Clinical Hub,Patient Education,Health and Nutrition Facts For You,Nutrition

Medical Nutrition Therapy: Low Sucrose Diet (338)

Medical Nutrition Therapy: Low Sucrose Diet (338) - Clinical Hub, Patient Education, Health and Nutrition Facts For You, Nutrition



Low Sucrose Diet

What is Sucrose?
Sucrose is a natural sweetener most often
called table sugar. There are three main
sources of sucrose in the diet:

ξ Table sugar added to foods when
cooking or baking.
ξ Sucrose (table sugar) added to foods
during processing (i.e. hot dogs,
sweetened fruit juices, fruit drinks,
sodas, canned fruits, ketchup,
spaghetti sauces, etc.)
ξ Sucrose that occurs naturally in
foods (i.e. maple syrup, molasses,
fruits and vegetables).

Why do I need to restrict sucrose in
my diet?
Sucrose is broken down in the body by an
enzyme named sucrase. Sucrase breaks
down sucrose into two simple sugars:
glucose and fructose. When a person has
low levels or lacks the sucrase enzyme, too
much sucrose can build up in the gut. This
can cause bloating, gas, abdominal pain,
cramping, and diarrhea.

How do I follow a low sucrose diet?
Reactions to sucrose vary. Some people can
handle more sucrose in the diet than others.
Most people have problems with large
amounts of sucrose or a diet high in sugar.

To decrease symptoms you will need to read
food labels. Check labels for the presence
of sugars, syrup and other foods that have

Avoid foods that list sugars as one of the
first four ingredients. If you are not sure
about the product, contact the company.
Most products list a phone number on the
label that you can call for if you have

You will not need any nutritional
supplements when you follow a low sucrose
diet. You will get the nutrients you need by
eating a healthy, well-balanced diet.

Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about
whether your medicines contain sucrose.
Many lozenges, cough and vitamin syrups
contain sucrose. You may need some
medicines to be made for you without
sucrose. Allow extra time for this custom

How long do I have to follow a low
sucrose diet?
Some people will find relief of symptoms
quickly while others need more time. You
can slowly add foods back into your diet
once your symptoms improve. Bring only
one new food back into your diet at a time,
waiting 2-3 days in between. If you remain
symptom-free, add more new foods. If
symptoms restart, restrict diet to where you
are symptom-free


Choose Avoid
ξ Glucose
ξ Corn Syrup
ξ High Fructose Corn Syrup
ξ Lactose
ξ Dextrose,
ξ Maltose
ξ Fructose
ξ Agave Nectar
ξ Honey (with caution)
ξ Sugar substitutes: Aspartame,
Nutrasweet®, Equal®, Sweet’n Low®,
Sucralose (Splenda®), Stevia®
ξ Sugar Alcohols: Sorbitol, Xylitol,

ξ Table Sugar
ξ Cane Sugar
ξ Beet, Date, or Coconut Sugar
ξ Granulated Sugar
ξ Powdered or Confectioner’s Sugar
ξ Brown Sugar
ξ Raw Sugar or Turbinado Sugar
ξ Demarara Icing
ξ Molasses
ξ Sucanat
ξ Caramel
ξ Cane juice
ξ Maple Syrup

Although some sweeteners are OK to use, some people may not tolerate large amounts. Sugar
alcohols found in many sugar-free candies may cause diarrhea.

Choose Limit or Avoid
ξ Cherries
ξ Watermelon
ξ Plums
ξ Raspberries, Blackberries, Blueberries
ξ Kiwi
ξ Strawberries
ξ Lemon/Lemon juice
ξ Lime /Lime juice
ξ Grapes
ξ Persimmons
ξ Pears
ξ Papaya
ξ Prunes
ξ Avocado
Limit up to 2 servings per day (raw, canned in
water, or cooked with allowed sweeteners) and
eat as part of a meal.

ξ Apricots
ξ Apples
ξ Bananas
ξ Grapefruit
ξ Cantaloupe
ξ Peaches
ξ Pineapple
ξ Orange (navel and mandarin)
ξ Honeydew
ξ Mango
ξ Raisins
ξ Dates

Also avoid fruit juices, and frozen or canned
fruit in syrups, or sweetened with added sugar.


Choose Limit or Avoid
ξ Any vegetables (fresh, frozen, canned)
that are not on the limit or avoid list.
ξ All dried beans, baked beans
ξ Lentils
ξ Green peas
ξ Soy beans
ξ Sweet pickles
ξ Store-bought spaghetti sauce
(homemade spaghetti sauce made with
no sugar is fine)
(Limit the following to 2 tablespoon portions: Parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, beets, sweet potatoes,
potatoes, carrots, butternut/butter cup squash and onions).

Dairy Products
Choose Limit or Avoid
ξ Milk (whole, 2%, 1% or skim)
ξ Unsweetened milk substitutes (soy,
almond, coconut, rice)
ξ Plain yogurt
ξ Cheeses
ξ Sugar free or low sugar ice cream
ξ Flavored or sweetened milks (chocolate
or others)
ξ Flavored or sweetened yogurts
ξ Sweetened condensed milk
ξ Ice cream
ξ Certain processed cheese spreads

Choose Limit or Avoid
ξ Water, carbonated water
ξ Milk (whole, 2%, 1% or skim)
ξ Unsweetened milk substitutes (soy,
almond, coconut, rice)
ξ Glucose-sweetened energy and sports
ξ Powdered drink, sugar free (or made
with allowed sweetener)
ξ Coffee or tea (unsweetened)
ξ Sugar free lemonade or limeade
ξ Plain cocoa powder
ξ Diet soda
ξ Carbonated sweetened drinks and
ξ Fruit or vegetable juices
ξ Milk shakes/malts
ξ Sweetened teas, coffees, powered
ξ Milk flavorings and syrups
ξ Sweetened milks and milk substitutes


Other Foods
Choose Limit or Avoid
ξ Most cheeses, eggs, meats, poultry, fish
are safe to eat. They have no or little
ξ You may or may not be able to tolerate
tofu and other soy-based products.
ξ Chocolate and most other desserts
made with sugar.
ξ Condiments like jams, jellies, sauces,
chutneys, ketchup, sweet relish, BBQ
sauce, mayonnaise, and salad dressings
high in sugar.
ξ Prepared meats like pasties, sausages,
ham, hotdogs, deli meats, liverwurst
and pate’s that may be cured with
ξ Coconut and coconut milk and creams
used in cooking as they are high in
ξ Breads and cereal products that list
sugar in the first 4 ingredients.
ξ Nuts and nut butters. They contain
some sucrose you may not tolerate
them. Limit these at first, and then
slowly bring them into your diet.

Teach Back

What is the most important thing you learned from this handout?

What changes will you make in your diet/lifestyle, based on what you learned today?

If you are a UW Health patient and have more questions please contact UW Health at one of the
phone numbers listed below. You can also visit our website at www.uwhealth.org/nutrition.

Nutrition clinics for UW Hospital and Clinics (UWHC) and American Family Children’s
Hospital (AFCH) can be reached at: (608) 890-5500.

Nutrition clinics for UW Medical Foundation (UWMF) can be reached at: (608) 287-2770.

Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 4/2016 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Clinical Nutrition Services Department and the Department
of Nursing. HF#338