ZocdocAnswersIs it possible to not get enough sugar in your diet?

Question

Is it possible to not get enough sugar in your diet?

Can you eat too little sugar? I know that too much sugar is bad for you, but what about too little? Could this cause diabetes like in the opposite way, like because there isn't a balance of sugar in your body?

Answer

No, not really. The body is very good at getting the energy it needs from the foods that you eat, and there is no need for refined sugars at all in the diet. A refined sugar is related to a larger class of nutrients, called carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are long chains of sugar building blocks all linked together, where as refined sugars are very short chains or just the building blocks themselves. When you eat food containing carbohydrates, it takes the body a little bit of time to digest the long chains down into the building blocks. This means that the blood sugar doesn't surge as high after a meal but, in the end, your body does have access to the same building blocks that it needs. When you eat refined sugars, on the other hand, there is no delay in the absorption due to digestion, and the blood sugar soars higher. Cutting refined sugars out of the diet, even completely, would have no bad effects on your health, because your body can still get everything it needs from more complex carbohydrates (things like grains and rice). Of course, you should always talk to your dietitian or primary care doctor before making any severe diet changes!

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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