Can drinking beer raise cholesterol?
Drinking beer in moderation may have some benefits to your heart health. But that may not extend to your cholesterol, as drinking beer can increase your triglyceride levels. To find out if drinking some beer or other type of alcoholic beverage is safe for you, talk to your doctor.
When we refer to total cholesterol, it's a combination of HDL and LDL cholesterol plus triglycerides. This is because beer contains carbohydrates and alcohol, two substances that raise triglycerides quickly. And people who are more sensitive to the effects of beer can experience even higher levels of triglycerides.
- If you have high cholesterol already, limit your cholesterol intake to 200 mg per day. A 3 oz. serving of skinless roasted chicken contains between 70 mg and 80 mg of dietary cholesterol, depending on whether it is dark meat or light meat. This is about 25 percent of your recommended cholesterol for the day.
- Although caffeine is often cast as a villain, the stimulant is not to blame for unfiltered coffee's effect on cholesterol levels. According to Klag, the increase in cholesterol is believed to be caused by oils called terpenes that are found in coffee, but are mostly removed by filters.
- There is compelling evidence that your level of stress can cause an increase in bad cholesterol indirectly. For example, one study found that stress is positively linked to having less healthy dietary habits, a higher body weight, and a less healthy diet, all of which are known risk factors for high cholesterol.
Drinking too much alcohol can actually increase your risk for heart disease and stroke, raise blood pressure, contribute to obesity, and increase the levels of fats called triglycerides in the blood. Excessive drinking also can lead to heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathy), irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), and stroke.
- Alcohol may raise levels of good HDL cholesterol by as much as 5 to 15 percent, research shows — and red wine is particularly beneficial because its polyphenol antioxidants may also lower LDL levels. If you're not into vino, grape juice can provide some of the same heart-healthy benefits.
- If you have high levels of bad LDL cholesterol, you may be at risk of heart disease and regular excessive drinking is not advisable. If a blood test determines that you have high levels of LDL cholesterol in your blood, it is advisable to cut down your alcohol consumption to improve your general health.
- Drinking too much alcohol can raise blood pressure to unhealthy levels. Having more than three drinks in one sitting temporarily increases your blood pressure, but repeated binge drinking can lead to long-term increases. If you have high blood pressure, avoid alcohol or drink alcohol only in moderation.
Updated: 25th November 2019