It’s been a while since I blogged… the whole moving house, having house dramas, Christmas, New Year and desperately searching for work has not helped at all. I have a large number of topics to write on stashed away, and today am going to write on Frutose, and why it is bad for you.

This post was insprired, partly, by meloukhia’s excellent blog, and by her recent post on Bad Science Reporting. meloukhia’s post was specifically relating to bad science journalism and how misreported this study was, however I find the study interesting from my own experiences.

I have Fructose Malabsorption, this is a condition in which my body has enormous difficulty in processing foods that are high in fructose such as apples, pears, mangos, and melons and foods high in fructan such as onions, wheat, legumes, and cabbage. I can no longer eat dried fruit, drink fruit juice or have dishes containing tomato paste (or any concentrated form of fruit). To quote Wikipedia:

“Fructose malabsorption … is a digestive disorder of the small intestine in which the fructose carrier in enterocytes is deficient. This problem results in the concentration of fructose in the entire intestine to be increased. Fructose malabsorption is found in approximately 30-40% of the population of Central Europe, with about half of the affected individuals exhibiting symptoms.”

Basically if I consume foods high in fructose I face intense stomach cramps and diarrhoea for up to 3 days after the consumption of food. This isn’t a condition I’ve had my whole life, this is something that has gradually gotten worse over the past 5 years. But that happens… bodies sometimes, for reasons we don’t understand, decide that they are intolerant or allergic to something after repeated exposure.

Oh… and have a look at the foods I cannot eat… This makes eating out difficult – onion is typically in EVERYTHING, and it is very hard to know if something contains tomato paste… so I typically avoid everything tomato-y when eating out these days.

Anyway… so fructose is bad for me. Fructose is also bad for those with irritable bowel syndrome as discussed by Shepherd and Gibson (2006). In fact many of the symptoms described in that paper match how I feel… and I really need to see a dietician to find out what I can and cannot eat so I stop inadvertently eating foods I shouldn’t.

Anyway… back to the recent study on fructose and it being bad for you. There is a good report here about the study, including a comment from one of the authors of the study. Basically it found that the members of the study who had a high fructose diet gained extra abdominal fat… quoting from the article linked to above:

“…unlike glucose, some of which passes through the liver and is then excreted, 100% of fructose that’s consumed is taken up by the liver. This is turn leads to increased fat deposition in the abdominal cavity and increased blood levels of triglycerides—both of which are risk factors for heart disease and diabetes.”

I’m actually interested in a lot more of these studies. As someone who struggles to identify what I can and cannot eat if fructose becomes something that must be more clearly reported on in food and medications, then my life is going to be much easier. Right now I avoid everything with apples, juice (no more sorbet), pears, and high fructose corn syrup (thankfully not highly used in Australia), and I am attempting to cut down on wheat consumption – and I bake goddamnit… what am I supposed to bake with when I cannot consume wheat?

Fructose malabsorption can be a debilitating condition at times, I feel exhausted and weak when it is really bad. Once I have a settled diet, I will have all the energy I need and more, hopefully.

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One thought on “Fructose”

  1. I feel your pain….I discovered I had issues with fructose several years ago (I have IBS), and it is pretty hard to stay away from it!

    You might not know that artichokes and zucchini (who knew?) are high in fructose also, as are purple and red grapes. Sorbitol is also bad for the fructose-challenged. That includes cherries, apricots, plums, and bananas, which all have some natural form of sorbitol. I’m dismayed to hear about sorbet, though I suspected as much, since it’s kind of fruit-juicy. But hey, rice is safe. And berries aren’t as high in fructose as a lot of other fruits.

    I hope you’ve found a liveable diet and that you’re feeling better!

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