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Consumer advice center warns of too much fructose in convenience foods: fructose intolerance as a cause of intestinal complaints has become increasingly important in western industrialized countries in recent years. That is why the consumer center in Hamburg tested 35 ready-made foods for their fructose content.
Fructose intolerance - often unrecognized
About 20 percent of the population suffer from abdominal cramps or flatulence from intolerance (fructose malabsorption) after eating or drinking foods with fructose (fructose). Fructose malabsorption can be congenital or acquired.
Often those affected or the doctors treating them do not know anything about this intolerance. The symptoms are often misunderstood and those suffering from the intolerance do not get a diagnosis for their gastrointestinal complaints, let alone help.
The symptoms develop when the fructose in the small intestine is not properly digested and absorbed and reaches the large intestine. There it is metabolized so that it can cause bloating, abdominal pain and cramps and foul-smelling stool and diarrhea.
According to the Hamburg Consumer Center, there are studies that high fructose intake can increase our blood fat levels, lower insulin sensitivity and fatty liver and obesity. Increased drinking of sweetened drinks can lead to gout in men. A problem that is still unclear is how much fructose a normal organism can tolerate daily, or how good it is for it.
Hamburg consumer center tests finished products The Hamburg consumer center has now tested 35 products for their fructose content, as there is currently no uniform labeling requirement for the fructose content.
Because fructose is also found in fruitless products such as fitness bars, beverages, such as Contains soft drinks, sweets, children's foods, milkshakes or ice cream. Since the word fructose has a supposedly healthier appearance than table sugar, it is likely to find its way into more and more food products. The consumer center in Hamburg found over 10 g of free fructose per serving in 9 products. The free fructose is of particular concern for people with fructose intolerance. Between 10 and 20 g of fructose were found in 14 beverage products, and over 20 g per portion in 4.
Consumer Advice Center recommendations
It is certainly not a novelty that freshly prepared food is better than ready-made food. Exemplary daily plans showed that the amounts of fructose consumed could easily be more than twice as high as with a balanced daily schedule. That is why Karin Riemann-Lorenz from the consumer advice center points out that the additional enrichment in the finished products is questionable.
The Hamburg Consumer Center is therefore asking consumers to check the ingredient lists for finished products. Better to leave heavily sweetened products and high-fructose diet powder and diabetic foods. Better to use fresh fruit than frequent fruit smoothies.
The consumer advice center is asking manufacturers and legislators to "label finished food with a traffic light so that the sugar content is recognizable at first glance" and a "mandatory declaration of the fructose content in the course of allergen labeling".
If consumers suspect fructose intolerance, they should immediately consult a doctor or alternative practitioner who is familiar with these symptoms in diagnosis and treatment. (Thorsten Fischer, naturopath osteopathy, January 21, 2010)