What affects cholesterol level?
Cholesterol is a substance required by the body in order to promote a proper digestion. However, like many other things in life, excessive level of cholesterol in the body is not recommended, as it may cause variety of health problems which can be life-threatening. Cholesterol which exists inside our bloodstream is partially made by our body and partially resulted from the foods we consume. Hence, cholesterol level may vary among different persons.
Cholesterol is divided into high-density lipoprotein—the good cholesterol, disposing cholesterol to the liver, and low-density lipoprotein—the bad cholesterol, delivering cholesterol into the arteries. High level of LDL and triglycerides increases the risk of cardiovascular and heart diseases.
Cholesterol level is affected by some risk factors, such as:
Genes. Cholesterol is somehow hereditary. Hence, if your parents have a high cholesterol level, you are likely to have one, too.
Age. Cholesterol level tends to elevate as we age. Hence, it is important to have healthier lifestyle when we get older to keep the bad cholesterol level low.
Gender. Before the age of 50, men tend to have a higher cholesterol level, while after 50, women have the higher one, as a result of the absence of the hormone estrogen.
Weight. If someone is overweight, they are likely to have a higher cholesterol level and lower level of HDL.
Lifestyle. Smoking, stress, and lack of exercise also increase the level of bad cholesterol in the body. Sufficient exercise, on the other hands, elevates the level of HDL and lower the level of LDL, which is beneficial for the entire body health.
Diets. This is the most crucial risk factor for high cholesterol level. High saturated fat foods and high cholesterol foods are the culprits why diets may change cholesterol level in the body.
Is it ok to drink wine with high cholesterol?
Alcohol, including wine consumption is typical in some regions of the world. Taking alcoholic beverages in moderation in fact, is believed to be able to lower the level of cholesterol in our body. Alcohol consumption which does not exceed two drinks per day for men and one drink for women is indeed considered beneficial in lowering cholesterol level. This is because when alcohol is consumed in moderation, it is going to elevate the level of good cholesterol—HDL in our blood, while excessive drinking might lead into the increasing level of both triglycerides and bad cholesterol—LDL in the bloodstream.
Wine, an alcoholic drink made of fermented grapes is said to be the beneficial alcoholic drink for our body. Red wine, specifically, is believed to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease due to non-alcoholic compounds—the tannins it contains. Hence, many people believe that drinking red wine will not give a bad effect on your cholesterol level and heart, while in fact, this is not entirely reasonable.
In fact, 30 ml wine is going to raise the level of HDL—which means lower risk of high cholesterol level. However, the same amount might raise the level of triglycerides, which is as risky as the LDL in causing cardiovascular diseases by 5%. This becomes a reason why a person with already-high cholesterol level should prevent themselves from drinking wine in any level, since the chance of raising the risk of heart disease might overcome its benefit of raising the HDL. Diet—what we consume daily contributes significantly to the entire cholesterol level in our blood. This includes the consumption of wine and other alcoholic beverages.
If you insist on drinking wine with your high level of cholesterol:
- Make sure you do not consume more than 30 ml of it once every couple days.
- Choose red wine, instead of the other types of wine, as this kind contains less alcoholic compounds which may raise the bad cholesterol level.
- Avoid combining red wine—or any other wines with foods which are high in saturated fats, as this will boost the level of your LDL and lower the level of your HDL, which increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- Exercise sufficiently. This will help lowering the entire cholesterol level and reduce the risk of heart diseases.