Cornbread Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Cornbread nutrition facts

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

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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. Plus, 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. Read on to discover cornbread's other potential health benefits.

Cornbread Nutrition Facts

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

  • Calories: 198
  • Fat: 5.8g
  • Sodium: 359mg
  • Carbohydrates: 32.7g
  • Fiber: 1.4g
  • Sugars: 9.63g
  • Protein: 4g
  • 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 5.8 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. If you are using a boxed mix, pay attention to the sodium levels as some contain more than others.

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.

Contains all Essential Amino Acids

There are 20 amino acids—nine or 10 of which are considered essential (research varies). These include histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.

Amino acids cannot be produced by the human body so they must be consumed in food or supplements. The non-essential amino acids do not need to be added to your diet because your body can synthesize them from the aforementioned essential ones.

Amino acids are the basic building blocks of proteins. They also serve as the nitrogenous backbones for compounds like neurotransmitters and hormones. Proteins are needed for many bodily functions.

For instance, multiple times per day more protein is turned over daily than the amount which is consumed, so eating amino acids is necessary to keep this up. During this process, those that are not used can be lost through sweat and urine as well as in the skin, hair, and nails that slough from the body, so they need to be continually replaced.

Amino acids are most commonly found in meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, and fish. Many types of bread often do not have all of them, but cornbread does.

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.

May Lower Blood Sugar

Cornmeal contains fiber, which gives cornbread an added benefit. One such advantage is that fiber helps to maintain blood sugar level as well as lower it. Fiber, and soluble fiber, in particular, slow the absorption of sugar in the blood.

Having high blood sugar is dangerous for anyone, but it is even more so for people with diabetes. In the short term, high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) can cause vomiting, excessive hunger and thirst, a rapid heartbeat, and vision problems. Check the cornbread mix you have purchased to be sure it does not contain a lot of added sugars, though.

May Help Regulate Your Digestion

Another benefit of fiber is that it helps to regulate bowel movements and assists with optimal digestive performance. Fiber is not readily digested or absorbed by the body, so it often passes through the body relatively intact.

While it may seem contradictory for something that isn’t digestible to be so important to digestive health, it is indeed. Fiber helps maintain bowel health by lowering the risk of developing hemorrhoids and maybe even reducing the risk of developing colorectal cancer, as suggested by some research.

It also regulates your bowel movements by softening but increasing the weight and size of stool, which all contribute to making it easier to pass and thus lowering the chance of constipation which is not only uncomfortable but also unhealthy.

Promotes Satiety

Fiber, as mentioned above, is not actually digested but just passed through your digestive system—and takes longer to do so than other forms of carbs—which keeps you full longer. Fiber is essential in your diet and it can also help with weight management.

Whole grains and vegetables both contain fiber. Cornbread contributes 1.38 grams of fiber in each serving. Cornbread that is not high in added sugars can be a nutritious choice and keep you feeling satiated more so than a standard dinner roll.

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.

Meanwhile, if you have celiac or gluten sensitivity, be sure to read the label of any mix you purchase. 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

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.
  1. USDA, FoodData Central. Cornbread, prepared from a mix.

  2. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Biochemistry, essential amino acids.

  3. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Protein and amino acids.

  4. University of California San Francisco. Hemoglobin and functions of iron.

  5. Mayo Clinic. Dietary fiber: Essential for a healthy diet.

  6. Mayo Clinic. Weight loss: Feel full on fewer calories.