Fructose Intolerance – Background and Facts
The red apple has a slight sheen, you take a hearty bite, feel the sweetness on your tongue and chew the delicious pulp with relish. After three apples you are full and go about your everyday life in a good mood. But after a few hours, you feel very uncomfortable and your stomach is bloated.
You may be suffering from something called fructose malabsorption , commonly known as fructose intolerance. This can be noticeable immediately after eating, but also for hours. Since the body can only insufficiently absorb the fructose , those affected suffer from indigestion, flatulence and diarrhea. Anyone who regularly experiences such complaints should see a doctorget tested for a possible intolerance to fructose.
In professional circles, a clear distinction is made between intestinal and hereditary fructose intolerance . The Hereditary fructose intolerance is a rare disease that occurs due to an inherited disorder that intestinal fructose intolerance on the other hand describes the most common type of fructose intolerance, the so-called malabsorption of fructose, which is manifested as intolerance . This is also known as fructose malabsorption. Very few people really have hereditary, i.e. hereditary, fructose intolerance; they mostly suffer from fructose malabsorption.
This occurs when the fructose is only partially absorbed into the blood in the small intestine . As a result, parts remain in the intestine, where they are subsequently used by bacteria, which turn them into gases. The fructose itself can then lead to diarrhea because it binds water, which is then not absorbed by the body from the chyme. Experts estimate that one in three adults and two in three children experience fructose malabsorption. You can of course find important information about this disease from your doctor, but also from us, for example in the article Fructose intolerance: This is how fruit can be enjoyed again and from official contact points such as the German Society for Nutrition e. V.
Despite the sugar content: That’s why you shouldn’t do without fruit
Those who cannot tolerate the fructose can now draw the logical conclusion to avoid everything that contains this sugar. But wait, of course, as the name suggests, there is fructose in the various fruits. Before you delete them completely from your own nutrition plan, you should be aware of all the other essential substances it contains:
- Vital substances
- Folic acid
- Trace elements
Even if you don’t tolerate fructose well, that doesn’t mean you have to do without it entirely. Most people with fructose malabsorption have a personal tolerance threshold , which can be found out in cooperation with the doctor and a change in diet. Anyone who has received a clear diagnosis will get the recommendation from the doctor to change their own diet .
This usually means taking a waiting period of around two to four weeks. In this phase you should completely avoid foods with fructose. After this phase, you can slowly begin to eat low-fructose foods again and write them down meticulously in a so-called food diary. In this way you can quickly find out how much fructose you can tolerate yourself and when the symptoms start to become noticeable again.
How healthy is fructose anyway?
Fructose or fruit sugar is not only found in fruits, but is also a component of table sugar and is therefore contained in many finished foods, such as sweets and soft drinks. Because of its high sweetness, fructose is extremely popular and sought after as a sugar.
In moderation, sugar is also okay because it provides the body with energy . But if you ingest too much of it, your body is not doing anything good. Therefore, it is better to eat some fruit than sweets to absorb sugar. Because there are other essential substances in fruit, while sweets can hardly come up with them.
Fructose Intolerance: Which Fruit Can You Eat?
You have been diagnosed for a while and have changed your diet. Thanks to the waiting period and some testing, you know relatively well where your tolerance threshold for fructose is exactly. Now you ask yourself which fruit actually contains how much fructose. After all, you don’t want to cross your threshold. This is exactly where we will help you and give you two lists.
First of all, the types of fruit that are low in fructose , i.e. less than 3 grams per 100 grams . After that, we list the types of fruit that contain more than 3 grams per 100 grams .
|Fruits with little sugar, stated per 100 grams||
|Fruits with a lot of sugar, stated per 100 grams||
In general, dried fruit contains a lot of fructose , as the drying process has removed the water. They have far more fructose per 100 grams than the original fruit. You can see this on the plum, for example: Fresh plums contain 2.01 grams of fructose while dried plums contain about 9.37 grams. Therefore, it is better to use fresh fruit, which also contains the many healthy substances that we have already listed above.
In addition to dried fruit, foods such as spreads, jams and jams also contain a lot of fructose and should therefore only be eaten in small quantities . Because they also contain much more fructose than the original fruit due to the processing.
Attention: The figures are only average values and can fluctuate. If you feel unsure, it is better to talk to your doctor again.
Are there other healthy alternatives to fruit?
If you absolutely do not want to eat fruit for fear of the symptoms, you can switch to a few healthy alternatives in order to still be supplied with all the important substances. This includes many types of vegetables that contain the following substances , among others :
- Vitamins such as E, K, D
- Minerals such as potassium, calcium and iron
- Phytonutrients such as carotene and flavonoids
We have attached a list of the foods that do not contain fructose. The list is of course not complete and the values are not always consistent, because they are only averages given by nutrition experts.
|Unprocessed foods with no or very little fructose (less than 1 gram)||
Attention: We are talking about unprocessed, fresh products , because the industry often mixes sugar with it. Therefore, please always pay attention to the list of ingredients and always discuss your diet with your doctor first.
|Vegetables with less than 1 gram of fructose per 100 grams||
|Vegetables with more than 1 gram of fructose per 100 grams||
What should you absolutely avoid if you cannot tolerate fructose?
As mentioned above, fructose is a component of table sugar and is very popular in the industry because of its sweetening power. Therefore, fructose is found in many conceivable and even more impossible foods . We have attached a few foods that you shouldn’t consume too often or that you should avoid entirely:
|Foods with fructose||
The same applies to this list: no claim to completeness! When shopping, pay close attention to the list of ingredients and only put groceries in the shopping cart that you know whether and how much fructose is contained.
Diet for fructose intolerance
If you suspect that you cannot tolerate fructose, please contact your doctor as soon as possible. The fructose malabsorption can be recognized relatively quickly with various tests . As soon as you have the diagnosis, changing your diet can help you get the symptoms under control.
We gave you an initial overview of the different types of fruit with little and more fructose. It would be a shame to forego fruit entirely, because you might still like the taste and you can supply your body with important substances through the fruit. It is safer to use fresh fruit and not the processed varieties such as dried fruit. Because these often contain much more fructose than the actual fruit variety.
Alternatively, you can eat more vegetables instead of fruit, so that you can still absorb important substances in a healthy way with your food. You can change your diet well with the vegetables mentioned and other foods that contain little to no fructose.