Cornstarch vs Semolina: How To Choose?
Cornstarch and semolina 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 semolina 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.
Semolina (Triticum durum) is a coarse, granular flour that is made from the hard durum wheat, a type of wheat that is high in gluten and protein.
It is a good source of carbohydrates, protein, and small amounts of minerals like iron and zinc. It is also rich in B vitamins such as niacin and thiamin.
Semolina is commonly used in the production of pasta and other traditional Italian dishes like couscous and gnocchi. It is also used in some breads, pastries, and other baked goods. It gives pasta a distinct texture and yellow color due to the presence of carotenoids in the wheat endosperm.
Semolina is gluten-rich, thus, it is not suitable for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. Semolina can be enjoyed in moderate portions as part of a balanced diet, combined with vegetables, lean protein sources, and healthy fats.
Semolina is not an excellent source of any particular vitamin.
However, it also contains a good amount of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin B9 (Folate) and some Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).
Cornstarch vs Semolina 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 semolina.
This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of cornstarch and semolina and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral content.
Cornstarch vs Semolina Calories
Most calories in grains come from carbs.
Comparing semolina vs cornstarch for weight loss, semolina is slightly lower in calories, with 360 calories per 100 grams, compared to 381 calories per 100 grams of cornstarch.
However, both cornstarch and semolina 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 Semolina Protein
Grains and most grain products, including cornstarch and semolina, 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.
Semolina offers around 98% more protein than cornstarch.
Semolina has 12.7 grams of protein per 100 grams, while cornstarch has 0.3 grams of protein per 100 grams.
Cornstarch vs Semolina 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 semolina.
The total amount of carbohydrates is around 20% higher in cornstarch than in semolina. It has 91.3 grams per 100 grams, compared to 72.8 grams in semolina.
There’s less sugar in cornstarch than in semolina, 100% precisely.
That said, 100 grams of cornstarch contains 0 grams of sugar, while the same amount of semolina contains 2.7 grams.
Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in cornstarch and semolina.
Dietary fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and helps with weight management by promoting a sense of fullness.
With 3.9 grams of fiber per 100 grams, semolina is a better source of fiber than cornstarch which offers 0.9 grams per 100 gram portion.
Cornstarch vs Semolina Fats
Like most other grains, cornstarch and semolina are low in fat.
Fats in cornstarch and semolina are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.
Total fat in cornstarch and semolina:
- Cornstarch: 0.1 grams per 100 grams
- Semolina: 1.1 per 100 grams
Speaking of saturated fats, cornstarch is 100% lower in saturated fats.
Cornstarch and semolina contain 0 grams and 0.2 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.
Cornstarch vs Semolina Vitamins Content
This section will discuss the vitamin content of cornstarch and semolina.
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 semolina 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 semolina contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)
|Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)
|Vitamin B9 (Folate)
|Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
Cornstarch vs Semolina 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 semolina comparison focuses on their mineral content.
Cornstarch is a better source of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and zinc than semolina.
On the other hand, semolina is a higher amount of sodium.
Cornstarch and semolina contain the same amount of fluoride.
Check out the table below to learn how cornstarch and semolina compare when it comes to mineral content.
The Final Word
This article highlighted the similarities and differences between cornstarch and semolina.
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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- We cite relevant studies and trusted sources.
- It's regularly updated.
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