Some Background On Fructose
Fructose is a sugar found commonly in fruits. You probably already knew that. But did you know that Americans now consume far more fructose on a daily basis than the amount found in 1-2 fruit servings? Even worse, often without the nutrients, fiber and water content that would normally slow its absorption and aid in its processing.
And don’t believe the commercials – the biggest culprit is high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). HFCS is commonly derived from corn and found in high amounts in processed, sweetened foods and beverages.
One of the things that makes fructose different from other sugars is that it does not require insulin to enter cells and take part in energy production. Because it bypasses certain steps in glycolysis (energy production from sugar), it leads to a build-up of certain metabolites that would not otherwise accumulate. It is mainly processed in the liver, and excess consumption has the following effects:
- Altered gene expression in the liver, raising risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease
- In susceptible individuals, intracellular ATP (the energy currency of the cells) is depleted
- Disturbances in protein, DNA and RNA synthesis (think healing and gene repair)
- Reduced ammonia detoxification (build-up of ammonia interferes with neurotransmitter production, altering mood, focus and energy levels)
- Lactate, uric acid and triglycerides elevations (think gout and cardiovascular disease)
Should Everyone Beware of Fructose?
For most of our clients, fructose in the amount found in 1-2 servings of fruit per day is not an issue, but for those who are “fructose sensitive” limiting its intake may help achieve better body balance. If you’re not certain if this is an issue for you, there is testing available, or you can simply try limiting its intake for 7-10 days to see if you notice an improvement in your health.
Take a look at the lists below for more detail about what’s safe, what’s OK in moderation, and what you should avoid.
The Safe List
A short, general list of what should be OK for those with a fructose sensitivity:
- All meats (unprocessed)
- All nuts & seeds (unsweetened)
- All healthy fats (Avocados, olive oil, ghee, grass-fed butter, coconut oil/coconut butter, etc.)
- All unsweetened dairy and unsweetened dairy alternatives
- Pure Erythritol
- Pure stevia
The Avoid List
A short, general list of what you should avoid if you have a fructose sensitivity:
- Honey & all other sweeteners except pure erythritol and stevia
- Processed foods including processed meat products
- Coconut products (milk, etc)
- Imitation meat/crab
All portions are 1 whole or 1 cup serving.
All fruits should be in moderation– 1-2 a day and should always be the fresh, whole fruit (no processed or canned fruit products).
- Cranberries (fresh)
- Lemon juice
- Lime juice
- Passion fruit
- All dried fruit & fruit juices
- Green Beans
- Brussel Sprouts
- Cabbage, Onions
- Sweet Peppers
- Sweet Potato
- Green Olives
- Cherry Tomato
- Navy beans
- Refried Beans
- Baked Beans – any variety
- Whole grain wheat
- Wild rice
- Light rye & rye
- White rice
- Brown rice
- Rice Bran
- Dark Rye