Decrease sugar to sweeten blood cholesterol

Think you know everything on how to lower blood cholesterol? I’m sure it’s no news that excessive amounts of sugar can cause obesity, diabetes and more visits to the dentist.

But a report from Tufts University School of Nutrition says this is the first study to show that too much sugar is also bad news for blood cholesterol. It appears they’ve forgotten the work of Dr. John Yudkin.

North Americans love sugar because it tastes good and food companies know it. Studies show that they get 16% of their total calories from sugar added to foods during manufacturing.

Thirty-five years ago it was 10.6%. It’s the ‘silent sugar’ hidden in a variety of everyday foods such as bread. This means that most adults consume 90 grams of sugar daily or 21.4 teaspoons (tsp).

It’s easy to get this amount.

Years ago I warned parents that their children were getting eight teaspoons of sugar in cola drinks. And people wonder why we have an obesity epidemic! It is starting early in life, and you only have to look at the present generation of children.

The recent study involved 6,113 participants. They were divided into several groups with some receiving, as part of their diet, 3 tsp. of sugar daily and others up to 46 tsp. of added sugar.

Researchers found that, with increasing amounts of sugar, the good cholesterol HDL decreased and the unhealthy triglycerides were higher.

They concluded that the increased use of sugar and the adverse changes in cholesterol levels was not a healthy situation.

But this wasn’t the first report linking sugar and bad news. Dr John Yudkin, Professor of Physiology at London University, an expert on sugar, claimed 40 years ago that two pounds of sugar a week is not necessary, but also dangerous.

Yudkin reported in his book Sweet and Dangerous that studies confirmed that in Great Britain there was a direct association between the increase in sugar consumption and the rise of coronary heart disease. Moreover, this association had been seen in 20 other nations.

The results of this study did not surprise me. Several years ago I interviewed Linus Pauling, a biochemist and Nobel Prize winner. He told me that when sugar breaks down in the body, part of it produces acetate which is the forerunner of cholesterol which we produce in our liver.

Pauling cited an experiment on prisoners who could not cheat on their diet. This study showed that increasing the amount of sugar also caused an increase in blood cholesterol.

Population studies also associate sugar with cardiovascular disease. Yemenite Jews normally have a diet high in fat but low in sugar and little heart disease. But when they move to Israel and adopt the high sugar diet the incidence of heart disease increases.

In the past, the black populations of South Africa had almost no coronary disease. But when they too increased their consumption of sugar there was also an increase in heart disease.

So what is a prudent move? Primarily, remember that sugar is sweet and dangerous. Moreover, you don’t need much sugar as there is no food value in sugar apart from calories.

Don’t be fooled by packaging labels. And you don’t require a degree in food chemistry to read them. If sugar is labeled at the top of the list of ingredients, you know you’re getting packaged food loaded with sugar.

It’s also easy to forget that sugar has many cousins such as fructose, corn syrup, honey, raw sugar, maple syrup and molasses, to name a few.

Also, be careful of energy drinks that may contain 36% added sugar. And go easy on desserts and candy.

I admit that these studies linking sugar to increased blood cholesterol are just associations. But I believe it is foolhardy to simply ignore this evidence. The real message is that too many calories, not just sugar, is increasing blood cholesterol, resulting in needless deaths.

Unfortunately, unless dramatic measures are taken, too many calories will also kill our health care system.

See the web site for more about cholesterol. For Comments, email

Just Posted

Alberta RCMP investigating email threats sent to multiple businesses

The email threats are demanding Bitcoin payment

Celebrating diversity with Inclusive Schools Week

Westpark Middle School teacher says inclusive schools benefit everyone

RCMP Major Crimes Unit South lay charges in homicide

Rocky Mountain House RCMP responded to a call of a person in distress on the Sunchild First Nation

Red Deer Hospice Society celebrates expansion fundraising milestone

The $1,000,000 mark has been reached in the $5.2 million campaign

UPDATED: Calgary Police receive multiple bomb threats

Similar threats received across Canada and the United States

Omar Khadr wants changes to bail conditions

‘My life is held in suspension’, says the former Guantanamo Bay detainee

Coach accused of sexual assault says apology letter was misinterpreted

Dave Brubaker has pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual assault and one count of invitation to sexual touching

Give the gift of nature this holiday season

Please don’t be mad, but I bought you a moose

Aboriginal poet faces backlash for calling out NHL-themed totem poles

Rebecca Thomas says she received backlash for asking a drugstore chain to remove NHL merchandise

Some Kotex tampons recalled in Canada and U.S.

In some cases, tampon users sought medical attention “to remove tampon pieces left in the body.”

Sex-assault squad investigated eight incidents at Toronto all-boys’ school

The interim president of a Roman Catholic all-boys school rocked by student-on-student abuse allegations said the football program was cancelled for next year.

Coal power in Canada must disappear by the end of 2029, new regulations say

Canada has significantly cut its dependence on coal largely due to the closure of all coal plants in Ontario.

‘Naive approach’ to China at fault in Meng mess: Scheer

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer called on the Trudeau government to “unequivocally denounce any type of repercussions to Canadians on foreign soil.”

Omar Khadr ‘a model of compliance,’ wants changes to bail conditions: lawyer

Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr is back in court today to seek changes to bail conditions.

Most Read