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Vegetables

All vegetables contain high levels of fructose. Some of the vegetables with fructan content include asparagus, artichoke, beans, broccoli, leek, cabbage, onion, tomato, peanuts and zucchini. These foods can be avoided in low sugar diets.

Dried Fruits

Dried fruits are rich in concentrated fructose. This increases the sugar levels in these fruits. Some of the dried fruits known to contain high levels of fructose include dates, figs, apples, pineapples and raisins.

Sauces and Toppings

There are various toppings and sauces rich in high levels in fructose.

Foods that fall under this category include molasses, sweet and sour sources, fruit salsa, barbeque sauce as well as honey.  Other sauces in this category include honey mustards, raspberry ranch, and Italian vinaigrette.

Pineapple, strawberry, caramel, blueberry and apple ice cream toppings also contain high fructose levels. Jams and fruit jellies are also very rich in fructose.

Beverages

Most processed drinks contain high levels of this sugar. Also, the drinks that are decaffeinated and caffeinated carbonated drinks also contain high levels of fructose.  Other beverages with high fructose levels include dessert wines, port, sherry and muscatel.

Soft drinks, pops as well as white drinks are also referred to as carbonated beverages and they too contain high levels of fructose.  Fruit drinks are found to contain a blend of sugars, water and fruit juice.

Drink mixes made from cranberry are also believed to contain high levels of fructose and other sugars. Other beverages high in fructose levels include agave, pear, mango, orange, pomegranate and apple based fruit drinks.

Processed Foods

Foods that have been prepared commercially can have high fructose levels. Even products that are not sweet may contain fructose as an ingredient.

Some processed products rich in fructose include condiments and ketchup, sweet pickles, soups, breakfast cereals, frozen foods, boxed dinner, canned foods, crackers and breads.

Commercially prepared foods like pastries and chocolate contain very high levels of fructose.


Dr Murray adds: "People with IBS are particularly sensitive to alterations in the gut, and while a high intake of fructose can cause abdominal symptoms in anyone, people with IBS are especially prone to developing typical symptoms such as bloating, pain, diarrhoea and constipation."

However the most insidious form of fructose is corn syrup, which is pretty much found in everything from junk food to fizzy drinks. Sauces, especially are the worst.

How can you figure out how much fructose you're getting?

"A food diary is good," says Dr Murray, "but people shouldn’t restrict too much without the aid of a professional. You can regulate your diet so there are some fruits are high in fructose – e.g, apples and mangoes - but bananas and blueberries are relatively low. And definitely watch out for smoothies - especially any loaded with orange juice."

High Fructose foods

Fruits

Most tree fruits contain high levels of fructose. These fruits include bananas, apples, citrus fruits as well as grapes. Pears also have high fructose levels. Pears can be obtained in syrup, canned, bottled or in its natural form. The agave fruits also contain some of the highest levels of fructose.

Berries and melons are also rich in fructose. Melons cover cantaloupe, watermelons as well as the honeydews. Berries cover raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and huckleberries.

All foods containing the fruits listed above as the main ingredients contain high fructose levels. This also includes food made to be consumed by babies. Unsweetened and sweetened apple source also contains fructose.


People who suffer from IBS or other underlying gastrointestinal conditions will know that fructose can make things worse. However, new research has revealed that up to a third of people can experience symptoms of IBS when they eat it.

Considering IBS affects between 10 – 20% of the population and fructose is ubiquitous in so many of the things we eat, it’s worth finding out more.

HuffPost UK Lifestyle spoke to United European Gastroenterology (UEG) spokesperson and practicing UK gastroenterology consultant Dr Charles Murray who said: “It’s not a new finding that fructose can cause problems to people with underlying IBS symptoms, but it demonstrates that up to a third of people can develop symptoms. What’s interesting is the role diet intervention has to play. The reason fructose is a problem is because we are all eating foods with more fructose.”

Fructose, he says, is a naturally-occurring simple sugar found in fruit, vegetables and honey. When used commercially, fructose is usually derived from sugar cane, sugar beets and maize. Most people appear to be able to tolerate fructose reasonably well, however, the sugar is not always completely absorbed from the digestive tract, and when this happens, it tends to ferment and produce gases such as hydrogen.”

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