8 Best Cornstarch Substitutes and Low-Carb Keto Thickeners

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minute read | Last update: Nov 30th2022

This article is backed by studies and reviewed by a certified dietician.

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If you're always experimenting with new recipes, you might be aware of why cornstarch is a cupboard essential. Cornstarch is an excellent thickening ingredient for soups, sauces, and gravies.

However, if you're on a keto diet, you might be concerned about the carb level.

What Is Cornstarch?

Cornstarch, as opposed to corn flour, is made from the endosperm. This is found within the corn kernels. Cornstarch is abundant in calories and carbohydrates but low in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Despite its flexibility, many individuals are concerned about the health benefits of this ubiquitous culinary ingredient.

The Nutritional Value

Take a look at the essential nutrients found in one cup (128 grams) of cornstarch.

  • 488 Calories
  • Protein: 0.5-gram
  • Carbohydrates: 117 g
  • Fiber: 1-gram
  • Copper: Accounts for about 7% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Selenium: 7% of the daily value
  • Iron: 3% of the daily value
  • Manganese: 3% of the Daily Value

Please remember that this amount depends on how much individuals take in a full meal.

If you use cornstarch to thicken soups and other recipes, you should only use 1–2 teaspoons. This is about 8–16 grams. This is improbable to add any major nutrients to your diet other than calories and carbs.

Uses of Cornstarch

  • Cornstarch may be used to thicken gravies, sauces, and even pie fillings.
  • With the aid of cornstarch, you can let your breakfast omelets be extra foamy.
  • Cornstarch is essentially used in vegan recipes instead of eggs.
  • It is best used for waffles to make them crispy.
  • Cornstarch is mixed when cake flour is out of reach.

Reasons to Avoid Cornstarch on a Keto Diet

Carbohydrate restriction on Keto shifts your body into fat-killing mode. It occurs as a result of carbohydrate restriction. This lets blood sugar levels lay low. Low blood sugars, in effect, keep the insulin hormone at bay.

  • Cornstarch has an enormous net of 116 g carbohydrates per cup. This will drive you and your friends right out of ketosis.
  • Keto foods are often strong in protein and healthy fats. Cornstarch does not qualify as a keto component because it contains them in small amounts.
  • Cornstarch is deficient in essential elements such as protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. This is one big downside for ketosis.

Best Low-Carb Thickeners to Substitute for Cornstarch

Don't be worried if cornstarch is an item you can't use on your keto diet! Some substitutes can nevertheless provide thickness and crispiness to your dishes.

1. Almond Flour

Almond flour is known to be made from ground almonds. It is a popular substitute for cornstarch flour. It is low in carbohydrates, which makes it great for Keto. It is also high in nutrients and has a somewhat sweeter flavor.

Almond flour is high in vitamin E. This is a class of fat-soluble substances that serve as powerful antioxidants. You can buy the best almond flower here.

Nutritional Value

  • 163 calories
  • 14.2 grams of fat
  • 6.1 grams of protein
  • 5.6 grams of carbohydrates
  • 3 grams of dietary fiber
  • 35 percent of the RDI for vitamin E
  • Manganese accounts for 31 percent of the RDI.
  • Magnesium provides 19 percent of the RDI.
  • Copper accounts for 16 percent of the RDI.
  • 13 percent of the RDI for phosphorus

Ideal Uses

  • As a substitute for wheat flour, it is used to make pancakes.
  • Put in for fish fillets by breeding the fish with the ingredient.
  • Almond flour is used to make banana bread.
  • It can be added to cookies.
  • In meatballs, it is widely used.
  • People make their almond flour pasta.

Health Benefits

Almond flour is high in vitamin E and other antioxidants. This works with lowering the risk of major health disorders like diabetes and obesity. It also helps prevent attacks and other heart illnesses.

2. Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds have recently acquired favor as a healthy alternative. This is because they are abundant in heart-healthy omega-three and fiber. They also come with other diverse plant components.

Grinding flax seeds is the preferred approach to reap the most of its advantages. They are an excellent substitute for cornstarch, and they're simple to add to your diet. Here you can buy the flaxseeds we recommend.

Nutritional Value

One spoonful of ten grams of flax seeds contains the nutrients listed below.

  • 55 calories
  • Water accounts for 7 percent
  • 1.9 grams of protein
  • Carbohydrates are 3 grams
  • 0.2 grams of sugar
  • 2.8 grams of fiber
  • 4.3 grams of fat

Ideal Uses

  • Flaxseeds are a fantastic method to substitute gluten grains in meals organically.
  • These can also be used in place of eggs in recipes, especially for baking.
  • They help create smoother and thicker milkshakes.
  • The product is used in making granola bars.

