The fact is that we’ve been brainwashed with bad science for over 60 years that high total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels come from eating too much fat, especially if it’s animal fat.
Our experience has been pretty consistent that sugar does raise cholesterol and that when people adopt a paleo lifestyle, their cholesterol levels come down, without medication.
So first I’ll share a couple of successes of some people that I’ve coached in our 30 Day Paleo Challenge and what happened with their cholesterol levels as well as their triglycerides. Then I’ll share a study from the Journal of the American Medical Association that backs up what our experience shows.
Shirley, pre-paleo total cholesterol 234. After 30 days of non-strict paleo (meaning she still consumed some grains, legumes and dairy, just less than before) her total cholesterol was 222. Triglycerides pre-paleo were 228, post 30 day challenge, 146.
Shannon, pre paleo 30 day challenge, 200. Post 30 days, 181. Triglycerides pre-paleo 30 day challenge, 105. Post 30 days, 74.
During their Paleo 30 Day Challenge they consumed less carbohydrates (sugars) and ate a great deal more saturated fat from animal products.
Their experience, and the experience of thousands of other people is that sugar does raise cholesterol levels and that decreasing or eliminating the sugars, cholesterol levels come down, without medication.
Here’s an excerpt from a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association that shows that high sugar consumption does in fact raise cholesterol levels.
Excess sugar is known to contribute to obesity, diabetes, and other conditions linked to heart disease, and now new research links it to unhealthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
People in the study who ate the most added sugar had the lowest HDL, or good cholesterol, and the highest blood triglyceride levels. People who ate the least sugar had the highest HDL and the lowest triglyceride levels.
Eating large amounts of added sugar more than tripled the risk of having low HDL, which is a major risk factor for heart disease.
Here’s the key: Fats, specifically saturated fats don’t cause high cholesterol but studies and experience shows that sugar does raise cholesterol.