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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Triglycerides In Your Blood
In addition to cholesterol, your blood also contains a type of fat called triglycerides, which are stored in your bodys fat deposits. Hormones release triglycerides to make energy between meals.
When you eat, your body converts any extra energy it doesnt need right away into triglycerides.
Like cholesterol, your body needs triglycerides to work properly. However, there is evidence to suggest that some people with high triglycerides are at increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
If you regularly eat more energy than you need, you may have high triglycerides .
Which Is Positioned As A Health Drink With Low Cholesterol
There is no difference between green and black tea when it comes to lowering cholesterol. Tea leaves are harvested before they have fully fermented, and black leaves of the same plant are harvested after they have fully fermented. Teas cholesterol-lowering effect is thought to be due to catechins, a type of antioxidant found in the tea.
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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 favourite drinks, and how quickly they add up.
14 units is roughly:
How Much Alcohol Is Too Much
While alcohol often gets a bad rap, research is showing that it may not need to be avoided altogether to have good heart health.
The interpretation of too much will vary from person to person. Factors such as age, body size, and liver size all determine how quickly alcohol will be metabolized. Some people can break down alcohol more quickly than others.
The general recommendation is for adults to not participate in anything more than moderate drinking, with less drinking being even better. Moderate drinking is defined as 1 to 2 drinks per day for men and 1 drink per day for women.
In the United States, 1 standard drink is considered to be:
12 ounces of regular beer
5 ounces of wine
1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits
Keep in mind that aside from raising cholesterol and triglyceride levels, excessive drinking is also linked to a long list of other health consequences including cancer, heart disease, birth defects, injuries caused by driving under the influence, memory problems, mental health disorders, alcohol poisoning, and more.
If you drink alcohol or have liver damage, talk to your doctor before taking cholesterol medications known as statins. These medications may cause liver problems, and alcohol use may increase the risk of liver issues.
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Is Vodka 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.
Drinks To Help Lower Cholesterol
What you eat affects your cholesterol. When you eat too many foods that are high in saturated and trans fats, your LDL cholesterol levels can rise.
If you eat plenty of fiberfrom foods like beans and vegetablesyour body can better manage your LDL levels, and your HDL levels can rise.
Incorporating certain beverages into your diet may also help you manage your cholesterol levels.
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Drink Green Black Or Oolong Tea
Tea is the most widely consumed beverage worldwide next to water. Green , black , and oolong are from the same Camellia sinensis plant, which provides cholesterol-lowering and other heart-health benefits.
The heart health of tea is attributed to its abundant flavonoids including flavan-3-ols, which are naturally- occurring plant compounds that can help lower cholesterol and improve blood vessel health. A study published in Advances in Nutrition evaluated the results from 37 previously published studies and reported that study participants who drank 2-3 cups of tea per day reduced risk of heart disease by about 8-12 percent, compared with those who did not drink tea.
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Don’t Drink Beer To Lower Cholesterol
It’s possible that one beer a day might improve 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 some types of cancer, high blood pressure, and stroke.
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 World Health Organization has stated, based on recent studies, that no amount of alcohol intake is safe for health.
The American Heart Association recommends that if you do drink alcohol, males should limit to no more than one to two 12 ounce servings of beer daily, and females should limit to no more than 12 ounces of beer a day. 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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How Much Alcohol Can You Drink If You Are Trying To Reduce Cholesterol Levels
Heart UK state: “Cutting down on alcohol can help you to lower your cholesterol levels.”
Reducing or eliminating your alcohol consumption can also “improve heart health and help to prevent heart disease in other ways too, by helping to look after your liver, your blood pressure, your weight and your waistline”.
Different forms of alcohol, such as wine, beer or liquor, can have different effects on your cholesterol levels.
However, it is the amount of alcohol you consume that is most important.
Reasons To Drink Whiskey For Your Health
Is whiskey good for your health? Youve likely thought about it once or twice, and the answer is, Yes! There are factual reasons drinking whiskey is healthy for you.
