Happy & Fructose Free

Spreading Hope for Anyone Affected by Fructose Malabsorption

Formal Food List

Hello Fructose Free Folks!

This food list is from my Dietitian, and is significantly less scary than some of the other lists you can find online.  But, before diving in…

Please know that this will be a major transition in your life.  And even though my ultimate OK food list will not be the same as yours, rest completely assured that you have an ally who sincerely understands how huge of a challenge this is.  You are not alone on this journey :)

There is a lot of conflicting information out there about what is and is not okay for us Fructose Malabsorbers  to eat.  Ultimately you need to find your own Happy Foods List and that means a lot of trial and error.  Even though I am not a certified food expert, I do love talking about food and I have a darn good shoulder to cry on.

Check out the formal food list below, but now that I’ve done this awhile here are some of my best posts that I bet will help you too.

–> What I’ve Learned in my First Year: http://happyandfructosefree.com/2013/05/10/what-ive-learned-in-my-first-year/

–>  The Meat Carb & Dairy Trap: http://happyandfructosefree.com/2013/07/13/the-meat-carb-dairy-trap-a-world-without-fruits-veggies/

–> When You Can’t Control The Menu: http://happyandfructosefree.com/2013/11/25/holiday-food-adventures-merriment-with-minimal-bloating/

Email me anytime: happyfructosefree@gmail.com

Here we go…


Happy List:  Barley malt syrup, Brown rice syrup, Corn syrup (Not High Fructose!), Dextrin, Dextrose/Glucose, Glycogen, Isomaltose, Lactose, Maltodextrin, Maltose, Moducal, Polycose, & Sucrose (which is CANE SUGAR!!!)

Best to Avoid List: Agave syrup or nectar, Brown sugar, Caramel, Fructose, High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), Honey, Invert sugar, Karo corn syrups, Levulose, Maple syrup, Molasses, & Palm sugar.

For more information on sugars, please check out the note at the bottom of the page :)


Happy List:  Aspartame (Equal, Nutrasweet), Saccharin (Sweet-n-Low), Sugar Twin & Sweet One, & (**from my personal testing**) Stevia in the Raw  *For my take on this controversial section, please check out the comments at the bottom*  

Best to Avoid List: Artificial Sweeteners like Sucralose (Splenda) or Sugar Alcohols like Erythroytol, Hydrogenated starch hydrosalate, Isomalt, Lactatol, Lactitol, Maltitol, Mannitol, Sorbitol, & Xylitol.


Happy List:  Salt, Pepper, and any other spices NOT on the Avoid List.  My personal “must-haves” are Basil, Oregano, Cinnamon, Cumin & White Pepper :) *Choose name brand products to avoid sugar fillers*

Best to Avoid List: Chervil, Coriander, Dill weed, Garlic (All Forms), Ginger, Hot chili pepper, Onion (All Forms), Parsley, & Pumpkin pie seasoning (because of the ginger).


Happy List:  *1-2 servings/week @ 1/4 to 1/2 cup*  Avocado, Cranberries, Lemons, Limes, & Rhubarb.

Happy List:  *After 4-6 weeks being Fructose Free, test tolerance with*  Strawberries, Raspberries, & Oranges.

Best to Avoid List: All other fruits, including Tomatoes, Apples, Pears, & Grapes.  This includes fruit juices.


Happy List:  *2-4 servings/day @ 1/4 to 1/2 cup*  Celery, Chives, Endive, Escarole, Fava beans, Mushrooms, Mustard greens, Peas in pods, Potatoes (white, yellow & red) Spinach, Swiss chard & Turnip greens.

Happy List:   *2 servings/week @ 1/4 to 1/2 cup* Asparagus, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage (raw & white), Cauliflower, Cucumber (raw), Green beans, Green peppers (raw), Leeks (cooked), Iceberg lettuce, Radishes (raw), Summer squash, Watercress & Zucchini.

Best to Avoid List: Beets, Carrots, Corn, Eggplant, Onions, Peas canned, Sweet potatoes, Tomatoes, Turnips & Winter squash.


Happy List:  *Lactose is similar to Fructose, and may need to be limited or avoided for individuals who find they are sensitive.* Plain milk/Lactaid, Dry milk, Cheeses (other than veined), Buttermilk, Whey & Yogurt (plain, and lemon or vanilla sweetened with aspartame or dextrose).

Best to Avoid List: Chocolate milk, Sweetened milk beverages, Sweetened condensed milk, & Yogurt sweetened with fruit, Splenda or HFCS.


