Are You Serious About Reducing Cholesterol
If making healthy changes on your own has been a challenge, it may be time to bring in the professionals! Our team of physicians, nutritionists, exercise experts, psychologists, and chefs – specialize in helping people just like you reduce medication and take contol of their health. A vacation at Pritikin will change your life!
Alcohol Consumption And Impact On Cholesterol Levels
Alcohol consumption is certainly typical in the world. It estimated by the United States Department of Health and Human Services that approximately half of the citizens are drinking on a regular basis. At this time, scientific studies reveal that men and women that drink without excess might be more healthy in certain aspects in comparison to heavy drinkers as well as those that refrain completely. Among the advantages of moderate alcohol consumption, there is surprisingly a positive impact on cholesterol levels.
This Is How Drinking Alcohol Affects Your Cholesterol
The habits you develop in your daily life contribute to your health in both positive and negative ways. If youre looking to make some positive lifestyle changes to contribute to your health, start with choosing nutritious foods, getting plenty of exercise, and avoiding smoking. Your alcohol intake matters, too.
In moderate amounts, red wine is commonly linked to healthy cholesterol levels. But drinking more hard liquor, beer, mixed drinks, and excess red wine has a negative impact on your cholesterol levels.
At Westmed Family Healthcare, we want you to understand the connection between alcohol and cholesterol. Heres some information about cholesterol and how drinking affects your heart health.
You May Like: Is Tahini Good For Cholesterol
So Which Food Products Lower The Level Of Cholesterol Naturally
Animal products with a high fat content, such as fatty meat, whole milk, cheese or butter, as well as heavily sweetened foods and large amounts of alcohol, increase the level of cholesterol and should therefore be avoided. But which foods have the opposite effect and have a positive impact on your cholesterol levels? We have summarised the top 6 for you here:
What Happens When You Drink Excessively
Alcohol is metabolized in the liver, the organ also responsible for metabolizing fats. When the alcohol in the body is excessive the enzymes responsible for metabolizing fats must fulfill another function, taking care of metabolizing the excess alcohol, which leads to an increase in fat concentration in the liver and therefore an increase in bad cholesterol or LDL.
Recommended Reading: Is Tuna Low In Cholesterol
How To Use Fenugreek Seeds For Cholesterol
- Take some leaves of fenugreek seeds and add them to your salad every day.
- You can also use these seeds as spices for various recipes.
- You can add the leaves of fenugreek seeds in your recipes as herbs.
Note- I recommend soaking the seeds overnight so that the bitter taste goes away.
The leaves of fenugreek are not bitter you can use them in whatever quantity you want. They come along with pleasing taste and aroma.
Risks Of Drinking Alcohol
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 , irregular heartbeat , and stroke. Eventually, heavy alcohol use can leave the heart too weak to pump efficiently, a condition called congestive heart failure.
Because drinking alcohol also has other downsides, including increased risk of some cancers, cirrhosis of the liver, and an increased risk of accidents, the American Heart Association does not recommend that you start drinking wine or any other alcoholic beverages specifically to lower your cholesterol or improve your heart health. Instead, the organization advises watching your weight, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly to keep your cholesterol levels in check.
If you do plan to drink, check with your doctor first, and drink in moderation — . Some people, especially pregnant women, and those who take certain medicines regularly, should avoid alcohol entirely.
Also Check: Is Mayo Bad For Cholesterol
Treatment For High Cholesterol
Making lifestyle changes, especially changing some of the foods you eat, and regular physical activity, are very important to help reduce high LDL cholesterol.
You may also need to take cholesterol-lowering medicines to help manage your cholesterol and reduce your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Talk to your doctor about finding the most appropriate treatment for you.
How Does Alcohol Affect Your Cholesterol Levels
Yes, alcohol does affect your cholesterol levels. It is important to drink alcohol in moderation.5 Excessive alcohol consumption puts you at a higher risk of high cholesterol.10
Research shows that up to 19% of alcohol-related deaths were due to cardiovascular diseases.8
While alcohol does increase your chances of developing high cholesterol, it also raises your HDL cholesterol by increasing the transport rate of apolipoproteins A-I and A-II.4
ALCOHOL REHAB HELP
You May Like: Pork Chop Cholesterol
What Is The Relationship Between Alcohol And Cholesterol
The relationship between alcohol and cholesterol is actually a positive one. Studies show that consuming alcohol in moderate amounts can help to lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and raise high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is often referred to as bad cholesterol, and the HDL is referred to as good cholesterol.
