Common Foods With Maltodextrin
Maltodextrin is an ingredient that’s found in many of the foods we eat every day, although most people don’t realize it. It’s a calorie-rich carbohydrate that comes from starch and is widely used as an ingredient in processed food products.
Some of the more common foods containing maltodextrin include baked goods, cooked cereals, energy drinks, sports drinks, frozen meals, meat substitutes, rice, salad dressings, soups, sugars, and sweets. Some manufacturers even add maltodextrin to lotions, hair-care products, and livestock feed.
It’s important to know what you’re consuming because too much of anything can have negative effects on your health. So check the labels for maltodextrin before you buy any processed food product to ensure that your intake of this ingredient stays at a healthy level.
What Exactly Is Maltodextrin?
Maltodextrin is a flavorless white powder that easily mixes with water. It’s used as an additive in a wide range of foods to improve their texture, flavor, and shelf life.
It can be made from any starchy food such as corn, potato, wheat, tapioca, or rice which then undergoes processing through hydrolysis with enzymes and acids to break the starch into smaller pieces.
People with celiac disease should take note that maltodextrin can contain traces of gluten when wheat is the source of the starch. But this issue can be avoided altogether by simply following the label’s ingredient list where you won’t find “wheat” written there if it is gluten-free.
In edible products, this powder helps thicken foods or liquids to help bind the ingredients together; improves texture or flavor; helps preserve foods and increase shelf life, and replaces sugar or fat in low-calorie processed foods.
Though having no nutritional value, maltodextrin still has a great advantage—it is an easy-to-digest carbohydrate that provides energy rapidly which then explains why manufacturers add this powder to many sports drinks and snacks.
Is Maltodextrin Safe?
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), maltodextrin is generally recognized as safe (GRAS). This means that when consumed in moderation, it should have no negative health effects.
While there have been studies linking maltodextrin to some potential health risks, these risks still remain largely inconclusive.
However, eating too many foods or beverages that contain maltodextrin can be problematic in terms of your diet overall. Since maltodextrin is often derived from processed foods, it can contribute to an unhealthy diet that is high in sugar, low in fiber, and filled with empty calories.
This can be particularly dangerous for people with diabetes or insulin resistance as high GI foods will result in their sugars entering the bloodstream quickly where the body can absorb them.
If a diabetic is not careful to watch their consumption of maltodextrin-containing products, this could lead to serious health complications.
Disturbs The Gut Bacteria
Maltodextrin can have a significant effect on the balance of gut bacteria, which play an essential role in people’s health. Studies on mice show that those who consume maltodextrin may have a reduced number of good bacteria and an increased quantity of harmful bacteria, resulting in intestine damage and inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease.
Furthermore, maltodextrin has been linked to the survival of Salmonella bacteria which may cause gastroenteritis.
When it comes to food additives, allergies and intolerances are major concerns. Maltodextrin is no exception, as it can cause allergic reactions in some people.
Common side effects include weight gain, gas, flatulence, and bloating. In more serious cases, maltodextrin can cause a rash or skin irritation, asthma, cramping, or difficulty breathing.
Genetically Modified Ingredients
Maltodextrin is found in many foods and is commonly made from GM corn, which is a genetically modified organism (GMO). According to the World Health Organization Trusted Source (WHO), GMOs are believed to be safe for consumption.
But some people are concerned about the usage of herbicides and pesticides on GMO crops, as well as potential cross-contamination with wild plants or animals that may occur with the spread of these organisms.
While there is little evidence linking GMOs to health conditions such as cancer, kidney problems, Alzheimer’s disease, antibiotic resistance, allergies, and reproductive issues; some believe that research has been censored by major corporations so there is an absence of data on related topics.
It’s important to understand which ingredients you’re consuming and make sure your food sources are reliable.
What Are The Benefits Of Maltodextrin
Maltodextrin is a food product that offers numerous benefits to athletes and people who want to increase muscle or body weight. It is an effective and cheap source of energy that can improve the texture, taste, and shelf life of foods.
Maltodextrin is rapidly absorbed by the body. This makes it especially useful for athletes looking for an instant energy boost. Its easily digestible form also assists in building lean muscle mass while avoiding water retention throughout the body.
It can also be used as a pre-workout supplement, providing a burst of energy to fuel workouts efficiently. And if recovering quickly from workouts is your goal, maltodextrin has been clinically proven to reduce post-exercise fatigue and maximize recovery time.
Additionally, maltodextrin provides dietary fiber which helps in digestion and regular bowel movement due to its high solubility level in the water, making it an excellent way to get additional fiber into your diet without having to eat extra fruits and vegetables.
Ultimately, maltodextrin has multiple benefits for athletes looking for fast-absorbing energy as well as those hoping for improved overall health through added dietary fiber in their diets.
What Are Some Alternatives To Maltodextrin
If you’re looking for alternatives to maltodextrin, there are a variety of food additives and other ingredients that can help thicken or stabilize foods without relying on maltodextrin. Guar gum and pectin are two popular alternatives, as well as tapioca starch and arrowroot starch.
When it comes to flavoring alternatives to maltodextrin, sugar alcohols like sorbitol and erythritol are good choices. These added sweeteners have fewer calories than maltodextrin and don’t cause the same spikes in blood glucose levels.
Another noteworthy alternative is stevia. This natural sweetener has no calories whatsoever and has little to no impact on blood sugar levels. However, be aware that some products may contain a blend of stevia and either maltodextrin or dextrose which can still affect your blood sugar levels.
Hey'all I'm Amy, a born foodie and diagnosed with celiac disease 7 years ago. I refused to cave into tasteless, boring gulten free food and create my own!
On my blog you'll find info & cool facts along with recipes, all on gluten free foods!