Happy List:  Eggs, Chicken, Turkey, Beef, Pork, Veal, Lamb, Fish & Shellfish (*beware of any and all seasonings that frequently come with protein*)Soy in the form of tofu (1/4 block) or soy protein isolates should be OK, but I think its a good idea to keep an eye on your soy consumption since it can also cause gastrointestinal distress.

Best to Avoid List: Ham, Bacon, Lunch meats and any other meat where sugar or honey is used in the processing & any commercially breaded meats.  (I’ve had luck with bacon recently, so I thought I’d share. Turkey bacon and even the pre-cooked kinds are readily available without any unhappy spices or sweeteners.  Just be vigilant.)


Happy List:  Beans (1/4 cup of Garbanzo, Lima & Mung beans), Lentils (1/4 cup), Pistachios (2-3 Tbsp.) Flaxseeds (2-3 Tbsp.), Pumpkin seeds (1 Tbsp.) Sesame seeds (2 Tbsp.) Tahini (1 Tbsp.) & Poppyseeds.

Best to Avoid List: All nuts other than pistachios, and all beans & not previously listed.


Happy List:  *5 servings/day @ 1 oz servings*  White bread made without fructose, Corn meal (degermed) Rice crackers, English muffins, Flour tortillas, Cooked cereals (Barley, Cream of Wheat, Grits, Grouts & Plain Oatmeal), Ready-to-Eat Cereals (Puffed rice & Puffed wheat), White pasta, white rice, Amaranth (1/4 cup cooked or 2 Tbsp raw), Millet (1/4 cup cooked or 2 Tbsp raw) & White flour.

Happy List:  *2 servings/day @ 1 oz servings*  Whole grain bread made without fructose, Shredded wheat, Ready-to-Eat Oat Cereals, Whole wheat pasta, Brown rice, Chow mein noodles, Rye or wheat crackers.

Best to Avoid List:  Grains containing fruit, fructose, fruit juice, coconut & any nut other than pistachios, Saltine crackers, Sugar-coated cereals, Flavored oatmeal, Cereals containing germ or untolerated sugars.


Happy List:  Butter, Margarine, Oil, Homemade mayo or French dressing made without sugar

Best to Avoid List: Mayonnaise, Salad dressings made with sugar (and keep an eye out for onion and garlic).


Happy List:   Mustard (certain varieties like Heinz do not contain any garlic powder), and Vinegars such as Distilled white, Rice & some Balsamics. Worcestershire sauce (be certain of the ingredients before purchasing) &.  Ranch & Cesar salad dressings if dairy is tolerated.

Best to Avoid List: Ketchup/Catsup, Chili sauce, & Soy sauce


Happy List:  Water, Carbonated mineral water, Milk, Coffee, Tea, Diet carbonated beverages – dark colored, Cranberry juice (pure, sweetened with allowed sweeteners), & Sugar-free powdered drinks

Best to Avoid List: All commercially prepared fruit juices, Fruit drinks, Cider, Vegetable juice with untolerated veggies, Sweetened beverages, Diet citrus-based carbonated beverages, & Chocolate milk sweetened with HFCS.


Happy List:  *Limit to 1 oz. servings*  Gin, Rum, Vodka (from grain or potato), Whiskey, & Wine (dry & white)

Best to Avoid List: Beer & Sweet wine

70 responses to “Formal Food List

  1. chuck says:

    You put in happy list, “Sucrose (which is CANE SUGAR!!!)”. and put brown sugar in to void list. BOTH are from cane sugar and both contain fructose. Sucrose is half fructose and glucose. How did you get your info? I wonder if the rest info would still be correct.

    • Chuck, thank you for bringing this very confusing issue to light! You are absolutely correct that sucrose is half fructose and half glucose. This sweet 1:1 ratio of Fructose:Glucose makes our troublesome fructose easier to digest, which makes cane sugar OK for we Fructose Malabsorbers to enjoy (in moderation, of course). Please see the second paragraph in this link, and note that glucose = dextrose: ~ http://web.archive.org/web/20050205093436/http://www.uihc.uiowa.edu/FRUCTOSE/LivingwithDFI.htm ~ Hopefully sometime in the future we will be able to use dextrose as a digestive aid in the same way that those with lactose intolerance can take a simple lactase pill.

      You are also correct that sucrose is involved in both cane sugar and brown sugar. However, sucrose is not why brown sugar is on the “Avoid List.” It is actually the molasses that is added to the sucrose, which gives brown sugar its color and added moisture. Molasses, which is also on the Avoid List, adds extra fructose to the normally happy 1:1 F/G Ratio of sucrose. Those un-bonded fructose molecules go undigested in our bodies and proceed to cause the symptoms that we all know and dread.

