From their first introduction to food, most children are encouraged to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Eating behaviors and food preferences that are established in early childhood, and modeled by parents, have a lasting effect on the food choices children make as they grow into adulthood. Learning to eat a balanced diet, full of fresh fruits and vegetables, promotes healthy growth and development while preventing chronic, long-term health problems such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
This push for a healthy diet seems like an obvious fact for most parents: fresh fruits and vegetables over sugary, sweet treats and sodas. However, eating fresh fruits and vegetables can also be the cause of gastrointestinal discomfort. Children and adults affected by sucrose intolerance, also known as Congenital Sucrase-Isomaltase Deficiency (CSID), lack the enzyme sucrase, which is needed for sucrose digestion. Because sucrose, commonly known as “table sugar” or “white sugar,” occurs naturally in some fruits and vegetables, eating or drinking any food containing sucrose can lead to stomach pain, gas, bloating, and diarrhea. To see a comprehensive list of fruits and vegetables that can be tolerated by those with CSID, check out sucroseintolerance.com.
Unfortunately, many fruits that are eaten daily have a high level of sugar. Apples, for instance, appear on the list of fruits that few people affected with sucrose intolerance can tolerate. One medium apple contains 19g of sugar, which is considered a high level of sugar, contradicting the notion that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” for anyone suffering from sucrose intolerance. From organic to no-added-sugar, apples, applesauce, and apple juice are readily available in every grocery store.
Whole apples rate high on the list of foods to eat when trying to lose weight because they have such high fiber content. Applesauce and apple juice are given to children in lieu of sweets and sodas, and parents truly feel they are making a reasonable and healthy choice for their child’s wellbeing. But consider this: If some people get gassy or bloated after consuming an apple or drinking apple juice, it could be an indication of sucrose intolerance.
To make the problem worse, doctors and pediatricians often recommend applesauce and apple juice when adults and children are recovering from the flu or any other stomach bug. Applesauce is part of the BRAT diet, a bland diet used when individuals are recovering from a stomach condition. BRAT stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, but there are other foods that can be consumed as part of the diet. Clear liquids, like apple juice, are also recommended because they are “easy” on the stomach. Imagine following the advice of a doctor in an effort to alleviate stomach upset in a child or adult, only to make matters worse.
Getting the facts about what is being consumed each day is important to maintain a balanced and healthy gut. Unfortunately, even the healthiest foods can be a problem. Some people can tolerate everything that they consume, while others struggle to find the root cause of their discomfort and embarrassing gas and bloat. If you or someone else you know suffers from any sort of chronic gastrointestinal condition, sucrose intolerance could be the cause. Speak with your healthcare professional about your symptoms and take the test at sucroseintolerance.com.