Flour Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Calories in Flour Vary by Type

Flour annotated

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman 

Almost everyone consumes flour at some point. It is the basis for most baked goods, like bread and cookies, and it is also used as a key ingredient when you batter and fry meat, seafood, or vegetables. But is flour healthy?

Calories in flour are fairly insignificant, but flour nutrition can vary by the type that you choose to use. Learn how to make your food more healthy with different types of flour.

Flour Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for 1 cup (125g) of all-purpose white flour.

  • Calories: 455
  • Fat: 1.2g
  • Sodium: 3mg
  • Carbohydrates: 95.4g
  • Fiber: 3.4g
  • Sugars: 0.3g
  • Protein: 12.9g

There are many different types of flour that can be used for cooking or baking. One of the common types of flour is all-purpose white flour made from wheat. You'll see it in the grocery store labeled "All-Purpose, Enriched, Bleached Flour."

The flour nutrition labels indicate that a single cup provides 455 calories, but you're not likely to consume that many calories when you eat flour because it is blended with other ingredients to make bread, muffins, cookies or other goods.

According to USDA data, a cup of white, all-purpose, enriched, bleached flour is a very good source of selenium, riboflavin, niacin, and thiamin. It is also a good source of copper, iron, phosphorus, and zinc.

But there are many different varieties of flour that you might choose to bake or prepare foods. It's helpful to compare common uses and nutrition facts for different types of flour and to decide which one is right for you.

Calories in a Cup of Flour (by Type):

  • Whole wheat flour: 408 calories per cup, 16 grams of protein, 86 grams of carbohydrate, 13 grams of fiber, and 3 grams of fat.
  • Almond flour: 640 calories per cup, 24 grams of protein, 24 grams of carbohydrate, 12 grams of fiber and 56 grams of fat.
  • Semolina: 601 calories per cup, 21 grams of protein, 122 grams of carbohydrate, 7 grams of fiber and 1.8 grams of fat.
  • White cake flour: 496 calories per cup, 11 grams of protein, 107 grams of carbohydrate, 2 grams of fiber and one gram of fat.

Different Flours in Cooking

You might choose to use a different type of flour to bake with in order to improve the health benefits of your food. For example, bread made from whole wheat flour provides better nutrition than bread made from refined grains. But not all flour is interchangeable. It's important to know how you are going to use your flour before you make a swap.

  • Cake flour has a very fine texture and is often used in light baked goods like cookies and cakes. It is higher in starch and lower in protein. According to the Wheat Foods Council, one cup of cake flour can be made by measuring 1 cup all-purpose flour, removing 2 tablespoons of flour, and replacing that with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.
  • All-purpose, enriched white flour is is made from a combination of hard and soft wheat and is the easiest to use because it is refined to have a softer texture than whole wheat flour. Self-rising flour is also all-purpose flour that has had a leavening agent added. Even though all-purpose flour is easy to use, it is an enriched grain. Health experts recommend that we replace enriched grains with whole grains as often as possible to increase our fiber intake.
  • Semolina is made from durum or hard wheat that has a higher protein and gluten content than other varieties. Semolina is commonly used to make different types of pasta and couscous. This is not a good flour to use in bread making.
  • Whole wheat flour is made from the entire wheat kernel. It produces bread that is often heavier, but higher in fiber and nutrition than bread made from enriched flour. While some healthy eaters don't like the texture of baked goods made with this heavier flour it provides greater health benefits than the refined and softer varieties.
  • Almond flour is made from blanched whole almonds and is often used for low carb and gluten-free cooking. This flour is a helpful substitute for low carb dieters and people who maintain a gluten-free diet but it is very high in fat.

Common Questions About Flour

The answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about flour may depend on the type of flour you choose

What's the best way to store flour?
Freeze refined flours to kill any weevil or insect eggs. Then transfer to a plastic or glass container with a tight sealing lid. Wheat flour has a shorter shelf life than other flours, so it won't last as long; store in the freezer for best results. Almond flour is best kept refrigerated or frozen.

How long will flour last if properly stored?
Flour usually lasts 3-6 months if properly stored. If you store flour in the freezer, it will last longer (up to a year). Many flour packages have a "best by" date that you can use as a guide.

Can I combine flour when I buy a new package?
It's best not to combine your new flour with your old flour.

Should I always use whole grain flour for better health?
Not necessarily. Whole grain flour provides important health benefits, but it doesn't always work in every recipe. Use it when you can and consume enriched flour products in moderation.

A Word From Verywell

If you are a baker, you may be able to choose the type of flour you use in recipes. But if you purchase or consume packaged baked goods, you may not have a choice. While it's smart to look for ingredients like whole wheat flour, you should also make smart nutritional decisions based on other ingredients in your food.

We all love to enjoy baked goods from time to time, but you'll get more bang for your nutritional buck if you choose baked goods with smart ingredients like fruits or vegetables.

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5 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. U.S. Department of Agriculture. FoodData Central. All Purpose Flour.

  2. U.S. Department of Agriculture. FoodData Central. Wheat flour, white, all-purpose, enriched, bleached.

  3. U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA Nutritive Value of Foods. Updated 2002.

  4. Wheat Foods Council. Types of Wheat Flour. Updated 2019.  

  5. Dahl WJ, Stewart ML. Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Health Implications of Dietary Fiber. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2015;115(11):1861-70. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2015.09.003