      As for the source of my food list… it was given to me by a Registered Dietitian on “Day 2” of my new adventure. I have done a lot of research on this digestive disorder since then, and during my numerous hours/days/weeks of digging I actually stumbled across the exact same list. Here is the link to the web archives of the University of Iowa: Health Care. ~ http://web.archive.org/web/20050204162723/www.uihc.uiowa.edu/FRUCTOSE/DietBasics.htm ~

      This archived site uses older terms like “Dietary Fructose Intolerance,” but, being an educational institution, they are certainly reputable. One cannot deny the thoroughness of their information looking around their website, and since Fructose Malabsorption is one gigantic “gray area” we as a society may continue to learn more about our disorder but there will still be truth in this information, current or not.

      I hope these answers clarify some of your questions and please feel free to email me at happyfructosefree@gmail.com if there is anything else that I can do to help you achieve a state of happiness while living with Fructose Intolerance.

      • nyx says:

        Hi, I also was curious about why molasses is different from table sugar, since table sugar is made from molasses. However, I think I know why now. I thought I would share what I think in case it is helpful to someone. It’s kind of inherently confusing. What I think is that sugar cane really is MOSTLY sucrose (i.e., that perfect 1:1 ratio of glucose and fructose). However, there is a tiny bit more fructose than glucose in there. There is a chart on the paleodiet.com that gives hard numbers and you can see that molasses is MOSTLY sucrose, yet has a little free fructose as well. I think that when table sugar is created, only the crystals remain. I never did well in chemistry, but my guess is that only the sucrose will form these crystals. Molasses is by definition what is left over from that process of crystalizing out table sugar — or perhaps it is the solution just before the crystalizing is complete. At that point, it’s going to have the free fructose still in there. There is also free glucose as well, but it is not quite as much as the free fructose. Thus, I suspect that how much molasses impacts you will depend upon how much you ingest. A tiny bit might not make much difference, but a whole bunch of gingerbread cookies might add up to quite a bit “free” fructose. That’s my theory. I think honey is a similar situation. There is a large amount of glucose in there, but for some people or in large quantities, just not quite enough to make it “safe.”

      • I completely agree with your assessment. Nice work!

  2. Emily says:

    This is a very helpful list! Actually, it is the most helpful list of all the ones I have come across since my son was diagnosed with fructose intolerance. I really appreciate your posting this! Thanks!

  3. Michelle says:

    I love checking out websites like this, it’s great to know I’m not alone!

    However I’m a little confused about the list…under the nuts heading you have listed pistachios as a happy food and all other types of nuts as best to avoid. My dietitian, and a number of FODMAP books/articles that I have read, told me quite the opposite and this is really worrying. There are a few others I don’t agree with, but as you said our happy lists will never be identical to anyone else’s.

    The lesson here is to make sure you see a dietitian before you completely change your diet, but this does act as a nice guide :)

  4. Aspartame is one of the worst synthetic chemicals ever devised by human kind. It delivers small amounts of methonal when digested which build up cumulatively in the body. Essentially, a person who consumes this on a regular basis over a period of time is slowly poisoning their body. Approved by the FDA who were doing their mate and Aspartame investor, Donald Rumsfield, a favour as an economic weapon to smash america’s reliance on imported HFCS and sugar, replacing it with an american lab produced compound. No official FDA trials or assessment was ever made. Avoid at all costs (not so happy after all)

    • Very interesting information, and thank you for posting it! It may surprise you that I agree 100% and there is a ton of info out there about Splenda and Agave being terrible in their own ways also.

      ** The moral of the story… we all need to reduce our sweetener consumption. Across the board, 100%.**

      Now, that being said, since Fructose Malabsorbers, like myself, only have a couple choices for sweeteners, I am not going to throw away the Equal in my pantry. Why? Because I am a recovering sugar addict and I’m trying to lose a few pounds. Aspartime serves a purpose in my life, and like any other addiction, it hurts your body but you still enjoy it.

      If I’m going to die of something, I want it to be sweet :-) Everything in moderation, but enjoy it wholeheartedly so you feel satisfied, and always be aware addiction.

      Happiness (i.e. sweetener) in moderation for all!

    • Barb says:

      Right on the money, Michael Alberts! I cannot believe the advice given out here by a dietitian.

