A diet high in fats, particularly saturated fat, raises cholesterol levels and increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. In addition, a recent nationwide survey of 6000 adults, who were not diabetic, found that eating more foods sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup or table sugar causes negative effects on lipids in ways not clearly understood before.
The study confirmed many things we already know, like how diets rich in sweets will moderately raise triglyceride levels and have almost no effect on bad cholesterol (LDL-C) levels.
The surprise finding was how much the good cholesterol (HDL-C) levels were lowered by eating sweets. (Good cholesterol [HDL-C] levels are considered “low” if less than 40 mg/dl for men and “low” if less than 50gm/dl for women.)
Consumption of sweets was measured in the percentage of daily calories that came from added sugars or syrup. When compared with those who had the lowest sugar consumption, those who ate more than 25% of their daily calories from sugars were more than three times as likely to have low HDL-C levels.
People with low good cholesterol are just as likely to result in a heart attack or stroke as people with high levels of bad cholesterol (LDL-C). So a sugary soft drink can be just as bad for you as a high fat hamburger.
Only 120 years ago, a 19th century health reformer named Ellen White, made the following statement: “The free use of sugar in any form tends to clog the system, and is not infrequently a cause of disease.” (Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 56)