Sucrose Intolerance

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Sucrase Deficiency (Sucrose Intolerance)

Sucrose, more commonly known as table sugar, is a disaccharide. A disaccharide is a carbohydrate that is composed of simple sugars, also known as monosaccharides. Sucrose is made up of the simple sugars glucose and fructose. In order to digest sucrose, there is an enzyme called sucrase that helps to break it down into glucose and fructose so they can be absorbed in our bodies. When there is a deficiency of the enzyme sucrase, the body cannot break down sucrose adequately for absorption. There are many side effects of sucrose intolerance/malabsorption, including abdominal pain/cramping, excessive gas, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, etc. The treatment for sucrose intolerance is to avoid sucrose as much as possible in the diet.


Label Reading

The follow terms on a food label could indicate the presence of sucrose in a food. Because sucrose, or table sugar, is such a common ingredient in foods, it is sometimes hard to avoid completely. If any of the following terms are listed in the first 5 ingredients on a food label, it is best to avoid that food.


  • Sugar
  • Cane Sugar
  • Confectioner’s sugar
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Superfine Sugar
  • Naturally milled organic sugar
  • Sugar syrup
  • Cane Syrup
  • Evaporated milled cane juice
  • Organic cane syrup
  • Organic sugar
  • Beet sugar
  • Bar sugar
  • Berry sugar
  • Castor sugar
  • Icing sugar
  • Refined sugar
  • Cane juice crystals
  • Invert sugar

What about Fruits and Vegetables?

All fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and nutrients that are important in a healthy diet. Sucrose if found naturally in some fruits and vegetables. Although it is usually in small amounts, some people with sucrose intolerance may not tolerate them well. If symptoms of intolerance arise when consuming these foods, it may be best to avoid them. However, if they are tolerated well without issues, it is best to continue to consume them in the diet. Here is a list of the fruits and vegetables that contain higher amounts of sucrose.


  • Pineapple
  • Mango
  • Bananas
  • Canteloupe
  • Oranges
  • Apricots
  • Peaches
  • Dried fruits
  • Fruits canned in syrup



  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Peas
  • Corn


Low Sucrose Diet


Meat Red meat, pork, chicken, and turkey Cold cuts, hotdogs, or any other food that is made with sugar
Cereal Unsweetened cereals Cereals sweetened with sugar
Sweeteners Glucose, dextrine, maltose, and no calorie sweeteners Sugar, sucrose
Fruits* All Avoid sugar sweetened fruits
Fat Butter, margarine, oil, low sugar mayonnaise, salad dressings without sugar Regular mayonnaise, mustards, dressings, and marinades with sugar
Eggs Any type No limitations
Milk/Dairy Products Unsweetened milk and dairy products without added sugars Milks and milk products that contain added sugar
Nuts All raw, roasted, and salted nuts that do not contain added sugar Candy covered nuts or nuts prepared with sugar
Bread Any bread that does not have sugar as an ingredient Any sweet bread or others made with sugar
Pastas /grains Natural grains such as noodles, rice, and quinoa that do not contain added sugar Pastas or grains that are prepared in a sauce that contains excess sugar
Fish Any fresh fish Fish processed with sugar
Desserts Natural plain yogurt, sugar free  candies, cakes, cookies and ice creams Any dessert that contains sugar, candy
Cheese Any type No limitations
Vegetables* Low sugar vegetables such as asparagus, cauliflower, peppers, lettuce, spinach, celery, root vegetables, etc. Vegetables canned with sugar, frozen vegetables with sugary sauce
Other Coffee, unsweet tea, diet soft drinks or flavored drinks that contain artificial sweeteners; cocoa, salt, pepper, single spices, cinnamon, garlic, poppy seeds, onions, vinegars, etc. Soft drinks and sugar sweetened beverages, etc.

Limit condiments such as ketchup, sauces that contain sugar, regular honey, jellies, marmalades, maple syrup

*Some fruits and vegetables naturally contain sucrose. Please see the list the fruits and vegetables that have higher amounts of sucrose and only consume these if symptoms of intolerance to not occur.