Refined dietary sugars lack minerals and vitamins. As such they must draw upon the body's micro-nutrient stores in order for it to be metabolized into the system. The depeletion of these micro nutrient storehouses affect the metabolization of cholesterol and fatty acids which contributes to higher blood serum triglycerides and LDL cholesterol.
In the 1980's, Dr. Sheldon Reiser of the USDA published research showing that dietary sugar plays a major role in blood cholesterol levels. Reiser found that a high dietary sugar intake raises blood triglyceride (blood fat) and LDL (bad) levels, while lowering HDL (good) levels. Reiser's work indicates that it is the fructose (fruit sugars) component of ordinary white sugar that elevates blood cholesterol. White sugars called sucrose is a combination of one glucose and one fructose molecule. Dr Reiser's work takes on special significance, considering the popularity lately of fructose as a "natural" sweetener in many carbo-lading, energy, diet and soft drinks and powders.
Manufacturers claims that fructose-sweetened foods and beverages have a low "glycemic index" and disturb blood sugar levels less than white sugar may be more than offset by fructose's blood cholesterol raising power. Dr. Reiser's work makes it clear that the worst combination for creating elevated blood cholesterol, even on a low cholesterol diet, is foods rich in both fat and sugar.
Considering America's penchant for sugar and fat rich desserts and snacks, the country's high national average blood cholesterol levels may be due as much to this dietary imbalance, as to our high national intake of meat and dairy foods.
It is relevant to note here that while America's per capita consumption of meat, eggs, butter and cream has dropped significantly from 1900 to the present, the per capita sugar consumption has risen from a very modest 5 pounds per year in 1800 to about 190 pounds per year in the 1990's!
Aside from upsetting the body's mineral balance and raising cholesterol levels, sugar is known to suppress the immune system, promote tooth decay, cause hormonal imbalance, cause hypertension and contribute to obesity, osteoporosis and diabetes.