Is Maltodextrin Keto Friendly? Maltodextrin Benefits and Side Effects

Maltodextrin is an ingredient that you may not recognize, and if you see it as an ingredient, you might wonder if maltodextrin is keto friendly or not – is it safe to use? And what are its benefits and side effects?

No matter where you are on your keto journey, this is a good chance you’ve come across maltodextrin – and this article will help you to know all the information you need.

* Maltodextrin is a common ingredient in packaged foods, such as baked goods, desserts, and soft drinks.

Maltodextrin is a white, starchy powder that Manufacturers add to many foods to improve their flavour, thickness, or shelf life. 

In other words, maltodextrin thickens food products to increase their volume and maintains the shelf life of processed and packaged foods.

Common Uses of Maltodextrin

Here’s a list of some food items that often contain Maltodextrin:

  • Candy
  • Dairy products – yoghurts, kefir, whey;
  • Children food;
  • Confectionery – cakes, pastries, soufflés, creams, jellies, confiture, preserves,
  • Sweets, chocolate, ice cream, chewing marmalade;
  • Bakery products;
  • Dietary line products;
  • Chips, croutons, ready-made snacks;
  • Sausages, wieners, sauces, mayonnaises;
  • Puddings;
  • Beverages.
  • Energy Drinks
  • Sugar-free Jell-O
  • Power bars
  • Splenda

Here this additive shows its multifunctionality in practice: 

  • Maintains a homogeneous structure;
  • Makes mixtures highly soluble;
  • Contributes to the achievement of the desired consistency;
  • Helps dissolve proteins;
  • Facilitates the process of introducing other ingredients (especially dyes and vitamins);
  • Increases the freezing point of products;
  • Provides their energy value without exceeding the proper level of sweetness.

Maltodextrin can also be found in cosmetics, where it is used as a structure-forming component and also performs a number of functions:

  • Thickens well
  • Moisturizes and works like a “hydrocolloid”
  • Unclogs pores
  • Protects the skin from harmful effects
  • Fixes and enhances the aroma of the product
  • Regulates viscosity

The scope of application of maltodextrin in cosmetics is extensive:

  • Anti-age creams
  • Masks
  • Balms
  • Dry powders, blush
  • Solid shampoos
  • Baby powder
  • Skin cleansers
  • Toothpaste
  • Shower gels

Maltodextrin is considered one of the most modern and convenient additives in the current production precisely because it takes on several tasks at once. This makes the process of creating products cheaper and makes them high-quality and attractive to the consumer. 

Oh, that’s cool. Let’s get to know more about the truth about maltodextrin on the keto diet.

What is maltodextrin made from?

It is produced from corn, potatoes, rice or wheat by enzymatic breakdown of vegetable starch. At the same time, the resulting product has a very high glycemic index – from 106 to 136.

The most popular is maltodextrin, derived from cornstarch. However, potato is not much inferior to him in its useful properties.

Wheat maltodextrin is contraindicated for people with gluten intolerance. Gluten is found in wheat, barley, oats, and other grains. It is for this reason that in some countries, for example, in the USA and Canada, mainly corn maltodextrin is produced.

The main producing countries of maltodextrin are England, the USA, France and China.

Is maltodextrin safe to consume?

According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it has approved maltodextrin as a safe food additive.

Maltodextrin has no nutritional value. However, it is an easily digestible carbohydrate and can quickly provide energy to the body. But when it comes to the keto diet, is maltodextrin considered keto friendly?

Read on to find out the answer below …

Note: According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, carbohydrates should make up no more than 45-65 per cent of your total calorie count.

Carbohydrates are one of the main nutrients that the body needs to generate energy. But ideally, most of these carbohydrates should be complex carbohydrates rich in fiber, not foods that raise blood sugar quickly.

If you have diabetes or insulin resistance, or if you plan on following a low-carb diet like keto, you should include any maltodextrin you take in your total carb count for the day.

We’ll figure out the reason why – after finding out if maltodextrin is keto friendly or not.

