Thinking about taking the plunge for a fructose free diet? Let’s start with a set of decision points: Are you fructose intolerant? Is this a medical condition or a lifestyle choice? The reason I’m asking is about the fructose in fresh fruit – you can eat fresh fruit if you’re making a lifestyle choice, but not if any fructose is poison.
Fructose Reduction as a lifestyle choice
I’m in this category of person, so eating some fructose won’t cause me pain or internal damage, I’m just trying to live a somewhat healthier lifestyle and maybe lose some weight. So reducing the overall sugar intake is important, and maybe replacing dessert with fresh fruit full of fiber like apples is a great approach.
Fructose is Poison to me
This is a more severe path, which is that ingesting fructose will cause some sort of damage. Since most recipes are full of sugar, which contains fructose, you’ll be looking to substitute glucose sweeteners for what would normally be fructose. At this point, fruit would be off the agenda since it contains fructose.
After the basic decision, which is how much fructose can you tolerate, the next issue is what is your goal of a fructose free diet – weight loss, or just eliminating (or minimizing) fructose from your diet?
My goal is to lose weight
If your goal is to lose weight, my suggestion is you consider some period of time like a month where you experiment with eating no sugar, either fructose or glucose in any form. This reduces the “sweet tooth,” and readjusts your taste buds. We’ve all become acclimated to an overdose of sweet, and I have been able to reset my taste buds so that now a little bit goes a long way. From my experience sweets are usually carried on grains so I’ve had success limiting both sweets and grains and moving toward fresh salads, vegetables and lean proteins. The result is amazing. That whole wheat toast usually carries butter and jam which really pack on the calories, whereas an omelette made with 1 egg, 1 egg white and some salsa tastes great and last for 4 hours. You’re usually sugar ‘crashing’ 90 minutes after the toast and jam….
After the month of drying out, you could re-introduce some glucose dessert once a week for intolerants, or maybe 1 apple a day for people who can tolerate fructose (if you eat fresh fruit try to maximize the fiber content, like apples). Reintroducing limited sugar allows you to satisfy the sweet tooth which has been retrained for lower glucose (or a little fructose) consumption.
My goal is to have a ‘normal’ lifestyle without fructose
This is the glucose replacement diet; in this case you’re looking to replace sugar with glucose. The cheapest form of glucose is ‘corn sugar’ NOT CORN SYRUP! It’s sold as Dextrose or Corn Sugar. This product is about 25% to 50% less sweet than fructose, so your recipes will taste less sweet. Warning for diabetics: I understand that the resulting food will spike your blood glucose.
Check the recipe section of this blog for replacement recipes and send me some of your own if you create something good.
Beware of items that contain fructose, such as sweetened chocolate! Read the ingredients at the grocery store to make sure that added sugar isn’t present.