Can Diabetics Eat Cornbread? Find Out Here

Diabetics can eat cornbread and enjoy the Native American quick bread. However, certain precautions should be followed if you are diabetic and want some cornbread. 

Cornbread is a common meal enjoyed in the United States and an alternative staple for localities where wheat flour is more expensive. Additionally, they serve as special meals served during celebratory holidays like Thanksgiving, and also serve as a stuffing used with Thanksgiving turkeys. 

You can also eat your cornbread with chili con carne, butter, and barbecue. Furthermore, you can served at any time of the day including breakfast, lunch, or dinner. 

The purpose of this article is to provide information regarding cornbread and whether it is appropriate for diabetics as a meal.

What is cornbread? 

Also known as Johnnycake, Cornbread is an example of batter bread that originated from the Native Americans and is made using cornmeal. It is a quick bread that is sometimes made with baking powder and has been a Native American/Southern United States cruising for hundreds of years.

Additionally, cornbread comes in many variations such as Cracklin bread, Hushpuppies, Hot water cornbread, Baked Cornbread, Corn Pone, and Johnnycakes. You can also bake them in various forms like a cupcake or muffins.

SEE: If Cornstarch Go Bad After a Long While

What are the Types of Cornbread?

There are numerous types of cornbread, each having its own specific method of preparation and ingredients. They include Crackling Bread, Baked Cornbread, Johnnycakes, Corn Pone, Fried Corn Bread, Hot Water Cornbread, and Hushpuppies. The following cornbread varieties and their distinct traits are listed below; 

Crackling Bread

The Crackling Bread is a southern cornbread dish that you make with cornbread and crackling in it. Also, this dish uses any preparation method, but the most common method is a skillet as it makes the cornbread crispier.


Hushpuppies use a thicker buttermilk-based batter that you deep-fry instead of making in pan-fried forms. Also, fried fish and other seafood are the common ingredients that accompany this variation of cornbread. 

However, the recipes used in making hushpuppy vary among localities. For example, some use jalapeños, chopped onions, beer, or onion seasoning for their preparation. 

Also, when properly fried, the hushpuppy develops a moist yet crunchy texture, a light to medium golden brown appearance, and a white or yellowish appearance on the insides. 

Furthermore, hushpuppies originated from the combination of the African frying technique with the Native American cornmeal. 

Hot Water Cornbread 

Known as “scald meal” or “hot water”, this variation of the cornbread originates from the American South. 

Prepared using a frying method which includes pouring a bit of liquid made using self-rising cornmeal and boiling water into a skillet of hot oil. After placing it in oil, the cornbread turns golden and crunchy while its center forms into a mushy, crumbly bread. 

These little cornbreads mostly require adding a little bit of wheat flour to the mix to ensure the consistency of the bread and its soft and rich texture. 

SEE: If You Can Freeze Corn on Cob – Preservation Methods You’ve Not Tried

Corn Pone

Sometimes called Indian Pone, corn pone is another variety of cornbread that uses a thick cornmeal dough which is usually milkless and eggless. 

Furthermore, this dough bakes on an iron pan over an open fire, and mostly makes use of bacon grease, cooking oil, butter, shortening, or margarine.


Hoecake, Johnny Bread, or Johnnycakes makes use of batter that is somewhat similar but slightly thinner to that used in a skillet-fried cornbread. Place on top of a skillet or a griddle, this thin batter then forms a pancake-like cornbread popularly known as Johnnycake. 

While Johnnycake refers to the name of the pancake-like cornbread, it also serves as a synonym majorly used in the North as a general term for cornbread. 

Baked Cornbread

Unlike most fried cornbreads, baked cornbread depends on an egg-based protein formula to enhance its structure. However, the addition of flour made with wheat increases its stickiness due to the presence of gluten). 

Additionally, the baking procedure for this cornbread is known to leave some hard starch which gives the final stage a distinctive sandy texture that is unique from bread made with other grains. 

Fried Cornbread 

Just like other variations of the native cornbread, the frybread or fried cornbread by the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina have its own unique way of making cornbread. 

The Fried Cornbread consists of ingredients like egg, salt, buttermilk, and yellow cornmeal. The cornbread batter is then thinly poured and fried in a cast-iron skillet. 

