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.





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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    For normal endocrine and joint function you do need fats though - why do we care what the outdated RDA says?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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