      • Barb, I do understand that Aspartame is not the most healthy choice and I appreciate you taking the time to comment on my blog. But along with smoking, tanning, and eating highly processed foods, there are many dangerous choices to be made in our universe. I stand by my response to Michael Alberts and since I don’t smoke or tan, always wear a seat-belt, and live a pretty healthy lifestyle, I believe I can pick my poison and I want it to be sweet.

        I’m not sure what your food situation is, but I can tell you when my food universe got turned upside-down with my diagnosis I was very “happy” to have the familiar sweetness of diet soda and sugar free Jello in my life. It took me a long time to figured out what else I could eat to find peace with my tummy, and it was very frustrating. My choice is not super healthy, but it makes me happy and it could certainly be worse.

        THE GREAT NEWS! I have tested my tolerance with Stevia in the Raw, and I have had no issues at all. I am adding it to my Happy List, right now :)

        I sincerely wish you the best of luck! Whatever the “poisons” in your life that bring you joy, always remember to enjoy in moderation!

  5. C Gust says:

    My daughter just got diagnosed with this. What about a Stevia sweetener?

    • Thank you for checking into my blog, and I am happy to help you and your daughter in any way that I can. In regards to your question, I must say that I have just started testing my tolerance with Stevia (as the result of your question), so I do not now how it fits into my puzzle yet. I haven’t had any major tummy aches so far, so as I classify things, Stevia In The Raw would be under “not the worst idea I’ve ever had.” :)

      What I do know… as I was searching through the off brands and Stevia based sweeteners in my grocery store I laughed out loud! EVERY SINGLE ONE had a different combo of ingredients… Stevia In The Raw, I decided was the safest with the ingredients being Maltodextrin & Stevia Leaf Extract.

      Walmart’s Off-Brand “Equate” and name brand “Truvia,” which has very pretty packaging and nice commercials, both have a very bad ingredient for FMers… Erythritol (the first ingredient for both) is a sugar alcohol. You can tell because it ends in “-tol” and they are VERY hard to digest.

      I always stick with sucrose/table sugar whenever I can because I know it is safe. I also use aspartame occasionally and now have Stevia In The Raw to play with also.

      Best of luck to you and your daughter, and if you have any other questions or need to find a way to make a recipe FM-Friendly please email me at happyfructosefree@gmail.com :)

    • Marius Aglen says:

      I regarded terrible to stevia, but I think people are different, but I’d not try it in big doses, + it tastes awful, at least for me.

      Much better success with Dextrose sugar. (but that’s probably not as “healthy”).

      • I also handle dextrose better, and the only things that make it “unhealthy” are that it breaks down in the gut very quickly (why it’s easier for us to digest) and it is higher in calories. Dextrose certainly serves a purpose, but all sweeteners are unhealthy. Honey isn’t a health food and neither is Stevia, but the less processed a sweetener is the fewer ingredients it will have and that is always the better choice… in moderation of course. My newest preferred sweetener is pure maple syrup. Higher in fructose than glucose? Yes, but I only need a little bit whenever I use it so it doesn’t affect my tummy at all. Thank you for you comment & best of luck to you!

  6. Barb says:

    Hi there, my comments were nothing to do with you personally. I am a nutritionist and it is very sad when I read that you paid for advice from a dietician that is happy to add carcinogenic chemicals to your so called “happy list”. If this isn’t plain ignorance on your dieticians part, I would say it is grossly irresponsible.
    Do the research for yourself, there is plenty of information out there. I am very pleased you have found Stevia to your liking. A much wiser choice :D

  7. Ann says:

    I’ve been diagnosed with IBS for 30 yrs. I now believed I’m fructose intolerant . I no I’m lactose what a relief to think this could make a difference to my life. I just about live on bread and butter.

  8. Pat Erskine says:

    I am newly diagnosed with Lactose and Fructose intolerance and my head is spinning. I have not had my consultation with the dietician yet so will reserve making any decisions about your suggestions until I have done that. That being said, it is nice to know I can bounce things off you and others who have more experience with this disorder than I do. I know the next few months are going to be very challenging.


  9. Kirsty says:

    I am going to say this but this site is totally wrong u got a lot of fake sweetener in happy list and aspartame is bad for u actually. I, on nutrition plan that checks everything ingredient and agave sweetener is safe not avoid either wise if it was not safe then would be using

  10. Aleda says:

    why are saltines on the “best to avoid” list? The ingredients on saltines are so simple, and I don’t see anything that would include fructose?

