The following list is an adaptation of the “Sugars & Sweeteners” chart on the Boston University website for hereditary fructose intolerance (HFI) 11.  (Used by permission)  The original chart includes a wide variety of sugars and sweeteners which are not common and for those of us hoping to simplify and understand, can be rather overwhelming so we have provided this condensed version listing the more common sweeteners.  Additionally, since the original chart was designed for HFI patients (thus resulting in more confusion for the FMer), we have revised it somewhat for the FMer.  The tolerance column has been changed to reflect the FMer’s tolerance as gleaned from my experience coupled with comments from other FMer’s.  Remember, tolerance levels may differ and quantity is a factor with those that are tolerated.  Determine your own tolerance levels.  The “?” in the tolerance column is an indication that tolerance seems to vary widely.


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Sugar                               Sweetener Description                                           Tolerance

Agave Syrup                  From the blue agave cactus. Commonly                             No
                                     used in Tex-Mex foods, tequila, margaritas,
                                     soft drinks. High in fructose.

Aspartame                    Sugar substitute known as Equal,                                      No
                                    NutraSweet, NutraTase. FDA approved.
                                    Scientifically studied in depth. Some
                                    may be sensitive to headaches. 
                                    Derived from amino acids.

Barley Malt Syrup         From sprouted grains of barley,                                            ?
                                                kiln dried and cooked with water. 

Beet Sugar                  Sucrose. Same structure as cane sugar,                              No
                                   but may produce different product results
                                   because of .05 differences in minerals and
                                   proteins. More common in Europe than the
                                  U.S. If it does not say “cane sugar,” it is 
                                  probably beet sugar.

Brown Rice Syrup        Made from brown rice. High protein content.                          No
                                  Likely contains sucrose. 

Brown Sugar               Sucrose coated with molasses.                                            No

Cane Sugar Sucrose.  Table sugar.                                                                        Yes – Limited

Corn Starch                Derived from corn. Composed of straight                                No
                                 or branched chains of glucose. 

Corn Sugar                 Produced from corn starch. Contains                                     No
                                 glucose and maltose molecules.

Corn Syrup                Glucose and water. Usually produced                                     No
                                 from cornstarch. The problem is that in
                                making the syrup, it may have either
                                maltose and/or fructose added.

Corn Syrup Solids       Dried glucose syrup.                                                              No

Confectioners Sugar    Sucrose. A chemical combination of                                       Yes
                                 glucose and fructose. 

Date Sugar                 Made from dried, pulverized dates.                                          No

Dextrin                       Glucose molecules linked together in chains.                          Yes
                                 Does not break down to pure dextrose. 

Dextrose                    Single glucose molecule. Simple sugar.                                  Yes

Evaporated Cane        Sucrose. Another name for sugar cane juice.                           Yes
​Sugar

Fructose                    Simple sugar of fructose molecules.                                        No
                                 Sometimes called fruit sugar. Made 
                                 of 6 carbons. 

Fruit Juice                   Derived from grapes, apples or pears,                                     No
Sweeteners                 heated to reduce water leaving a sweeter
                                  more concentrated juice. Almost pure
                                  fructose.

Glucose                     Simple sugar. The chemical sugar structure                             Yes
                                 of blood sugar. Made of 6 carbons.

Granulated Sugar        Table sugar. Sucrose.                                                            Yes - Limited
                                 Can be tolerated only if it is pure cane sugar, 
                                 not beet sugar. 

High Fructose             Enzymetically converted from corn syrup                                  No
Corn Syrup                 to contain 42% - 90% fructose. Raises
(HFCS)                       triglyceride levels and may increase risk
                                  of heart disease.
                                  See the chapter on HFCS. 

Honey                         Natural syrup containing about 35% glucose,                           No
                                  40% fructose, 25 % water 

Inverted Sugar             Created by combining sugar syrup with                                    No
                                  cream of tarter or lemon juice and heating,
                                  breaking sucrose down to components 
                                  glucose and fructose. 

Isoglucose                  Another name for High Fructose Corn                                       No
                                 Syrup (HFCS). 

Isomalt                       Polyol                                                                                    No

Levulose                     Contains fructose.                                                                   No

Maltitol                       Sugar alcohol form of maltose (glucose).                                   No
                                 This is a polyol. 

Maltose                      Linked glucose molecules that rapidly                                       No
                                 break down to glucose in the intestine. 

Maple Syrup               Mostly sucrose. Contains some invert sugar.                             No

Molasses                   By-product of sugar cane with 24% water.                                  No
                                 Fructose level varies. Three kinds. Light
                                (sweetest), Medium (darker and less sweet), 
                                Blackstrap (very dark, slightly sweet with
                                distinctive flavor. Good source of calcium 
                                and iron) 

Molasses                  Sugar Dark muscovado sugar with extra molasses.                      No

Raffinose                   A trisaccharide found in grains, legumes and                               ?
                                some vegetables. Gas forming. 

Raw Sugar                Sucrose. Equal parts glucose and fructose,                                 Yes
                                a chemical combination of glucose and
                                fructose. 

Saccharin                 Sugar substitute. Not as commonly used                                     No
                                as in the past. Known as Sweet N’ Low, 
                                Sugar Twin, Sucryl, Featherweight. FDA 
                                approved. More than 6 servings per day 
                                may increase bladder cancer risk.
                                (No longer approved for use in Canada) 

Sorbitol                     Sugar alcohol. Common in fruits, particularly                                No
                                skin of ripe berries, cherries and plums.
                                Used in sugar free foods. Causes diarrhea.
                                Converted back to fructose.This is a polyol.

Splenda                    A sugar substitute. This is a chemically                                       No
                                modified sucrose molecule that cannot
                                be digested. 

Stevia                       Natural sweetener from a South American                                    Yes
                                plant. 30 % sweeter than sugar. Used 
                                extensively in Japan, China, Korea, Israel, 
                                Brazil and Paraguay with no side effects 
                                reported. Known as Stevioside. Has not 
                                been rigorously tested for safety. No 
                                consistent manufacturing regulations. 

Sucralose                 Chemical name for Splenda, a sugar                                            No
                                substitute. Large molecule not digested.

Sucrose                   Naturally occurring sugar made from                                             Yes
                               sugar cane or sugar beets. Commonly 
                               referred to as sugar and table sugar. 
                               Chemical combination of glucose and
                               fructose. Tolerated if from cane but 
                               not from beets. 

Sucrose Syrups        Also known as Refiner’s syrup. By product                                    No
                               of sugar refining. 18% water, 1 part 
                               sucrose to two parts invert sugar.

Sugar                      Common name for sucrose, a chemical                                         Yes - Limited
                               combination of glucose and fructose. 

Xylitol                      Sugar alcohol. Obtained from fruits and                                          No
                               berries. Also from birch trees and known
                               as birch sugar. May causes diarrhea. 

Sugars & Sweeteners
 
In the book, this list is an easy-to-read chart.