Drinking Too Much Alcohol Affects Cholesterol
When you drink excessively, it can increase your risk for a number of heart-related issues. Excess alcohol consumption can lead to the following:
- Increased triglycerides
- High blood pressure
These factors increase the risk of heart disease. Additionally, too much alcohol increases your risk of congestive heart failure. With congestive heart failure, the heart becomes too weak to pump efficiently. Excessive alcohol consumption can wreak havoc on the cardiovascular system, so it is important to keep consumption in check.
Overall, excessive alcohol use is harmful to the cardiovascular system, while moderate consumption can be effective in increasing HDL levels.
If you have difficulty with alcohol abuse or addiction and are unable to drink in moderation, help is available. By , you can take the first step toward recovery.
Haseeb, Sohaib et al. Wine and Cardiovascular Health. Published on October 10, 2017. Accessed April 10, 2019.
Is Alcohol Always Bad For Cholesterol
So, does alcohol cause high cholesterol in every situation?
In excess, alcohol can be a factor in high cholesterol levels. But in moderation, alcohol is not always a bad thing. In fact, some studies suggest that red wine can actually increase HDL levels, due to chemicals called polyphenols6.
Its important to point out, however, that these same beneficial compounds are available in ordinary grapes and other fruits such as blueberries. And, according to the American Heart Association, regular exercise is much more effective at raising HDL levels than drinking wine7.
In other words, while small amounts of red wine may not make your cholesterol worse, it shouldnt be your go-to for balancing your LDL/HDL levels.
How Much And How Often You Drink Matters
Even though beer, liquor, and wine all have different effects on your cholesterol levels, your heart is more affected by the amount and frequency of your drinking than it is by your choice of beverage.
Moderate drinking, which the NIH defines as one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men, is the amount of alcohol considered to have a protective effect on the heart.
Large studies have shown that moderate drinkers were significantly less likely to have a heart attack when compared with people who didnt drink at all. And men who drank every day had a lower risk compared to those who drank once or twice a week.
Research shows that moderate alcohol consumption can raise your good cholesterol levels by increasing the speeds at which proteins are transported through the body.
Drinking more than what is considered moderate, however, has an opposite effect, because it can raise both cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
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Balancing The Pros And Cons
Though the AHA notes that studies have established a possible link between moderate alcohol consumption and both increased HDL and reduced risk for diabetes, the association also cautions about the simultaneous risks of imbibing: liver damage, stroke, cancer, negative effects on your heart and obesity.
“The debate about drinking alcohol for its benefits on cholesterol keeps going back and forth,” says Dr. Boblick. “Drinking in moderation increases good cholesterol. Drinking too much increases triglycerides and blood pressure, erasing any benefits.”
And, according to Harvard Health Publishing, a strong connection exists between good HDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels: If your triglyceride level goes up, it tends to force your HDL cholesterol down . Therefore, Harvard Health explains, too much alcohol can have the opposite effect of moderate consumption.
Cleveland Clinic also warns that, for some people, drinking at all could be dangerous. This includes people with a personal or family history of alcohol abuse, liver disease or pancreatitis, those who have diabetes, an irregular pulse or elevated blood pressure or triglyceride levels as well as anyone who’s had a heart attack or stroke.
Don’t Drink Beer To Lower Cholesterol
Although one beer a day appears to improve your lipid profile and lower oxidation of LDL in some cases, drinking three or more beers may adversely affect your lipid profile, heart health, and increase your risk of getting certain diseases such as certain cancers, high blood pressure, and having a stoke.
This trend has also been noted with other types of alcohol. Therefore, it is recommended that you do not drink too much beeror any alcoholic beverage for that matterif you are concerned about your heart health.
The American Heart Association recommends that if you do drink alcohol, you should only drink one to two 12 ounce servings of beer daily if you are a man, and 12 ounces of beer a day if you are a woman. Twelve ounces roughly equals 350 mL of beer.;If you do not typically drink, the American Heart Association cautions that you should not start drinking beeror any other alcoholsolely for the purpose of improving your heart health.
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Take A Holistic Approach To Managing Cholesterol
Cholesterol can be deceiving because you cant see or feel it like some other conditions, but it can have serious consequences. If you have high cholesterol, work with your doctor on a cholesterol management plan that is right for you.
For some, diet and exercise are not enough to help manage high cholesterol, in which case a doctor may also prescribe medication to help get cholesterol to a healthy level. In any case, its important to stick with a healthy regimen, including taking your medication regularly and speaking to a doctor about any challenges you may be experiencing.
How Does Sugar In Alcoholic Beverages Affect The Body
While the sugar content in beer is zero, other alcoholic drinks can contain a lot of sugar, especially mixed drinks and liqueurs. The former includes popular choices like daiquiris, margaritas, and piña coladas. Some mixed drinks even have soda added to them, which can affect your teeth. As a result, mixed drinks can contain as much as 30 grams of sugar in just one serving. The liqueurs also contain sugar added by the distiller to enhance the flavor and taste.