    I’m newly diagnosed with fructose-malabsorption (doctor said intolerance??), and its my first year at college, so it’s especially hard to get a handle on this. Your website has helped quite a bit. Thank you so much <3

  11. Leslie says:

    Hi! Thank you so much for this list! My daughter has just been diagnosed with Fructose Malabsorption and Lactose Intolerance. She already has Crohn’s disease so just as I figured out how to eat for that, this new diet was thrown at us. My head is spinning and quite frankly I feel like sitting down to cry! Your list at least gives me things to start with. I am concerned about how to cook for her and how to send snacks to school for her. Any suggestions would be awesome! Also, my Gastro. doctor told us that Aspartame was fine in small doses so I appreciate that you put it on the list. :)

    • rana says:

      Hi my daughter also has colitis, fructose malabsorption and cant have lactose and allergic to chicken and oats. She is 4 years old. Please lets communicate on noosa.84@hotmail.com we can help each other I have some easy good safe recipes and you can share ur experience with me so both can benifit

  12. Alice says:

    I’ve always had stomach issues and recently it’s been getting worse. My boss told me to go get checked out for IBS as it’s started to affect my job (as a teacher I can’t really leave the classroom) …I thought I would check online and fructose malabsorbtion came up and it fits perfectly … I’ve never been able to eat grapes without awful bloating and recently to try and stop my Cocacola dependency I started drinking a lot more fruit juice and that’s when my issues started getting really bad!! so when I found out about fructose malabsorbtion lots of light bulbs started going off!! then reading this I noticd pork products were in your avoid list… I’ve never been able to eat pork products and thought it was just some weird family thing (my Dad can’t eat poultry) but maybe it all fits together!!
    Thank you so much for this very helpful list !!

    • Kate says:

      There are so many conflicting views on fructose malabsorption. My dietician said tomatoes are ok in moderation but you have them on the avoid list? I was also told to avoid beans but you have them on the safe list? So confusing :(

      • It is very confusing. This list is not the Be-All-End-All list, and you have to test your gut to see what agrees with you. I eat tomato paste and tomato all the time… in very small quantites. If I overindulge then I bloat and will try again in a few days or a week once my enzymes have recovered. I have to watch my beans also, but I can have a serving of black beans at my local burrito joint without issue. I just stay away from the tortillas and any onions.

  13. emsundy says:


    Thank you so much for putting this together. I’ve actually converted it to my own excel spreadsheet to log my own tolerance and move things around if needed :-)… But I have a few questions… Can you elaborate on:

    1. Nuts – I love almonds (raw). What is the problem here?
    2. Beer – SOS, anything ok?
    3. Corn – I know corn is not great for us, but what about Corn Starch, Corn Flours
    4. Coconut – Any testing here? Coconut is one of my favorite things (water, oil, nectar, flour).
    5. Syrups – Tapioca, etc

    Sorry for the overwhelming list – any advice is appreciated! :-)


  14. Jayne says:

    My view is the following:- What we are talking about here is living with Fructose intolerance. Of which I suffer with on and off. (largely depending on how well behaved I am) The point here is it is difficult to live with and while the commenters are correct in the fact that aspartame etc is bad for us, under these circumstances, for some it solves a problem. The dietician is not giving advice on a “healthy diet” for weight loss or even to improve your health in general, she is giving solutions that will be a lesser evil than not coping with the situation. I never have diet drinks for example, but when my skin on the back of my hands flares up, I know I need to be fructose, dairy, yeast and wheat free. And yes on a night out for example, I may have diet coke or lemonade with my vodka, steak and salad.

  15. Chrissa says:

    My daughter is battling this now and a teenager withou sugar is making us all grouchy. Her biggest concern is cottage cheese. It’s her snack love. She is wondering how much, if any, she can have.

    • I love cottage cheese too. Since it is lactose (dairy sugar) you could purchase some Lactase to help aid the digestion (but watch out for the flavored/chewable ones since they have sugar alcohols). Moderation is key till she can determine her definite “no” foods. Mine are onions and HFCS, other than that everything is fine in small quantities including fruit. Best of luck!

  16. Jennifer D. says:

    thank you for sharing. I was recently diagnosed with this and lactose intolerance so my world is upside down.!! I’m going thru chocolate withdrawal, and even tried carob chips . Saldy they had beet sugar and I blew up:( Its glad to know I’m not alone.

    • I would recommend trying Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips. Dairy, soy, nut & gluten free and 100% awesome! Gotta watch the quantity though since they aren’t sugar free…

      Best of luck!

  17. Posy T says:

    Hi there…I found your blog this morning (Australia) when looking for a list of Fructose free foods, and have signed up for yr weekly emails…as others have said “thanks for posting your ideas, tests on yourself and other experiences you’ve had with food ~ an everyday adventure!!!

