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?
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.