Consuming sugar in large quantities can easily lead to weight gain, which can lead to certain medical conditions. Many people tend to enjoy several drinks in a sitting, consuming large amounts of sugar without even realizing it.
This high intake of sugar can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes. People with this condition have blood sugar levels that are too high for their insulin production to control. The development or worsening of this kind of diabetes is one of the most serious dangers of consuming too much sugar.
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What Qualifies As High Cholesterol
- Total Cholesterol: Below 200 milligrams per deciliter
- LDL: Less than 130 mg/dL
- HDL: More than 40 mg/dL
Overall cholesterol above 240 mg/dL and LDL cholesterol at 160 mg/dL or above is considered high. LDL at 190 mg/dL or higher is considered very high. Such levels put people at risk for blood clots, chest pain, heart attack, and stroke.
Good Cholesterol Vs Bad Cholesterol
There are two types of cholesterolone considered positive, and the other negative3:
- Low-density lipoprotein : Often referred to as bad cholesterol, LDL is the type that causes dangerous buildup in the arteries. People who consume large amounts of saturated and trans fats are more likely to have high LDL levels.
- High-density lipoprotein : Considered good cholesterol, HDL protects the body by transporting LDL cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver. The liver breaks down this bad cholesterol, and flushes it from the body.
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Tactics To Reduce Cholesterol Quickly
For most of us, there’s really no need to pack our medicine cabinets with pills to reduce cholesterol levels. Natural, lifestyle-based strategies have proven extraordinarily effective in reducing cholesterol quickly and permanently.
Get the top 5 food and fitness tips recommended by the doctors, dietitians, exercise experts, and other faculty at the Pritikin Longevity Center. Pritikin has been helping people lower cholesterol levels since 1975.
Did you know that for every 10% drop in your cholesterol level, your heart attack risk drops by 20% to 30%? Theres more good news: Most of us can reduce cholesterol quickly, and without the need for medications. Simple lifestyle strategies can be very powerful.
Thats what;several studies;on thousands following the Pritikin Program of diet and exercise have found. Within three weeks, people were able to lower their cholesterol levels on average 23%, which translates into a 46% to 69% drop in heart attack risk.1
Eat Fewer Refined Grains Such As White Flour
Were a nation of white food eaters white bread, white rice, white pasta, and white-flour foods like muffins, croissants, bagels, crackers, dried cereals, tortillas, pretzels, and chips. Yes, more than half of many Americans typical diets are made up of hyperprocessed refined white flour, often injected with sugar, salt, and/or fat.
Thats a real problem in part because the more white, or refined, grains we eat, the fewer whole grains we tend to take in. Research has found that eating whole grains can help lower both total and LDL cholesterol, and improve heart health.
In Harvard Universitys;Nurses Health Study, for example, women who ate two to three servings of whole-grain products each day were 30% less likely to have a heart attack or die from heart disease over a 10-year period than women who ate less than one serving of whole grains per week.2
When first starting to make the switch from refined to whole grains, many people often feel a bit confused. Where to begin? Whats whole? What isnt?
The registered dietitians at the Pritikin Longevity Center start with one very simple rule. When looking at products like breads and cereals, they recommend turning the package around and making sure the first word in the Ingredient List is whole. If you see the word whole at the top of the list, its a good bet that what youre buying is in fact 100% whole grain, or close to it.
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Iii Sample Research On Alcohol And Cholesterol
Researchers made a study using three independent general Japanese populations. The total number of male subjects was 2,289. The number of females was 1,940. Thus, the total number was 4,229. ;Their mean age was;63.3.
Alcohol consumption was positively associated with HDL but negatively with LDL level.
The researchers conclusion was simple. Alcohol consumption has a causal role in not only increasing HDL cholesterol levels but also decreasing LDL cholesterol levels.1
Postmenopausal women participated in an eight-week controlled diet experiment. The control group drank no alcohol. One group consumed one drink per day. The third group had two drinks daily. The energy provided by the three diets was the same. After the diet, the researchers tested the HDL and LDL levels. Then they compared the latter groups to those of the control group.
Women who had one drink daily had lower LDL levels. Having two daily drinks did not significantly reduce them further. One daily drink marginally increased HDL. However, two daily drinks greatly raised HDL levels.2
Other researchers found better HDL levels among nonsmoking men and women who had at least seven drinks weekly. Then the researchers compared them to nonsmoking abstainers. The participants averaged 32 years of age.
Drinking in moderation has a positive affect while smoking appears to have a negative affect on HDL levels.3
Can You Drink Beer While Dieting
Sure, you can, but should you? Generally, the purpose of a diet is to cut the calories youre consuming. Earlier, we discussed the amount of sugar in beer and found that this alcoholic beverage contains none but that doesnt mean its low in calories.
The reality is that beer contains quite a few calories, owing to its large amount of carbohydrates. Beer contains a relatively small percentage of alcohol because not all the carbohydrates are fermented. In contrast, liquors like vodka and gin contain no sugar and fewer carbohydrates because almost all of them are fermented.