Health Benefits

Flax seeds are best known for their properties great for weight loss. They have been linked to significant heart and brain-healthy advantages too. This is mostly due to their high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and lignans.

3. Xanthan Gum

Xanthan Gum is a major food ingredient that is often used as a thickening or stabilizer in meals. It is produced when sugars are fermented by a bacterium known as Xanthomonas campestris.

It is known to reduce blood sugar levels by decelerating the digestive process. It is also widely used in infant formula with all its nutritional benefits. However, note that if you are allergic to this product, you might want to avoid it.

Here you can buy the Xanthan Gum we recommend.

Nutritional Value

One tablespoon of Xanthan Gum includes the nutrients below.

  • 30 calories
  • 260 mg of Sodium
  • Carbohydrates are 7 grams
  • 29 mg of Potassium
  • 7 grams of fiber
  • 0 grams of fat

Ideal Uses

  • Xanthan Gum is used in salad dressings and most baking recipes.
  • It is used to thicken soups and juices.
  • The product is widely used in syrups and as a gluten-free substitute.

Health Benefits

Many tests have shown that Xanthan Gum may help decrease blood sugar. Individuals who consume Xanthan Gum report feeling more satiated. This means they eat less and lose weight faster.

It is occasionally used more as a saliva replacement for those who have a dry mouth.

4. Glucomannan Powder

Glucomannan is a kind of fiber that is often produced from the konjac root. It is used for thickening and giving texture to meals.  It also acts as a gelatin replacement. The high fiber content provides several health advantages.

When utilizing glucomannan powder for thickening, always start with a small amount of liquid. We recommend this one on Amazon.

Nutritional Value

One tablespoon of Glucomannan Powder contains the nutrients listed below

  • 5 calories
  • 0 grams of protein
  • 2 grams of dietary fiber
  • 0 grams of fat

Ideal Uses

  • It is used to thicken sauces, gravies, soups, glazes, and stews.
  • It is also used for stiffening up casseroles.
  • This powder is put into puddings, cakes, and pies.
  • It can be mixed with flour for making soft-baked products in cookies, pastries, and cakes.

Health Benefits

LDL and triglycerides may contribute to reducing cholesterol levels. It helps with the reduction of body weight and sugar levels. It is additionally a great fiber supplement.

5. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are a wonderful replacement for cornstarch. They are one of the planet's healthiest foods. They are full of nutrients that will help keep a healthy mind and body.

Chia seeds do come under the category of carbohydrates; their health effects differ greatly from other food carbs. They are nutritious due to the presence of omega-three fatty acids and fiber.

Get our chia seed recommendation here.

Nutritional Value

Two tablespoons of Chia Seeds have the following.

  • 139 calories
  • 4 g of Proteins
  • 12 g of Carbs
  • 9 g of Fats
  • 11 g of fiber

Ideal Uses

  • Chia seeds are added to puddings and porridge.
  • They are widely used in milkshakes and smoothies too.
  • They are a great thickening agent in soups and stews.

Health Benefits

Chia seeds are best known to enhance digestive conditions. They also aid in preventing cardiovascular diseases because of their omega-3 levels in the blood. This helps evade cardiac arrests and diabetes.

6. Cauliflower

Cauliflower is a popular vegetable that appears like its cousin, broccoli. It is a good cornstarch substitute, believe it or not. For vitamins and minerals, 100 percent of the daily required vitamin C content is present in one cauliflower.

How to use it as a thickener? Gently mix some cooked cauliflower with certain dishes like soups or sauces. Obtain the stock that is velvety smooth.

Nutritional Value

One serving of cauliflower has the following nutrients:

  • 25 calories
  • 0 Fats
  • 5 grams of carbs
  • 2 grams of dietary fiber
  • 2 grams of sugar
  • 2 grams of protein
  • 30 mg Salt

Ideal Uses

  • It is used to thicken sauces, gravies, soups, glazes, and stews.
  • Cauliflower can be used to thicken foods like casseroles.
  • This powder is used in the preparation of puddings, cakes, and pies.

Health Benefits

Cauliflower has a high fiber content, which is beneficial to the digestive process. This may lower the risk of a variety of chronic illnesses. It has a high concentration of antioxidants, which are useful in decreasing inflammation.

7. Psyllium Husk

Psyllium is a fiber that works as a mild laxative. It just takes approximately half a teaspoon for each to thicken a dish pretty effectively.

If you use it in baking recipes, use less than your usual amounts of cornstarch. You can get the best psyllium husk powder here.

Nutritional Value

One hundred grams of Psyllium Husk has the following nutrient values.