Whiskey has incredibly low levels of sodium, fat, cholesterol, and has nearly non-existent levels of carbohydrates, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database. This delicious spirit has a wealth of ellagic acid, a potent antioxidant heavily linked to many of its health benefits.
The 2018 SIP Awards found that 32 percent of our consumer judges preferred this distilled beverage, so for your convenience, weve compiled the top 8 health benefits of drinking whiskey.
1. Regulates Diabetes
Because Whiskey has a very small amount of sugar, it serves as a great drink for those with a health-conscious mind. Whiskey can help reduce the likelihood of diabetes by up to 40 percent. This is because whiskey can drastically enhance the regulation of glucose and insulin levels in the human body, according to research published in ScienceDirect.
2. Boosts Weight Loss
In comparison to other types of spirits, whiskey consists of fewer calories, cholesterol, and fat the simple sugars are rapidly consumed and turned into energy by the body while avoiding unwanted weight gain. Research has suggested that alcohol can reduce obesity in both men and women.
3. Supports Heart Health
4. Fights Against Dementia
5. Builds Better Immunity
6. Diminishes Internal Blood Clotting
7. Enhances Digestion
8. Stops Cancer
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What Causes High Cholesterol
Some causes of high blood cholesterol include:
- Low intake of foods containing healthy fats healthy fats tend to increase the good cholesterol.
- High intake of foods containing unhealthy fats such as fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, butter, coconut oil, palm oil and most deep-fried takeaway foods and commercially baked products . Foods high in trans-fats include most commercially baked products and deep-fried takeaway foods.
- Low intake of foods containing fibre foods that are high in dietary fibre, particularly soluble fibre, can reduce the amount of LDL cholesterol in your blood. Include fibre-containing foods in your diet by choosing vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, nuts and seeds every day.
- Cholesterol in food this has only a small effect on LDL cholesterol -saturated fats and trans-fats in food have a much greater effect.
- You can also eat up to 7 eggs a week as part of a healthy, balanced diet low in saturated and trans-fats, without increasing your risk of heart disease.
Some people will have high cholesterol even if they follow a healthy, balanced diet low in saturated fats and trans-fats. These people may need to take cholesterol-lowering medicine as prescribed by their doctor.
Is Beer Bad For Cholesterol
What about your choice of beverage? When it comes to alcohol and cholesterol, is beer worse than wine?
Ultimately, its the quantity and frequency of drinking that has the biggest impact on your healthincluding your cholesterol. Beer contains both alcohol and carbohydrates, so too much beer will certainly increase the presence of triglycerides in your body and increase your risk of fatty liver.
A few small studies have suggested that drinking beer in moderation is good for your cholesterol levels8. The barley in beer, like the grapes used to make wine, does contain heart-healthy polyphenols. But more research is needed, and once again youre probably better off eating straight whole grains than drinking beer to reduce your cholesterol.
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What Is The Healthiest Wine To Drink
According to Syn, if youre also looking to curtail the amount of calories youre consuming from wine, then dry sparkling and white wines are a good bet. I recommend brut Champagne, cava, pinot grigio, and sauvignon blanc. These have lower sugar content, which contributes to their lower calorie count, she says.
Wine: Is Resveratrol The Key
Its good for my heart is a sentence many people have uttered as they pour themselves another helping of vino, but what evidence is there to support this conventional wisdom?
The Mediterranean Diet is often lauded for its health benefits, particularly regarding heart disease. A 2017 study is one of many that specifically identify its positive effect on cholesterol and overall lipid levels.
One of the staples of the diet is a moderate helping of red wine.
The idea of wine being good for cardiovascular health has for many years been used as a possible explanation for The French Paradox, a term coined in the 1980s concerning the relatively low levels of coronary heart disease in France despite the nations high consumption of saturated fat.
