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Cornstarch vs Couscous: How Do They Compare?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between cornstarch and couscous, foods from the grains food group. Read on to learn more about the cornstarch vs couscous comparison.
Dennis Gillett, Health & Fitness Writer

Written by Dennis Gillett, Health & Fitness Writer. Updated on January 24, 2023.

Cornstarch and couscous belong to the grains food group, one of the staple food groups for people on a plant-based diet.

Grains and grain products are an affordable source of carbohydrates, as well as essential vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins (such as thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin), iron, and zinc, minerals that are usually harder to get on a plant-based diet.

They also provide a small amount of protein and healthy fats.

However, it is important to note that whole grains are generally a better source of these nutrients than refined grains.

This article will thoroughly compare cornstarch and couscous and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.


Cornstarch (Zea mays) is a type of carbohydrate derived from the endosperm of the corn kernel.

It is a good source of energy, providing a high amount of carbohydrates and small amounts of protein, vitamins, and minerals. It is pure starch and has a very low nutritional value compared to whole-grain cornmeal.

Cornstarch is commonly used as a thickening agent in cooking and baking, as it can absorb liquids and increase the viscosity of sauces, gravies, and puddings. It is also used as a coating for fried foods to provide a crisp texture. It is a gluten-free ingredient and can be used as a thickener for people with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.

Cornstarch is typically used in small amounts and is not a significant source of nutrition in the diet. It is often used as a thickener in combination with other ingredients, and when consumed in moderation, it can be included as part of a healthy diet.

Cornstarch is not an excellent source of any particular vitamin.


Couscous (Couscous) is a type of pasta made from small, round granules of semolina, which is the coarsely ground endosperm of durum wheat.

It is a good source of carbohydrates and small amounts of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals like iron and B vitamins, depending on the ingredients used in the dish’s preparation.

Couscous is a staple food in North Africa and the Middle East and is traditionally served as a side dish or as a base for stews and salads. It is also gluten-free and easy to digest.

Couscous can be enjoyed in various ways. It can be cooked in different sauces, with herbs and spices, and can also be used in salads and soups. It can also be paired with vegetables and lean protein sources such as legumes and in moderate portions.

Couscous is an excellent source of Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and Vitamin B3 (Niacin) and some Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).

Cornstarch vs Couscous Nutrition

Now that we’ve described the origin, taste, and usage of these foods, we can move to the most interesting part – comparing cornstarch vs couscous.

This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of cornstarch and couscous and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral content.

Energy381 kcal376 kcal
Carbs91.3 g77.4 g
Sugar0 g0 g
Fiber0.9 g5 g
Protein0.26 g12.8 g
Fat0.05 g0.64 g
Saturated Fat0.009 g0.117 g

Cornstarch vs Couscous Calories

Most calories in grains come from carbs.

Comparing couscous vs cornstarch for weight loss, couscous is slightly lower in calories, with 376 calories per 100 grams, compared to 381 calories per 100 grams of cornstarch.

However, both cornstarch and couscous can and should be a part of a healthy diet, and neither one shouldn’t be avoided if you’re looking to lose weight.

Cornstarch vs Couscous Protein

Grains and most grain products, including cornstarch and couscous, are important sources of plant-based protein.

However, it should be noted that most grains, with the exception of quinoa and buckwheat, for example, are low in lysine and methionine.

That said, you can combine grains with legumes to get a complete protein.

Couscous offers around 98% more protein than cornstarch.

Couscous has 12.8 grams of protein per 100 grams, while cornstarch has 0.3 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Cornstarch vs Couscous Carbs

Counting carbs can be important for some people for different reasons, including blood sugar control, weight management, or athletic performance.

It’s also important for people on a keto diet, so let’s compare the carbs content in cornstarch and couscous.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 15% higher in cornstarch than in couscous. It has 91.3 grams per 100 grams, compared to 77.4 grams in couscous.

That said, 100 grams of cornstarch and couscous contains 0 grams of sugar, the same amount.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in cornstarch and couscous.

Dietary fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and helps with weight management by promoting a sense of fullness.

With 5 grams of fiber per 100 grams, couscous is a better source of fiber than cornstarch which offers 0.9 grams per 100 gram portion.

Cornstarch vs Couscous Fats

Like most other grains, cornstarch and couscous are low in fat.

Fats in cornstarch and couscous are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.

Total fat in cornstarch and couscous:

  • Cornstarch: 0.1 grams per 100 grams
  • Couscous: 0.6 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, cornstarch is 100% lower in saturated fats.

Cornstarch and couscous contain 0 grams and 0.1 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Cornstarch vs Couscous Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of cornstarch and couscous.

Vitamins are micronutrients, meaning we need only a small amount. However, they are very important for many processes in our bodies.

Cornstarch has a higher amount of vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and vitamin B9 (Folate).

Cornstarch and couscous contain the same amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin B12 (Cobalamin), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins cornstarch and couscous contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.

Vitamin A00
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)00.163 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)00.078 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)03.49 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)01.24 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)00.11 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)020 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E00
Vitamin K00

Cornstarch vs Couscous Minerals Content

Minerals are important for our body to function properly. We need only a small amount of minerals, so they are called micronutrients.

Some minerals, like iron, calcium, zinc, or iodine, are relatively hard to get on a plant-based diet, so it’s important to choose your foods thoughtfully. This part of the cornstarch and couscous comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Cornstarch is a better source of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc than couscous.

Cornstarch and couscous contain the same amount of fluoride, and selenium.

Check out the table below to learn how cornstarch and couscous compare when it comes to mineral content.

Calcium2 mg24 mg
Copper0.05 mg0.247 mg
Iron0.47 mg1.08 mg
Magnesium3 mg44 mg
Manganese0.053 mg0.78 mg
Phosphorus13 mg170 mg
Potassium3 mg166 mg
Selenium2.8 µg2.8 µg
Sodium9 mg10 mg
Zinc0.06 mg0.83 mg

The Final Word

This article highlighted the similarities and differences between cornstarch and couscous.

Grains, also known as cereal grains, are an important source of nutrition for many people around the world. They are a rich source of carbohydrates, which provide energy for the body.

Whole grains contain important vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins and iron. Whole grains, in particular, are high in dietary fiber and can help with digestion and weight management.

They may also have other health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

Grains are also a staple food and an important source of food security in many parts of the world.


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