The simple sugar dextrose is another name for glucose, according to information published by health maintenance organization Kaiser Permanente. Many food labels list "dextrose" because of negative public association with glucose. In either case, this sugar is vital to proper body function, but can lead to overweight and type 2 diabetes if you overdo it.
Basically a distilled sugar syrup, honey is up to 30 percent dextrose, reports information at Sugar.org. The naturally occurring dextrose in pollen gets collected by bees, which extract it into the energy-rich honey that makes up their diet.
Sugar.org reports that corn syrup is between 20 and 98 percent dextrose. Corn syrup gets made by processing the sugars that occur naturally in corn, much like honey is made from flowers. The result is a thick, sweet syrup available for cooking or as an sweetener in many food products.
Dextrose is sugar, reports Kaiser Permanente. Sweets, including desserts and candy, often contain high amounts of dextrose. Table sugar, a complex sugar that combines a simple sugar with other ingredients, is also high in dextrose. This means most home-made sweets, such as cookies and apple pie, have a high dextrose content.
Dextrose is a common artificial sweetener, reports Sugar.org. If you scan the ingredient panel of many processed foods, you will find it there. Look also for "natural sweeteners," "glucose," "honey" and "corn syrup." All of these ingredients are either other names for dextrose or sweeteners that themselves contain a lot of dextrose.
Walter Willett, Harvard nutritionist and author of "Eat, Drink and Be Healthy," warns that high-starch foods are quickly broken down into dextrose by the natural functions of the body. According to Willett, eating high-starch foods is the gastric equivalent of gulping down several spoonfuls of pure sugar. Starchy foods to watch out for include potatoes, potato products like French fries, processed grain cereals and white bread.
- "Healthwise Handbook"; Kaiser Permanente Publishing; 2009
- "Eat, Drink and Be Healthy"; Walter Willett, MD; 2007