Is It Really Fructose Intolerance?

“I can’t eat any fruit”, a client told me.

Assuming she must have been tested for fructose malabsorption, which, according to Wikipedia, “is formerly named “dietary fructose intolerance,” is a digestive disorder in which absorption of fructose is impaired by deficient fructose carriers in the small intestine’s enterocytes. This results in an increased concentration of fructose in the entire intestine.” we continued to chat and it turned out she had not actually done any clinical testing and that there were only a few fruits that seemed to cause immediate distress.

For some, who truly do have this condition, going Paleo may  not be enough as there are certain fruits that while being Paleo friendly, may have too high of a fructose content to make digestion easy and without consequence.

As an example, following is a chart of some fruits that fit this description:

  • Fruit — apple, pear, guava, honeydew melon, nashi fruit, pawpaw, papaya, quince, star fruit, watermelon
  • Dried fruit — apple, currant, date, fig, pear, raisin, sultana
  • Fortified wines
  • Foods containing added sugars, such as agave nectar and fruit juice concentrates

If there are only a few isolated fruits that cause GI distress, there could be something else going on, such as a stone fruit allergy, which would include apples, pears, peaches and cherries.

Before you decide you cannot eat any fruit, there is one very necessary first step- go Paleo.


Well, if your body is inflamed from eating gluten or any grains, legumes, dairy and white sugar, it’s quite possible to display allergic symptoms as well as experience GI distress after eating something which seems benign.  It’s as though your body is on high alert and that apple you ate after a sandwich or those blueberries you enjoyed with your ice cream were merely the straws that broke the camel’s back.

Once you’re well into 100% Paleo and still have symptoms, then it may be time to take a closer look.