Fructose intolerance

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Fructose intolerance is a condition in which the body has difficulties when it needs to digest and to use foods that contain fructose. This is treated by completely eliminating fructose and sucrose from the diet.

There are two types of fructose intolerance. The first is known as hereditary fructose – is a rare genetic disease that affects the metabolism of fructose, lack the enzyme that breaks down. Therefore, fructose accumulates in the liver, kidney and small intestine and the body is unable to convert glycogen into glucose.

If the condition is not treated, blood sugar levels decreases (hypoglycemia) and this way it forms some harmful substances that damage the liver. Hereditary fructose is difficult to diagnose and its exact incidence rate is not known exactly, but is supposedly rare. Because it is inherited, it is untreatable.

The second type of lactose intolerance seems to be caused by lack of intestinal epithelial cell surface, missing the digestion process. As such, the body is unable to absorb fructose efficiently. Although they have different causes, both forms of fructose intolerance can be improved by diet. Complete elimination of fructose and sugar in the diet is the only effective treatment for the first type, and if the second treatment allows some concessions related to diet.

Some people can eat certain types of fructose without any symptoms. It is important to carefully monitor your diet, consult your doctor constantly and follow directions to the nutritionist.


1. Overview
2. Sugars and sweeteners
3. Forbidden foods
4. Allowed foods
5. Recommendations
6. How to detect fructose intolerance?
7. Symptoms
8. Benefits
9. Precaution methods

Sugars and sweeteners


- aspartame
- barley malt syrup
- corn starch
- corn sugar
- dextrin
- pure erythritol
- glucose
- polymers of glucose
- neotame
- saccharin


- agave syrup
- sugar beet
- brown sugar syrup
- brown sugar
- sugarcane
- carob powder
- sweeteners for fruit juices
- honey
- molasses
- polydextrose
- sorbitol
- maple syrup

A strict diet, without fructose, involves excluding any drinks or food that contains fructose, sucrose or sorbitol. Fructose is a monosaccharide or simple sugar that has the same chemical formula as glucose – the main source of energy for the body – but has a different molecular structure. It is found in all fruits, some vegetables and honey. The sugars and other fructose types are carbohydrates – sources of energy for the body. The main sugars found in beverages and foods are:

- lactose – it is found naturally in milk.
- maltose – containing two glucose disaccharides. It is found in starch.
- dextrose – another name for glucose. It is obtained from sugar beet, cane sugar and starch.
- corn syrup – sugar is composed of single molecules of glucose. It is found in corn starch.
- high-fructose corn syrup – is a mixture of sugars glucose and fructose derived from corn starch.

Some of the most common food sweeteners are:

- aspartame – is approved as a substitute of sugar consumption. It is tolerated.
- barley malt syrup – is made from sprouted barley grain, dried and boiled with water. It is tolerated.
- beet sugar – sugar. It isn’t tolerated.
- birch sugar – a sugar alcohol. It is tolerated if it is pure.
- brown rice syrup – is based on brown rice. It might contain sucrose. It isn’t tolerated.
- brown sugar – sugar coated with molasses. It isn’t tolerated.
- sugar cane – sugar. It isn’t tolerated.
- Powder Carob – It is obtained from carob tree, containing 75% sucrose, glucose and fructose. It isn’t tolerated.
- starch from corn – corn derived from straight or branched chains consisting of glucose. It is tolerated.
- corn sugar – corn starch based. It contains glucose and maltose. It is tolerated.
- corn syrup – made from corn starch, and usually with maltose or fructose. It isn’t tolerated.
- dextrin – glucose molecules linked in chains which break down into pure glucose. It is tolerated.
- erythritol – sugar alcohol. Tolerated only pure
- fruit juice sweeteners – derived from grapes, apples or pears, boiled to reduce the quantity of water for the juice to become more focused. It isn’t tolerated.
- grape syrup – pure fructose. It isn’t tolerated.
- glucose – simple sugar. It is tolerated.
- polymer of glucose – sugar chains. It is tolerated.
- honey – natural glucose syrup containing about 35-40% fructose, 25% water. It isn’t tolerated.
- neotame – sugar substitute. It is tolerated.
- polydextrose – food additive synthesized from dextrose, plus about 10% sorbitol and 1% citric acid. It is used as a substitute for sugar, starch, fats and cakes, candy, desserts, mixed, gelatin, frozen desserts, puddings and salad dressings. It isn’t tolerated.
- saccharin – approved as a sugar substitute. Not recommended for frequent use. More than 6 servings per day increase the risk of bladder cancer.
- sorbitol – alcohol normally found in fruits, especially berries ripe peel, cherries and plums. It isn’t tolerated.
- stevia – natural sweetener extracted from a plant in South America. It isn’t tolerated.
- wasanbon – raised in Japan, is a variety of species of sugar. It isn’t tolerated..

