Eating sugar raises heart disease risk factors such as cholesterol and triglycerides. For years, Americans were admonished to avoid cholesterol and saturated fat to control blood lipids. Sugary snacks didn’t seem to be a threat. Now, research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that caloric sweeteners such as sugar and high fructose corn syrup can have a significant negative impact on LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Over 6,000 adults filled out dietary questionnaires and had blood drawn. Those who consumed the greatest percentage of calories from added sugars were most likely to have low levels of good HDL cholesterol. They also had higher triglyceride levels, which is an independent risk factor for heart disease. Perhaps it’s time for Americans to start paying more attention to refined carbohydrates as a heart health risk.
[JAMA, April 21, 2010]