Maltodextrin – Is it Keto?

No, Maltodextrin Is NOT Keto

What is Maltodextrin? Is it Keto? 

Maltodextrin is an amalgam of corn, wheat, or potato starch, which can have a negative effect on a keto diet if taken regularly. Starch, in general, increases blood sugar levels in a person’s body, which is unlikely during ketosis. So, Maltodextrin is not keto.  Therefore, it is advised to opt for other substitutes for Maltodextrin like Pure Stevia or Erythritol or Monk Fruit – if you want to have sweet treats regularly.

Why is it NOT good for people on Keto-Diet?

Artificial sweetener

Maltodextrin is an artificial sweetener, which is often used as a substitute for sugar. Generally, it comes in a powdered state, white in color, after highly processed, extracted from corn, wheat, or potato starch [1]. It is a plant-based sweetening substitute.

High Glycaemic Index

The Glycaemic Index (GI) of Maltodextrin goes as up as 105 GI, which is higher than sugar (GI =65) so it can raise blood sugar even more rapidly than sugar. It also makes this substance lacking in nutritious values and renders it highly absorbable.

It has calories and carbs

There is a common misconception that because maltodextrin contains a lower amount of sugar in it, it is low in calories. But this is false information. It essentially has the same number of calories as sucrose, which is also called as regular table sugar. Hence, this means that there are four calories in each gram of Maltodextrin.

People on the keto diet must cut down sugar, keep their total carbs intake not higher than 25-30g per day. Maltodextrin has carbs. Its carbs are counted normally into your Keto diet macro.

There are 3.81g carbs, 15 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g protein in 1 teaspoon of Maltodextrin [2]. It has no nutritious value.

It’s safe in a small portion but people with diabetes and on diet should watch out

According to The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it’s classified as a GRAS substance, meaning it is Generally Recognized As Safe.[3]

Although Maltodextrin is deemed safe for human consumption, do not be fooled by the fact that it is extracted from vegetables. Concerning nutritious value, this artificial sweetener is alarmingly sparse; if anything, it comes with additional negative consequences. And the biggest impact is observed in people who consume high levels of Maltodextrin – their diet is tarnished, and they adopt an unhealthy lifestyle reluctantly. Many consumer products have Maltodextrin in it; thus, people on a keto diet and even people with diabetes should beware of the ingredients of the food they eat.

Whereas calories and carbs are a great factor when it comes to the keto diet, there is also a big concern when the topic of the glycaemic index of maltodextrin arises as well, so that maltodextrin is not keto friendly

Interesting Facts to Know about Maltodextrin

Making Keto Salad

A Popular ingredient in Keto/ Low carb supplement, food, and energy drink

  • Maltodextrin is an artificial sweetener that you can easily find in popular foods, drinks as a supplement for keto/low carb. The most popular sweetener you can find maltodextrin is Splenda. Keto dieters may miss this sweetener when you read “sugar-free”. But tips for Keto dieters, especially, Keto beginners is finding the name of sweetener in the label to make sure this sweetener is Keto approval or not.
  • It is used as a thickener, filler or preservative in many processed foods like pasta, salad dressing, pudding, yogurts…
  • It is used by people who go to the gym to increase their weight, their muscles in bulk but keep their sugar intake low.


Although its name “maltodextrin” has “malt” which comes from barley, the main ingredient used to make beer, it’s gluten. Maltodextrin is gluten-free, people on a gluten-free diet do not need to worry about it.

The Benefits of Maltodextrin

Maltodextrin certainly comes with its benefits; they are:

  • Chronic hypoglycemia: This substance helps in fighting against risks of chronic hypoglycemia – anyone who has low blood sugar levels can increase it with the help of Maltodextrin.
  • Good for your digestion: It has the potential to improve your digestion – improves intestinal functions, for example, stool volume.
  • Colorectal cancer: Recent studies suggest that maltodextrin’s fermentation in the intestines may potentially behave as an agent that helps to prevent certain types of colorectal cancer.
  • Helpful with people need to gain weight and bodybuilding: It increases energy in a person’s body – with no nutritional value, Maltodextrin helps in boosting the blood sugar levels and kicking the energy in for your metabolism to fasten. It’s easy to find maltodextrin in bodybuilding supplements

The Drawbacks

Despite its benefits, Maltodextrin is not Keto and is furthermore unhealthy for people with diabetes, people want to lose weight. It comes with several negative impacts on a person’s lifestyle that can cause grave harm:

  • Weight gain: It can contribute to weight gain. It is digested readily and hence contributes to carbs that are nowhere mentioned in the net nutrition and net carb segment of the food item you consume.
  • Spike blood sugar: It has the highest Glycemic Index (GI), which is around 106 GI to 123 GI. This is even higher than that of rice and wheat. it means that it can potentially spike the levels of your blood sugar very quickly. Just because Maltodextrin is extracted from vegetables like corn, wheat, or potato starch, it doesn’t mean that the substance is necessarily healthy.
  • Other risks: Maltodextrin is bad for gut health and maybe GMO. It can also increase the risk of autoimmune disorders.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Does maltodextrin spike insulin?

Yes, It has a high Glycaemic Index so it can spike insulin. it’s not safe for people with diabetes

Does maltodextrin kick you out of ketosis?

With a small portion, it’s safe for your keto diet. But with a large amount Yes. It raises blood sugar levels. It is generally unhealthy people on a keto diet. Count it in your total carb to make sure it does not kick you out of ketosis.

Why many Keto soft drinks, supplements have maltodextrin?

It’s not used primarily for sweetening purposes in Keto food and drink so the amount of maltodextrin is very low, it’s often be mixed with another main sweetener. You should check the label if maltodextrin is the main sweetener or not.

Healthier Substitutes than Maltodextrin for Keto dieters

Maltodextrin is a white powder made from starch that has been extracted from vegetables like corn, potato, or wheat. It may seem like a natural substitute for sugar, but it is not. It has carbs and unhealthy impact on blood sugar levels. Furthermore, Maltodextrin is high in GI, which makes it a bad substitute for sugar. It is advised to avoid any sweetener that has maltodextrin, dextrose, or isomaltooligosaccharides (IMO) in it. We suggest you certain healthier substitutes for your Keto diet; they are Pure Stevia, Erythritol, and Monk Fruit. A

  • Pure Stevia: It is a plant-extract and 100% natural sweetener. It is 40 times sweeter in taste than table sugar, yet packed with numerous health benefits. It is a great sugar substitute for the keto community.
  • Erythritol: It is also a natural sweetener, which tastes just like table sugar; however, it has no calories. This sugar substitute has no known side effects and is ideal for ketosis.
  • Monk Fruit: This sweetener is obtained from monk fruit and is around 100-250 times sweeter than our regular table sugar. It is 100% natural and popular as Zero Calorie Sweetener among the keto community.

Choosing a natural sweetener will support a healthy lifestyle for Keto followers.

Final Thoughts

There is a good amount of benefits of Maltodextrin, but for people on diet in general and especially people on the Keto diet, it has more downsides. It can kick you out of ketosis if taken regularly and in large amounts. Therefore, you should read and understand the ingredients of the food you consume before incorporating it into your diet.

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