    My story ~ I was very overweight back in early 80’s and had a gastric stapling done, (now in hindsight a huge mistake) and after initial settling in period where I ate small amounts of blended food I soon got fed up and started eating normal foods, and later on even though to eat chocolate and sugar made me really sick, I persisted and soon could eat it without the awful nausea ….talk about cutting off my nose to spite my face: the weight went on and then off again when I had various “light bulb moments and sometimes we do have them just in the nick of time to perhaps save ourselves” and then approx 15 yrs later was diagnosed with diabetes, and was told then by a very tactless doc that “you know you could have avoided this don’t you?” too late since the doc told me I’d had it for about 6 months and not known ~ despite my having periodic blood tests to see! Diabetes strongly in my family – 2 siblings with type 1 – and both parents had it in theirs…..

    Anyway since then have been on the diabetes meds rollercoaster ride, with pretty much high sugar levels no matter what I ate…..metformin for approx 18 yrs, which attacks your liver (this is my understanding) some insulin for a few years during which I stacked on the weight so took myself off the insulin against docs wishes, as when you take insulin nothing you do removes weight, again my experience – I have peripheral neuropathy too (numbness in feet – no cure of course and no meds either- prob a good thing) – results of long term diabetes, and during the last 30 or so years have continuous food intolerances to just about everything to eat in our world !!! lactose intolerance, grain intolerance, of course any sugar intolerance, can’t eat any carbs without affecting sugar levels, can’t really eat “whole fruit things” without huge effects on bsl’s, (also no carrots, no sweet potatoes, no white potatoes, no tomatoes only in v small occasional amounts, and the list goes on…but like you sometimes I just do it)…so basically I can’t eat much of anything – I tried the chia seeds too in salads but ended up being really bloated ~ so, only in small quantities even though it’s a seed?, also the same with quinoa …..am currently wondering whether to have “gastric sleeve” done ~ would this solve my issues or just make things worse???

    I did a 30 day juice fast about 6 months ago, and although my bsl’s went down to 4.9 very briefly for about a day when almost at the end of the 30 days they didn’t stay there. While juicing I had to stay off fruit and sweet veg as if I had the purple carrots and celery, spinach, kale, and of course ginger as I love ginger and have it all the time, (obviously now I see it’s full of fructose and a big no no :( ), and OMG pineapple in my morning juice then really high readings 2 hrs afterwards….so my juicing experience wasn’t hugely successful either….As soon as I started eating again (a whole food as grown diet full of salads and whole foods) they went right back up!

    the blood sugar level’s are a huge cause of distress and depression to me and every morning comes the question, what can I have for breakfast? Well this depends on my fasting reading!!! Yay….and the whole thing starts again…I have an agreement with my doc that I don’t see the “diabetic educator” since I know more about what I can eat than they do, and also they advise us to eat terrible processed foods that are artificially sweetened, like “low fat, sweetened yoghurt, which goes straight thru me and sends me running to the bathroom…sometimes my favourite room in the whole house…lol.” but although these things are full of aspartame etc (sugar alcohols) which we know do terrible things to us, sometimes we say to ourselves that it’s ok to have a little when you are really desperate to “eat something anything” = I don’t have a strong sugar craving any more but make sweet things for my darling husband who says to me….” I don’t want to be a vegan, vegetarian, no sugar, or obsessed with my diet constantly”, and I really don’t blame him….”

    He consistently says to me when I make something for him “can you have some?” to which I readily reply while looking him in the eye….. “yes, in moderation”…and he is happy with that…what a dear sweet man. These diet intolerances are a nightmare for the cook, which in this case is me, and I have found that although I get easily depressed by limitations, mine, I can find reasons to be positive and happier thinking about what I can have rather than the have nots – and let’s face it there is always someone worse off than ourselves….luckily for me and my limitations I have a very strong constitution which not only I have found for myself in that I am still alive and breathing, despite all my food adventures every day, am relatively healthy but also have been told by irridoligists (sorry prob wrong spelling) that this is so…I keep on trucking, but yes my mind reels most days and I am in a total spin most of the time, and don’t want to be obsessed with everything that I put in my mouth…It makes me into a really boring friend to be around…who no one wants to know….

    I haven’t written this tolstoy long (sorry) post for any one to be sorry for me as I am determined to not be sorry for myself, as I feel it’s all about self acceptance, but just to say we all have our issues and it’s how I deal with it at every meal, that makes me the person that I am….and that there are so many of us out there, it’s wonderful to know that “we are not alone!”

    Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day!!!

    • Karen (Suzanne) Buck says:

      I also have type 2 diabetes and fructose malabsorption and I am also the cook, so I sympathize very much. My daughter and I are trying to start a local support group for people with fruct mal. At least that is a place where we will be able to go and talk about it without boring everyone! We are going to try to find some local restaurants that have good ingred. lists and are cooperative in trying to be helpful to us. Good luck with your search for answers for this scourge.

      • Starting a local support group is a great idea! And I’ve had very good luck at restaurants as long as they can find an ingredient list.

        My priority list in short: go gluten free or check bread for HFCS, remove any condiments/dressings and bring your own (I usually scout the menu online before trying a new restaurant and pick my top 3 entrées, then I check them), identify if there are onions and if it can be made without, and always remember to bring dextrose candies and a lactose pill in case of over indulgence or a potential food misstep.

        That’s my restaurant check list for my particular FM gut. Is yours similar/different?

  18. Posy T says:

    ps…I have been using coconut sugar until recently to sweeten things, but now just use cinnamon and pure vanilla powder to sweeten homemade goodies – just leaving out the fruit = have found the cinnamon does a fantastic job – in pancakes that taste like they are full of sugar – Yay!!!

  19. damien says:

    Onions and garlic on the avoid list? I will be catering for a friend who is fructose intolerant in the coming days. Are onions and garlic a big no no?

    • First of all, kudos for doing the research on your friend’s dietary needs. Everyone is different so I would check with your friend to be sure, but for me a little garlic is just fine. However, if i have any onion any my night is over very quickly.

      Best of luck for a successful event!

  20. damien says:

    thanks for your reply. I have contacted my friend and she will eat onion and garlic but it might make her tummy make loud sounds, that’s all. She is happy for us to use it in this case.

  21. mariposa says:

    Thank you for sharing. Happy List: Beans (1/4 cup of Garbanzo, Lima & Mung beans), Lentils (1/4 cup): raw or cooked?

    • I don’t eat too many beans, but I do know that the natural sugars in foods can be modified depending on the cooking method. That being said, cooked or raw, the fructose in these foods shouldn’t vary too much between them. Just enjoy, see how your tummy reacts and adjust quantity accordingly.

      Best of luck!

  22. Karen says:

    Hi, like so many of us, I went through a couple of years of tests and negative outcomes in an effort to determine what was wrong with me. It wasn’t until I had a large amount of honey at one time, that I became violently ill,bloating, pain vomiting, etc that I was able to determine what was wrong with me. I googled “Honey Vomiting” and there is was – something I had never heard of “fructose malabsorption”. My life has improved hugely since. I like so many, are still learning my particular tolerances. All this said, I am so happy simply not to be all alone with this. I found your blog, and see people talking about FM. In Canada, no one has ever heard of this, testing is nonexistent. But I know what I have. Finally. Thank you for your guideance.

    • Suzan Munro says:

      Karen, you are so right that Canada has nonexistent testing for fructose malabsorption and intolerance! I had extreme symptoms and couldn’t figure them out until I did research and diagnosed myself. I don’t know which I have though. I asked the doctor for a lab test for fructose intolerance. When I got to the lab, they asked me what the doctor had said about diabetes. The lab request said glucose intolerance. They also said if I wanted a fructose intolerance test I would have to go up to the hospital, where they would have to order the test, and I would have to pay for it. I avoid foods I know to cause me pain already, so maybe one day I’ll explain the difference in the tests to my doctor.

  23. miche brown says:

    Fructose malabsorption testing is done in Hamilton Ontario

  24. miche brown says:

    To be more specific , the test is done at Hamilton Health Science , in Hamilton Ontario , it must be done in Toronto also .

  25. […] Formal Food List | Happy & Fructose Free – Hello Fructose Free Folks! This food list is from my Dietitian, and is significantly less scary than some of the other lists you can find online…. […]

  26. Steven turner says:

    Thanks for your knowledge. My 6 yr old girl is fructose intolerant and we are always battling her foods drinks etc because she is still suffering with constipation. Do know any alternatives for sauces because we used to have Spag Bol, pasta in a sauce and other meats etc with sauces but now everything seems to be dry? Any ideas are much appreciated

  27. Zo jolango says:

    Why should we avoid all nuts?

  28. Laura says:

    Love this site and your happy list is a great place to start for “testing” what works for an individual. I was diagnosed a year ago and it is overwhelming to find HFCS in everything. Then to find out garlic and onion makes me sick too?! Ugh. There is no black and white in fructose intolerance. I sure wish there was an easier way, but there isn’t. I know you are helping a lot of people so I just wanted to say thank you.

