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Carb Information for Cornmeal and Popcorn

Carbs and Glycemic Info for Cornmeal, Grits, Polenta, and Popcorn

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Updated January 06, 2013

Corn

Corn Harvest

Photo: Don Farrall/Getty Images
Corn meal and variations of it (polenta, grits, masa flour) are made from corn kernels which are dried and ground. The corn plant is a grass, and corn can be considered a grain when used in this way. I have also included information for popcorn. (For carb information about fresh, frozen or canned corn as a vegetable, see this page.)

Carbohydrate and Fiber Counts for Cornmeal and Popcorn

Corn meal, grits, polenta, and corn flour all have very similar amounts of carbohydrate -- they seem to vary more by brand than by type.
  • ¼ cup raw cornmeal (about one ounce): 21 grams effective (net) carbohydrate plus 2 grams fiber and 111 calories

  • ½ cup cooked grits: 18 grams effective (net) carbohydrate plus 2 grams fiber and 87 calories

  • 1 cup air-popped popcorn: 5 grams effective (net) carbohydrate plus 1 gram fiber and 31 calories

  • 1 cup oil-popped popcorn: 5 grams effective (net) carbohydrate plus 1 gram fiber and 55 calories

  • 1 ounce tortilla chips: 18 grams effective (net) carbohydrate plus 1 gram fiber and 138 calories

Glycemic Index for Cornmeal and Popcorn

Two studies of the glycemic index of cornmeal report an average GI of 68.

More Information about the Glycemic Index

Estimated Glycemic Load of Cornmeal and Popcorn

  • ¼ cup raw cornmeal (about one ounce): 13

  • ½ cup cooked grits: 11

  • 1 cup popped popcorn: 3

  • 1 ounce tortilla chips: 11

More Information About the Glycemic Load

Health Benefits of Cornmeal

Whole grain cornmeal is a fair source of thiamin and magnesium. Popcorn has very little to offer nutritionally.

More Information About Corn at Calorie Count.

More Carb Profiles:
Sources:

Leroux, MarcusFoster-Powell, Kaye, Holt, Susanna and Brand-Miller, Janette. "International table of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2002." American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Vol. 76, No. 1, 5-56, (2002).

USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 21.
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  7. Carbs in Corn Meal and Popcorn - Calories, Health Benefits and Carbs in Corn

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