Effects of Fructose Not as Sweet as It Tastes

Fructose is a type of sugar that is commonly found in everyday foods or beverages, including packaged drinks, bread or cakes cake sweet. Despite its benefits as a sweetener on the tongue, the effects of fructose are not always good for the body.

Natural fructose can be found from several types of fruit, vegetables and honey. While fructose for commercial purposes is usually obtained from sugar cane, beets, and corn. Fructose that has gone through a chemical process, has a texture like a solid crystal, white in color, odorless, very sweet, and water soluble.

Risk of Digestive Disorder

Unfortunately, not everyone has the same ability to absorb fructose. This condition is known as fructose malabsorption. This happens because the small intestine is unable to absorb fructose, so this content collects in the digestive tract. Some of the symptoms that are often complained of include digestive disorders, such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, flatulence, and vomiting.

A study revealed that public knowledge about fructose malabsorption is still low. In people who have a history of gastrointestinal disease, impaired absorption of fructose can cause symptoms of diseases such as celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease.

Conversely, excess consumption of fructose is thought to increase a person's risk of several diseases, namely obesity, insulin resistance, and increased levels of LDL cholesterol, uric acid, and triglycerides. The effects of fructose are also associated with the risk of metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

When compared to other sweeteners, such as sucrose or glucose, fructose proves to be more harmful. Besides being able to cause various diseases above, fructose is also able to increase hunger and the desire to consume sweet foods or drinks.

Limiting Fructose Intake

For those of you who experience fructose malabsorption, it is important to limit your intake of those containing fructose. Some types of fruits and vegetables that are high in fructose include:

  • Apple
  • Wine
  • Watermelon
  • Banana
  • Strawberry
  • Blueberries
  • Avocado
  • Asparagus
  • Carrot
  • Beans
  • Lettuce

For processed foods or beverages, it is recommended to read the packaging label first. Besides being written as fructose on the packaging, this sweetener can also be found in high-fructose corn syrup, agave syrup, honey, invert sugar, maple syrup, molasses, palm sugar or coconut sugar.

However, don't rush to think of yourself as having fructose malabsorption when you have indigestion after eating the foods above. To be sure, you need to see a doctor for an examination.

Do not be excessive in consuming foods or drinks that are high in fructose or other sweeteners, to avoid the effects of sweeteners that are not always good for health. Consult a nutritionist for more information about artificial and natural sweeteners, if you are at risk for diabetes.