Timeless Nutrition Tip
Lactose intolerance causes various gastrointestinal complaints in millions of Americans.
Research suggests that another sugar, fructose - found in honey, fruits and some soft drinks - can cause similar cramping, flatulence, diarrhea and bloating.
Persons who do not digest fructose normally exhale high levels of hydrogen that can be detected in a breath test. Fructose intolerance can be inherited. Hereditary fructose intolerance is a disorder in which a person inherits a lack of the protein needed to break down fructose.
Sorbitol - a sugar alcohol - is converted to fructose during normal digestion. So if you have fructose intolerance, you should avoid foods that contain fructose and sucrose as well as sorbitol.
Fructose malabsorption. People with fructose malabsorption have difficulty digesting fructose. This is a less serious disorder than intolerance, because it doesn't result in liver or kidney damage. But it can cause abdominal pain, gas, bloating and diarrhea.
If you suspect you may suffer from fructose intolerance, ask your doctor for a breath analysis.
If you find out you are, avoid foods that contain the following ingredients.
- High fructose corn syrup.
- Table sugar (sucrose).
- Confectioner's sugar or powdered sugar.
- Fruit and fruit juices.
- Regular sodas.
- Flavored water.
- Sports drinks.
- Sweetened milk or sweetened milk beverages.