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Diet for High Cholesterol: Trade Sugar for This

Make that heart-friendly bowl of oatmeal even better for your cholesterol by mixing in some fresh berries instead of sugar.

A study showed that too much added sugar in the diet (particularly added sugar) could contribute to high cholesterol levels. But trading sugar for fresh fruit is a sweet way to cut back on the white stuff.

Sickeningly sweet
In a study, people who averaged about 90 grams of added sugar a day tended to have higher triglyceride levels and less of the good HDL cholesterol than did the people who typically ate less sugar. Other studies suggest that one of the monosaccharides in sugar may inhibit the removal of lipids from the blood. (Addicted to too much sugar? Here are six ways to break the habit with ease.)

Fruity sweets for your heart
Nixing the table sugar in your coffee and cereal is just one way to start cutting back. You can also sleuth out the high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) hidden in processed foods—like drinks, condiments, salad dressings and breads. A diet for high cholesterol should include no more than 100 calories of added sugar a day for women and 150 calories of added sugar a day for men.

Lower your cholesterol naturally with these foods—great for a diet for high cholesterol.

Medically reviewed in November 2019.

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