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Cornstarch vs Durum wheat: Which Is Better?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between cornstarch and durum wheat, foods from the grains food group. Read on to learn more about the cornstarch vs durum wheat comparison.
Michael Whaley, Health Writer

Written by Michael Whaley, Health Writer. Updated on January 25, 2023.

Cornstarch and durum wheat 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 durum wheat 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.

Durum wheat

Durum wheat (Triticum durum) is a type of wheat that is known for its high protein and gluten content.

It is a good source of carbohydrates, protein, and small amounts of vitamins and minerals like iron, zinc, and B-vitamins. It is also rich in antioxidants and essential amino acids, making it a valuable food for vegetarians and vegans.

Durum wheat is commonly used in the production of pasta and couscous and also in traditional dishes like semolina porridge and bread. It is also used in some breakfast cereals and snacks. The high gluten content of durum wheat gives pasta and other products made from it a distinct texture and yellow color due to the presence of carotenoids in the wheat endosperm.

Durum wheat is gluten-rich. Thus, it is unsuitable for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. It can be enjoyed as a balanced diet, combined with vegetables, lean protein sources, and healthy fats.

Durum wheat is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin B9 (Folate) and some Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin E.

Cornstarch vs Durum wheat 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 durum wheat.

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

CornstarchDurum wheat
Energy381 kcal339 kcal
Carbs91.3 g71.1 g
Sugar0 g0 g
Fiber0.9 g3.4 g
Protein0.26 g13.7 g
Fat0.05 g2.47 g
Saturated Fat0.009 g0.454 g

Cornstarch vs Durum wheat Calories

Most calories in grains come from carbs.

Comparing durum wheat vs cornstarch for weight loss, durum wheat is slightly lower in calories, with 339 calories per 100 grams, compared to 381 calories per 100 grams of cornstarch.

However, both cornstarch and durum wheat 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 Durum wheat Protein

Grains and most grain products, including cornstarch and durum wheat, 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.

Durum wheat offers around 98% more protein than cornstarch.

Durum wheat has 13.7 grams of protein per 100 grams, while cornstarch has 0.3 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Cornstarch vs Durum wheat 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 durum wheat.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 22% higher in cornstarch than in durum wheat. It has 91.3 grams per 100 grams, compared to 71.1 grams in durum wheat.

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

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

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

With 3.4 grams of fiber per 100 grams, durum wheat is a better source of fiber than cornstarch which offers 0.9 grams per 100 gram portion.

Cornstarch vs Durum wheat Fats

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

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

Total fat in cornstarch and durum wheat:

  • Cornstarch: 0.1 grams per 100 grams
  • Durum wheat: 2.5 per 100 grams

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

Cornstarch and durum wheat contain 0 grams and 0.5 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Cornstarch vs Durum wheat Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of cornstarch and durum wheat.

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), vitamin B9 (Folate), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

Cornstarch and durum wheat contain the same amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

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

CornstarchDurum wheat
Vitamin A00
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)00.419 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)00.121 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)06.74 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)00.935 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)00.419 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)043 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E00.9 mg
Vitamin K00.9 µg

Cornstarch vs Durum wheat 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 durum wheat comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Cornstarch is a better source of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and zinc than durum wheat.

On the other hand, durum wheat is a higher amount of sodium.

Cornstarch and durum wheat contain the same amount of fluoride.

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

CornstarchDurum wheat
Calcium2 mg34 mg
Copper0.05 mg0.553 mg
Iron0.47 mg3.52 mg
Magnesium3 mg144 mg
Manganese0.053 mg3.01 mg
Phosphorus13 mg508 mg
Potassium3 mg431 mg
Selenium2.8 µg89.4 µg
Sodium9 mg2 mg
Zinc0.06 mg4.16 mg

The Final Word

This article highlighted the similarities and differences between cornstarch and durum wheat.

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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