  29. Dee-Dee says:

    Hello I am new to all of this and I am so happy that I stumbled across your blog, I haven’t received my information from my doctor’s office yet but I truly want to start feeling better so thank God for google. Thank you and you are now saved as a favorite.

  30. Mollye says:

    I recently was told about a study on a group of depression patients who were halved, one group was allowed fructose in their diet and one group was not. The doctors discovered that some of the patients were simply fructose intolerant. I’m going to try going fructose free to see if it helps.

  31. jack hutton says:

    Hi my name is jack my nephew is turning 21 and would love to be able to give him a bottle of drink to celebrate his birthday he has fractocemia and has no tollerance what so ever to any types of sugars except glucose, his body is missing a crucial enzyme in his liver that if his body absorbs these forbidden sugars in any way his organs shut down and he goes into a coma and is a life threatning illness. Is there any drinks out there I can be assures he can have. Thanks for the help.

    • Gosh, I’m so sorry about your nephew’s very serious condition. I’m not familiar with fractocemia and I’m not certain about the sugar content in different types of alcohol.

      Your safest bet would be to avoid them, but I’d guess that your hard and clear liquors would be the best bet if your nephew is willing to risk trying something. I’m a fan of gin and tonic.

      Best of luck!

  32. Gill malon says:

    I have noticed since iv tried eating health by eating apples, banana , loads berries dried like currant sultanas cranberry Mixtec fruit and honey in my tea breakfast plus loads peppers in salad, plus iv bin putting chilli powder in things to speed metabolism. Iv noticed iv bin very bloated and had a lot of wind and gas, my stomache can be very painful to and bin constipated then diarhoar could you please advise me if I’m fractose intolerance? Thank you

    • First things first, you should check with a gastroenterologist. Bloating is no good, but you can experiment with your diet if you feel comfortable.

      Check out some books on IBS. I’m sure you will find them very helpful.

      Best of luck on your food jouney!

  33. sylvia says:

    Hi there this site is good puts it more simply, but im still struggling as this is all knew to me. as someone else asked about alternative to sauces ect help ? also perhaps im not understanding fully but what do you put on ya toast are all spreads out ie jam marmalade ect please help my head is in a spin as to figuring out all the ingredients ??

    • I love jam on toasted gluten free bread. There are 3 keys for me with jam… 1.) No high fructose corn syrup. 2.) Only natural readable ingredients. 3.) Moderation. Moderation. Moderation.

      Check at your local health foods store or farmers market. Jam is pretty easy to make too but I haven’t been that ambitious.

  34. sylvia says:

    Many thanks

  35. […] Formal food list | happy & fructose free […]

  36. […] Formal food list | happy & fructose free […]

  37. Kristen says:

    I wanted to thanm you for this list, especially the alcohols. Ive had fructose malabsorption for 7 years, as well as a severe milk allergy my whole life and an allergy to beef. I’ve found it very difficult to live with mainly because I love to cook and its next to impossible to cook without onions and garlic! Ive found I can tolerate garlic and I use shallots, which seem to be fine. Now my greatest struggle is eating healthy while avoiding fructose. You are supposed to eat whole grains and fruits and vegetables, and I cant. Do you have any suggestions? I also know recently I havent been watching what I eat and have had a lot of sauces so Im trying to find a balance again. Any help you have would be wonderful!

  38. Ina says:

    Does fruit tea / fruit tea infusion contain any fructose? I heard only the good stuff of the fruit leaks into the water. Does the infused water contain fructose too afterwards?

  39. jam says:

    molasses is a byproduct of sugar refining–hasn’t anyone toured a sugar plantation in Hawai’i? it is what is left after making white sugar. brown sugar is brown because it is Less Refined and thus, still contains some molasses.

  40. Leslie Crawford says:

    my comment is that I have a serious allergy to corn so half of the stuff on the list I can’t eat. My food allergies also include anything with ose on the end, ie sucrose, dextrose, lactose, glucose, and combinations and mutations of these sugars. It would be REALLY helpful to find a list of foods like yours that contain no sugars whatsoever. Is this even possible. Signed running out of things that I can eat and not get sick.

  41. Marykate says:

    Hey! Just found out I have a deficiancy to tolerate fructose, does vegetable oil contain fructose??

  42. Tammy says:

    I was just diagnosed today with fructose intolerance. I have to make an appointment with a dietitian to be educated on this. Thanks for your posts…I appreciate all you do to help and I’ve just begun this journey.

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