Additionally, if a person consumes a lot of products that contain maltodextrin, their diet is likely to be high in sugar, low in fiber, and full of highly processed foods.

* Research has also linked some potential health risks to maltodextrin. It includes the following:

1. Maltodextrin and diabetes

Maltodextrin has a higher glycemic index (GI) than regular sugar. This means that maltodextrin can cause a spike in blood sugar levels in people shortly after they eat foods that contain it.

A spike in blood glucose can be particularly dangerous for people with Diabetes or Insulin resistance.

A high glycemic index means that the sugars in these foods will quickly enter the bloodstream, where the body will absorb them.

* Some of the signs that maltodextrin is causing your blood sugar level to rise:

  • Sudden headache
  • Increased thirst
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue

* If you experience any of these symptoms, have your blood sugar levels checked immediately. If it is too high, contact your doctor as soon as possible.

2. Affects gut bacteria

Evidence suggests that maltodextrin may affect the balance of gut bacteria, which play an important role in human health.

Preliminary research shows that consuming this saccharide can affect the growth of harmful gut bacteria.

Consequently, this leads to bowel damage and an increased risk of developing inflammatory bowel diseases and developing chronic diseases.

For more details…

Another study linked maltodextrin to the survival of salmonella bacteria, which may cause gastroenteritis and a wide range of chronic inflammatory conditions.

A recent study indicated that maltodextrin might also harm cells’ ability to respond to bacteria. It can also dampen the intestinal defense mechanisms against them, leading to intestinal disturbances.

An American study also found that maltodextrin may promote the growth of the harmful bacteria Escherichia coli, which has been linked to the development of the inflammatory bowel disease known as Crohn’s disease[*].

3. Allergies or intolerances and other health risks

Taking maltodextrin may cause many side effects such as allergies, unexplained weight gain, flatulence, and gas.

Allergic reactions associated with the use of maltodextrin include rashes, asthma, itching and difficulty breathing.

Is Maltodextrin Keto Friendly?

Maltodextrin is not keto friendly – it’s a high-carb sweetener that can quickly kick you out of the ketosis you worked so hard to reach.

For more details … Why is maltodextrin not keto friendly

The glycemic index for maltodextrin ranges between 106 and 136 – which is higher than sugar, so this glycemic index will definitely prevent you from reaching or maintaining a state of ketosis – even if you eat it in small amounts.

Maltodextrin should be avoided on the keto diet because it is very high in net carbs (100 grams of net carbs per 100 grams).

* If your metabolism still contains some stored glucose, it will continue to access it and use it as your primary source of fuel, instead of looking for fats and moving into a state of ketosis.

It is important to limit net carbohydrate intake to 20-30g per day to stay in ketosis.

Maltodextrin is basically a sweetener and carbohydrate with no nutritional value, so it has the same waist-expanding properties you’d encounter in a piece of white bread.

So you should limit your maltodextrin intake if you’re interested in losing weight on the keto diet – and choose only keto friendly sweeteners.

Are there any health benefits to maltodextrin?

Maltodextrin has some health benefits.

1. Digestion

A study in the “European Journal of Nutrition” found that resistant-to-digest maltodextrin had positive effects on general digestion.

For example, it improves bowel functions such as colon transit time, stool consistency, and stool volume.

2. Maltodextrin in sports nutrition

Some studies have shown that fast-digesting carbohydrates like maltodextrin help to quickly replenish your glycogen stores – a form of glucose stored in the muscles that act as a backup energy source if blood glucose is depleted.

This means maltodextrin is well effective for restoring endurance after or between exercises.

P.S. It is often included in sports drinks and snacks for athletes.

Some research also shows that maltodextrin supplements can help preserve anaerobic energy during exercise. 

3. Colorectal cancer

A recent study found that a resistant type of maltodextrin called Fibersol-2 was significantly effective at inhibiting the growth of colorectal cancer cells.

There are two theories as to why this is – maltodextrin fermentation in the intestine may be responsible, and it may be due to the improvements in digestion attributed to maltodextrin.

