Becoming aware of the fructose content of common foods provides a way for you to create and adhere to a restricted-fructose meal plan. This is necessary when you have fructose intolerance or malabsorption, which means your body has trouble absorbing large amounts of fructose. Intolerance symptoms commonly appear in childhood. Children can experience abdominal pain, bloating and irritability. Individuals with fructose intolerance can tolerate small amounts of fructose and must follow a low- to moderate-fructose diet to prevent related intolerance symptoms. This condition is not the same as hereditary fructose intolerance -- a more serious condition requiring a strict fructose-free diet.
Assessing Fructose Tolerance
To assess your tolerance, try following a low-fructose diet for at least six weeks, recommends Minnesota Gastroenterology. After that, gradually increase your fructose intake as tolerated to help determine your threshold. A good place to start is restricting to zero to 5 grams of fructose per day, according to Minnesota Gastroenterology. After that, reintroduce 5 to 15 grams of fructose per day to determine how much you can tolerate without symptoms. Eat fructose-containing foods with a meal instead of by themselves.
High-Fructose Red Flags
Avoid products that list fructose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, fruit juice concentrate or corn syrup solids among the first five ingredients on the label. Avoid sugar alcohols, including sorbitol, isomalt, lactitol, maltitol, mannitol, xylitol, erythritol and hydrogenated starch hydrolysates. Sugar alcohols are not well-tolerated. Limit your intake of table sugar, since it contains 50 percent fructose.
Foods High or Very High in Fructose
Many foods containing fructose are otherwise healthy and nutritious, such as fruits and some vegetables. High-fructose foods include banana, blackberry, cherry, fig, kiwi, mandarin, mango, star fruit, rockmelon, grapefruit, pineapple and raspberries. Very high fructose foods include blueberries, lychee, tomato concentrate, dried fruits, tinned berries in syrup, grape, persimmon, pickled onion, pomegranate, tinned dark plum, apple, pear and quince.
Fructose Comparison Guide
Avocado, lime, apricot, lemon and rhubarb belong to the low-fructose group. They each contain between zero and 0.5 grams of fructose. One cup of diced cranberries, 1/4 cup of cantaloupe, one-half of a small peach and 1/4 cup of strawberries contain moderate amounts of fructose, between 0.51 gram and 1 gram. In comparison, high-fructose foods such as one-half of a grapefruit, 1/2 cup of pineapple and 1/2 cup of raspberries contains 1 to 2 grams of fructose. Items with very high fructose such as five cherries, 1/2 cup of blueberries and one kiwi contain 2 or more grams of fructose.