Originally Posted by StirBlue
health benefits: Although cornmeal makes a nice mush, I don't use it as a thickener. I do substitute cornmeal for wheat germ on occassion. This is when I am making trail biscuit foods for backpacking.
The corn products in Illinois are milled very fine unlike the coarse ones in other areas of the country. I do use it in meatloaf when I want that corn-fed beef flavor.
Cornstarch and cornmeal are a bit different. The starch would be a thickener. Cornmeal is more like grits (it IS grits) and would be a cereal, basically. When it is finely ground it makes a smoother product--like corn muffins (using it more like a flour). When coarsely ground, it is a polenta-like product. I often have a problem finding the coarser grind in supermarkets, but can find it under Bob's Red Mill label of "yellow grits".
As for WW flour, I think to use it as a thickener for a sauce, it would need to be a roux or a beurre manie. I'm not sure it is any "healthier".