4. Chronic hypoglycemia

If you are among the people with chronic hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) then maltodextrin may be beneficial for you. Is this true, how is that?

Remember, maltodextrin is a fast carbohydrate – due to its sweet taste, it is often used as a substitute, indicating in the product formulation that it “contains no sugar”.

But the fact is that maltodextrin, like sugar, increases the concentration of glucose in the blood, and it may help you in this case, which is safe for a healthy person, but it can negatively affect the health of those whose blood sugar levels exceed the normal range.

3 best keto friendly sweeteners to replace maltodextrin

When you start a low-carb or keto diet, one of the hardest things to give up is sugar.

But the good news is that there are a variety of better keto friendly sweeteners than maltodextrin that come packed with health benefits, won’t kick you out of ketosis.

Here are the best friendly sweeteners for replacing maltodextrin in keto:

1. Stevia

The natural keto sweetener is derived from the perennial herb Honey Herb ( Stevia honey ).

Based on research results Stevia not only has zero GI but also is able to reduce blood sugar levels.

Keto sweetener comes in liquid, powder, or granular form. You can often see a mixture of erythritol and stevia on store shelves – also a good option for a diet.

Stevia is sweeter than regular white sugar. Therefore, it should be put in less quantity.

As a natural product, stevia is healthy. The only downside to keto sweeteners is their unusual taste.

But it only occurs if you put in too much sweetener. And for many, the aftertaste of stevia is not unpleasant.

* Try using stevia as a keto friendly sweetener and as an alternative to maltodextrin.

  • Calories – 20
  • Carbohydrates – 5
  • GI – 0
  • Sweetness (how many times sweeter than sugar) – 200-300

2. Erythritol

Erythritol is another natural and safe zero-calorie keto sweetener. It is composed of sugar alcohols and has a menthol flavor.

According to various sources, the calorie content of the keto sweetener ranges from 0 to 20. At the same time, erythritol does not affect insulin. There is evidence that erythritol lowers blood sugar.

For keto dessert recipes and baked goods, erythritol works best. Its texture is similar to that of sugar, so you can get the same dough consistency as using regular sugar. This is important when baking cookies, pies and cakes.

* Try using the sugar alcohol Erythritol as a keto friendly sweetener and as an alternative to maltodextrin.

  • Calories – 0-20
  • Carbohydrates – 5
  • GI – 0
  • Sweetness – 0.8

3. Monk fruit

Monk fruit sweetener is more suitable than maltodextrin if you are on a keto diet, as it has a glycemic index of zero and is low or no calories and carbohydrates.

It is worth reading the ingredients carefully when buying a monk fruit keto sweetener. It is often mixed with other sweeteners. 

As a result, the calorie content and the amount of carbohydrates increase. Moreover, monk fruit sweetener is mixed with sugar, which is unacceptable for keto.

Monk fruit sweetener can be substituted for sugar in any recipe. But you need to put it 2-3 times less.

* Try using Monk Fruit as a keto friendly sweetener and as an alternative to maltodextrin.

  • Calories – 0-100
  • Carbohydrates – 0-25
  • GI – 0
  • Sweetness – 100-250

Final recommendation: Is Maltodextrin Keto Friendly

Maltodextrin is not a keto friendly sweetener nor is it ideal for a ketogenic lifestyle – because it can raise insulin levels, disrupt gut health, and offer no legitimate nutritional value. 

As an alternative to maltodextrin, you should always look for keto friendly sweeteners that are low on net carbs.

Maltodextrin is one of the most used preservatives in the food industry, and it’s commonly used to bind ingredients together and more.

But when it comes to a low-carb diet like keto, it’s best to avoid maltodextrin.

Choosing keto friendly sweeteners and staying away from nutritional foods containing maltodextrin is an excellent way to support your keto journey and achieve your health goals.

As an alternative to maltodextrin, you can use other natural keto friendly sweeteners such as stevia, monk fruit, and erythritol.

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