Healthy Drinks To Replace Soda
It probably doesnât come as a surprise, but water tops the list when it comes to healthy drinks to replace soda. Water helps carry nutrients and oxygen to your cells, aids in proper digestion and helps regulate your body temperature. Harvard Health Publishing also adds that drinking enough water can help normalize your blood pressure and keep your heart beat stable.
But if youâre looking for something other than plain water, there are some other healthy choices that wonât negatively affect your cholesterol levels. Some options include:
- Flavored herbal teas over ice
- Sparkling water flavored with fresh or frozen fruit
- Hot water with a dash of cinnamon and a small amount of maple syrup
- Flat or sparkling water with fresh mint leaves
While indulging in a soda once in a while probably wonât have a significant impact on your cholesterol levels, itâs best to drink water or one of these other unsweetened options most of the time.
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Alcohol Boosts Good Cholesterol
A few studies have found that people who drink alcohol in moderation have lower rates of heart disease, and might even live longer than those who abstain. Alcohol has also been tied to a lower risk of blood clots and decreased levels of inflammation markers.
Many believe that the main benefit of alcohol comes from its ability to raise HDL cholesterol levels .
In particular, red wine might offer the greatest benefit for lowering heart disease risk and death because it contains higher levels of natural plant chemicals — such as resveratrol — that have antioxidant properties and might protect artery walls.
How Drinking Beer Affects Cholesterol
Beer is probably the most popular alcoholic beverage in the world. Although beer sometimes garners a bad reputation due to its alcohol content, it also contains a few surprisingly healthy ingredients.
Barley, one such ingredient that is used to make beer, contains polyphenols, which have been linked to lowering cholesterol levels and promoting heart health.
There are also some studies suggesting that, in modest amounts, alcoholic beverages such as beer may also be able to improve heart health. But can drinking beer also lower your cholesterol levels?
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The Effect Of Beer On Cholesterol And Triglycerides
There are not a lot of studies specifically examining how beer can affect your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Most studies include many types of alcoholic beverages to examine their effect on cholesterol, triglycerides, and heart health as a whole. In these studies, the type or brand of beer was not usually noted.
Studies have examined the consumption of beer products on lipids in amounts ranging from 60 to 340 mL daily for a duration between 4 and 6 weeks on average.
In some studies, people drinking at least one beer beverage a day saw an increase in healthy high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels by up to 11%. Additionally, unhealthy low-density lipoprotein levels in some studies were lowered by up to 18%, although some other studies did not see a significant decrease in LDL.
The manner in which beer may affect your lipid levels is not known.
One study showed that consuming one beer daily could reduce the oxidation of LDL. However, consumption of three or more beers daily actually promoted LDL oxidation. Studies have shown that oxidized LDL can promote inflammation of the inner lining of blood vessels and contribute to the formation of atherosclerosis, which leads to the development of cardiovascular disease.
Understanding Blood Pressure Levels
Research participants provided details about their drinking habits via a questionnaire that was part of the Centers for Disease Control and PreventionÃ¢s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
The study defined moderate drinkers as those having 7 to 13 drinks per week, while heavy drinkers downed 14 or more drinks on a weekly basis.
Investigators measured blood pressure during in-home interviews and at a mobile examination center. Pressure is gauged in millimeters of mercury, or mmHg. The top number represents how much pressure is pushing against artery walls as the heart beats, and the bottom number represents pressure when the heart rests between beats. Readings were categorized according to American Heart Association standards.
Based on their findings, study authors determined that the likelihood of having elevated high blood pressure was on average 19 percent greater among moderate drinkers and 44 percent higher for the heavy drinkers compared with those who never drank.
Compared with the never-drinkers, moderate drinkers had 53 percent higher odds of having stage 1 hypertension and 100 percent greater odds for stage 2 hypertension.
Risks were higher for heavy drinkers they faced a 69 percent greater chance of developing stage 1 hypertension and 140 percent greater chance for stage 2 hypertension compared with those who totally avoid alcohol.
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Alcohols Effects On Your Heart
There is no hard and fast data showing exactly what happens to the heart when we drink. Steven Nissen, MD, chair of the department of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, says that this is because most research in this area is observational so far, these studies have shown no direct cause-and-effect relationship
Broadly powerful agents like alcohol do a lot of things in the body, and we dont know exactly what is responsible for the benefits, Dr. Nissen says.
But when adults drink in moderation, Nissen says, the heart appears to benefit in three ways:
In an extensive review of more than 100 studies dealing with alcohol intake and heart disease, researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston found that moderate drinkers had a 25 to 40 percent reduced risk of heart attack, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, and death from cardiovascular causes compared to nondrinkers.
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How Much Is Too Much
Moderation is key when it comes to alcohol. Consider this advice from the National Institutes of Health : Drinking less is better for health than drinking more.