Forbidden foods

Foods that are not allowed in the diet of people who should not consume fructose and sucrose are:

- meat – sausage, sausages, meat products that contain sugar
- cereals – any cereal sweetened with sugar, fructose or sorbitol
- sweeteners – sugar, fructose, sucrose, sorbitol, brown sugar, molasses, honey
- fruit – all fruit, fruit juice, dried fruit and all products containing fruit or sweetened fruit juice or concentrate.
- milk – milk and dairy products that contain sugar
- nuts – covered with sugar, fructose or sorbitol
- any type of sweet bread that may contain sugar, fructose or sorbitol
- potatoes – sweet potatoes
- fish – fish processed with sugar
- dessert – any dessert containing sugar, fructose or sorbitol
- vegetables – carrots, tomatoes, corn, vegetables with sugar
- other foods: hot sauce, sauces contain sugar, all types of soft drinks and sugary sodas, jams, jellies, marmalades, maple syrup, canned fruit, corn syrup.

Allowed foods

- meat – red meat, pork, chicken and turkey
- grain – which does not contain any sugar, fructose or sorbitol
- sweeteners – aspartame, dextrin, no-calorie sweeteners
- fats – butter, margarine, oil, salad dressings without sugar
- eggs of any kind
- nuts – any kind that does not contain sugar
- bread – any kind which contains no sugar, fructose or sorbitol as an ingredient
- potatoes – white potatoes
- soups and pasta – macaroni, spaghetti, rice, pasta
- fish – any fish fresh
- desserts – natural yoghurt, cakes and ice cream without sugar
- cheese of any kind
- vegetables – asparagus, cauliflower, peppers, lettuce, spinach, celery, carrots except root
- other foods: tea, coffee, diet soft drinks containing artificial sweeteners, cocoa, salt, pepper and other spices.


Additional recommendations for a diet without fructose

- Fructose, sucrose and sorbitol are used in many processed foods in such a degree that very few processed foods are allowed in the diet.
- Sugar is used in other products, in a less obvious, such as canned, packaged sauces, etc.
- Spices are another possible source of sugars, as they sometimes can be used to flavor food. Only starchy vegetables are allowed in your daily diet.
- Boiled vegetables have a lower content of fructose and should be preferred rather than raw vegetables, because in the cooking process a number of free sugars lose.
- New potatoes have higher fructose content than old potatoes.
- Wheat contains more fructose than white fla, because both germ and bran contain sugar.
- Other whole foods (brown rice and whole wheat pasta) contain a higher amount of sucrose than refined products.
- Sorbitol is often used as an artificial sweetener in foods and drinks especially recommended for diabetes, which should be avoided.
- The pastries use sweeteners, including glucose sorbitol can be used as an alternative sweetener and as an energy source.
- Sucrose and sorbitol composition can be used in medicine as bulking agents or to improve taste.

How to detect fructose intolerance?

Hydrogen breath test is used most often to diagnose fructose intolerance. However, this test is not always safe, because often provide false positive results. The doctor may request a stool analysis, which may be more relevant. You can identify partially due to fructose intolerance symptoms.

However, the safest, fructose intolerance can be identified by elimination diet or log method (it will mark a food diary to determine their reactions after consumption (log is essential because some reactions may occur even over three days).


Symptoms of both fructose intolerance types involve the gastrointestinal manifestations, flatulence, bloating, diarrhea, fatigue, vomiting, iron deficiency and other nutrients. The role of fructose-free diet is to eliminate consumption of foods that contain sugar, so these symptoms to be improved.


Absolute elimination of fructose and glucose from the diet may produce positive results in the case of most people with fructose intolerance. Infants who are diagnosed and treated quickly will have a good health. In the absence of significant liver damage, life expectancy is normal.

Precaution methods

Food is one of the most challenging aspects of maintaining a diet that excludes fructose. This is due to the fact that people sometimes have very little cooking time to check before the content of ingredients they use to prepare meals in the kitchen. When people with fructose intolerance eat in his restaurant:

- Be as clear and explicit when you order a dish and explain intolerance to fructose which is found in foods with sugars. Can make recommendations about how they should be prepared. For example, you order a steak roasted on a piece of aluminum foil, without spices, a baked potato with butter, a salad, only a small slice of lemon, spinach and coffee / tea / milk.
- Will speak with the chef.
- Attention to soups, as most are preserved ingredients should be compatible with fructose-free diet.
- Will specify not to use any seasoning or sauce for meat and avoid canned
- Do not use substitutes for milk.

It is often difficult to detect high-fructose corn syrup, which may be part of the composition of some soft drinks, fruit juices, sports drinks, pastries, candies, jams, yogurt, spices, canned and packaged foods or other sweetened foods.

After ingestion of fructose, intolerant infants and children may have a serious enough health condition that might require hospitalization. If not treated, fructose intolerance leads to hypoglycemia and acidosis that can work together, causing a shock of organs and even coma. If the liver is affected, this may lead to cirrhosis and liver failure.

Death may result in any of the above situations. Hereditary fructose intolerance may be relatively mild or may be a very serious disease. In severe form, even eliminating fructose and sucrose in the diet can prevent progression of liver disease.



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