Erythritol, xylitol, and stevia: an answer to fructose intolerance?

People with a fructose intolerance are often reluctant to consume foods containing sucrose, the chemical name for table sugar, since the compound consists of 50% fructose (and 50% glucose). Instead, sufferers opt for expensive sugar substitutes that are often specifically marketed as fructose-free alternatives. Here we take a closer look at three substitutes – xylitol, erythritol, and stevia – and assess their pros and cons compared to regular household sugar.


Common misconceptions about sorbitol intolerance

When you’re researching sorbitol intolerance online, you‘ll probably encounter a lot if unreliable information. We give you an overview about the most important facts and clear up some common misconceptions.

Dried fruit can contain high amounts of sorbitol.

Possible causes for irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic disease of the intestine that causes recurrent abdominal pain and discomfort. In the Western world 10–20 % of the population are affected.


How the low FODMAP diet can be used to manage IBS

More and more, the low FODMAP diet is successfully used for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. And with the proper guidance it can easily be adopted: By avoiding certain carbohydrates that cause problems when eaten in large quantities you can significantly reduce the stress on your digestive tract. We explain the principles of this approach as well as its limits.

Onions FODMAPs

A small sugar compendium: fructose, sorbitol and FODMAP explained

If you suffer from certain kinds of carbohydrate malabsorption you are often confronted with names of chemical compounds – it is often very easy to become confused. Therefore, we put together a small compendium that can be used, whenever needed.

Simple sugars

Glucose, a simple sugar, is the most important energy source in humans. It is readily absorbed in the small intestine. It is also known as grape sugar, corn sugar or dextrose.
Fructose FODMAP
Fructose is a simple sugar that is slowly absorbed in the small intestine. The absorption rate is highest when equal amounts of glucose and fructose are present. When the amount of excess fructose is too high, fructose can reach the colon where it is fermented by bacteria.
Galactose is a simple sugar that occurs in foods like dairy products. In the small intestine, galactose is transported by the same carriers as glucose, therefore, the absorption is very fast.

Do you know how much fructose you are eating?

From a historical point of view, fruits and honey were the only fructose-rich foods in our diet. In the 17th century the average sugar intake of each person was as low as 5 g per day.

Big changes of dietary habits only occurred after the industrial scale production of sugar from sugar cane, sugar beets and the introduction of high-fructose corn syrup. Suddenly sugar was available in large quantities and at low costs.