Good cholesterol is needed in the body for the production of certain hormones. It also works to improve the absorption of certain nutrients and to flush out the bad cholesterol. The bad cholesterol contributes to high blood pressure and heart disease when levels rise too high.
Studies have found a positive relationship between alcohol and cholesterol namely that it can help to lower cholesterol levels when consumed in moderate amounts. For men, that amounts to one or two drinks daily, while one drink daily is sufficient for women. Consuming anything over the recommended amount will have adverse effects. Therefore, an alcoholic or anyone who consumes alcohol in large amounts will not be able to lower cholesterol through the use of alcohol.
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.
Don’t Miss: Are Mussels High In Cholesterol
How Much Alcohol Is Too Much
Whether or not moderate drinking is good for your heart is open to debate. However, for most people, it doesnt appear to be harmful to the heart, McEvoy says but the key word is moderate.
Moderate drinking is defined as an average of one drink per day for women and one or two for men. A drink might be less than you think: 12 ounces of beer, 4 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits.
Some people should avoid even that much, McEvoy adds. He advises patients not to drink at all if they have certain heart rhythm abnormalities or have heart failure. There are certain situations where its best the patient doesnt drink any alcohol, he says.
Getting A Cholesterol Test
A blood sample is taken that will be used to determine the amount of bad cholesterol , good cholesterol and other fatty substances in your blood.
You may be asked not to eat for 10-12 hours before the cholesterol test, usually including when you’re asleep at night. This ensures that all food is completely digested and won’t affect the outcome of the test.
Your GP or practice nurse can carry out the cholesterol test and will take a blood sample, either using a needle and a syringe or by pricking your finger.
A newer type of test that measures non-high-density lipoprotein is now sometimes used because it’s thought to be a more accurate way of estimating cardiovascular disease risk than LDL.
Non-HDL cholesterol is total cholesterol minus HDL cholesterol. It’s also not necessary to fast before the test, so it is more convenient.
Recommended Reading: How Much Cholesterol In Canned Tuna
Powerful Antioxidants The Added Benefits Of Red Wine
You may have heard of the benefits of red wine in lowering risk of cardiovascular disease. This is in fact due to non-alcoholic components of red wine: tannins. Tannins are natural, astringent and bitter substances that come from the maceration of the skins and aging in wood. Its presence is felt on the tongue and gums. Tannins from fruit skin macerated grape musts are healthier and fine, whereas wood tannins are more aggressive. Tannins are plant polyphenols composed of a series of compounds containing aromatic rings with highly antioxidants properties. Polyphenols have been demonstrated according to studies published in 2007 by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition to inhibit a type of LDL oxidation due to free radicals damage. Oxidized LDL is responsible for plaque formation in arterial blood vessels that result in atherosclerosis. Red wine by limiting the atherosclerosis process reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Will Quitting Alcohol Lower My Cholesterol
If you have high cholesterol, quitting or cutting back on alcohol can certainly help lower it, and improve your heart health more generally. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control lists cutting back on alcohol as a way to prevent or manage high cholesterol9.
Other ways to lower your cholesterol include getting regular exercise, eating a healthier diet, and quitting smoking. Of course, if youre concerned about your cholesterol levels, we also recommend discussing your habits with your doctor.
If cutting back on alcohol proves challenging, the good news is that there are easier, more flexible options than before. Ria Health offers online support to reduce or quit drinking from an app on your smartphone. We support everyone from heavy to occasional drinkersyou dont need to identify as an alcoholic to join.
Don’t Miss: Are Mussels High In Cholesterol
Is Alcohol Really Bad For Your Heart
Heavy drinking can make you more likely to get serious health problems like liver disease, cancer, and peptic ulcers, among others. Regular or high alcohol use can hurt your heart and lead to diseases of the heart muscle, called cardiomyopathy. Drinking alcohol regularly also can raise your blood pressure.
