Fructose intolerance can affect many areas of your life, especially your diet. Amid all the controversy over fructose, it can be challenging to sort out what’s helpful and not – and even more difficult to know how to manage it in your diet! These essential dietary guidelines will help you learn what you need to know about fructose intolerance to live a healthier lifestyle overall.
Reduce or Eliminate High-Fructose Foods
Eliminating high-fructose foods can help reduce symptoms of fructose intolerance. Eating food with little fructose is the best way to control symptoms. However, an entirely fructose-free diet may not be feasible and could be difficult because most processed foods contain some form of fructose or high-fructose corn syrup. The best option is to try and consume less processed foods that contain added sugars.
Fresh fruits are also good sources of fructose, so it’s important to limit them if you have this condition. That way, you can deal with fructose intolerance more effectively by choosing fruits, vegetables, and other foods containing a low concentration, such as cooked veggies, almond milk, strawberries, black beans, salmon fish, walnuts, and peanuts. Also, remember to drink plenty of water!
Maintain a Well-Balanced Diet
When the body cannot correctly process fructose, either due to fructose malabsorption or hereditary fructose intolerance, it can lead to an accumulation of high levels of fructose in the bloodstream. Maintaining a well-balanced diet with low fructose fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains will promote healthy digestion. To avoid these uncomfortable symptoms from occurring, people who are suffering from this condition must maintain a balanced diet while also consuming minimal amounts of foods that contain fructose.
To avoid the symptoms associated with sugar imbalance, people should consume a diet that includes foods rich in fiber and protein, such as fruit and vegetable salads, leafy greens, beans, and lentils. They should also eat unsweetened yogurt containing probiotics, seeds, and nuts containing omega-3 fatty acids. When you suffer from this condition, your goal is to control blood sugar by eating natural fats such as avocado oil instead of cooking oils like soybean oil.
Know and Watch Your Tolerance Levels
Eating enough fruits and vegetables can be difficult if you have fructose intolerance, but sticking to a few guidelines can help make it easier. Knowing your tolerance levels is essential to eat the right amount of fruit and veggies without overdoing it. To achieve that, you need to;
- Eat in small amounts to ensure that you do not exceed your tolerance level
- Balance high-fructose foods with protein or healthy fats to avoid stomach discomfort
- Be aware of hidden sources of fructose, such as dried fruit, bottled sauces, and sweetened yogurt
- Watch out for high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which contains more fructose than other sweeteners
Use Products with Alternative Sweeteners
Luckily, some alternative sweeteners can help to manage fructose intolerance. Stevia is a sugar substitute with zero carbs, and you can use it sparingly in desserts. Also, maltose and dextrose are good alternative sweeteners that do not cause the same reaction as fructose. However, you should be careful if you are allergic to corn or wheat, as maltose and dextrose are from these ingredients.
Above all, it’s crucial to taste test any food products before determining if they are safe for you to eat, as we have all varying degrees of intolerance levels. You can also moderately enjoy desserts, chocolates, spreads, and sweets, which contain these alternative sweeteners at low concentrations. These well-tolerated low FODMAP products are available from reliable companies dealing with fructose intolerance solutions.
Avoid Sorbitol and Other Sugar Alcohols
Sorbitol and other sugar alcohols cause gastrointestinal distress. Sugar alcohols are generally low-calorie sweeteners that are an ingredient in many packaged foods such as chocolate, cookies, ice cream, soft drinks, chewing gum, breakfast cereals, and more. However, when you consume sorbitol and other sugar alcohols, your body converts them to fructose during digestion.
The effects of this conversion will depend on the person’s sensitivity level. Those with mild sensitivity may experience abdominal pain or discomfort after consuming these substances, while those with severe sensitivity may experience gas, bloating, diarrhea or vomiting after consuming these substances.
Rounding out this list is cutting back on high fructose corn syrup, one of the more common sources of fructose in processed foods. That can be tough to avoid, but the next time you’re considering buying a product that contains high fructose corn syrup or sucrose, make sure you read the label carefully to see how much of these sugars it contains. You can also try shopping for food products from companies specializing in low FODMAP foods, who may have invested in creating better quality alternatives to some of your favorite items, such as low-fructose chocolates. Eating low FODMAP doesn’t mean giving up your favorite foods; plenty of substitutions and healthier versions are available if you know where to look!