Sugar’s “Scary” Connection to Cholesterol

Happy Halloween! Holidays that allow us to celebrate together make us happy. We love gathering together to have fun. But Halloween is a holiday that, while we appreciate the “spirit,” we’re not huge fans of the execution. We don’t have a problem with occasionally indulging in sweets and treats. But a holiday dedicated almost entirely to candy isn’t our favorite. Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been sharing sugar-free Halloween recipes on the blog for our sister supplement, Glucocil. We’ve had savory and sweet treats to celebrate.

We don’t usually talk about sugar in relation to BergaOne. Seventy-five percent of cholesterol comes from the liver; the other 25 percent is from diet. While our minds almost instantly go to fatty foods, different types can impact our cholesterol levels as well — sugar being one of them. On average, we eat 17 teaspoons of added sugar every day. Women are advised to eat less than six teaspoons while men are told to have no more than nine.

Research has shown that people who ate high amounts of sugar had lower HDL or “good cholesterol” as well as having more elevated triglycerides. You want higher levels of HDL cholesterol: it clear bad cholesterol from your system so it can’t develop blockages. Even if you aren’t eating candy, processed carbs that break down to sugar in the body take their toll. Additionally, as insulin levels in the blood increase, so does LDL cholesterol — the “bad” cholesterol. HDL decreases, LDL increases and excess sugar is converted to fat, which boosts triglycerides.

Dr. Elizabeth Klodas, cardiologist, said, “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.” White bread and pasta break down in your body quickly, causing your blood sugar to spike.

Cutting back on highly processed foods can be a big help when it comes to your cholesterol and blood sugar concerns. Swapping soda for unsweetened ice tea, candy for fruit, white bread to whole grain can all be excellent steps. However, as we said at the very beginning, we all need the occasional indulgences, and it is Halloween. So, for tonight, just try to go light on the candy bucket.

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