So wheres that line? The federal Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025 advises that adults of legal drinking age should limit alcohol intake to two drinks or fewer in a day for men and one drink or fewer in a day for women.
This is not meant as a daily average or target, either. Instead, consider it more of a boundary on any given day when you might choose to have an alcoholic beverage.
Its important to define what a drink means, too, as not all alcohol is the same. A standard alcoholic drink is typically defined as:
- 12 ounces of regular beer .
- 5 ounces of wine .
- 1.5 ounces of a distilled spirit .
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Is It True That Wine Lowers Your Bad Cholesterol
Q: Is it true that wine lowers your bad cholesterol?
A: First of all, what is bad cholesterol? The term refers to low density lipids found in the bloodstream. High levels of LDL can contribute to atherosclerosisthe hardening and narrowing of arteries due to plaque depositwhich can lead to heart disease.
In clinical studies, some foods and drinks, especially wine, have been shown to lower LDL. But according to Miriam Pappo, a registered dietician and director of Clinical Nutrition at Montefiore Medical Center, There is conflicting evidence on this. Antioxidants in general have been shown to lower bad cholesterol and increase HDL, also known as good cholesterol. She continued, The antioxidant resveratrol, found in wine, might be the key ingredient in wine that helps prevent damage to blood vessels, reduce bad cholesterol or LDL, and increase good cholesterol HDL. Much resveratrol research, however, has been performed on animals and in larger doses than would be found in normal wine consumption.
Pappo pointed out that several major studies on this topic have produced different results. The 2005 French Paradox study showed that alcohol found in red wine increased HDL but did not decrease LDL. Researchers in Madrid, meanwhile, found that red wine could lower LDL levels by 9 percent in healthy people and by 12 percent in less-healthy people.
Have a question about wine and healthy living? .
Natural Remedies And Lowering Cholesterol
Its very important to talk to your health professional before using any:
- natural remedies
- or complementary therapies.
Sometimes they can do more harm than good. They may interact with any medication that youre taking, which can be dangerous. They can also make your medication less effective. Your doctor needs to know everything that you are taking to ensure that the combination is safe.
If youve been prescribed cholesterol-lowering medication, make sure you take it as directed by your doctor. This is one of the most effective ways to keep your cholesterol levels down.
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Is Beer Bad For Heart Health
Beer generally gets a bad heart-health rap thanks to its calorie and sugar content. This raises your risk of obesity, particularly abdominal obesity, which in turn is a risk factor for high cholesterol. But the story isnt as clear-cut as it first seems, as beer may also confer some heart benefits.
One reason is that the barley, malt and hops used to brew beer contain polyphenols plant compounds that have been linked to lowering cholesterol levels and overall risk of heart disease. Beer is also a reasonable source of vitamin B6, a nutrient that helps dampen the effect of homocysteine, a blood chemical associated with a higher risk of heart disease.
Heavy drinking more than 14 units a week on a regular basis still carries strong health warnings. But there is some evidence suggesting that consuming moderate amounts of alcohol, including beer, may help protect against heart disease.
This protection is normally found in men over 40 and postmenopausal women. But in 2017, researchers from the University of Cambridge and University College London found that moderate drinkers were less likely to have a heart attack or stroke compared with both teetotalers and heavy drinkers. This protection was found in both men and women aged over 30.
Do light beers have any health benefits?
Is Alcohol To Blame For High Cholesterol And Triglyceride Levels
Cholesterol and triglycerides are two forms of blood-borne fat that appear in the human circulatory system. People with too much LDL cholesterol or triglycerides in their bloodstreams can develop substantially increased risks for serious forms of heart disease. In a study published in December 2013 in the journal Alcohol, a team of Japanese researchers looked at the connection between LDL and triglyceride levels and occasional or habitual heavy consumption of alcohol. Does heavy drinking of alcohol affect triglycerides and cholesterol levels? This was the question the researchers wanted to answer. They found that even occasional heavy drinking can increase both triglycerides and bad cholesterol.
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How Alcohol Can Damage The Cardiovascular System
The heart and blood vessels form part of the cardiovascular system.1Blood is pumped around the body by the heart, via these blood vessels through arteries, capillaries and veins.2 The blood delivers nutrients and other materials to all parts of the body, including alcohol, which is absorbed directly into the blood stream mainly via the stomach and small intestine.
The cardiovascular system is affected by alcohol. At the time of drinking, alcohol can cause a temporary increase in heart rate and blood pressure. In the long-term, drinking above the guidelines can lead to on-going increased heart rate, high blood pressure, weakened heart muscle and irregular heartbeat. All of which can increase the risk of alcohol-caused heart attack and stroke.
