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January 15, 2001

Meal Planning, Food and Diet

Question from Brazil:

What exactly is maltodextrin? Is it a natural product and how is it produced? Does it affect blood sugar levels?

Answer:

Maltodextrin is a nutritive (meaning it has calories) sweetener processed from cornstarch. It is used in many food products. It has the same calorie content as any other pure carbohydrate: 4 calories per gram. It does, indeed, raise blood sugar since it has a glycemic index almost identical to that of pure glucose. As a point of reference, it has the ability to raise blood sugar much higher and more quickly than equal amounts of either table sugar or white bread.

Glad to see you’re reading those food labels!

BB