It is true that foods high in saturated fat can increase cholesterol, but they are not the only foods that are to blame.
Surprisingly, there is a strong body of evidence suggesting that high cholesterol foods do not directly raise cholesterol levels. In fact, there are a host of lifestyle factors and genetics at stake when it comes to elevated cholesterol levels.
Cholesterol levels are affected by:
- Healthy eating
- Practice habits
- Sleep hygiene
- Weight management
Improving your cholesterol will likely be the result of both what you choose to eat and what you exercise to a limited extent. Let’s dive into the right drinking habits to change to improve your cholesterol levels!
Added sugars can raise LDL cholesterol, also known as “bad” cholesterol. One of the ways this happens is through the liver. Too much sugar signals the liver to make more of the bad stuff, and less good cholesterol.
Drinking less soda is difficult. Wean yourself slowly, and find alternatives you enjoy. Consider this personal account of how I stopped drinking soda.
Sober-curious living is trending – and for good reason! In addition to the benefits to mental health, drinking less alcohol is good for your heart. In fact, the health benefits of even moderate alcohol consumption – defined as one standard drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men – are now up for debate.
When in doubt, it may be wise to drink more consciously. Make a mocktail at home if you feel fancy, and enjoy the health benefits of less alcohol!
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If you live in the south, this can sting. Sweet tea is high in both calories and added sugars, which we already know increase “bad” cholesterol.
Sweet tea is often commonly consumed. Meaning, we drink it out of habit with every meal or as a pick-me-up. These daily habits stand out and the low calories of sugar-soft drinks do not help either.
Sugar-sweetened beverages are known to have a negative effect on our weight over time leading to a greater incidence of obesity. Weight gain and obesity are both related to elevated cholesterol levels.
For more, we have provided you with the best & worst bottles of tea in America.
Coffee creamers are very tasty, but this “extra” adds significant sugar and fat to your cup of choice. Creamers also tend to be dairy-based which have a significant amount of saturated fat – one type of fat that can raise cholesterol more for some people than others.
Remember to measure a napkin or two in your coffee to see how much you actually drink. Choose a creamer with less added sugar and fat, and see if you can manage with a portioned serving!
Whether you are drinking milk, coffee creamer, or a new kefir option, be aware of the added calories of saturated fat. Choose options that are low fat, 1% or 2% fat most of the time.
For an added cholesterol bonus, focus on combining foods with saturated fat in them with high fiber options to “be” excess cholesterol that is produced by your body. A diet high in fiber has been shown to reduce “bad” cholesterol levels!
For more tips on cholesterol, read the following: