Fruits are delicious, highly nutritious and natural sources of energy that fill us with vitality throughout the day.They keep us in a good mood and help us to maintain an ideal daily diet.
With fruits, vegetables and cereals it is possible to obtain a balanced and healthy diet, which is why nutritionists insist on their consumption, especially as a replacement for processed foods and foods high in refined sugar.
But what happens when these healthy sources harm us? The human organism can be extremely delicate in some aspects, which affects its proper functioning and can lead to more serious diseases or irreversible complications. Such is the case with cases of intolerance that prevent the body from taking advantage of the benefits of food.
- You may be interested in: “Annual calendar of seasonal fruits and vegetables”.
One such case is fructose intolerance, which incapacitates the ability to enjoy and benefit from the properties of fruits and some vegetables, to people who suffer from it. But… what is it and how can it affect us? In this article we will tell you all about it.
What is fructose?
However, let’s first talk about the element that can be harmful to the body: fructose.. This consists of a simple carbohydrate found in fruits, some vegetables and honey and can be found in the form of sucrose or natural sugar in these foods and for which, companies in favor of healthy eating, have used this carbohydrate to make dietary products.
Although we are consuming sugar, this does not affect us because it comes from a natural source and is not artificially manipulated and the World Health Organization agrees with this fact. However, it warns that sucrose consumption should be limited when it is used in the manufacture of processed foods or preservatives. It loses its healthy properties.
Why does fructose cause us intolerance?
It is mainly due to the inability of the small intestine to metabolize the fructose present in any food containing it.. It is a defect of the enzymes located in this organ, due to the inactivation or lack of the protein that processes the natural sugar and causing discomfort or complications of the intestinal tract, such as gas, flatulence, abdominal pain or diarrhea.
The damage caused by fructose when it is not processed and absorbed correctly, is that it mixes with the bacteria in the intestine, where it ends up fermenting and leading to the gastrointestinal alterations we have already mentioned.
Differences between hereditary intolerance and fructose malabsorption
Therefore, people suffering from this disorder of the organism must be very careful about what they eat and the amount of fructose they ingest in their daily diet.
Commonly, people can assimilate up to 35 grams of fructose in their daily diet, people can assimilate up to 35 grams of fructose per day.. But those who suffer from fructose intolerance can only tolerate 25 grams or even less.
1. Fructose malabsorption problems
This is also known as fructose malabsorption and can be reversible or not, depending on the severity of the problem. It does not usually cause serious consequences for the person who suffers from it, but it can hinder the daily routine due to gastrointestinal discomfort.
It is necessary to be in constant consultation with a specialist, to follow a diet according to the degree of the disease and to be careful with the portions of fructose consumed daily, as well as to watch the meals eaten. This is because fructose is present in many types of food.
Such as fruits, some vegetables (especially those with a sweet taste), some red fruits and processed foods.
2. Hereditary fructose intolerance
While hereditary fructose intolerance is a genetic disorder suffered by a very small number of the world’s population. In which fructose is absorbed by the cells of the intestine, but cannot be metabolized by the body, accumulating the unprocessed remains and transforming them into toxic substances in the body.
This occurs from infancy, the first time the infant comes into contact with foods containing fructose, such as prepared cereals or fruit porridges.
Causing infant weight problems, dehydration, vomiting, liver dysfunction, increased bilirubin and hypoglycemia. This leads to a more complete medical treatment and a very rigorous nutritional diet. It is possible to control it and improve it when an early diagnosis is made, that is, in the infantile stage and following medical indications.
Is it possible to consume sweeteners with this deficit?
A question that many people suffering from fructose intolerance ask themselves is whether it is possible to consume another type of sugar, since their problem lies precisely in the lack of fructose metabolism. That is to say, there are sweeteners based on other active ingredients and can refined sugar also cause harm?
The answer is yes and no, in what way? People suffering from fructose intolerance can indeed consume sweeteners that are made from other natural sweetening components, such as stevia, maltose, glucose and sucrose.
But it is advisable not to consume processed sugars, neither saccharin or its derivatives (Sucralose, sucrose), nor sorbitol and maltitol, since these can be converted into fructose once they enter the organism.
So always check the contents of sugars and their main sweeteners. For they may be stevia-based sweetened foods, but share another manufacturing active ingredient such as sorbitol.
Symptoms of fructose intolerance
It is possible to detect if you suffer from this disease by paying attention to the following symptoms.
1. Gastrointestinal discomfort
The main symptom of fructose intolerance is stomach and intestinal discomfort. Such as: abdominal pain, spasms, feeling of heaviness, abdominal bloating, vomiting, diarrhea and flatulence.
2. Low defenses
This is in terms of the low or null use of our system of the properties of foods containing natural sugars. For example: Decay, constant tiredness, lack of energy, easy contagion of other diseases and muscle weakness. problems associated with a lack of proper assimilation of nutrients, vitamins and minerals necessary for the body.
3. Changes in mood
Another very frequent symptom of fructose intolerance is mood changes, due to the fact that the intestinal tract does not absorb tryptophan, an amino acid responsible for promoting the release of serotonin in the brain.
When the synthesis of serotonin does not occur, people may suffer from irritability, mental fatigue, sadness and a negative mood in general. In the most extreme cases, this can lead to depressive diagnoses.
Care to be taken
You can control and improve this disease by following these simple tips that you should adapt and put into practice on a daily basis.
1. Consult your specialist
It is inherent to your well-being that you always be in contact with your specialist and be responsible in complying with the treatment indicated by him/her. Clarify all your doubts regarding what you can and cannot eat, the amount you can tolerate and how to have a healthy and energetic lifestyle.
2. Keep an eye on your food
It is very important that you always keep an eye on what you are buying, read the fine print on food contents and opt to buy fresh food, rather than processed foods.Read the fine print on food contents and opt to buy fresh food, rather than processed foods.
Remember that the danger lies in consuming products that have higher levels of fructose than glucose, so try to be aware of those with equal amounts of fructose and glucose or with less sorbitol content.
3. Watch your portions
Once you have done all the medical tests indicated by your specialist and you know the grams of fructose that your organism tolerates, ask which foods and how much fructose they contain, ask which foods and how much of them you can eat.. As well as the possibility of mixing several fruits or if you can only eat them separately.
Another doubt that you should solve is about the impact that the state of maturation of fruits and vegetables can affect you. Some specialists agree that the riper the product is, the greater the damage it will do, as it becomes sweeter. Therefore, they recommend eating them in their greenest state.
4. Say yes to the natural
Try to make your own meals at home, that way you can have healthy food with fresh ingredients.. You can search the web for tutorials on how to make delicious fructose-free desserts, meals and drinks.
But also be careful about the types of foods you are asked to eat in a recipe, as they may differ from what your body can tolerate.
5. Find your own balance
Be proactive! Find your own daily solution for energy by adapting and trying new habits.. This way you have the possibility to stay active and enjoy your day to day life more. for example, you can take walks in a park, go cycling, practice yoga, find a hobby, go out with friends and have a small relaxation break.
Remember to go to your doctor if you have any symptoms that may indicate an intolerance, follow their recommendations, respect your diet and generate your own energy to maintain a normal pace of life and even better than average. Don’t let this problem take over you, turn it into a goal that you can overcome.