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
Don’t Miss: Is Shrimp Bad For Your Cholesterol
Does Alcohol Influence Cholesterol Levels
Alcohol is a fixture in our society many people consume at least a small amount almost every day. Although many studies do not attribute any good properties to alcohol in any quantities, the positive effect of moderate amounts of alcohol on the cardiovascular system cannot be denied. But what about cholesterol?
According to long-term studies at the University of Tampere in Finland, alcohol in small amounts leads to a reduction in LDL cholesterol and an increase in HDL cholesterol. In contrast to HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol is the bad variety! So should one drink alcohol to balance the level of cholesterol? This question is easy to answer: No. In larger quantities the risks outweigh the benefits. The increase in HDL cholesterol and the associated benefits are also rather marginal. The total cholesterol balance is affected just as much total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol rise to the same extent.
What Is Considered Healthy Cholesterol
High-density lipoprotein is considered the healthy kind of cholesterol.
For men 20 years and older, 125 to 200mg/dL is considered a healthy level for overall cholesterol. HDL should be about 40mg/dL or higher. Meanwhile, LDL should be less than 100mg/dL.2
For women 20 years and older, 125 to 200mg/dL is considered a healthy level for overall cholesterol. HDL should be about 50mg/dL or higher. Meanwhile, LDL should be less than 100mg/dL.2
ALCOHOL REHAB HELP
Recommended Reading: Can Dehydration Skew A Cholesterol Test
Debate Over Research Methods
A logical possibility is that some of the alcohol abstainers in research studies previously drank excessively and had undermined their health. After they quit they were categorized as non-drinkers, which in turn lead to more sick people in the non-drinkers category. To test this hypothesis, a meta analysis has recategorized people accordingly. As a result there is no benefit of alcohol consumption while also showing that alcohol is detrimental to health even at low doses.
Cholesterol And Healthy Eating
What we eat has an impact on our cholesterol levels and can help reduce our risk of disease. Try to eat a wide variety of foods from each of the five food groups. Not only does this help to maintain a healthy and interesting diet, but it provides essential nutrients to the body.
The Heart Foundation recommends:
- Plenty of vegetables, fruits and wholegrains.
- A variety of healthy protein sources , legumes , nuts and seeds. Smaller amounts of eggs and lean poultry can also be included in a heart healthy diet. If choosing red meat, make sure it is lean and limit to 1-3 times a week.
- Unflavoured milk, yoghurt and cheese. Those with high blood cholesterol should choose reduced fat varieties.
- Healthy fat choices nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and their oils for cooking
- Herbs and spices to flavour foods, instead of adding salt.
Also, be mindful on how much you are eating and whether you are filling up on unhealthy foods. Portion sizes have increased over time and many of us are eating more than we need which can lead to obesity and increase our risk of cardiovascular disease.
Ideally, a healthy plate would include servings of ¼ protein, ¼ carbohydrates and ½ vegetables.
Serving size can vary depending on age, gender and specific nutrition needs.
Also Check: Are Crabs High In Cholesterol
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
If Lifestyle Changes Arent Enough
Take medications, if you need to, to lower your cholesterol into healthy ranges. Drugs like statins can be very effective, says Dr. Danine Fruge, MD, ABFP – Medical Director at the Pritikin Longevity Center, but do continue in your efforts to eat well and exercise because a healthy lifestyle can give you far, far more than drugs alone.
With a healthy living program like Pritikin, youre not only reducing cholesterol quickly, youre also creating changes throughout your body that can profoundly improve your overall well-being. Youre reducing blood sugar levels and blood pressure. Other heart disease risk factors like triglyceride fats are also dropping dramatically. Youre also reducing inflammatory factors that sicken arteries. Youre shedding excess weight. And, quite simply, youre feeling better, much better. Many of our guests at Pritikin tell us, I had no idea I could feel this good again.
Can any pill or combination of pills do all of the above? I highly doubt it. But a healthy lifestyle like Pritikin can.
Recommended Reading: How Much Cholesterol In Pork Chops