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What is fructose?

Fructose, also known as monosaccharide, is a type of simple sugar that accounts for half of all table sugar (sucrose). It’s the sweetest carbohydrate contained in nature, 1.2–1.8 times sweeter than sucrose (table sugar).

Fructose is also known as “fruit sugar” because it is present in many fruits naturally. It also occurs naturally in other plant foods such as honey, sugar beets, sugar cane and vegetables.

It’s also in high-fructose corn syrup and agave syrup, among other sugary sweeteners.

Pure fructose is commercially manufactured as a crystalline form from corn or sucrose for use in packaged foods and beverages such as processed foods and soft drinks.

Like other sugars, fructose provides four calories per gram.

Fruits containing fructose:

  • apples
  • dates
  • figs
  • pears
  • prunes

Vegetables containing fructose:

  • artichokes
  • asparagus
  • mushrooms
  • onions
  • red peppers

Other sources

  • honey
  • sugar beets
  • sugar cane.

Although there is no specific guideline for fructose intake, existing dietary advice suggests that added sugars can account for no more than 10% of total calories. For the average individual, this equates to around 50 grams of fructose.


Some studies show that high fructose intake may lead to fatty liver disease, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and insulin resistance.

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