What Is Fructose & What Foods Can I Find It In?

3D-model of Fructose (src)

Fructose is a natural sugar found in many foods like fruits.

Fructose is very sweet and is often made into high fructose corn syrup, used in soft drinks and processed foods.

Our daily fructose intake nowadays comes from non-fruit sources.

Regular consumption of non-fruit fructose, like fruit juices, sweeteners, or sodas, might cause health problems.

Table of Contents

Fructose Is The Sweetest Sugar

Fructose is a monosaccharide that is a natural component of our diet.

Fructose bonded with glucose, forms sucrose, also called table sugar. (source )

Fructose occurs naturally in fruits and honey.

You can find lesser amounts in tuberous vegetables such as onions and potatoes.

Vegetables contain substantially less fructose and glucose than fruits. (source )

Fructose is about twice as sweet as sucrose, which makes it the sweetest naturally occurring sugar. (source )

Natural Fructose

Natural fructose is considered the safest form of dietary carbohydrate.

We obtain most fructose in our diet from fruit, vegetables, and honey. This form of fructose is poorly absorbed by the body and has a smaller impact on blood glucose.

In contrast, fructose in the form of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is highly absorbed by the body and is present in large quantities in processed foods and beverages.

High-Fructose Corn-Syrup (HFCS)

The major source of fructose as a food ingredient is high-fructose corn syrup.

High-fructose corn syrup is an ingredient in so many products, from sodas to cereals and breads.

Which should not be consumed in high amounts, because of the health implications it is linked to. (source )

High-fructose corn syrup is linked to health implications like obesity, diabetes, and cancer.

Corn is an important food staple in the US, and it’s the cheapest way to produce sweeteners.

Too Much Fructose Can Be Bad For You

Consuming too much fructose can affect your health. Especially when most of the fructose we consume comes from non-fruit sources.

Find out about the negative effects fructose might give you in Fructose: 5 Research-Backed Side-Effects

Eat A Whole Fruit

Natural fructose is a component that you find in the whole fruit.

When you eat a fruit, the accompanying fiber slows and modulates the fructose release.

In many manufactured beverages and foods, refined fructose, without fiber, is used as the primary sweetener.

Fructose without fibers will not be regulated by insulin. It transports quickly into the body's cells.

When fructose is inside the cells, it quickly converts into glucose, which compromises insulin receptors and contributes to insulin resistance. (source )

Foods You Can Find Fructose In

You find Fructose mostly in sweets, american indian and alaska native food, fruits, and beverages.

Examples of food sources include

Foods in our nutrition tool

You can find regularly updated top-ranked lists of foods for over 200+ nutrients in our nutrition tool.

If you are interested in what foods contain the most fructose, we recommend you visit our tool.

Here's our top-ranked list of foods that contain fructose.

Sara Niemelä

co-founder Care Omnia, Head Content Creator

Author Image of Sara Niemelä

Nutrition is my passion. I've spent thousands upon thousands of hours reading, analyzing, categorizing and comparing research studies.

I’m a wife and a mother of three. I enjoy the outdoors, cooking, and spending time with my family.