Fructose is a sugar that is found naturally in fruit, some vegetables and honey, according to the American Gastroenterological Association. It is also added to soft drinks and fruit juices in the form of corn syrup, which contains highly concentrated levels of fructose. If you are watching your weight, you may be interested in keeping an eye on the amount of fructose in the food you're eating. It is particularly important to measure your fructose intake if you have an intolerance to it.
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Know your daily limits. According to Science Daily, people who consume more than 74 grams of fructose a day -- which equates to two and a half soft drinks- - are at an increased risk of developing high blood pressure. Be aware that foods that seem healthful can also contain a lot of fructose, says the University of Virginia Health System's Digestive Health Center. For example, two apples or two ounces of honey contain the same amount of fructose as one can of soft drink. Refer to Self Nutrition Data (See Resources) for a list of foods containing the highest levels of fructose.
Read food labels. Fructose combines with glucose to form sucrose, the most common form of sugar we use, according to Elmhurst College. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires that ingredients be listed on a food label using their common names, so sucrose will always appear as sugar. However, artificial and natural flavours, such as corn syrup which is high in fructose, can be included on food labels using their specific name or the more generic term.
Be aware of other names for fructose. Fructose is also called invert sugar and levulose, particularly on the label listings on drugs, says the FDA. The FDA recommends that where fructose is referred to as invert sugar, it also include the words "Fructose/Dextrose." Where it is referred to as levulose, the word "Fructose" appears immediately afterward.
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- American Gastroenterological Association: Understanding Food Allergies and Intolerances
- Science Daily: High Fructose Intake from Added Sugars: An Independent Association With Hypertension
- University of Virginia Digestive Health Center: Low Fructose Diet
- Elmhurst College: Sucrose
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Ingredient Lists
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: CPG Sec. 400.335 Fructose-Containing Drugs