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Minimize Fructose & Glucose

Apples and pearsFructose malabsorption, formerly named “dietary fructose intolerance,” is a digestive disorder in which absorption of fructose is impaired by deficient fructose carriers in the small intestine’s enterocytes. This results in an increased concentration of fructose in the entire intestine.  Fructose malabsorption is found in up to 30% of the population of Western countries and Africa.  This condition is common in patients identified to be suffering symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, although occurrence in these patients is not higher than occurrence in the normal population. Conversely, patients with fructose malabsorption often fit the profile of those with irritable bowel syndrome.  A small proportion of patients with both fructose malabsorption and lactose intolerance also suffer from celiac disease.  Thanks Wikipedia!

In layman’s terms …

  • Fructose is a naturally occurring sugar found in fruit, vegetables, and honey. Fructose intolerance can occur in people with irritable bowel syndrome and other bowel disorders.  Fruits and fruit juices with higher levels of fructose may cause gas, bloating, abdominal cramping, and diarrhea.
  • Glucose is also a naturally occurring sugar. Fruits and juices with more glucose (and less fructose) may be more “intestine friendly”. The tables in the following section list which fruits, juices and other foods may be better choices for patients with FODMAP intolerance.

One of the biggest differences between Low FODMAP and FODMAP-FREE is in the fructose and glucose category.  My stomach does not tolerate fructose and glucose, so I must be particularly careful in reading product ingredients.  For example, I bought a gluten free soy sauce, but it contained fructose … it bothered my stomach.

Sadly, many fruits and vegetables … whether fresh, dried, juiced, or frozen … contain enough fructose or glucose to cause your bowel to react.  The reaction also usually escalates in proportion to the amount you consume.  My advise … be aware when you consume frustose or glucose so you will be able to accurately attribute any reaction you may have!

Below is a partial list of foods to avoid:

apple asparagus
apricot beetroot
cherries brussels sprouts
custard apple cauliflower
lychees chicory
mango fennel
nashi pear garlic
nectarines leeks
pears mushrooms
persimmon onion
plums peas
prunes radicchio
rambutan snow peas
watermelon sugar snap peas

There’s a great article, “Foods Containing Glucose or Fructose” at



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  1. vertical sleeve

    Awesome issues here. I am very happy to see your article. Thanks so much and I’m looking forward to touch you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?

  2. JVaughan

    Fantastic site. Thanks for creating it.

    Just a quick note – in the heading of your web page the word “GASTROINTESTINAL” is misspelled. Thought you might want to know.

    Really nicely done site! Thank you.


      Thanks! :-)

  3. Joe

    Thank you for this site and the LOW Fodmap Diet !!!!! You all are a lifesaver! I followed the diet for just over 3 weeks and now starting to reintroduce some of the things I feel I can’t live without.

    I am doing well and will give my Gastro Doc this diet!!! Why do they not have Dieticians and Nutritionists working for them!!!???!

  4. Mélanie Goulet

    Great informations!! Thanks :o) so beetroot are a FODMAPS, I didn’t know!!

  5. Maria

    I’ve noticed fennel as being a high fodmap food, yet a lot of these recipes call for fennel seeds and I’ve even seen fennel advertised as a way to help calm your intestines and prevent IBS symptoms. What gives?


      Fennel is one of those ingredients that some FODMAP’ers can tolerate and others must avoid. Also, many people who have IBS do not benefit from the FODMAP diet. Learning what is safe to eat and what to avoid is difficult (and confusing). The most effective approach is to try the FODMAP elimination diet for 30 days then add back in potential triggers — the “can’t live without” foods — one at a time, tracking any symptom.

      If you react to fennel, a good substitute is cumin.

  6. Stephanie Linton

    My 11 yr old son has severe IBS and we were given this diet to try. However we were not told how to start this process and what to watch for. Any advise would be much appreciated.
    Thank You all


      The most recommended approach is to try an elimination diet (no FODMAPs) for 30 days and then add in different foods, one at a time, tracking any symptoms. Working with a registered dietitian is always a good idea so you can be sure of maintaining a healthy diet.

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