What Is Glucose & What Foods Can I Find It In?

3D-model of Glucose (src)

Glucose is also called dextrose.

It is a sugar and a naturally occurring carbohydrate.

The foods we eat containing glucose are broken down into sugar in our stomach and then absorbed into the bloodstream.

High glucose levels raise blood sugar levels, which can lead to serious health issues.

Table of Contents

How Glucose Works

Glucose is the primary energy source for all cells.

The main role of the pancreas is to produce and secrete insulin, which is a hormone that regulates blood sugar by allowing the glucose to enter the body's cells.

Glucose is manufactured in the liver and stored in the body as glycogen. The body breaks down glycogen for energy during periods of low glucose in the blood.

Fluctuations during the day

Blood glucose level is higher in the morning and the evening and decreases throughout the day.

The blood glucose levels can also vary throughout the day in response to food and exercise.

Levels of glucose in the blood should be kept within a narrow range.

Spikes in the blood that come from consuming sugar and other things that increase your blood sugar levels rapidly are bad for you in the long run.

Cannot produce insulin

When the body cannot properly use or produce insulin, blood glucose levels increase.

Diabetes mellitus, is a condition in which a person has chronically high blood glucose levels, which result from defects in insulin production.

Some of the symptoms are

Keep Glucose Leavels Low

High glucose levels raise blood sugar levels. When this is prolonged, it can cause problems.

Health issues

Blood sugar levels must be kept within a certain range to keep organs working properly. When blood sugar levels are too high, cells in the body can become damaged and organs can become less efficient.

It can also lead to the development of insulin resistance or other health issues. (source )

Maintaining blood glucose concentrations within an acceptable range is especially important for patients with diabetes. (source )

Typ 2 diabetes

High blood sugar levels can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes.

It is estimated that one in three adults in the United States have diabetes, and an estimated 75 million adults have prediabetes.

It is estimated that if left untreated, an average of three people per minute will develop diabetes in the United States.

Side-effects of consuming glucose can you read about in Glucose: 3 Research-Backed Side-Effects

The Release Of Insulin

When glucose circulates through the pancreas at an increasing concentration, it stimulates the release of insulin.

There are two phases of insulin release in response when glucose ingests.

First-phase insulin release occurs within 2 min.

It leads to a sharp peak in plasma insulin, which then returns to normal levels within 10 minutes.

If the exposure to glucose is prolonged, second-phase insulin release starts and will go on for a longer time. (source )

After ingestion of standardized meals with fast absorption, the glucose peaks fast and high.

While meals with higher fiber, protein, and fat induce a smaller increase and slower decrease in glucose concentrations. (source )

Foods You Can Find Glucose In

Glucose is a carbohydrate that is a primary source of energy for living organisms.

It’s naturally occurring, found in fruits, and other parts of plants. (source )

It's, for instance, found in:

Foods in our nutrition tool

You can find regularly updated top-ranked lists of foods for over 200+ nutrients in our nutrition tool.

If you are interested in what foods contain the most glucose, we recommend you visit our tool. Here's our top-ranked list of foods that contain glucose.

Sara Niemelä

co-founder Care Omnia, Head Content Creator

Author Image of Sara Niemelä

Nutrition is my passion. I've spent thousands upon thousands of hours reading, analyzing, categorizing and comparing research studies.

I’m a wife and a mother of three. I enjoy the outdoors, cooking, and spending time with my family.