Increased heart rate
Heart rate is the number of times the heartbeats per minute. Alcohol can cause variability in the way the heart beats the time between heart beats. Studies have found that regular heavy drinking can cause episodes of tachycardia . 6,7Complications due to regular episodes of tachycardia, do vary depending on their frequency, length and severity, but it can cause blood clots that can lead to a heart attack or stroke.8
Increased blood pressure
Weakened heart muscle
Irregular heart beat
Can Drinking Alcohol Affect Cholesterol Levels
Can a few glasses of wine after work affect cholesterol? Alcohol is filtered through the liver and cholesterol is produced in the same place, but its effect on heart health really depends on how often and how much you drink.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance produced in the body, but it can also be obtained from food. One type of cholesterol, called low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or bad cholesterol, builds up in the arteries and forms plaque.
This plaque can restrict blood flow to other parts of the body or cause plaque clots to flake off, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
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Too Much Stress Can Cause High Cholesterol
Stress is the main cause of major health problems which include high cholesterol. When the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline increase in our body, it increases the level of Low density lipoprotein and can cause other major health problems that are high blood sugar and inflammation which can cause other health problems.
Alcohols Effects On Cholesterol
Simply put: Alcohol can raise your cholesterol.
According to HEART UK, a United Kingdom-based organization focused on raising awareness about high cholesterol, alcohol is broken down and rebuilt into triglycerides and cholesterol in the liver. This, in turn, leads to increased triglycerides and cholesterol in your blood.
When triglyceride levels get too high, triglycerides can build up in the liver and cause fatty liver disease. Since the liver is somewhat compromised, it may not be able to remove cholesterol from your blood. This can raise your cholesterol.
Alcohol can also lead to weight gain, which can then lead to high blood pressure and heart disease. Other health problems alcohol can contribute to include pancreatitis and depression.
Since excessive alcohol use can lead to addiction and other issues, dietary guidelines regarding alcohol consumption have been issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Drinking in moderation for men is two drinks or less a day, and one drink a day for women. Two out of threeadults admit to drinking above moderate levels at least once a month.
There are people who should refrain from drinking at all, including:
- Those who are pregnant or might become pregnant
- Those under the legal drinking age
- Those with certain medical conditions
- Those taking certain medications
- Those recovering from an alcohol use disorder, or those who have trouble limiting their alcohol intake
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Can Alcohol Raise Your Cholesterol
You will have higher levels of triglycerides and cholesterol in your blood if you drink alcohol. Too much triglyceride in the blood can cause fatty liver disease if it builds up in the liver. Due to insufficient liver function, cholesterol levels in the blood increase due to a failure to remove cholesterol from the blood.
When Should My Cholesterol Levels Be Tested
Your GP may recommend that you have your blood cholesterol levels tested if you:
- have been diagnosed with coronary heart disease, stroke or mini stroke , or peripheral arterial disease
- have a family history of early cardiovascular disease
- have a close family member who has a cholesterol-related condition
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What Role Does Cholesterol Play In Health
Cholesterol has a few major functions in the body. It plays a part in hormone and vitamin D production. Its also incorporated into bile acids, which aid digestion and vitamin absorption. Cholesterol provides support to the production and maintenance of your cell membranes, as well.
In other words, you need cholesterol for good health.
Understanding Cholesterol Functioning And Alcohol
To understand how alcohol affects cholesterol levels, its important to know more about cholesterol. Cholesterol is a fatty, wax-like substance found in all cells of our body. We need cholesterol because it helps with important bodily functions like creating hormones and vitamin D.
However, when cholesterol levels are too high, it can build up in blood vessels in the form of plaque, narrowing or even blocking blood vessels over time. Narrow blood vessels prevent oxygenated blood from reaching important organs like the brain and heart and may lead to coronary heart disease, heart attack or stroke.
Cholesterol is carried in the blood by the lipoproteins, high-density lipoprotein and low-density lipoprotein .
- High-density lipoprotein : this is known as good cholesterol because it picks up excess cholesterol from the body and takes it to the liver where it can be removed from the body.
- Low-density lipoprotein : this is known as bad cholesterol because it can lead to a build-up of plaques in blood vessels. Low-density lipoprotein transports cholesterol throughout the body.
If you have ever had your cholesterol checked, the report likely included triglycerides levels as well. Triglycerides are another type of fat that can build up in blood vessels causing plaque. Like cholesterol, high levels of triglycerides also increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
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Can I Drink Alcohol If I Have High Triglycerides What Can I Do
No, you should not drink alcohol if you have high triglyceride levels in your blood.
But, it can be worked around if you are ready to follow certain corrective steps and you also wish to enjoy your drink.
You will have to make some therapeutic changes in your life. Keep these changes sustained and consistent all your life.
Give these nonmedical therapies about 12 weeks to bring your levels to normal. If they havent, contact your doctor who may you put on medication.
With medication, continue with your above mentioned four nonmedical therapeutic life changes. They are to be your companions throughout life.
Once your levels are normal and stabilized, you can drink within the recommended limits only. Do not be tempted into binge drinking. It will spike your triglyceride levels the very next day.
Again, if your triglycerides are under control with prescription meds and you wish to drink, should you?