Is it necessary to eat sugar?

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    Is it necessary to eat sugar?

    I got into an discussion with a girl over whether people need sugar in their diets. This discussion started after one of our friends told us they are allergic to sugar. (They have quit adding any sweeteners to foods)

    Her basic argument is that people need sugar, honey, or other sweeteners in order to be healthy. She said that sugar is essential to avoid loosing excessive body weight.

    I said that fruits, vegetables, and perhaps other food groups naturally contain sugar. This sugar is all that is necessary for health.

    So, is sugar a necessary component of the human diet? Are there any risks in avoiding added sugars?

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    There are no essential carbohydrates. Nobody needs sugar in any form to survive.

    That being said, it's damned tasty.

    Please be clear that there are many types of sugar and they all have different effects in the body, okay? The sugar in fruit and the sugar on your table have, for the most part, the same split between glucose and fructose.

    And it's not possible to have an allergy to sugar. You can have trouble digesting it or metabolizing it though.
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    The only one of the macronutrients that is considered essential, at least by the RDA, is protein.
    The only time it's bad to feel the burn is when you're peeing...

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    Quote Originally Posted by CowPimp View Post
    The only one of the macronutrients that is considered essential, at least by the RDA, is protein.
    For normal endocrine and joint function you do need fats though - why do we care what the outdated RDA says?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Built View Post
    There are no essential carbohydrates. Nobody needs sugar in any form to survive.
    That is false. The body, especially the brain needs sugar to survive and work properly.

    You don't need to add table sugar to your meals or drink fruit juice but you do need it in some form or another. Carbs of all complexities break down into sugar, even whole wheat pasta, beans, and things like that. There really is no avoiding it but the answer is yes, you do need to have some intake of sugar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hahzist View Post
    That is false. The body, especially the brain needs sugar to survive and work properly.

    You don't need to add table sugar to your meals or drink fruit juice but you do need it in some form or another. Carbs of all complexities break down into sugar, even whole wheat pasta, beans, and things like that. There really is no avoiding it but the answer is yes, you do need to have some intake of sugar.
    Would you like to be more specific on why "the body" requires carbohydrates?

    The brain would be just fine using ketones.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Built View Post
    There are no essential carbohydrates. Nobody needs sugar in any form to survive.

    That being said, it's damned tasty.

    Please be clear that there are many types of sugar and they all have different effects in the body, okay? The sugar in fruit and the sugar on your table have, for the most part, the same split between glucose and fructose.

    And it's not possible to have an allergy to sugar. You can have trouble digesting it or metabolizing it though.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hahzist View Post
    That is false. The body, especially the brain needs sugar to survive and work properly.

    You don't need to add table sugar to your meals or drink fruit juice but you do need it in some form or another. Carbs of all complexities break down into sugar, even whole wheat pasta, beans, and things like that. There really is no avoiding it but the answer is yes, you do need to have some intake of sugar.
    Actually, you're right about parts of the brain needing sugar; glucose specifically. I can't recall where other than retinal tissue, but there is a need for a tiny bit of sugar - and it really is a tiny amount, something like 5 grams.

    Your body is capable of making this glucose from protein and or from fat. There is never a need to consume carbohydrate in any form in order for the brain to have an adequate supply of glucose.

    Quote Originally Posted by m11 View Post
    Would you like to be more specific on why "the body" requires carbohydrates?

    The brain would be just fine using ketones.
    Indeed. In fact, ketones have demonstrated benefits for a number of neurological problems, such as epilepsy and Alzheimer's.
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    Hahzist, here's a nice, concise passage on what happens when you deprive yourself of sugar and the gluconeogenesis that follows. Famine response - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Towards the end, it goes into gluconeogenesis from amino acids. The article assumes malnutrition, but this state can be avoided by maintaining a positive nitrogen balance through adequate protein intake. Positive N balance in conjunction with heavy resistance training will basically keep this from happening for the most part.

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    Yeah I agree with Built and m11. With gluconeogenesis there is zero necessity to eat any forms of sugar. Now everyone is different and some people can quickly adapt where others can't.