  • 370 calories
  • 0 Fats
  • 100 grams of carbs
  • Seventy-five grams of Dietary fiber.
  • 0 grams of sugar
  • 0 grams of protein

Ideal Uses

  • It is added to sauces, gravies, soups, glazes, and stews to thicken them.
  • This is used in the preparation of puddings, cakes, and pies.
  • It may be used with flour to make soft baked goods such as pastries and cakes.

Health Benefits

Psyllium helps with diabetes, constipation, cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, and more.

8. Guar Gum

Guar gum is a fiber that is derived from the seed of the guar plant. It is particularly useful in food processing since it absorbs water and is soluble.

It is an option to cornstarch that will help with food thickening. We recommend this specific guar gum powder from Amazon.

Nutritional Value

One hundred grams of Guar Gum has the following nutrient value.

  • 347 calories
  • 3 g of Proteins
  • 29 percent of Carbs
  • 5 g of fats
  • 3 g of fiber

Ideal Uses

  • Guar Gum is an excellent way to replace gluten in meals, the organic way.
  • It can also be used in baking recipes for cookies and cakes.
  • They are often used in soups and stews as thickeners.

Health Benefits

According to studies, guar gum may enhance digestive health while also lowering blood sugar. It also aids with cholesterol, hunger, and calorie consumption.

Thickeners to Avoid on a Keto Diet

You will find many other thickening agents that may be used in soups and other meals. The question is whether they are so full of carbohydrates that they make them keto-unfriendly?

Below are some of the common thickeners you must avoid, even as substitutes to cornstarch.


One cup of arrowroot has a hundred and thirteen grams of carbohydrates. It is also high in calories, which makes it a bad keto ingredient.

Constipation and abdominal pain may also be caused by arrowroot starch.


This ingredient is also known as tapioca starch. Why is it bad keto food? That's because it has seven hundred and twenty-eight grams of carbohydrates per ounce.

Tapioca is nutritious deficient in most cereals and meals, generally. This is because of its protein and other nutrient deficiency.

Potato Starch

There are twenty-three grams in one ounce with this product. Another downside is that it has no fiber content.

Potatoes with high digestible starches might contribute to blood sugar surges. Eating it in high quantities also leads to bloating and gas.

Sweet Rice Flour

With one hundred and twenty-seven grams of carbohydrates in one cup, it constitutes a bad keto ingredient.

High consumption of this product leads to obesity, which is one thing you're probably trying to get away with.

Cassava Flour

In one cup of cassava flour, you'll be taking in about a hundred and eight grams of carbohydrates.

Cyanogenic glycosides are also found in this ingredient. If not sufficiently detoxified, it can be fatal.

Wrapping Up

There are numerous substitutes to cornstarch for thickening stews, sauces, and liquids. So, do not feel the need to give up foods simply because you can't eat cornstarch. The Best part is that these substitutes are all healthy.

Furthermore, most of these thickening agents have nutritious characteristics that differ from cornstarch. They can accommodate a variety of dietary choices too.

Even if you just want to add more fiber to the dishes, these thickeners are the best.

Keto or not, replace that cornstarch for a healthier lifestyle!


Can You Thicken Sauce With Baking Powder?

Since cornstarch is beneficial as a thickening agent, the baking powder may aid fluids to do the same. However, baking soda and acid salts generate gas when warmed or cooked. It is important to mix only a modest number of baking powder with adequate cold liquid.

Do not add the baking powder directly into hot liquids. Doing this can immediately form lumps and bubbles, which make the sauces unevenly thickened.

Does Cornstarch Have More Carbs Than Flour?

The calories and carbs for cornstarch and flour come in volumes.

However, the amount of carbohydrates is 20 percent more than flour. Cornstarch has 91.3 g per hundred grams of total carbs. On the other hand, flour has 76.3 g per hundred grams. Cornstarch also contains more calories than flour, by 5 percent.

Can Corn Be Used in a Keto Diet?

Given the number of carbohydrates in corn, it must not be shocking that corn is not ketogenic. If you're wondering how much, that's about 117 g of carbs!

However, keto dieters are only permitted thirty to forty grams of carbohydrates each day. A half-cup of corn has around fifteen grams of carbohydrates. This makes it an excellent salad topping or egg scramble mix-in.

About the author

The Authentic Keto Team is here to bring you health tips that help you with losing weight fast. We focus on a clean keto diet for beginners because we believe that is the easiest and most simple way to healthy eating. Our keto weight loss tips will not only bring you into ketosis fast but will also help you to improve your mental health, sleep problems, and wellness.

- Our goal is to make keto success easy. -

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