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Cornstarch is a powdery food that is made from ground corn. Cornstarch can be used for a variety of culinary purposes, as it can help thicken soups and sauces, and helps recipe ingredients stick together. Although cornstarch is not usually the main ingredient of a dish, it does offer several health benefits. However, cornstarch doesn't offer a particularly diverse array of nutrients, so it isn't the best dietary choice, depending on your needs.


Cornstarch is calorie-dense, with 488 calories in 1 cup. This can make cornstarch a benficial food choice for athletes or other highly active individuals. For example, 1/2 cup of cornstarch could fuel more than an hour of weightlifting, while 1 cup of cornstarch provides enough calories for 57 minutes of swimming laps.


Cornstarch is beneficial for your health if you're on a high-carbohydrate meal plan, as each cup provides 117 g of this nutrient. Carbohydrates are your body's primary source of energy, and the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academies recommends eating at least 130 g of carbohyrates each day.


One health benefit of cornstarch is that this food is nearly fat-free. Each cup of cornstarch contains less than .1 g of fat, meaning that fat provides only about .5 of the 488 calories. While you do need some dietary fat, it is high in calories, so it can make weight management difficult. Additionally, some types of fat -- saturated and trans fats -- can increase your risk of heart disease.


Cornstarch is low in protein, as each cup contains .3 g of this nutrient. Like dietary fat, some protein is necessary for proper health. However, low-protein foods can be advantageous, as low-protein diets are recommended to treat certain health conditions, including gout, liver or kidney problems.

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