Fructose: Where Fruit Sugar Is Found And How It Works

Fruit sugar or fructose is contained in fruit and many other foods. Read which ones are particularly high in the carbohydrate type and whether it’s healthier than glucose.

Fructose – the sweetness in fruit

Juicy strawberries, crunchy cherries, and red-cheeked apples: delicious! It is the sweet taste that makes these fruits so seductive. Responsible for this is the contained fructose or fructose. From a chemical point of view, it is a monosaccharide, i.e. a simple sugar that belongs to the carbohydrates. In its natural form, fructose, as its name suggests, is mainly found in fruit, and also in fruit that is generally low in sugar. The particularly fructose-rich varieties include:

  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Figs
  • Persimmon
  • Cherries
  • Grapes

Dried fruits have by far the highest content. Contain little fructose:

  • Papaya
  • Apricots
  • Peaches
  • Tangerines
  • Lemons
  • Honeydew melon
  • Nectarines

Fructose is not only found in fruit

In addition, many other foods also contain carbohydrate, including not only obvious ones such as fruit juices and wine. Fructose is also often used as a sweetener and can be found on the list of ingredients in many products such as pickles, convenience foods, and soft drinks. Household sugar consists of half fructose and half glucose. The fructose content of honey varies depending on the variety and is between 32 and 42 percent.

The difference between fructose and glucose

Glucose is also a simple sugar. However, the carbohydrate, also known as dextrose or grape sugar, tastes about 2.5 times less sweet than fructose. While the body breaks down glucose comparatively quickly in the cells to generate energy, this process takes much longer with fructose. Unlike glucose, sugar does not cause a feeling of satiety and there is a risk of consuming too much. For this reason, nutrition experts and doctors are critical of the excessive consumption of fructose, as it can promote diseases such as diabetes, fatty liver, and high blood pressure.

How to avoid and reduce fructose

Some people also suffer from fructose intolerance or fructose malabsorption and react to the carbohydrate with flatulence, diarrhoea, a feeling of fullness, nausea and abdominal pain.

In this case, the diet should be adjusted and sugar should be largely or completely eliminated from the menu with the help of low-fructose recipes. If you want to reduce the amount of fructose in your diet, you can take a look at our recipes with sugar alternatives.

Tips for enjoying fructose

There are also a few little tricks that make fructose better tolerable. Cut your fruit into a natural yogurt: protein and fat delay the absorption of fructose in the intestines and make it easier for them to work. Glucose (dextrose) also improves utilization. On the other hand, you should avoid sugar substitutes such as xylitol, sorbitol, and mannitol: They impede the absorption of fructose.

However, some people do not tolerate sugar and alcohol well. Learn more about sorbitol intolerance.

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