Most people connect fructose intolerance with having to give things up. And yes, many foods that contain fructose are problematic. There are, however, many great ways to eat healthily without fructose. Even though fructose intolerance is not curable, those affected by it can get used to it and do not necessarily have a reduced quality of life. For many foods, there are alternatives that contain either low amounts of fructose or almost none at all.
But facts first: What exactly is fructose intolerance?
What are the symptoms? Does it mean that you can no longer eat any fruit at all? How to you adjust your diet? First, we have to differentiate between two types: Fructose Malabsorption and Hereditary Fructose Intolerance.
This form is also known as Dietary Fructose Intolerance. Because the symptoms are often diffuse, Fructose Intolerance is often misdiagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome.
An H2 breath test can provide exact findings. First, however, whether or not it is Hereditary Fructose Intolerance (HFI) should be cleared up because the breath test could then pose high risks.
Hereditary Fructose Intolerance (HFI)
HFI is a very rare, inborn error of fructose metabolism. It can lead to serious liver and kidney damage as well as hypoglycaemia. Hereditary Fructose Intolerance is thus much more serious than Fructose Malabsorption.
Where is fructose found?
For those affected by Fructose Intolerance, it is important to know what contains fructose. In nature, it can be found in almost all fruits, vegetables and grains. No natural food is completely fructose free, but the actual percentage can be very different. It is possible to eat healthfully on a low fructose diet. The level of tolerance (or intolerance) is different for each individual and has to be discovered by each person on his own. The fructose content of individual foods can be found in tables.
The largest misunderstanding about Fructose Intolerance is that fructose is only found in fruits. However, fructose is also one component of the disaccharide sucrose, which is contained in many foods in the form of refined sugar. 100 g sugar, then, contains roughly 50 g fructose and 50 g glucose.
Industrially manufactured foods also often contain sugar, even though they don’t taste sweet. That means that people with Fructose Intolerance have to be very careful about what they eat. You can find more information of fructose content in our food offer under ‘Products’.