Is High Maltose Corn Syrup Bad for You?

High maltose corn syrup still counts as added sugar, so you should consume it in moderation.
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Consuming industrial sweeteners, such as high maltose corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup, comes with health risks. Although found in a number of consumers' favorite foods, both maltose syrup and corn syrup are added sugars that can cause long-term consequences to your body if eaten in excess.

Tip

High maltose corn syrup is bad for your health when you consume too much, but high fructose corn syrup is worse for you. You should limit your intake of both sweeteners.

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High Maltose Corn Syrup Safety

Containing trace amounts of fructose or no sugar syrup at all, high maltose corn syrup doesn't have near the same sweet flavor as the typical food additive, high fructose corn syrup. But you still find the sweetener and preservative in a few food products.

Unlike the highly studied high fructose corn syrup, you won't find nearly the number of evaluations on potential health effects of high maltose corn syrup. This makes determining its science-based side effects and health outcomes challenging. But because high maltose corn syrup is an additive, you should cut back on it whenever possible, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), an organization that ranks the safety of food additives.

CSPI suggests that because high maltose corn syrup doesn't contain any fructose, the sugar is probably safer than table sugar or high fructose corn syrup, especially because the body breaks down fructose different than other sugars and causes adverse effects.

But overall, the less maltose food additives and maltose candy you consume, the better your overall health. However, CSPI does note that small amounts of this type of corn syrup are safe.

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High Maltose Corn Syrup Description

According to the CSPI, high maltose corn syrup can provide a sweet flavor to products, as well as add to food shelf life by acting as a preservative and a bacterial growth inhibitor. You'll find the syrup in candy, baked goods and alcohol beverages (as it assists with the fermentation process).

Maltose is composed of two units of glucose and can be produced in a number of formulations for different applications. Because this type of corn syrup isn't as popular as high fructose corn syrup, you actually don't find it in too many foods. Because almost no research has been completed on the health effects of maltose, no one can say definitively what consuming maltose can do to your body.

But when it comes to your diet, you should treat high maltose corn syrup as you would any other added sugar. Too much sugar in confectionery treats creates health consequences in the form of weight gain, obesity, diabetes and heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC recommends that you limit added sugar to less than 10 percent of your total daily calories and look for ways to replace sugar drinks and foods (such as replacing desserts with fresh fruit).

The American Heart Association also says to stay vigilant in reading labels. On the nutrition facts label, the line for sugars contains both natural and added types like high maltose corn syrup. For example, if a product has 15 grams of sugar per serving, that's 60 calories from sugar alone (four calories are in one gram).

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