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Glucose Syrup vs. Corn Syrup

author image Jill Corleone, RDN, LD
Jill Corleone is a registered dietitian and health coach who has been writing and lecturing on diet and health for more than 15 years. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Diabetes Self-Management and in the book "Noninvasive Mechanical Ventilation," edited by John R. Bach, M.D. Corleone holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition.
Glucose Syrup vs. Corn Syrup
Glucose and corn syrup are used to make candy. Photo Credit: Stevo24/iStock/Getty Images

As added sugars, glucose syrup and corn syrup aren't much different. In fact, glucose syrup is usually made from cornstarch, so the terms "glucose syrup" and "corn syrup" are sometimes used interchangeably. No matter what sweetener you use, however, for good health it's best to limit your intake.

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Glucose Syrup and Corn Syrup

Glucose syrup is a liquid sweetener made from hydrolyzing glucose molecules from the strings of glucose that make up starchy foods. Starches used to make glucose syrup include potato, wheat, rice and corn.

Corn syrup is a also a liquid sweetener that's made by hydrolyzing cornstarch into glucose. Due to the type of sweetener it is, corn syrup can be referred to as glucose syrup, but not all glucose syrups can be called corn syrup.

A Look at Nutrition

Nutrition information for glucose and corn syrup may vary depending on manufacturer and source of sugar in the glucose syrup. Both are a concentrated source of calories with very little nutritional value.

A 1-tablespoon serving of a corn-based glucose syrup has 70 calories, 17 grams of carbs and 6 milligrams of sodium. The same serving of light corn syrup has 62 calories, 17 grams of carbs and 14 milligrams of sodium.

How They're Used

You may be able to use glucose and corn syrup interchangeably in recipes. Both syrups make good choices for candy and frozen dessert recipes because their consistency helps prevent crystallization. You can also use either syrup as a sweet glaze for ham, poultry or fish or as the sweet element in a sweet-and-sour Asian dish. Liquid sweeteners like glucose and corn syrup can also be used in baked goods to add sweetness and moisture.

Limit All Added Sweeteners

No matter what sweetener you're using, you want to limit your intake. Added sugars such as glucose and corn syrup provide calories but are not a good source of essential nutrients and offer no nutritional benefit to your diet. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggests you limit your intake of foods with added sugar to less than 15 percent of your daily calorie intake to help keep both calories and weight under control.

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