37 Tips For a Fructose Malabsorption Free Lifestyle

A growing number of people are being diagnosed with fructose malabsorption.

The diagnoses usually comes after a long period of suffering from gastrointecintal symptoms as a result of consuming foods that are high in fructose. 

But converting to a fructose free lifestyle can be very challenging. 

It all comes down to one simple question:
 

Would I rather feel constantly sick in the stomach or should I do whatever it takes in order to feel better?


Initiall adopting a fructose free diet can seem a little daunting. But if you're willing to make the commitment to planning out the food you consume, the benefits to your overall health and energy can be life changing. 

Below is a list of 37 ideas for living a Fructose free lifestyle that you can easily implement. 

A lot of the ideas are ones I've used and have seen the benefits firsthand. If you would like to contribute to the list, please add your fructose tips to the comments section right at the bottom, thanks!
 

Browse by Category: Jump to any of the categories below by clicking the links.

  • Fructose and General Tips
  • Cooking Fructose Free
  • Eating Fructose Free
  • Drinking Fructose Free

 

Fructose and General Tips
 

1. Take a hydrogen breath test for Fructose Malabsorption

It's important to work out whether it is actually foods that contain fructose that your body is reacting to. There are other food allergies such as lactose intolerance and celiacs disease that produce similar symptoms to fructose malabsorption. Failing to correctly diagnose fructose malabsorption could lead to inappropriate treatment for the condition that you have and lead to further suffering. 

You can take a Hydrogen Breath test by:

 

2. Consult a qualified dietician to advise on Low FODMAP diet implementation

Once you are sure that you have tested positive to the hydrogen breath test for 'fructose malabsorption' you are most likely going to be recommended to adopt a low FODMAP diet. If you're new to restricted dieting the assistance of a qualified dietican can be invaluable. They can plan out all your weekly meals to ensure compliance with the low FODMAP diet.

 

3. Check the dieitican has treated patients on the low FODMAP diet before

Before choosing a dietician, ensure that you use a dietician that is familiar with treating clients that have fructose malabsorption. The easiest way to check is to call the dietician prior to making an appointment. Unfortunatley, not all dieticians have received training or updated education on treating fructose malabsorption. 

 

4. Buy Sue Shepard's Book "The Complete Low-FODMAP Diet" 

 

Sue is one of the people credited with creating a successful diet for treating fructose malabsorption in her dietician clinic. Later she joined the team at Monash University which studied, tested and developed the Low FODMAP diet approach to the treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The book explains to you how digestion works, how a Low-FODMAP diet can help you treat malabsorption, which foods to avoid and which foods you can take, suggested recipes and further tips for dealing with the condition. 

 

5. Write down in a journal foods that upset your stomach

When you notice a reaction after eating a certain type of food, write this down in a journal or in the notes section of your iPhone. This will help you determine what foods to avoid in the future. 

 

6. Print a Low FODMAP diet list and stick it on the fridge!

Remembering exactly what you can and can't have to eat can be difficult. We've reviewed a large range of low fodmap diet lists in our article (see here) and recommend that you print the IBS Support Group's list here. 

 

7. Remind your doctor of fructose malabsorption when being prescribed medicine

Make sure when you are being prescribed medicines by a doctor that you advise them that you have fructose malabsorption. Many medications contain sorbitol (high fructose) and other high fructose ingredients and can cause you additional problems. 
 
 

Cooking Fructose Free
 

8. Read labels of processed foods carefully when you're grocery shopping

Carefully read the label of products you buy from the supermarket. Look out for Onion, Garlic, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sorbitol, Lactitol, Maltitol, Xylitol, Erythritol and Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysates.

 

9. Cook with Garlic Oil to Get Garlic Flavour Back

Garlic is such a popular flavour enhancer in many different types of cooking. People suffering from fructose malabsorption can however handle garlic infused oil as the fructose is contained in the flesh of the garlic skin. During the infusion process the skin doesn't come out, therefore this is okay to eat. Garlic infused oil is available from most good grocery stores.

