Can you eat cornstarch? Should you be eating cornstarch?
Cornstarch is a common thickener, probably your regular go-to when making soups and sauces. And that’s all you knew about its use until you saw a friend pinch a little into her mouth. You asked, and she said does it a few times.
Since then you have been puzzled. Perhaps you have also tried to put some in your mouth, but it looks funny. Well, you can eat cornstarch as an ingredient in soups and sauces. Raw? Not advisable.
Continue reading to see full details.
What is cornstarch?
Cornstarch is a starchy, white powder gotten from the endosperm of corn kernels through a process of wet milling.
Cornstarch is not the same as cornflour. The latter is a product of milling whole corn kernels, while the former is from just the endosperm – the starchy portion.
Furthermore, cornstarch is a common household staple. It is used to thicken liquid-based foods such as soups, sauces, and marinades. It is also used as a softener for baked goods and a coating for meats, veggies, and crusts.
In addition, cornstarch also has many nonculinary uses, such as a remedy for skin irritation, a chafing agent, a preventative agent for athlete’s foot, detangling hair knots, and many others.
Can you eat cornstarch?
Yes, you can eat cornstarch.
However, it is advised that you consume it in small amounts.
If you love to thicken your sauces, soups, casseroles, and marinades with this ingredient, you will agree that just a little quantity can significantly transform your dish. Stay within the limits of that little quantity.
Can you eat raw cornstarch?
Eating raw cornstarch is not advisable.
In the raw form, it contains harmful bacteria. An accumulation of these bacteria can make you gassy and cause bloating.
Additionally, as a complex carbohydrate, the raw form digests slowly and will leave you feeling very uncomfortable if you consume it too much.
Most importantly, a craving for raw cornstarch is a concern you should take to your doctor.
What does cornstarch taste like?
Cornstarch is neither sweet nor bitter.
It tastes nothing like corn despite being a byproduct of corn.
Processing the kernels into powder takes away the flavor of corn and leaves it tasting neutral.
Is cornstarch healthy?
Cornstarch is not a very nutritious food item.
It is high in carbohydrates and low in fiber, protein, and other necessary nutrients. This is one of the reasons why it is best used as an ingredient in dishes.
According to the USDA, a 100-gram serving contains:
- 381 kcal calories
- 91.3 g carbohydrates
- 0.05 g fat
- 0.26 g protein
- 0.9 g fiber
- 13 mg phosphorus
- 2 mg calcium
- 9 mg sodium
Benefits of eating cornstarch
The benefits of eating cornstarch are only available if you cook with cornstarch. They include:
It’s a gluten-free flour alternative
This is one of the recommended gluten-free alternatives for people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS).
Use it sparingly to replace gluten-free flours when making soups & sauces, baked goods, and for coating meats.
If you need fat-free flour, you should use cornstarch. It is high in calories and will help you gain weight without unhealthy fats. Still, you should eat in moderation.
It is low in sodium
This is the perfect sodium-free flour for you. While you’re eating gluten-free, avoiding fats, and enjoying a good meal, you’ll also be doing a heart a favor with cornstarch
The increase in blood sugar could be good
Cooked cornstarch has a high glycemic index which could be good for people with hypoglycemia. But consume it in moderation.
Keep a check on your blood sugar levels and stop or reduce the quantity you add to your meals when you see that your blood sugar level is looking good.
Can help with dysphagia
Dysphagia is a condition characterized by difficulty in swallowing. Adding cornstarch to liquid-based foods for people with this condition can aid bolus control, prevent aspiration and make it easier for them to swallow food.
Can you eat cornstarch if you have a corn allergy?
No, you can’t.
Avoid anything made out of corn if you have a corn allergy. No matter how refined the product is, it still contains a significant amount of zein, the protein that triggers the allergic reaction.
Although corn allergies are rare, you should be careful nonetheless.
Can pregnant women eat cornstarch?
Yes, they can but in the cooked form.
Cravings for non-food items are more common in pregnant women but should not be condoned. Therefore, pregnant women should not eat raw cornstarch.
Are there side effects of eating cornstarch?
Yes, there are.
Cornstarch is not nutritious. It is high in carbohydrates and calories, which can be unhealthy when taken in excess. It lacks the other nutrients that must be present in food to make it healthy.
Cornstarch is very low in fiber, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals. Moreover, excess consumption can lead to excessive weight gain and raised blood sugar levels. It can also increase the risk of developing heart disease.
Is eating cornstarch good for keto?
No, it is not. Cornstarch contains 25g carbs per serving. This amount is enough to take you out of ketosis.
Can you eat cornstarch while breastfeeding?
Yes, you can if it is cooked. Lactating mothers should eat cornstarch in moderation; otherwise, it can make the baby gassy.
Can babies eat cornstarch?
No, babies cannot.
Do not give cornstarch to children under a year unless it is an ingredient in their formula.
Cornstarch is a common staple in many kitchens. You can use it in thickening gravies, soups, casseroles, sauces, and marinades. You can also use it in making baked goods or coating meat for stir-fries.
However, once in a while, some people love to put a little of the raw form in their mouths. It is more of an impulsive action than it is the right thing to do.
You shouldn’t be eating raw cornstarch. It is advised that you consume it (in meals) in moderation to avoid risking your heart health.
And if you want to eat it in its raw form, consume insignificant amounts. Raw cornstarch contains bacteria that can negatively affect your digestive health. I hope you found this article resourceful.
Thanks for reading.
If you enjoyed reading this article, visit Cheffist to get more relevant information on corn and its products.