It’s not just what you chew over for your meals that can send your cholesterol into the danger zone. Certain drinks will not only add excess calories but also raise your cholesterol. Here are 8 of the worst drinks you can drink when trying to get your cholesterol on the level.
When you eat lots of saturated fat, it increases your LDL cholesterol and reduces HDL cholesterol. That’s a bad thing, and it happens right away. In a 2017 study, milkshakes proved to be the enemy when testing revealed blood vessel flexibility was restricted after just one milkshake. Worry less about a moment on the lips and a lifetime on the hips as it seems a milkshake can affect so much more than weight. Just one high-fat item can make for big damages that will stay with you long after you slurp up that last drop.
Soda, even the diet kind, is a horrible thing to drink. It only takes a little bit of it to negatively impact your cholesterol. As recently as 2020, a study published in JAMA found that adults that drank one or more soda each day had a greater risk for high cholesterol. This newer research is finding that things that contain heaps of sugar all have the same common thread – they impact cholesterol levels and lead to cardiovascular disease.
Soda isn’t the only one sending you to a potentially early grave. Other sugary beverages should be avoided too. Fruit drinks that come with added sugars, sweetened teas, and other sugar-added beverages are all just as much of a danger. Remember, just a little bit of that sugar does a huge number on your cholesterol and your cardiovascular health.
French press coffee
Coffee has some rather stellar health benefits. However, not all coffee is a good choice when it comes to cholesterol and heart health. In certain types of coffee, such as French press coffee, cafestol, a compound that raises cholesterol, can cause harm. Using those paper coffee filters removes it, but when you use a French press for coffee, it leaves cafestol in there which can disrupt the regulation of lipoproteins in your intestinal tract. On the bright side, you’d need to drink over 5 cups of unfiltered French press coffee to have any ill effects, but it might just be best to use the kind of brewing methods that call for paper filters.
Your beloved espresso also exposes you to cafestol. In unfiltered coffee drinks, you will be raising your cholesterol levels. Again, one unfiltered espresso isn’t going to do you in, but if you regularly consume it and the doctor has warned you about your cholesterol, it’s time to make a switch.
Coconut oil smoothies
In the worst food for cholesterol list above, coconut oil is something you should avoid for its high saturated fat content. In only one tablespoon, coconut oil has 12 grams! One big trend that needs to go is the addition of coconut oil to smoothies. A smoothie filled with heart-healthy leafy greens and fruits is an excellent choice for good health. It can keep you full with protein powder too. However, nix the addition of coconut oil to it. Simply consuming it for 2 weeks can raise your LDL cholesterol by over 10 milligrams per deciliter.
While wine, particularly of the red variety, has garnered heart-health praise over the years, that’s not a free license to drink as much of it as you’d like. Wine, beer, and alcohol in any form will increase your triglycerides. Drinking heavily, even if your heavy consumption only happens once a month, can make a major impact on blood fat ratios and put you in danger of cardiovascular disease. If you drink, the best thing you can do is stick to the recommendation of one drink per day for women and two for men so you keep your cholesterol and heart healthy.
Caffeine is a great way to jumpstart metabolism and help you achieve weight loss and fat loss. In moderation, caffeine is certainly fine, but moderation is thrown out the window in those energy drinks. Energy drinks contain as much as 300 mg of caffeine, much more than your typical cup of joe. However, coffee in its natural state without adding sugar or cream is a healthy choice. Energy drinks tend to include guarana, an ingredient that contains caffeine itself, plus other stimulants. When you consume more caffeine than necessary, you can skyrocket blood pressure and cholesterol.
Are you drinking any of these items regularly? If so, it’s time to start phasing them out. So many people have trouble cutting soda out, but it’s worth it. Start by drinking them less and less until you don’t drink them at all. If you find it hard to drink enough water each day, liven it up by infusing it with fresh fruits and herbs. These will give you more flavor plus more helpful nutrients that will put you in better health. Additionally, green tea, berry smoothies, and tomato juice are other healthy options to help cholesterol.