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    And let me re-state: I'm not saying "nobody eat any carbs anymore!!!" mkay? Just sayin' your body does not require any dietary carbohydrate, ever, to function properly.
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    I agree with Built. Personally for me I can only withstand ketosis for a couple days. The times that I did try longer I was always tired and weak. Plus I love carb ups too much

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    I think I asked you this, but what macros did you run when you tried ketogenic dieting, calalilly?
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    Oh this was so long ago I don't remember. Kept my fat and protein high. I should try it again and see how different it would be now that I'm not lifting bodybuilding style.

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    What about insulin?
    Is the protein consumed enough to stimulate a good enough insulin response from the body?
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    Quote Originally Posted by danzik17 View Post
    For normal endocrine and joint function you do need fats though - why do we care what the outdated RDA says?
    I'm not saying it's healthy to consume no fat. I advocate a substantial amount of fat in the diet. My point is you can live without consuming it as far as I can tell. I thought we were merely speaking hypothetically here?
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    linolenic and linoleic acid are essential fatty acids and are needed.

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    In short: no.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KenEm View Post
    In short: no.
    Haha, well said.

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    They are needed for cell and tissue as well as brain and eye function. Its not essential to take them in supplement form as they are found in most foods.

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    Quote Originally Posted by calalily1972 View Post
    They are needed for cell and tissue as well as brain and eye function. Its not essential to take them in supplement form as they are found in most foods.
    But they still classed as fat amiright?
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    Quote Originally Posted by CowPimp View Post
    I'm not saying it's healthy to consume no fat. I advocate a substantial amount of fat in the diet. My point is you can live without consuming it as far as I can tell. I thought we were merely speaking hypothetically here?
    There's a reason why essential fatty acids are called "essential": your body cannot make them under any circumstances. Like essential amino acids, they must be consumed from food (or supplements, which are still food for that matter).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Built View Post
    There's a reason why essential fatty acids are called "essential": your body cannot make them under any circumstances. Like essential amino acids, they must be consumed from food (or supplements, which are still food for that matter).
    I realize this. I was under the impression that it is necessary to intake EFAs for good health, but not necessarily to sustain life. Protein on the other hand, if not consumed in sufficient quantities, can certainly lead to death in the long term.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CowPimp View Post
    I realize this. I was under the impression that it is necessary to intake EFAs for good health, but not necessarily to sustain life. Protein on the other hand, if not consumed in sufficient quantities, can certainly lead to death in the long term.
    No, you DON'T realize this. "Essential" MEANS "you cannot live without it".

    EFAs are ESSENTIAL fatty acids. This doesn't mean "important for good health" - this means "essential to sustain life". Without an intake of EFAs, you won't just be unhealthy - you'll die.
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    Quote Originally Posted by T_man View Post
    But they still classed as fat amiright?
    Yes they are. Omega 3 and 6. Essential fatty acids. As I and Built said you can find them in many foods.

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    Quote Originally Posted by calalily1972 View Post
    linolenic and linoleic acid are essential fatty acids and are needed.
    In what quantities? I can't name one food that I eat that would contain any significant amounts of linolenic acid in my current diet and I don't think I'm dead yet
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    Walnuts, canola oil, olive oil...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Built View Post
    Walnuts, canola oil, olive oil...
    Flax? To add, fish, chicken, rice, oats, most green veggies etc. Nuts in general, (especially raw, which I could be considered at hypocrite because I don't like raw nuts sans raw cashews, don't hate me Built ) IMO, have the best qualities of n6. Fish has the best for n3's (again, just my opinion).

    BTW - how you been? Things going good for you? I know I haven't been around a lot but I still think about my online friends!

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    Quote Originally Posted by calalily1972 View Post
    Flax? To add, fish, chicken, rice, oats, most green veggies etc. Nuts in general, (especially raw, which I could be considered at hypocrite because I don't like raw nuts sans raw cashews, don't hate me Built ) IMO, have the best qualities of n6. Fish has the best for n3's (again, just my opinion).

    BTW - how you been? Things going good for you? I know I haven't been around a lot but I still think about my online friends!
    I didn't mention flax since I figured he wasn't eating it (not many do anymore, I think), but most folks here eat olive oil and raw nuts of some sort, and I was looking for food items with alpha linolenic he was likely to be eating.

    Raw cashews are to DIE for! And I finally got used to raw almonds, although it took a bit.

    Good to see you again!
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