Substitutes for Fructose

Avoid negative health effects of fructose using sugar substitutes.
Avoid negative health effects of fructose using sugar substitutes. (Image: PM Images/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Fructose is a simple form of sugar that is typically found in honey, most fruits, like berries and melons, and some root vegetables. However, fructose may also be used as an additive in many unhealthy junk foods. Eaten indulgently, fructose may cause health problems due to high cholesterol and triglyceride levels. In order to avoid too much fructose in your diet, consider fructose substitutes.

Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is a natural sweetener derived from sucrose and glucose and made from the sap of maple trees. Pure maple syrup contains no fructose and may be used as a substitute in baking. While there are two types of maple syrup, Grade A and Grade B, only Grade A should be used as a fructose substitute. Grade A is gold in color and lighter in flavor. Grade B is darker with a more distinct maple flavor, and contains small amounts of fructose. Approximately 3/4 cup of maple sugar equals 1 cup of white sugar.

Artificial Sweeteners

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener that may be used as a substitute for fructose. Aspartame is between 160 to 220 times sweeter than table sugar and is found in artificial sweeteners such as Equal and Nutrasweet. Since aspartame loses its sweetness when heated, it is not recommended for baking. Saccharine, 200 to 700 times sweeter than table sugar, is another artificial substitute for table sugar. Saccharine is sold under the brand name Sweet and Low. Unlike aspartame, saccharine may be used for baking. Other artificial sweeteners include acesulfame potassium, brand name Sweet One, and sucralose, brand name Splenda. Both sweeteners may be used for baking. Artificial sweeteners cause no rise in blood sugar or insulin levels and are carbohydrate- and calorie-free. Sugar alcohol is an artificial sweetener found in certain gums, cookies and candies. Sugar alcohols typically have half the calories of sugar. Examples include xylitol, sorbitol, and erythritol.


Stevia is a natural sweetener made from the South American plant stevia rebaudiana. Stevia can be found in health and natural food stores in either a liquid extract or a crystalline powder. Stevia may be used in cooking. However, the FDA's initial ban of stevia in North America and certain indications that it may release insulin have made use controversial and Stevia should be used with caution.

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