Corn Maltodextrin

We have all heard about high fructose corn syrup and how bad it is for us.  Just looking through the ingredients of random ‘supposedly’ healthy items include this.  But what exactly is Maltodextrin?

Maltodextrin comes from treated grain starch, primarily corn or rice starch. It can also come from wheat and potatoes, but is less common in the U.S. Hydrolyze this starch by adding some enzymes and acids, filter and purify it some more and you get either Maltodextrin, or Corn Syrup Solids. The difference is that Maltodextrin is hydrolyzed to have less than 20% sugar content, whereas Corn Syrup Solids have more than 20%. It gives fat-like body to food products, increases their shelf life, and mixes quite well with other ingredients. It’s also cheap to make and produce. Though not a sugar, it still has a glycemic index of 130 by itself (table sugar is only 65). (Taken from:

Apparently Maltodextrin does not provide any nutrients, only calories. But, unlike fructose, it also has an important role as a thickening agent to enhance the texture of certain foods.

Many commercially sold sports drinks use maltodextrin to ensure sustained energy during endurance training. Maltodextrin is often the preferred sugar for both taste and color, and because it is metabolized slowly and easily digested. Sports nutrition products with maltodextrin are also used post-exercise to replenish carbohydrates depleted during exercise.

I would suggest only during endurance training or immediately after  a heavy workout  where you need the energy quickly. Otherwise, stick to regular whole foods as usual.

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