Sunday, March 11, 2012

Low Fructose

I recently met with a different dietitian about how to eat properly on a low fructose diet. Instead of trying to be completely fructose free (or doing my best at keeping it under 2 grams per serving), I'm relieved to be on a Low Fructose Diet. The University of Virginia has a great overview of the diet.

Last week, my "Foods to Choose" from Dietitian #1 listed:
Fruits: None
Vegetables: Asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, green beans, green peppers, lettuce, spinach, wax beans, potato, potato chips (plain)

With the UVA list from Dietitian #2:
Fruits: Pineapples, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, lemons, limes, avocado, bananas, rhubarb, orange blueberry, grapefruit, grape, honeydew melon, kiwifruit, lemon, lime, passionfruit, mandarin, papaya, tangelo
Vegetables: Asparagus, cauliflower, green peppers, broccoli, leafy greens, celery, mushrooms, white potatoes, shallots, spinach, pea pods, cucumber, beans, other root vegetables

My food list increased about ten fold! I just have to monitor how much I'm each. Keep it small, space it out, listen to my gut. Fruit juice remains out. Ironically, drinking fruit juice is what was bringing me to the point of realizing I am fructose intolerant. I started religiously eating breakfast, which meant having a beverage. Only recently have I started tolerating milk alternatives straight from a glass (I grew up on Whole and 2% Milk, what a switch to watery rice milk!), so majority of the time, I had breakfast with a tall glass of 100% juice. The extra fructose from the juice left me without the fiber to properly digest it. Lots of articles online point to juice consumption as making people obese. How could I drink that juice and not put on a single pound? I stayed as skinny as ever. I've never been a stereotypical patient...

I'm excited to add a serving of approved fruit back into my diet! But more importantly, the list of vegetables is empowering! I went from being super panicked about what I was going to eat to having a much better control and game plan on eating and a ton more choices!!


  1. If you have mild FM then you may be able to do well on the list above, but I would have to say that the list is pretty expansive for someone just trying to figure out what you can and cannot tolerate. Because FM is so individual and hard to figure out what triggers one person versus the next it is usually recommended to start on a very very limited diet and then slowly add foods in so you can evaluate them one at a time.

    We find the best thing to do is to keep portions smaller in size and not have the same fruit or vegetable two days in a row ... we aim mostly to keep it spaced out by 4-5 days.

    I hope things are going well withyour diet change, but if you find you still are not quite there then there may still be foods on that list that you are sensitive to and while it's difficult to go to less food it might be helpful at first. Just keep in mind "it does get better". Those first weeks/months through the elimination diet stage were very difficult and boring as far as food went, but sticking it out helps to create a better understand of what your body can and cannot do ... sometimes ... I'm still left confused from time to time.

    In our family two of us cannot do bananas, but yet bananas are usually considered very safe. I cannot do grapefruit or kiwi. My son cannot do celery. Another thing to watch is also that many people with FM also has sensitivites to poloyls, which are in mushrooms (I cannot do mushrooms) and the skin of cucumbers (we always peel them before eating). As far as shallots go you should only eat the green part as the white contains fructans (chains of fructose). Asparagus is also know to contain fructans.

    1. Thanks Steph! I have relatively mild FM. Majority of my symptoms went away after fruit juice was eliminated. I have really been following the low fructose diet from the original dietitian more - in one month, my fruit intake was one lemon and one lime. I've had veggies with up to 2 grams of sugar.

      I appreciate the advice - I'm going to try to vary my diet some more. It is hard to do when cooking for one! I'm used to cooking 3 or 4 meals for the week - with loads of repeats.