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Cornstarch VS Corn Flour: Calorie, Nutrition, Use, Benefits, Risk

With the ongoing cornstarch vs corn flour debates, anyone might feel curious about these two corn products. 

As things get going, both are the ground powders of corn kernels. But, there still lies some differences between these two. Those are the characteristics that can easily help one to pick the best-suited carb for themselves between cornstarch and corn flour. 

Here, we’ll provide you the structure comparison between cornstarch and corn flour- what they are, their calorie count, nutrition values, their use differences, and a comparative discussion on their health benefits as well as the probable health risks from both these.  

Cornstarch vs corn flour

Cornstarch vs corn flour: what they are 

Though both of these are made from corn and both are carb powders, their making processes and structures are different from each other.

The debate on cornstarch vs corn flour is fueled largely because of the ongoing gluten-free culture. Both of these have some unique concerns.

While corn flour is made by grinding the corn kernel only. Just taking the whole corn, washing them to remove the unnecessary parts and dust, drying them, and later grinding them to powder is all you’ll need to make corn flour. 

In fact, corn flour can be homemade very often. And, there are two types of corn flour

  • White corn flour. You need to mill a finer grind to make white corn flour. And the prime difference between white and yellow corn flour lies in the milling process and color.
  • Yellow corn flour. Less milling is enough to make yellow corn flour. 

Both of these corn flours have similar structures. Though, white corn flour is better suited for thickening purposes, while yellow ones are better for sweet recipes. 

On the contrary, you won’t be able to make cornstarch at home unless you have all the equipment necessary. That is because cornstarch needs to be more refined and protein-free.

While making cornstarch, you’ll need to carefully remove the protein from the kernel. 

The differences are shown more specifically in the box below-

Cornstarch Corn flour 
More refined. Less refined. 
Is only one type- white.Two types- white and yellow. 
Made by removing the protein. Doesn’t remove the protein. 
Can’t be homemade normally. Can be homemade easily. 

So in short, they both are ground corns, but one is basic and the other one is more refined that’s it. 

Also Read:

Calorie count of cornstarch vs corn flour 

As for carb-type ingredients, both cornstarch and corn flour have quite good quantities of calories. Though corn flour has slightly fewer calories than cornstarch because they have some proteins as well.

Every 100 grams of yellow corn flour contains 361 calories, and every 100 grams of white corn flour contains 363 calories. The difference between white and yellow corn flour is not that much, to be honest.

Moving to cornstarch, they are almost all carbs. That’s a reason why it has higher calories. 

Every 100 grams of cornstarch contains 381 calories. The prime reason behind the higher amount of carbs in the cornstarch is, cornstarch is more refined to lose the proteins, hence they have the carb values rise.

You can see the difference on your own right? 

Nutrition differences between corn flour vs cornstarch 

The prime difference between cornstarch and corn flour lies in protein differences.

You could say, one is gluten-free- which is cornstarch. And the other one, corn flour, contains gluten. 

Apart from this prime difference, they are very much alike in terms of nutrition values. 

Let’s take a comparative look though.

  • Both cornstarch and white corn flour contain 91 grams of carbs per 100 grams. Though, yellow corn flour has some differences here. Every 100 grams of yellow corn flour contains 76 grams of carbs.
  • Cornstarch does not contain any protein. On the contrary, every 100 grams of corn flour contains 3 grams of protein
  • As basic carbs, neither cornstarch nor corn flour has that many vitamins in them. But they have some minerals. And the amounts are the same. 
  • Sodium is an essential element for the kidney and blood circulation system of the human body.  They are responsible for keeping your blood pressure steady as well. Every 100 grams of cornstarch and corn flour contain 9 mg of sodium.
  • Potassium is important for muscle health. Every 100 grams of both cornstarch and corn flour can provide 3 mg of potassium.
  • None of these ingredients contain trans fat, which is good news. Though both of them contain some fats. Every 100 grams of cornstarch contains 0.1 grams of fat, whereas every 100 grams of corn flour contains 0.3 grams of fat.
  • A large amount of carbs that cornstarch and corn flour provides has no sugar at all. This is good news. There is another one, both of these carbs that every 100 grams contain have 0.9 grams of dietary fibers.

