Baking Powder: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

baking powder

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Baking powder is a type of chemical leavener, meaning that it generates gas during the cooking process to raise baked goods. Made from sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and an acid, baking powder requires only moisture for the chemical reaction to occur. In baked goods that don’t require yeast, like cakes, muffins and quick breads, baking soda plays a role in creating a light and crumby texture.  

Most of the baking soda sold in stores is called “double-acting”, indicating a two step process. The first reaction happens when the baking powder is dissolved in liquid to create a batter. The second reaction occurs during the heating process. Both reactions contribute to a light and flexible baked good. 

Baking Powder Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for 1 teaspoon (4.6g) of double-acting baking powder.

Baking Powder Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 2.4
  • Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 363mg
  • Carbohydrates: 1.1g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 0g

Carbs

Baking powder has 2.4 calories and just over 1 gram of carbs in one teaspoon. The carbs come from the naturally occurring starch in the baking powder. 

Fats

There is no fat in baking powder.

Protein

Baking powder does not contain any protein.

Vitamins and Minerals

Baking powder contains a few vitamins and minerals. One teaspoon of baking soda has 339 mg calcium (about 33% of the daily value) and 456 mg phosphorous (about 60% of the daily value). Both calcium and phosphorus play a role in maintaining healthy bones, nails, and teeth.

Health Benefits

There is no research on the benefits of baking powder, but there are some potential advantages associated with baking soda. Baking powder contains baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and an acid. Although these results haven’t been shown for baking powder directly, certain assumptions can be drawn from the research on baking soda.

May Improve Kidney Function

Sodium bicarbonate has been studied for its role in preserving kidney function in those with chronic kidney disease. A pilot study of 194 people with chronic kidney disease observed the effects of giving two supplemental doses of sodium bicarbonate over 28 weeks.

The results showed a decrease in urinary ammonium excretion, a marker of kidney disease. The study authors conclude that exploring the effects of sodium bicarbonate on chronic kidney disease warrants further research. 

May Promote Oral Health

Due to its alkaline nature, sodium bicarbonate has multiple uses in dentistry. Because it neutralizes acid in the mouth, it’s been studied for its role in preventing cavities and dental erosion on enamel surfaces. It’s also a potent denture cleanser and may even prevent bad breath.

May Increase Exercise Performance

Several studies have observed the effects of sodium bicarbonate on exercise performance, with mixed results. A review of thirteen studies explored the effects of sodium bicarbonate on muscular endurance and muscular strength.

The researchers found that sodium bicarbonate supplementation improved muscular endurance in both small and large muscle groups. However, sodium bicarbonate supplementation did not seem to have an effect on muscular strength. Obviously, more research on this topic is needed. 

May Activate Anti-Inflammatory Pathways

A small animal study investigated the role of a baking soda drink on the promotion of anti-inflammatory cells in the body. The study authors believe that drinking baking soda tells the spleen, a part of the immune system, to shift from the production of inflammatory cells to anti-inflammatory cells. The study authors believe this may play a role in regulating autoimmune diseases, but more human research is needed. 

Cleans Fruits & Vegetables

One study investigated the effectiveness of sodium bicarbonate in removing pesticide residues from apples. The study found that a sodium bicarbonate rinse removed some of the pesticide residue from the apple peel, but not those found deeper into the fruit. That said, the USDA recommends washing fresh fruits and vegetables under cold running water only.

Allergies

There are no reported cases of a baking powder allergy. If you have an adverse reaction after eating baking powder, speak with your doctor. 

Adverse Effects

The amount of baking powder used in cooking or baking is considered safe. However, serious complications can arise from overdosing on baking powder. Side effects of baking powder overdose include thirst, abdominal pain, nausea, severe vomiting, and diarrhea. If a person overdoses on baking powder, seek medical help right away. 

Baking powder is high in sodium, with more than 10% of the daily value in one teaspoon. If you have high blood pressure, talk to your doctor about the use of baking powder. 

Storage and Food Safety

Baking powder usually comes in a metal tin with a tight sealing lid. Store it in the original container in a cool dry place, such as the pantry or cupboard. Keep away from heat. 

Recipes

 

 

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7 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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