There’s a lot of concern and hype about eating the right cholesterols from eggs and fish, instead of bad cholesterols to be healthier. While choosing the right cholesterols is important, added sugar raises cholesterol levels more than eating bad cholesterols does.
Types of Cholesterol
Before we begin talking about cholesterol, we need to first review what the types of cholesterol are.
LDL “bad” cholesterol-This type of cholesterol is what builds up in your blood vessels and arteries, causing strokes, heart attacks, and heart disease. LDL cholesterol is generally found in fried foods, fast foods, and processed foods.
HDL “good” cholesterol-This type of cholesterol is from whole foods like eggs, fish, and avocados. It combats LDL cholesterol and keeps your blood vessels clear.
Too much cholesterol in any form is not good for your heart, but try to stick to food that has HDL cholesterol.
Added Sugar Raises Cholesterol Levels
Added sugars come in many forms. The most commonly thought of are baked goods, candy, and dessert treats. Other forms of added sugars that people may not be aware of are bread, pasta, and white rice.
These foods are made from refined grains and have sugar added to them. Eating too many refined and starchy grains can increase your LDL cholesterol as well as your blood sugar levels.
When your blood sugar increases, so does the amount of insulin that your body releases. Insulin ensures that sugar is stored in the body to use in between meals. However, it also puts the body into storage mode for everything.
That means your body is storing excess cholesterol in the form of LDL cholesterol. So, when your insulin levels go up, so does your LDL levels. This also means that your HDL levels go down.
Not only that, if your body has maxed out on the sugar it can store, it stores the remaining sugar as fat. For this reason, added sugar raises cholesterol levels and fat levels.
Dr. Elizabeth Klodas, president of Preventive Cardiology Consultants, stated, “Some of the worst cholesterol profiles I’ve seen have been in people who eat a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet but don’t pay attention to the amount, or source, of sugar they’re consuming. Instead of eating fruits and vegetables and whole grains, they’re eating fat free popcorn, and low cholesterol bread, pasta, and low fat cookies.”
Sugar that derives from fruit is digested differently and more slowly. It’s mostly added sugars that you need to steer clear from.
Since added sugar raises cholesterol levels and causes weight gain, try to eat fewer treats a day and find healthier options.