Can you eat corn starch?

In this brief article we will answer the query,” Can you eat corn starch?” We will look at the nutritional value of cornstarch. We will discuss some potential risks of eating cornstarch. We will talk about some good cornstarch substitutes and if eating cornstarch has any health benefits.

Can you eat corn starch?

Yes, you can eat corn starch but in small and moderate amounts because it has high levels of carbs and calories. You should however never eat raw cornstarch because it may contain bacteria. 

What is the nutritional value of cornstarch?

Cornstarch is usually loaded in calories and carbohydrates. It however does not have the essential nutrients such as protein, dietary fiber, essential vitamins and minerals.

128 grams of cornstarch which is about a cup has the following nutrients:

  • Calories: 488
  • Protein: 0.5 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 117 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: 1 gram
  • Copper: 7% of the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI)
  • Selenium: 7% of the RDI
  • Iron: 3% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 3% of the RDI

What are the risks of consuming cornstarch?

May increase blood sugar levels

As earlier mentioned, corn starch contains a lot of carbohydrates and also has a high glycemic index which is a measure of how much a food increases the blood sugar levels. Cornstarch is also low in dietary fiber which is an essential nutrient that slows down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.

For the reasons above, cornstarch is usually digested very quickly into the body and can result in harmful spiking of the blood sugar levels. If you happen to suffer from Type 2 diabetes are you are trying to manage your blood sugar levels, you should steer clear of cornstarch.

May increase the risk of developing  heart diseases

Cornstarch is a refined carbohydrate. Refined carbs usually go through a lot of processing that takes away a lot of their essential nutrients. Consumption of such foods can negatively impact your health as per studies.

As per numerous studies, diets which have a lot of refined carbohydrates and a high glycemic index are linked with an increased risk of causing coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure.

Other studies have found that consumption of a diet that contains a high glycemic index is associated with increased levels of triglycerides and insulin as well as lower levels of High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) , the ‘good’ cholesterol which increases the risk of heart diseases.

Lacks essential nutrients

Cornstarch contains hardly any nutritional value apart from the calories and carbohydrates which are contained in plenty and have detrimental effects.

If you consume a large amount of cornstarch, you can get small amounts of nutrients such as selenium and copper although people only use about 8 to 16 grams at a time which is equivalent to 1 to 2 tablespoons.

It is therefore crucial that whenever you eat cornstarch you ensure that you also consume a varied diet and pair it with other foods to prevent nutritional deficiency in your body.

What are some good Cornstarch Substitutes?

As a substitute for cornstarch, you can use the below ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour: You can use two tablespoons of all-purpose flour as a substitute for every one tablespoon of cornstarch you would have used. 
  • Rice flour: You can use two tablespoons of rice flour as a substitute for every one tablespoon of cornstarch you would have used.
  • Arrowroot powder: You can use two teaspoons of arrowroot powder for every one tablespoon of cornstarch you would have used.
  • Tapioca starch: You can use two tablespoons of tapioca starch for every one tablespoon of cornstarch you would have used.
  • Potato starch: You can use one tablespoon of potato starch as a substitute for every one tablespoon of cornstarch you would have used.

Does eating cornstarch have any health benefits?

Looking at the nutritional profile of corn starch you would not expect it to have a lot of health benefits, and that’s true. A few positive sides of eating cornstarch is that it has low levels of sodium, fat and cholesterol.

Cornstarch is also gluten free, so if you happen to be intolerant to corn starch you can use it as a good alternative. If you are also trying to put on some weight, especially people that are skinny you can benefit from the high calories that cornstarch has.

Conclusion

In this brief article we have answered the query,” Can you eat corn starch?” We have looked at the nutritional value of cornstarch. We have discussed some potential risks of eating cornstarch. We have talked about some good cornstarch substitutes and if eating cornstarch has any health benefits.

Citations

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/is-cornstarch-bad-for-you#recommendations

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