The ingredients list on food items can be a little overwhelming; there may be many names you don’t recognize, and knowing if they’re good for you or not can be tricky. One ingredient you probably notice frequently is dextrose, so here’s what you need to know about it:
What is Dextrose?
Dextrose is a naturally occurring sugar that comes from corn. You’ll often see dextrose as an artificial sweetener added to a variety of food items, including fructose corn syrup. It’s not just used in food though – it’s also used medicinally.
How Does Dextrose Impact the Body?
It’s important to know how different foods impact the body. Luckily, the body works to break down simple sugars like dextrose incredibly fast. However, if you consume these sugars too rapidly, then the body can’t keep up with the breakdown process and instead stores the sugar as fat.
While you need simple sugars for energy, there are risks associated with eating too much, including:
Heart disease. Your body can only handle so much sugar before it starts to malfunction. Heart disease is one of the most serious signs that your diet contains too much sugar.
Excessive weight gain. The body can process small amounts of sugar quickly, but if you eat more than your body can handle, it will lead to weight gain. And excessive weight gain can lead to even more health concerns.
Diabetes. Diabetes is a serious life-long condition that can occur if your body is unable to process sugar properly. It’s important for everybody to keep a close eye on their sugar intake, but even more so for individuals with diabetes as ingesting sugar can be extremely dangerous.
Lower levels of energy. Sugar can provide a momentary burst of energy, but too much sugar can actually have the opposite effect. When the body has consumed too much sugar, energy levels plummet and people experience a ‘sugar crash.’
Dextrose is more than just a food additive. There are helpful medicinal purposes for it as well. Sometimes individuals who suffer from low sugar levels will be advised by their doctor to keep dextrose tablets on hand. Because the tablets dissolve quickly, a person will experience quick relief. People suffering from dehydration may be given a mixture that includes dextrose. It may even be given intravenously to help those suffering from severe malnutrition. It offers a boost of energy and makes people feel better quicker.
Dextrose is a simple sugar found in many everyday food items such as bread and honey. But even though it’s commonly used and safe, eating too much of it can lead to serious health concerns. Talk to your doctor about your sugar levels if you’re concerned.