2016-06-16 20:03:59 UTC

Food Allergies and Intolerances 107: Controlling Symptoms of Fructose Malabsorption

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Being told you have a food intolerance or malabsorption issue and needing to change how you eat, can feel like a lot to take on. While it is not as severe as having a food allergy, a food intolerance or malabsorption issue can impact your life. 

You might be scared to eat for fear of having a reaction. You may not want to join your family and friends when they go out, because you’re worried about cross-contamination. These feelings are normal and can be handled by talking to your gastroenterologist and a registered dietician or nutritionist. 

Not eating fructose and eating a low-sugar diet is the best way to put off the painful symptoms linked to fructose malabsorption. 

However, many people with fructose malabsorption can eat some amount of fructose without problems. By keeping a food diary, you can find out how much fructose is too much for you. 

Limit your intake of:

  • Fruit, fruit juices and dried fruit.
  • Honey.
  • Sodas and other drinks that have high-fructose corn syrup.
  • Alcohol.

You should know that high-fructose corn sweetener is often added to prepared foods and is found in high concentrations in non-diet soft drinks and most fruit juices. Be sure to read nutrition labels before eating or drinking things you may think have fructose. 


Foods With Excess Fructose (To Avoid)


  • Agave
  • Apples
  • Asparagus
  • Boysenberries
  • Cherries
  • Fresh figs
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Mango
  • Pears
  • Rum
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Tomato paste
  • Tamarillo
  • Watermelon


Still Having Symptoms?


It can be scary to keep having symptoms, even after changing to a low-fructose or fructose-free diet. If this is the case for you, perhaps you are eating hidden fructose. A dietician can help you find out if you are unintentionally consuming fructose through such things as medications, supplements or other sources.

If you determine you are not consuming hidden fructose, it is time to meet again with your gastroenterologist to find out if more tests or treatment options are needed. 

Try the MyGIHealth® app to better note your symptoms and when they happen.

Food Allergies and Intolerances – What to Know:
  • It is important to know the differences between food allergies and food intolerances.
  • A food allergy is a sudden, urgent and severe reaction to a food when it is eaten or touched. Symptoms include feeling itchy or having trouble breathing.
  • A food intolerance, or sensitivity, often has less severe symptoms, though is still very uncomfortable. Symptoms include gas and cramping pain.
  • Do not get rid of anything from your diet until your doctor tells you to do so.


© AGA, September 2017

©AGA, July 2016

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