Uses of cornstarch and corn flour 

No, there are literally no differences in their uses.

Cornstarch and corn flour are each other’s substitutes. Hence, you won’t see any different uses apart from cornstarch being used to make gluten-free foods, whereas corn flour is used in the ones with gluten.

Let’s take a look at their uses.

  • The most common use of cornstarch and corn flour are in foods. People use them to thicken soup of many kinds. Yes, the primary use of these carb powders is to cook soups.
  • You’ll need one of them to make sauces, especially the ones for pasta and spaghetti.  
  • Both of these ground corns help make the perfect syrup.
  • In most Chinese foods, either cornstarch or corn flour is a must to cook.
  • The pastes of both cornstarch and corn flour are helpful for skin irritations. 
  • If you run out of deodorant, you can use either of these ground corn powders with coconut oil, and baking soda to make deodorant at home! They are super moisturizing too, you know! 
  • Another brilliant use of both of these comes when you run out of dry shampoo. Yes, they act as the substitute for dry shampoo for blondes. Though it won’t work on dark-colored hair as the white (or yellow if you get yellow corn flour) will look like dandruff in dark hairs.
  • If you’re facing a hard time ironing clothes, you can sprinkle some cornstarch or corn flour over the clothes before you start ironing, they help keep the heat even. 
  • Other than the skin irritations, both of these help to relieve bug bites. You can apply corn paste, and to make it more effective, you can add a bit of coconut oil as well.

So, not much difference in these aspects right? But there is.

Cornstarch is whole starch, but corn flour is not pure starch. This is why cornstarch has double the thickening power than corn flour. You’ll be able to cook with less cornstarch, but if you use corn flour, you will need more of it.

Second, corn flour is somewhat cloudy. But cornstarch is a lighter and shiny type.  

Yes, for cooking purposes, cornstarch would be a better pick.

Comparative health benefits from cornstarch and corn flour 

Again, the prime difference is about gluten. 

Let’s take a comparative overview of the health benefits of these two.

  • As both of these are high carbs, they are great to boost your energy level. 
  • But, cornstarch is healthier in terms of health benefits. As corn flour contains gluten, it might be troublesome for people with celiac disease. On the contrary, as cornstarch contains no gluten, it is helpful for people with celiac disease. 
  • But, corn flour is more beneficial for weight gain programs for aspiring bodybuilders and underweight people. Cornstarch has no protein at all, they’d be slightly more time-consuming to gain weight than corn flour.
  • But for external uses, both of these corn powders are equally helpful. 

Probable side effects: which one is riskier?

There are no food items that won’t have any side effects at all.

Both cornstarch and corn flour has some probable risks. Let’s comparatively take a view.

  • Both of these carbs can cause you to get sudden weight gain as we all know, carb consumption can get you more weight. 
  • Corn flour can trigger immune reactions in people with celiac diseases. Though, cornstarch does not have this risk.
  • Both of them can trigger allergic reactions in some people. 
  • But, corn flour has more vitamins and minerals along with some proteins. This means cornstarch can cause malnutrition more frequently than corn flour.
  • Cornstarch is associated with PICA, a disease that causes unusual cravings for non-nutritious foods. Even though they are not responsible for it. But they can cause trouble for people with PICA if available. 

And that was all about the comparative discussion on the curious debate on cornstarch vs corn flour.

It is not like one is superior over the other one, both of these have some advantages of their own. Both of them have some risk factors too.

It will depend solely on the user’s personal health records and current diet plans as to which one would suit them better.

We intended to provide the necessary information from both sides so that you find it easy to pick and plan for yourself.

Let us know if you need any more information, just drop the question in the comment box below. 

And lastly, for any emergency, please do contact a doctor firsthand. 

Also read: Is corn starch gluten free? Why do females eat it, & more |

Why do people eat corn starch? Is it bad for you, & more.

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