Cornstarch -- a powdery substance made from ground corn kernels -- is a quick fix for watery gravy and runny pies. Whisked together with a bit of water, cornstarch makes an excellent thickening and stabilizing agent. The powder is almost pure carbohydrate with very few other nutrients. Ordinarily, you'd consume cornstarch in such small quantities that it wouldn't make much difference to your diet. In some instances, however, individuals crave cornstarch and eat it in unhealthy amounts.
One cup of cornstarch has 488 calories and only 0.3 gram of protein. It contains 116 grams of carbohydrates, but no sugar, and has 1.2 grams of dietary fiber. A cup of cornstarch has small amounts of minerals including calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and sodium.
Problems With Pica
A whole pan of gravy may only contain a tablespoon of thickener, so it's rare to eat cornstarch in any significant amount. If you are craving cornstarch, however, you may have a medical condition called pica. Pica is an urge to eat non-nutritive substances such as cornstarch, dirt and chalk. It is sometimes a side effect of pregnancy. Consuming excessive cornstarch is a specific category of pica called amylophagia. The risks of eating non-nutritive substances include constipation, bowel obstruction, nutrient deficiencies and dental problems.
- Photo Credit daizuoxin/iStock/Getty Images
- FAQ on Cornstarch Packing Peanuts
How to Make Healthy Salad Dressings
The current health crisis leaves people scrambling to save calories in any way that they possibly can. Salads are ideal for this,...
How to Eat Argo Starch
Argo starch is a well-known brand of cornstarch, manufactured and sold throughout the United States. Cornstarch is an extremely common food additive...
How to Use Corn Starch for Skin Rash
Corn starch has been used for generations as method of preventing or helping to soothe diaper rash and other skin rashes. For...
How to Stop Eating Corn Starch
Corn starch is a silky, powdery substance often used as a thickener in gravies and sauces. For some people, the corn starch...
Baths to Stop Itching
Itchy skin is a common complaint. Itching is generally caused by dry skin, but it can also be caused by allergies, irritation...
Dangers of Baby Powder
Sweet-smelling talcum baby powder was a staple in many nurseries and among women's hygiene products for several decades until studies began to...
The Effects of Eating Corn & Being Diabetic
While corn is a staple vegetable for many people, some may worry about the effects of eating corn and being diabetic. Fortunately...
Cornstarch Home Remedy for Hives Itching
Hives are a blotchy, itchy skin condition that can feel as bad as it looks. The welts, rings and patches can disappear...
Corn Meal Weight Loss
Corn meal is a staple food in North and South America, often used to make tortilla, tamales, fried bread and Mexican drinks....