Fructose Malabsorption Action Steps:
1. Don’t panic. Actually you can celebrate. You have finally found out what is making you feel so yucky. There is now a solution and that solution is easy: avoid high levels of fructose and you will feel better. Your gut will stop yelling at you, you will have more energy, your brain won’t feel so foggy, and you will be able to enjoy eating again. You will not be constantly analyzing everything you eat trying to determine what is making you feel sick. You now have an answer: Fructose Malabsorption Disorder.
2. Read my blog post Cliff Notes® on Sugar Digestion. It will help you understand what is going on inside your body, how you can take control over Fructose Malabsorption, and how you can feel healthy again.
3. Start a food journal. Record what your gut is telling you. You need to pay attention to your gut. Your gut is very smart. It will tell you if something your eating is not making you feel good. I like to keep a journal. It allows you to go back and look for trends: times when your gut is yelling at you or times when your gut is smiling and happy. Link here for a sample Fructose Malabsorption Daily Food Journal.
4. Consult with a dietitian. Dietitians are trained on how to help you. Your dietitian will help you understand your diagnosis, provide you with a multitude of resources, help you meal plan, and help you make a safe grocery list. Healthprofs.com is a great resource where you can find a local dietitian.
5. When fist diagnosed avoid the following fruits: apples, grapes, honeydew, kiwi, mango, pear, raisins and watermelon. These 7 fruits have more than 5 grams of fructose and not enough glucose to balance the high fructose load (see Cliff Notes® blog). You may be able to eventually add small amounts of these fruits back into your diet. However, when you are first diagnosed eliminate these fruits and allow your gut a chance to reset itself.
WHEN FIRST DIAGNOSED AVOID THE FRUITS IN THIS PICTURE:
6. When you are first diagnosed with Fructose Malabsorption start by eating safe whole foods. Fruits like pineapple, cranberries, cantaloupe, oranges, strawberries and grapefruit all have less than 5 grams of fructose per serving and are safe whole food fruits. You want to limit your daily fructose loads to less than 15 grams of fructose. So, yes these fruits are safer options; however, you don’t want to eat a whole pint of strawberries for breakfast. For more information on daily fructose loads and how to balance your daily intake check out my Cliff Notes® on Sugar Digestion Blog.
THESE FRUITS ARE SAFE, EACH SERVING HAS LESS THAN 5 GRAMS OF FRUCTOSE:
7. Most vegetables have less than 5 grams of fructose per serving and can be safe. Our family enjoys all vegetables. We balance our daily fructose loads; eat a variety of fresh vegetables each day; and our diet goal is balance, not elimination.
My Cliff Notes® on Sugar Digestion blog explains our diet goal and has more resources on fructose loads in vegetables.
8. Avoid all processed foods until you know how to read a food label and how to avoid highly processed man-made products that are high in fructose. Check out my blog post on how to read a label. To be honest, we mostly eat real food without food labels. However, we have found food companies that are committed to making food that is minimally processed and use real whole food ingredients. Check out the spotlight section of my website for a list of products we like.
AVOID PROCESSED FOODS UNTIL YOU FEEL SAFE READING FOOD LABELS:
Check out this food label: brown rice syrup, date paste, organic cane syrup, organic dried cane syrup, organic tapioca syrup. Ask yourself, do these ingredients come from the earth? Or are they highly processed and potentially contain high levels of fructose? Should I eat something like this or choose a simple whole food?
9. It can be scary when you are first diagnosed with FMD. You can develop food fears. You don’t know what to eat. And, you are scared to eat something that makes you feel terrible. I get it. I have been there. But, remember now you are in control. Finally, after all of your struggles you have a diagnosis. You know what is making you sick. You are in charge now. Remember your gut has a voice. Listen to your gut and give it what it can digest. Start with whole foods, keep a food journal, avoid processed foods, and consult with an expert.
Everyone with Fructose Malabsorption tolerates different levels of fructose and has their own unique gut and gut voice. It is best to make a list of what feels good and what doesn’t, listen to your gut voice, and remember it is all about the daily balance.
Families Balancing Fructose Blog Posts About Fructose Malabsorption:
FODMAP: a closer look, an article about a FODMAP diet vs a FODMAP program that includes 3 phases.