Back to Ask the Diabetes Team Ask the Diabetes Team

From Kansas City, Missouri, USA:

Uncooked cornstarch is the ingredient in Nitebite that keeps the blood sugar level normal for extended time periods. Why can't I add uncooked cornstarch to my own foods to keep the level up, 5 to 6 hours later?


I don't know of any reason you couldn't add your own cornstarch, however, be aware that it can make a food have a very different "mouth feel" if it is not in the correct proportion. I would do some experimenting to find the right combination. Sometimes cornstarch is added to infant formula to keep blood sugars from dropping too low in babies with low blood sugars.


Additional comments from Dr. Tessa Lebinger:

Yes, many patients add uncooked cornstarch to their own food. This concept was originally developed for children with a disorder called glycogen storage disease. These children (who do not have diabetes) cannot release sugar from their liver when they do not eat for several hours, so they develop low blood sugars if they cannot eat frequently during the night. Many patients require tube feeding at night to prevent low blood sugars during sleep. Adding uncooked cornstarch to a nighttime snack helped some of these children come off nighttime tube feeding.

I have had patients add uncooked cornstarch to plain yogurt (you can flavor it with diet jelly to mask the taste if it is a problem), milk, unsweetened cocoa, and instant pudding. You have to be careful not to cook the cornstarch, otherwise, it looses it's delayed effect (for instance you have to use instant pudding and add the cornstarch when it is cold, not pudding that requires heating. If you add the cornstarch before you heat the pudding, it will work faster. Also, you have to be careful adding the cornstarch to soda if the pH is acid. Apparently this also interferes with the delayed action.

I tell patients to start with a small amount of cornstarch, like 1 teaspoon and slowly increase the cornstarch as long as there is no diarrhea up to about 1 tablespoon at night.


Original posting 5 Jun 2000
Additional comments added 15 June 2000
Posted to Meal Planning, Food and Diet


  Back to Ask the Diabetes Team Return to the Top of This Page

Last Updated: (none)
This Internet site provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. If you have any concerns about your own health or the health of your child, you should always consult with a physician or other health care professional.

This site is published by T-1 Today, Inc. (d/b/a Children with Diabetes), a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, which is responsible for its contents. Our mission is to provide education and support to families living with type 1 diabetes.
By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Legal Notice, and Privacy Policy.
© Children with Diabetes, Inc. 1995-2018. Comments and Feedback.