What effects would removing sugars from a balanced diet have on an otherwise healthy person have? I've heard that both refined and natural sugars can have a negative impact in the body. Is it safe to stop consuming sugars all together?

  • 4
    Just to clarify, do you mean removing "added sugars" from your diet, like common table sugar? Because sugar is a general name given to a lot of substances found in most plants, meats, dairy, grains, etc, etc. I don't think you mean to avoid all types of sugar found in your food at all. Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 18:11
  • @JCPedroza: See different types of sugar: regular (white sugar, extra fine or fine sugar), fruit sugar, etc.
    – kenorb
    Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 23:18
  • I don't think it is possible to remove all sugars from your diet, but you can remove added sugars.
    – michaelpri
    Commented Apr 3, 2015 at 2:01

1 Answer 1


Firstly, removing all added sugars from you diet certainly will improve your general health in the long term due to the decreased risk of diabetes: your blood glucose level will be more stable with less variability and your diet will include less "empty calories". In order to endure in work, in hobbies, in exercise and in day to day living does not rewuire added sugar in a diet. They are bad.

Removing carbohydrates from your diet may have some negative impact but not necessarily. Classic low carb diets recommend to remove all substances with a high glycemic index (GI) from your diet. The higher the GI, the faster your blood glucose level will rise when digesting the food. White bread or white rice are examples of foods with a high GI value. In the very extreme, a low carb diet may result in ketosis, which means that your body will get slightly acidic and all your energy consumption is due to burning fat. Removing all carbohydrates stops the citric acid cycle inside cells and this results in the formation of ketone substances which are acidic.

Ketosis may improve your weight loss by burning fat more efficiently. However there are considerable between-subject variations in this. Low carb diets and subsequent ketosis may result in nausea, headaches and general illness. Not all people tolerate low carb diets or ketosis.

If you perform long duration exercises I can´t recommend removing high GI substances from your diet. Skeletal muscles need a lot of energy while doing long duration exercises. The most important energy storage is muscle glycogen. This is consumed in long duration exercises, and after it runs out the body starts to use fats and proteins. Foods with a high GI value are important to restore your muscle glycogen storages after exercise. Therefore removing, say, white rice from your diet won´t be good for exercise if they are usually long duration. Interval or strength training is a different issue. It is also important to note that even a long day at work may be similar to long duration exercise. How well your body does tolerate the lack of your muscle glycogen, is very depending on your general health and fitness.

  • I have to add a clarifying point of contention. Your statement of "removing, say, white rice from your diet won´t be good for exercise if they are usually long duration..." simply is not true for everybody. If you have been in a state of ketosis for some time (say weeks, where is has become your norm) then most people can and will effectively use fat based energy, both stored or dietary. Personally I always hit a wall at about an hour of fairly hard exercise until I became completely keto adapted. It is not uncommon for me to be very strong 2 or more hours into a run or bike ride now.
    – Joe Ruder
    Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 14:37
  • This is lacking references. Further: it is not entirely bad but mostly not about eliminating mono-saccharides from a diet. Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 8:17

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