We all like to enjoy something sweet every once in a while, whether that’s two sugars in our coffee, a bit on our cereals or icing on the cake. However, if you are living with sugar intolerance, you may not feel like you have the luxury to enjoy sweet treats.
This is especially the case if your intolerance is moderate to severe, where even small amounts of sugar make you double over with cramps. whether you have one.
What is Sugar Intolerance?
Sugar is a carbohydrate that acts as the body’s fuel. It gives an immense amount of energy after consumption that often releases relatively quickly. However, some people cannot digest this carbohydrate properly, which we describe as a sugar intolerance. This may be applicable to all types of sugars, or just a few – let’s learn about the different types of sugar:
- Glucose is the main type of sugar found in our blood, it’s a crucial source of energy
- Fructose is a natural sugar found in fruits
- Lactose is a sugar found in dairy products
- Maltose is found in grains such as malt
- Sucrose is our everyday table sugar; this is found in plants such as sugarcane and beets
- Galactose is found in nature and dairy products
- Xylose comes from wood or straw; this is converted into xylitol
Sugar Intolerance Symptoms
Symptoms of sugar intolerance vary from person to person, depending on how severe their intolerance is. Some common symptoms include:
- Stomach cramps
- Abdominal bloating
- Congested nose
- Hives, skin rashes and swelling
Sugar Intolerance Diet
The majority of people choose to manage their sugar intolerance by avoiding it all together, reducing their intake, or finding other natural alternatives. We recommend following an elimination diet to identify whether sugar is problematic for you. This could be a good starting point for determining whether sugar may create long-term issues for your diet, however the most sensible option could be to purchase an intolerance test for a complete set of data around exactly which allergens your body responds to.
Foods to Avoid
Foods containing sugar that could be causing you issues are:
- Desserts such as cakes, cookies, candy, ice cream and pastries
- Processed fruit juices
- Soft drinks
- Granola bars
- Syrups, jams, and jellies
- Peanut butter
- Cane juice
Sugar Intolerance Diet Plan
There are quite a few alternatives that you can now explore when it comes to bringing a safe sweetness into your diet. Some of the main options (and most recommended) are:
- Splenda (this uses saccharin as a replacement for sugar)
- Sweet N Low (this relies on the sweetening properties of sucralose)
- NutraSweet (this is a sweetener from aspartame)
These sweeteners are made up of varying supplements and will offer you varying tastes as a result. For example, Sweet N Low is often preferred in tea or coffee. This is also the case for Splenda. However, Stevia and NutraSweet are said to have slight after-tastes, making them more suitable for baking or cooking recipes. Everyone’s personal preference plays a role, however.
Overall, when it comes to simply enjoying something sweet without worry, you will still need to be apprehensive about trying something without checking the ingredients list. This list of sweeteners has great options for when you are looking at making something for yourself. There’s a lot to be said for doing your own baking and cooking, even if it isn’t as “fair” as simply enjoying something without concern.
That being said, there are all sorts of bakeries and even commercial brands that are starting to look at sugar alternatives, even just for general health purposes. You can find cookies and cakes that are sweetened with natural sweeteners such as Stevia, for example, in a lot of the common grocery stores. This is predicted to rise as more and more people start cutting traditional sugar out of their diet.
While rare, there is such a thing as a sugar allergy, and symptoms can vary from mild to severe. You will want to make sure that you are dealing with an intolerance and not an allergy, as the latter could be fatal. This is best confirmed by taking a food intolerance test or an allergy test. Not only will this offer the confirmation you’re searching for, but it will also help you learn about any other potential allergies or intolerances that you didn’t know about.
Symptoms of Sugar Allergy
In addition to having intolerance symptoms, those that suffer with a sugar allergy can also experience the following symptoms:
- Anaphylaxis (difficulty breathing)
- Dizziness or light-headedness
- Swelling of the lips, throat, face, and tongue
- Tingly or itchy sensation in the mouth
Sugar Intolerance vs Allergy
Both allergy and intolerance can cause similar symptoms so it’s very easy to mistake one for the other. However, what separates the two is that a sugar allergy is an immune system reaction to mistaking proteins for viruses or bacteria. An intolerance is a digestive reaction to when the body cannot digest the sugar.
Sugar Intolerance Test
It’s now fairly easy to test your intolerances with Allergy Test. We offer a range of allergy and intolerance tests that will help you identify foods that your body cannot digest or has an immune reaction to.
If you want to find out about your sugar intolerance, we recommend taking our Intolerance Test. However, if you’re unsure between the allergy and intolerance, we would suggest taking our Allergy and Intolerance Test Plus which will identify both your allergies and intolerances.
While sugar intolerances aren’t all that common, sugar sensitivities are much more common than people realize. If you suspect that sugar is an issue for you, but labelling it an allergy doesn’t quite fit, you might benefit from testing for sensitivities. You can learn more about the difference between allergies and sensitivities here.
Ways to Make Sugar Intolerance Work for You
If you’ve got a sweet tooth with sugar intolerance, there is a lot of hope. You can find all sorts of recipes online that are designed for those who want to rely on sweeteners instead of sugars. This includes the idea of cutting back as well as completely omitting sugars from their diets. These can offer you more freedom to explore the fascinating world of dessert without the pain of having intolerance symptoms.