The key question, of course, is whether the wine actually contributes to either phenomenon or is simply carried along by the other healthy aspects of the respective diets and lifestyles.
It has been suggested that polyphenols found in wine may be the key. One such polyphenol that is found in grape skins, resveratrol, has had been shown to have a positive effect on the cardiovascular health of mice.
Unfortunately, researchers cannot agree whether resveratrol benefits humans in a similar manner. A number of studies which you can read about here have found evidence that it does.
Resveratrol is far from the only polyphenol found in wine, however
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Drinking Alcohol And Cholesterol Levels
The subject of alcohol and cholesterol levels has been widely studied. There is now medical agreement that drinking in moderation benefits cholesterol levels.
Unfortunately, many people dont know the benefits of moderate drinking on cholesterol levels. Or they think the benefits apply only to red wine. However, they also apply to white wine, beer, and distilled spirits. Spirits include whiskey, rum, tequila, brandy, gin, etc.
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.
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Iv Resources On Alcohol And Cholesterol
Libonati, J. and Schwinden, K. Good Cholesterol, Bad Cholesterol. Bloomington: Authorhouse, 2011.
Rinzler, C. and Graf, M. Controlling Cholesterol for Dummies. Hoboken, NJ : Wiley, 2008
Senior, N. and Cuskelly, V. Eat to Beat Cholesterol. Chatswood, NSW: New Holland, 2016.
Baer, D. J., et al. Moderate alcohol consumption lowers risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nurs, 2002, 75, 593-599.
De Oliveira, E. et al. Alcohol consumption raises HDL cholesterol levels. Circ, 2000, 102, 2347-2352.
Earnst, N. et al. The association of plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol with dietary intake and alcohol consumption. Circ, 1980, 62, IV 41-52.
Koppes, L., et al. Blood cholesterol levels of 32-year-old consumers are better than of nonconsumers. Pharm Biochem Behav, 2000, 66, 163-167.
Linn, S. et al. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol and alcohol consumption. Am J Pub Health, 1993, 83, 811-816.
Suh, I. et al. Alcohol use and mortality from coronary heart disease. Ann Intern Med. 1992, 116, 881-887.
References for Alcohol and Cholesterol
Does Cranberry Juice Lower Cholesterol
It also appears to improve some cholesterol components that are helpful in the fight against heart disease. The first long-term study of its kind, which looked at the effects of cranberry juice on cholesterol, discovered that drinking two glasses a day raises HDL good cholesterol and lowers high LDL bad cholesterol.
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Healthy Eating Tips To Lower Cholesterol
As well as sticking to a varied and healthy diet, try these tips to help you manage your cholesterol:
- Limit takeaway foods to once a week .
- Limit salty, fatty and sugary snack foods to once a week .
- Eat plenty of vegetables aim for 5 serves of vegetables every day. .
- Choose wholegrain breads, cereal, pasta, rice and noodles.
- Snack on plain, unsalted nuts and fresh fruit .
- Include legumes such as chickpeas, lentils, split peas), beans into at least two meals a week. Check food labels and choose the lowest sodium products.
- Use spreads and margarines made from healthy unsaturated fats instead of those made with saturated fat .
- Use healthy oils for cooking some include canola, sunflower, soybean, olive , sesame and peanut oils.
- Use salad dressings and mayonnaise made from oils such as canola, sunflower, soybean, olive , sesame and peanut oils.
- Include 2 or 3 serves of plant-sterol-enriched foods every day .
- Have 2 to 3 portions of oily fish every week. Fish may be fresh, frozen or canned.
- Include up to 7 eggs every week.
- Select lean meat and limit unprocessed red meat to less than 350g per week.
- Choose reduced fat, no added sugar milk, yoghurt, or calcium-added non-dairy food and drinks.
- Limit or avoid processed meats including sausages and deli meats .
If you are having trouble with your cholesterol levels, a dietitian can help you to eat healthily for your specific needs.