baking soda, salt, and other ingredients to stimulate gluten growth. As a result, the tortillas are softer but have a sturdier texture.
Corn vs. Tortillas Nutritional Value
Given their unique production methods and ingredients, expect their nutritional values to be very different.
Corn tortillas and mass-produced corn tortillas are considered whole grains. Whole grains provide more fibre, which is healthy for your heart and digestive system. Not only that, corn tortillas have a low amount of calories, carbs, and fats.
On the other hand, flour tortillas are mostly made out of carbs and calories—almost offering no nutritional value. Eating flour tortillas is like eating two layers of corn tortillas without the nutritional value.
Flour tortillas also have a lot of gluten, and if you have a gluten allergy, do not eat flour tortillas. Consider corn tortillas instead since they are 100% gluten-free.
Checking Out Tortillas in Restaurants
Corn tortillas are typically smaller and thinner, typically around 6 inches in diameter. On the other hand, flour tortillas are around 8 to 10 inches in diameter.
Authentic taco diners typically use two layers of corn tortillas to help hold the food. Keep that in mind if you are currently on a track for weight loss.
As for flour tortillas, taco diners typically only use one layer since they are sturdy. So if your dish requires a much sturdier tortilla, go for the flour, but if possible, ask to use wheat flour instead.
How Many Carbs are There in Corn Tortillas?
Corn tortillas are more healthy than flour tortillas, but it doesn’t mean that it has zero carbs. However, it shouldn’t mean that you should disregard corn tortillas entirely. Even the most whole wheat foods have carbs on them.
Corn tortillas are a good alternative to flour tortillas to help you lose weight. If you compare the corn tortillas and flour tortillas, in 45 grams, a corn tortilla has 20 grams, but a flour tortilla has 22 grams of carbs.
The larger the portion, the more carbs. Typically, flour tortillas are served in bigger proportions, so keep an eye on them.
What Type of Carbs is in Corn Tortilla?
Carbs in corn tortillas are made of wholesome grains. It is better to eat carbs that are in their natural states, such as fruits and vegetables, than sweets and sugars.
Are Corn Tortillas Healthy?
Corn tortillas are healthy alternatives to plain flour tortillas. It is more natural, and so it has more nutrients than flour tortillas.
The main benefits of corn tortillas are their whole-grain properties. Corn tortillas are a good source of fibre and magnesium. Fibre aids in digestion, and magnesium plays a crucial role in your brain, heart, and muscle systems.
Corn tortillas also contain a small percentage of iron. Iron helps preserve crucial functions, such as creating blood, preserving the immune system, regulating body temperature, and general focus and energy.
Corn tortillas also contain small amounts of potassium. Potassium is an electrolyte, and these electrolytes are responsible for aiding electrical impulses being sent throughout the body. Potassium is essential in body functions such as blood pressure, muscle contractions, digestion, ph balance, and heart rhythm.
Your body doesn’t produce potassium naturally, so eat some corn tortillas to give your body potassium.
Are Tortillas Bad For Weight Loss?
If you are eating non-whole wheat loaves of bread, corn tortillas are a great alternative. It will definitely help you lose weight since you will be eating fewer carbs and more vital nutrients go into your system.
Corn tortillas are typically smaller than flour tortillas in sizes too. You can easier control your eating portions that way.
How To Make Corn Tortillas Healthier?
If you want to maximize the health benefits of corn tortillas, control the proportions. When I mean proportions, you control the ingredients yourself. The only way you can do that is by cooking corn tortillas yourself.
There are corn tortillas recipes online that are designed to be as healthy as possible. These recipes are quick and easy, and you won’t have any trouble dealing with them. Make use of these recipes so that you can have the healthies corn tortillas just for you.