Advice for Fructose Malabsorption

(1) Limit the amount of foods in your diet that contain fructose

If your hydrogen breath test indicates fructose malabsorption, it would be best to avoid foods that are high in fructose. The most common high-fructose foods include:

  • Food items with high fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Dried fruits
  • Raisins
  • Syrups
  • Sweet drinks (especially sodas)
  • Sport drinks
  • Flavored water drinks

Fructose is also found in many fruits such as:

  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Peaches
  • Grapes
  • Cherries
  • Mango
  • Watermellon

A more complete list of fructose containing foods has been published by the USDA.

If you are unsure if a food item contains enough fructose to cause a problem, try a small amount and wait to see how you feel. If you don’t feel any gastric distress after a few hours, you can consume small amounts of this food.

(2) Spread fructose intake throughout the day

If you can stand some fructose in your diet, try to spread fructose foods throughout the day rather than ingest in one meal. Fructose malabsorption is an individual condition. What works best for some may not work for you. Try to reduce the intake of fructose foods. For example, if you like to eat apples, eat only half an apple.

(3) Pick foods that have reduced fructose content

Replace fruits with high fructose content with fruits with a lower fructose content such as bananas, grapefruit, kiwi or strawberries.

(4) Try eliminating probiotics

Fructose malabsorption is the excess production of gas by the bacteria in the intestinal tract. This is why adding probiotics can sometimes exacerbate your symptoms if you have fructose malabsorption. Eliminate your probiotics for a week to see if your symptoms reduce. It is suggested that bifidobacteria is probably the best probiotic choice because it doesn’t produce gas, unlike other types of bacteria, as shown in a study published in the November 1997 issue of the Journal of Nutrition.

(5) Limit foods with high sugar levels

Many foods contain high sucrose levels (table sugar). Sucrose is a mixture of glucose and fructose. When the body digests sucrose, fructose is produced. Limit adding table sugar to foods and reduce sucrose containing foods in your diet.

(6) Avoid foods with sugar alcohols

Sorbitol, a sweetener and is known as a sugar alcohol, becomes fructose when it’s digested. Sorbitol is used in diet drinks and sugar-free chewing gums. Read labels on food and beverages and avoid those food products containing sorbitol.

Further Reading

Nutrition Guide for Fructose Malabsorption

Diet Plan for Fructose Malabsorption