A naturally occurring sugar, fructose is found in all fruits and vegetables. It provides sweetness to these foods, but fructose content can vary widely. Vegetables typically contain smaller amounts of fructose than fruits. When consumed in the form of fruits and vegetables, fructose is absorbed into your body more slowly because of dietary fiber. Understanding which fruits and vegetables are high in natural fructose can help you make choices that could avoid digestive discomfort, especially if you're fructose-intolerant.
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Very-high-fructose fruits and vegetables contain the highest fructose content -- greater than 5 percent. These foods include blueberries, lychees, tomato concentrate products, canned berries and plums in syrup, all dried fruits, grapes, persimmons, pickled onions, pomegranates, apples, pears and quinces. When a body lacks the protein needed to breakdown fructose, fructose-intolerance disorder occurs. Symptoms may include excessive sleepiness, irritability, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eye, and discomfort after eating fruits or foods that contain fructose and sucrose. If you're fructose-intolerant or think you may be fructose-intolerant, talk with your doctor before adding these foods to your diet.
Fruits and vegetables in the high-fructose category contain less fructose than the very-high-content fruits and vegetables: 2.5 percent to 5 percent. Foods in this category include bananas, blackberries, cherries, raw figs, jack fruit, kiwi fruit, canned mandarin oranges in syrup, canned pineapple in juices, loquats, mandarin oranges, mangoes and star fruit.
Foods in the moderate-fructose category have a fructose content of 1 percent to 2.5 percent. These foods include canned apricots, canned beetroot, white cabbage, carrots, eggplants, fennel, nectarines, passionfruit, peaches, plums, green olives, pumpkins, squash, rutabagas, sweet potatoes, turnips, black currants, chives, grapefruit, guava, honeydew melon, oranges, pineapple, raspberries, red chilies, shallots, strawberries, tangelos, tomatoes and watermelon.
Low-fructose fruits and vegetables contain less than 1 percent fructose. Fortunately for people with fructose-intolerance, this category is large, and the foods can typically be eaten freely. These foods include apricots, avocados, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, grapefruits, lemons, limes, rhubarb, celery, Chinese cabbage, cucumbers, green chilies, green peas, iceberg lettuce, mushrooms, parsley, parsnip, radishes, artichokes, asparagus, bean sprouts, beetroot, broad beans, broccoli, cranberries, endive, ginger, green beans, potatoes, pumpkins, snow peas, spinach, sweet corn, tamarillo fruit, watercress and zucchini.