What are the health benefits of cornbread? 

You can find the following health benefits of cornbread listed below:

Cornbreads Contain Fiber

Cornbread comes from corn and is classified as a whole-grain food. Whole-grain foods provide a sufficient amount of fiber in them that helps lower blood sugar levels, absorb cholesterol, and regulate bowel movements.

Also, because the fiber merely passes the digestive system and does not get digested in the process, it doesn’t add calories of its own to the cornbread. However, it still helps make the cornbread filling.


Cornbread possesses many nutrients such as magnesium, folic acid, iron, folates, phosphorus, Vitamin A, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin B-12, and potassium. 

However, the preparation process for cornbread may see the addition of excess animal fat, sodium, and sugar. The presence of these materials in cornbread is generally unhealthy and should be avoided. 

Also, make sure you check the labels on commercial bread for them or avoid the risk by making your cornbread from scratch while excluding them.

Great Source of Protein and Antioxidants 

All 10 essential amino acids which are the building blocks for the protein that control cellular process, organ functions, and growth exist in cornbread. Furthermore, cornbreads are rich in antioxidants which protect your cells from getting damaged by oxidation.

The presence of these antioxidants in cornbreads may also help slow down the aging process and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, or cancer.

Can diabetics eat cornbread? 

Yes, diabetics can eat cornbread, however, it is not advisable for diabetics to eat traditional cornbread as the ingredients used in making them contain a high amount of carbs which can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels. 

If you are diabetic but worried about the high carbs in cornbread; you can make a low-carb cornbread from scratch with certain ingredients that are suitable for your condition. 

What are the Disadvantages of Eating Cornbread? 

Common disadvantages of eating cornbread include the fact that some mixes of cornbread may contain excess sugar, sodium, and animal fats among others. These disadvantages and their effects are outlined below;


The presence of high amounts of salt or sodium in cornbread may increase the risk of high blood pressure among people who are sensitive to salt. This also means that it may not be completely safe for people with heart conditions. 


The presence of sugar in cornbread may result in high blood sugar levels among diabetic patients. 

Refined Grains

Refined grains are commonly used in making most cornbreads. This means that their flour does not contain all aspects of the wheat kernel. 

Additionally, refined grains while low in fiber contain gluten, making them dangerous if you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Also, refined grains tend to increase blood sugar and inflammation in the body. 

Animal Fat

Most fried cornbreads make use of animal fat (butter, oil, fat) which could increase the risk of having heart disease. Animal Fat can cause cholesterol to build up and clog the arteries thereby leading to stroke or a heart condition. 

SEE: Why Oil Evaporates – Causes and Solutions


What allergies are associated with cornbread?

Although it is quite rare, allergies associated with eating anything that contains corn include hive or rash, itching in the mouth, nasal congestion (difficulty breathing), lightheadedness or dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, or nausea

Additionally, even though corn allergies are quite rare, the reaction to corn for those who have it can be quite severe and life-threatening.

What is the difference between northern and southern cornbread?

Northern cornbread has traditionally been sweeter and more cake-like; while southern cornbread contains little or no sugar and little or no flour (or even no flour).

What is corn intolerance?

Corn intolerance arises when your body mistakenly perceives corn as something harmful. Histamine and other chemicals are released by the immune system when your body identifies the allergen. Antibodies known as immunoglobulin E (IgE) are also produced in an effort to neutralize the allergen.

Furthermore, a severe intolerance to corn can result in shock, and loss of consciousness. It can also lead to breathing difficulty due to blocked airways, and irregular or rapid heartbeat.

SEE: List Of Naturally Gluten-Free Food You Can Enjoy


Traditional cornbread due to its high-carb content is generally not advisable for consumption for diabetics. However, you can still enjoy a well-made low-carb cornbread. 

Also, diabetics can enjoy eating regular cornbread in little amounts. However, note that eating large amounts will raise your blood sugar. 

Finally, have you made some cornbread and you’re wondering what other meals you can enjoy with it? Here are delicious meals you can prepare using cornbread leftovers

I hope you found this article helpful. Thanks for reading.