Could fructose intolerance be the hidden reason for your unexplained bloat? Try this plan from integrative medical expert Dr. Aviva Romm to see if your intestines aren't properly absorbing fructose.
Step 1: Eliminate Fructose for 21 Days
This may seem counterintuitive because fruit is healthy, but this is necessary to find out the right fruit for you that doesn't cause bloat.
Some vegetables also have a complex form of fructose called fructans, so you'll want to avoid those as well. This includes veggies like artichokes, asparagus, sugar snap peas, green beans, broccoli, beans, red cabbage, onion, tomatoes and garlic. Leafy greens (except cabbage), mushrooms, potatoes and yams are all fine to include in your diet during this elimination period.
Last, make sure to look out for hidden sources of fructose. Wheat is often high in fructans, and processed foods and condiments often have loads of high-fructose corn syrup in them. Gum and many low-fat foods contain sorbitol, which makes fructose harder to digest and can cause the same fructose intolerance symptoms on its own. Check labels before you eat to make sure high-fructose corn syrup, agave syrup, molasses, and sorghum aren't listed.
Step 2: Reintroduce Low-Fructose Foods With Meals
Starting with one to two servings with a meal, keep a food log to write down how you feel immediately after you eat and then again after a few hours have passed. If you experience gas or bloating, then that specific fruit is not right for you, or your body may need a longer time to heal. Continue introducing low-fructose fruits up to higher fructose fruits to figure out what works for you.
Lowest Fructose Fruits
- Passion fruit
Lowest Fructose Veggies
- Bamboo shoots
- Bok choy
- Brussels sprouts
- White potato
High Fructose Fruits
- Dried fruits e.g., raisins, dates
- Fruit juice
- Stone fruits
High Fructose Vegetables
- Green beans
- Green peas
- Green peppers
- Sugar snap peas
- Sweet corn
If you find that you don't respond well to a certain fruit but don't want to cut it out completely, set it aside and don't try it again for a while to give your gut a rest. After time, you may find you can tolerate it again in small amounts.