Fructose, also known as fruit sugar, is a type of sugar found mainly in various fruits, vegetables, honey, and processed foods.
what is fructose?
Fructose is a type of sugar found in various fruits, vegetables, honey, and processed foods. In some people, fructose cannot be absorbed properly in the small intestine and fructose ends up in the colon. In the colon, gut bacteria cause fructose to be broken down by fermentation. During the fermentation process, gases are released and moisture is attracted.
Fructose may be a risk factor for some people in terms of developing gas in the intestines.
Fructose is very similar to glucose in terms of its structure. Fructose can attach to glucose, and together they can be absorbed by the colon.
Thus, even in people who cannot absorb fructose well, fructose can still be absorbed by the small intestine. If there is more fructose than glucose in your diet, fructose remains, known as free fructose. This free fructose cannot bind to glucose and eventually ends up in the large intestine. There it ferments, releasing gases and attracting moisture.
Fructans are hard-to-digest (complex) carbohydrates. You can find them in onions, garlic, leeks, cabbages, and wheat, among others. When fructans are broken down in the intestines, fructose is split off, this increases the risk of possible gas formation.
what foods contain fructose?
Fructose occurs naturally in various foods, mainly in fruits and certain vegetables. But many processed foods also contain fructose, since it is used as a sweetener. Below are common foods that contain a lot of (free) fructose:
- Fruit, such as apple, pear and cherry
- Vegetables, such as asparagus, artichoke, and sugar snaps
- Fruit juice, such as apple juice and pear juice
- Dried fruits, such as raisins, figs and dates
- Jams and fruit compotes/sauces such as apple sauce
- Honey and maple syrup
In addition, fructose is often added as fructose syrup to processed products such as soft drinks, confectionery, dressings, sauces, and breakfast cereals. Check the label if you want to know if a product contains fructose. In the ingredient declaration, it is also referred to as fructose syrup or glucose syrup.
how do you deal with fructose?
If fructose is a risk factor for you in terms of forming intestinal gas, there are fortunately a number of things you can do about it. One of the things you can do about this is change your diet.
Below you can read about the different ways you can deal with fructose. Here you will also find inspiration for fructose-free recipes such as fructose-free granola.
By limiting your consumption of foods rich in fructose, you can reduce the risk of intestinal gas. It can vary from person to person which types of food pose a risk of gas formation. For some people, this is only fructose from fruit, for others, fructose in honey actually poses a risk of gas.
Certain types of fruit contain roughly equal amounts of fructose and glucose, leaving no free fructose. You can safely eat these types of fruit.
You can easily check which types of food contain fructose in Monash University’s Low FODMAP app. Do you find this difficult? If so, contact a dietician for personal advice and guidance.
Despite legislation regarding health claims on food supplements, cosmetic products, and medical devices, we are unfortunately not allowed to provide information on the use of supplements (containing digestive enzymes).
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fructose-free mocha hazelnut cake
Incredibly delicious for a birthday or as a treat on the weekend! Most importantly: it’s fructose-free!