If youre watching your calorie intake, its important to factor in liquid calories. In fact, drinking a few beers a day can add hundreds of unnecessary calories.
Some people practice certain diets to support different goals and needs besides weight loss. Its important to follow a healthy, balanced diet when youre pregnant. However, pregnancy usually brings cravings for certain foods. Alcohol isnt good for a developing baby, so its best not to drink beer during pregnancy or any other alcoholic drink.
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Nuts As Natural Cholesterol Reducers
Nuts are already very popular with us anyway. They taste delicious and are very healthy! When eaten in moderation, nuts such as walnuts, almonds or pistachios can lower cholesterol its important not to eat too many at once and to choose the unsalted version. In order not to exceed your daily requirement of nuts, we would recommend topping your morning porridge with a tasty portion of nuts of your choice. This is not only a tasty start to the day, but also does something good for your body!
What Is The Effect Of Alcohol On Your Cholesterol
How difficult a question can it be?
Well, entering it into a well-known search engine and diving head first into the results may soon leave you more baffled then you were to begin with. This is largely down to the fact that results seem to differ drastically from one study to the next, a reflection of how difficult it is to pinpoint the effects of one specific element of a diet.
To untangle the web of confusion, lets first take a moment to understand what cholesterol actually is.
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How Much Alcohol Is Safe To Drink
To stay in good health and avoid illness, the government recommends drinking no more than 14 units of alcohol per week, for men and women. To keep the risks down:
- spread your units out across the week
- have some alcohol-free days
- avoid drinking more than six units in six hours, which counts as binge drinking thats less than three 175ml glasses of wine or three pints of beer.
If you have high cholesterol or FH, it should be OK to drink alcohol within these limits. There are some health problems and treatments which can mean its safer to avoid alcohol all together. Speak to your doctor or nurse about whats safe for you.
In the past, it was thought that drinking in moderation was good for your heart. Its now believed that the only possible benefits are for women over 55 when drinking 5 units a week or less, and the benefits are modest.
We dont recommend drinking alcohol to improve your health, as you will improve your health more by eating well and being active. With alcohol, the cons could out way the pros.
How much is a unit of alcohol?
A unit of alcohol is roughly the amount your body can clear from your blood in one hour. Its the equivalent of 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol.
Different drinks contain different amounts of alcohol, as some are stronger than others. For example, a 175ml glass of wine can contain anywhere between 1.9 and 2.4 units. It can be surprising how many units are in your favorite drinks, and how quickly they add up.
14 units is roughly:
Alcohols Effect On Cholesterol
Ethanol is the specific type of alcohol that is ubiquitous in alcohol drinks. Over the years, a substantial body of evidence that moderate consumption of any alcoholic drink lowers the risk of coronary artery disease has accumulated, which is partly attributed to its effect on cholesterol.
Even a study published last year, in which the authors say no amount of alcohol is good for you, acknowledged the cardiovascular benefits of moderate drinking.
Take your meds on time, every;time
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A possible explanation is that alcohol appears to boost concentration of apolipoprotein A , a compound plays in important role in transporting good HDL cholesterol, as well increasing transport rates. This subsequently reduced LDL cholesterol levels, as the HDL is more effective at removing it from the bloodstream.
Improvements in other lipid-related biomarkers, including HDL cholesterol itself, have alsobeen identified.
Such studies suggest that alcohol delivers these benefits regardless of the specific type of drink. In one of the studies, vodka was the drink of choice, while others use beer, wine, and other spirits.
However, for each study that concludes all alcoholic beverages are equal when it comes to their effect on cholesterol, another suggests that some are more equal than others. In particular, red wine is often highlighted as the most effective.
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Eat More Plant Sources Of Protein
Excellent plant proteins include beans all beans, like lentils, red beans, pinto beans, and soybeans. Rather than raising blood cholesterol levels, as animal sources of protein do, beans actually help lower cholesterol.
Beans also help reduce blood sugar and insulin levels, and may even lower cancer risk.
The French Paradox And Saturated Fat
In correlation studies, measures that represent characteristics of an entire population are used to describe disease . Limitations of correlational studies are the inability to link exposure with disease in particular individuals, the lack of ability to control the effects of potential confounding factors, and the use of average exposure levels rather than actual individual values. Numerous correlation studies have been carried out in various countries concerning the relation between consumption of fat and CHD mortality. In one of the most interesting ones, Artaud-Wild and colleagues examined the relation of CHD mortality to the intake of foodstuffs and nutrients in 40 countries. After having defined a cholesterolsaturated fat index , they studied the relation between the CSI and CHD mortality for all 40 countries .). France had a CSI of 24 per 1000 kcal and a CHD mortality rate of 198, whereas Finland had a CSI of 26 per 1000 kcal and a CHD mortality rate of 1031.
Plot of death rate from coronary heart disease correlated with daily dietary intake of cholesterol and saturated fat as expressed by the cholesterol fat index per 1000 kcal. Reproduced from Artaud-Wild et al, with permission.
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