What You Should Know
Dextrose is a common ingredient found on labels for everything from canned fruits and vegetables to weight loss supplements. Dextrose is also commonly used as a treatment for hypoglycemia –or low blood sugar. Other names for dextrose include glucose, D-glucose and grape sugar. Science claims the sugar is the carbohydrate cells use as a primary fuel source, but low-carbohydrate and diabetic diets proven optimal health does not require intake of dextrose.
List of Ingredients
Dextrose is not the most common name for the simple sugar. Most people know dextrose, in a medical setting at least, as glucose. Glucose can be found in the blood in varying levels throughout the day. When diabetes is suspected, doctors order a fasting blood glucose test to measure the body’s ability to metabolize dextrose or glucose. Current diabetics also test dextrose or glucose levels in the blood using a few drops of blood tested on a home machine. While doctors are not sure how it happens, dextrose appears to be the cause of many long-term side effects of diabetes. It is thought that the proteins in glucose may be response for blindness, renal failure and other side effects of the disease.
In terms of food and diet products, dextrose is a sweetener. As a carbohydrate, it contains four calories per gram, like other carbohydrates. It is simple, sweet and cheap, so you’ll find it in many foods. Diet products that contain sugar also use dextrose, though many choose sucralose, Stevia or other calorie-free sweeteners to reduce overall calorie impact.
- Dextrose provides a simple form of sugar used for energy.
- Preferred carbohydrate for body energy.
- Contains only four calories per gram.
- May contribute to diabetes or side effects of the disease.
- Supplies hidden carbohydrates and sugars in some foods and supplements.
There is much debate as to whether or not dieters need carbohydrates like dextrose. On the low carb side of the debate is the thought that the human body once lived with foods available only in nature. These foods did not contain added sugars like dextrose. The majority of energy was derived from plants and animal proteins/fats. On the other side of the debate is the balance diet with a controlled amount of dextrose or carbohydrate intake to keep the body healthy and strong. Long-term studies of lower carbohydrate diets and diets rich in complex carbohydrates (dextrose is NOT a complex carbohydrates) support the lower carbohydrate diet method.