 

10. Get Onion Flavour from Onion Water

Similar to garlic, onion skin is a big no no for fructose malabsorption sufferers. However, onion water can be made by taking a couple of large onions, cut into quarters and place into a muslin bag. Add the bag to a pot of boiling water and let simmer for an hour. Remove the onion bag, ensuring that none of the onion flesh has escaped during boiling.

 

11. Throw out all foods containing fructose

When you discover you have fructose malabsorption, clear out your pantry of all foods containing fructose. This will reduce the risk of eating fructose when you're cooking at home. 

 

12. Real Mayple Syrup Sweet alternative

Mayple Syrup is a handy low fodmap option if you would like a sweet option.

 

13. Cinamon a sweet substitute

Cinamon is another great substitute for when you get sugar cravings. 

 

14. Also try Rice Malt Syrup 

makes a great substitute for those who miss a good dose of honey on their gluten-free toast in the morning. It’s important that you get enough fibre, eat foods like quinoa, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, oat bran and whole oats to get a serve. 

 

Eating Fructose Free
 

15. Avoid Chewing Gum

Many people forget that chewing gum contains "Sorbitol". 

 

​16. Try peppermint pills (Mintec is the brand I've used) to reduce bloating symptoms

Peppermint pills (Mintec) can also be used to provide relief if you eat a small amount of fructose. Peppermint tea does the same trick amd is easy to add to your morning routine.

 

17. Eat foods where the glucose:fructose ratio is greater than 1:1

 

18. Glucose can be used to provide relief when you accidently eat something with fructose

If you notice that your stomach is starting to bloat, take a glucose pill (Glucodin) to obtain relief. 

 

Drinking Fructose Free
 

19. Don't Drink Fruit Juice

Loaded full of fructose!

 

20. Drink Alternatives

Water, tea, coffee

 

21. Limit Alchol Consumption

Fructose is contained within the "ol" based foods and drinks. Therefore, if you're drinking alcohol stick to dry whites and potatoe based vodka's. 

 

22. Retire From Red Wine Drinking

This was a killer for me. I use to love nothing more than drinking a good glass of red with some cheese, but alas, no more. 

 

23. Drink Lemon Water

First thing in the morning have a lemon water to kick start your digestive system.
 

24. Freeze lemon juice in a tray

Squeeze lemon juice into ice trays and pop them in the freezer. Then add lemon cubes to water each morning to quickly and easily make your lemon water. 

 

Eating Out Fructose Free

 

25. How to avoid Restaurant ordering anxiety

Having to put in special dietary order requests in front of your friends or family can be quite embarrassing for some people. In order to avoid restaurant ordering anxiety, call up a restaurant prior to arriving and tell them that you have the food allergy ‘fructose malabsorption’.

Most restaurants won’t know what this is, but I usually tell them that it means I need gluten free and I can’t have garlic/onion/spring onion/artichokes. Now unfortunately most restaurants use these ingredients as the base for many of their sauces and marinades.  

A good restaurant will most likely check with the chefs to see if this is possible. If they say they can’t, ask if you can have grilled meat of some descriptions with some vegetable. I usually find grilled steak with steamed vegetables sides is the safest thing to go for when eating out. Be careful if you order side servings of mustard with steaks, the cheaper ones contain garlic powder!

 

26. Email the low FODMAP list to family and friend's you're visiting for a meal

Assist your friends or family that you are visiting for a meal by emailing them a low FODMAP diet plan in advance. This should minimise confusion about what you can and can’t have. If this is still too hard for your chef, let them know that grilled plain meat (chicken, beef, pork etc) seasoned with salt and pepper will be fine. If this is still too hard – take your own food to people’s houses. 

 

27. Fructose in your toothpaste?

Check your toothpaste to see if it contains sorbitol, many brands do.