The cholesterol myth: Is sugar the big culprit?
If you want to reduce your risk for the type of coronary heart disease often referred to as “clogging” or “hardening” of the arteries, should you reduce the amount of cholesterol, saturated fat or sugar in your diet?
If you’ve been trying to reduce high blood cholesterol levels, you might be surprised to learn that sugars, even more than saturated fats, are the main culprits contributing to your problem. It’s also not the cholesterol you eat. That’s because the cholesterol that causes atherosclerosis, or plaque in your arteries, is mainly manufactured by your body, not a result of the dietary cholesterol contained in the foods you eat, explains cardiologist and cholesterol expert Dr. Seth Baum, founder of Preventive Cardiology in Boca Raton, Florida.
Even more confusing is that the amount of “bad” cholesterol (known as LDL) in your blood is not as important as the number of LDL particles you create. LDL particles transport LDL cholesterol throughout your body. The more LDL particles in your blood, the more likely LDL cholesterol will penetrate your arteries, create plaque, and then cause the arterial problems, including inflammation, that can lead to heart attack and stroke.