Cornbread Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Cornbread with butter on top in front of plate of cornbread slices


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Cornbread originated as an easy-to-cook and, just as importantly, easy to carry, food with early North American settlers. It has been called different names and been made in different formats—like muffins, like pancakes, in a sheet pan, as a casserole, and more—but it is still a versatile and delicious food.

Cornbread benefits from its vegetable origins. Cornmeal, the ground corn component that makes up the foundation of cornbread, is a whole grain.

Cornbread Nutrition Facts

This nutrition information, for one standard piece of cornbread (60 grams), is from the USDA.

  • Calories: 198
  • Fat: 5.75g
  • Sodium: 359mg
  • Carbohydrates: 32.7g
  • Fiber: 1.38g
  • Sugars: 9.63g
  • Protein: 3.95g
  • Calcium: 209mg
  • Iron: 1.1mg

Carbs

While there are certainly low-carb bread options that are still tasty, cornbread does not quite fall into this category. Cornbread has 32.7 grams of carbs per serving. Of the 32.7 grams of carbs 9.63, or 29% are from sugar, and 1.38, or 4%, are from fiber.

Fats

The fat in cornbread comes mainly from the milk, butter, and eggs used, which is why it can vary depending on the type of milk and butter in the recipe. One serving contains approximately 5.75 grams of fat.

Protein

Cornbread has almost 4 grams of protein in one serving. Because cornbread is made of cornmeal, which of course comes from corn, it is a higher protein bread than a standard grain bread.

Vitamins and Minerals

Corn in its natural state is full of vitamin C, B vitamins, magnesium, and potassium. Processed corn products are not as nutritious, but cornbread does still contain these vitamins and minerals, as well as 6% of the daily recommended value of iron.

Calories

Cornbread is a relatively calorie-dense food with nearly 200 calories for a standard serving (60 grams). However, cornbread is not merely a utility bread much like sandwich bread. Instead, it is viewed as a stand-alone side dish often served with a BBQ platter or chili. It also can be a component of a larger side dish like cornbread stuffing, so the calorie counts will vary depending on the preparation.

Health Benefits

Because cornbread is made with cornmeal, a component of corn, it shares some of the same nutritional components and benefits. Here is an overview of the potential health benefits of cornbread.

May Promote Blood Health

One serving of cornbread contains 6% of the daily recommended intake of iron. Iron is essential for the production of blood in the body. Approximately 70% of the body’s iron resides in red blood cells called hemoglobin and in the cells called myoglobin. Hemoglobin is necessary to transfer oxygen in the blood from the lungs to tissues. Myoglobin accepts, stores, transports, and releases oxygen.

Not having enough iron can lead to iron-deficiency anemia, which presents in symptoms such as fatigue, skin pallor, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, dizziness, or a fast heartbeat. Consuming the recommended daily intake of iron, which can vary based on age and other factors, reduces the risk of developing anemia and the issues that come with it.

Promotes Satiety

If your cornbread is made with milk, oil, and eggs as many mixes suggest, this means it most likely contains more protein and fats than a dinner roll or slice of bread. These added ingredients also make it more filling and satisfying.

Plus, foods higher in carbs tend to digest more rapidly than protein and fats, so they tend to exit the stomach more quickly. Adding protein and fats into a meal or snack can help you feel more satiated and more satisfied after you have eaten.

May Provide Energy

Carbohydrates supply your body with energy, so when you eat foods like cornbread, your body breaks down the carbs in the bread into glucose. As the main energy source for all the cells in your body, glucose is especially important for brain function. 

Even when you are asleep, your brain is awake and functioning. But, unlike your muscles, your brain has no way to store glucose. Plus, your brain utilizes approximately 20% of the glucose you eat every day, so eating the recommended amount of carbohydrates is an important part of keeping your brain fueled.

Allergies

Although rare, people can be allergic to corn. If you have an allergy to corn, you should not consume cornbread. Additionally, people with milk or egg allergies may want to read the label of any cornbread mix they are using to see if these ingredients are included in the mix.

If your mix does not contain milk or eggs, it likely calls for milk, eggs, and butter to create the batter. You can use substitutes like non-dairy milk, plant-based margarine, and an egg substitute to make your cornbread.

Cornmeal is usually gluten-free. If you are making cornbread from a mix, double-check the mix to be sure other flours have not been added, especially if you have celiac or are gluten sensitive. Although cornbread in its purest form is gluten-free, some mixes do contain other flours in them.

Storage and Food Safety

To keep your cornbread fluffy and moist, wrap it in plastic wrap or store it in an airtight container. You can leave it on the counter for up to 2 days as long as it doesn't contain anything extra like cheese or meat toppings. If it does, then it should be stored in the refrigerator.

You also want to keep the cornbread away from sunlight and heat. If it develops mold or a foul odor, be sure to discard it

Recipes

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6 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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